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Title: Del Fantasma: Texas Tea
Author: Maura Anderson
Publisher: Aspen Mountain Press (http://www.aspenmountainpress.com)
Available From Aspen Mountain Press at: http://www.aspenmountainpress.com/te...a/prod_65.html
Available From Fictionwise at: http://www.fictionwise.com/ebooks/eBook49566.htm
Available From Amazon for Kindle at: http://www.amazon.com/Del-Fantasma-T...6579355&sr=8-5
Available From MobiPocket at: http://www.mobipocket.com/en/eBooks/...p?BookID=63058
Photographer Lara Saunders has a lifelong secret – she can see and hear ghosts. When she was rescued from a near drowning by the ghost of a lighthouse keeper, he set her on a mission to document historic lighthouses and the lives of their keepers so they were not forgotten. Now on her third book in the series, Lara has arrived in San Diego to document the Old Point Loma Lighthouse but hasn’t counted on becoming the target Cody Warren, the matchmaking owner of the Del Fantasma bar. Or falling in love with a handsome Park Ranger whose secret is even more strange than her own.
Neither the situation nor Cody seemed dangerous, at least not to her. The ghosts usually warned her of threats. It was one of the useful side effects of her affinity with them. Too bad their presence also scared off every sane person she spent any time with until she no longer even tried to get close to anyone. Being alone by choice was easier than the inevitable rejection when the ghosts decided to frighten them away from her.
The sounds of clanking and voices from the doorway Cody had disappeared through drew Lara’s attention back to the here and now. The decor wasn’t really what she’d expected — from the name of the bar, she’d almost expected a Dias De Los Muertos theme of bright colors, skulls and maybe some skeletons but, instead, it tended toward a modern mission style with a lot of wood and earth-toned Southwestern touches. A warm and cozy bar for such an unusual name.
From the corner of her eye, she caught a hint of movement and whipped her head around to follow it. She caught just the briefest glimpse of what looked like a dog before it disappeared down the hallway marked “Private”. A dog in a food establishment?
Poised halfway out of her chair, she tried to see if she could spot the animal again. Cody suddenly chuckled directly behind her and she leapt sideways. Trying to not fall on her face, Lara teetered, arms flailing in a desperate attempt to regain her balance.
A hard yank from Cody and she was in her chair again, sprawled with legs spread and heart pounding so hard she thought she would pass out. “You scared me.” Her voice sounded breathless and trembling, adrenaline already doing a number on her system.
He had the nerve to laugh at her and she forgot her fear, forgot that he wasn’t just a human, even forgot that he was nearly a foot taller and much heavier than she was. Her lifelong hatred of being laughed at made her temper flare. Too exhausted to moderate her impulsive reactions, when he set her mug of tea on the table and his arm was within reach, she lashed out and slugged it. Hard.
The force of the impact screamed up her arm. The man must be made of stone. He merely laughed harder while she cradled her now throbbing hand to her chest and glared. A small part of her was appalled at her loss of control over her temper and own actions but she successfully ignored it.
“You sure you don’t want to act as her tour guide, Code?”
The husky baritone voice, sultry, overlaid with a sexy drawl, preceded the man who sauntered from the hall.
Oh. My. God. Attractive as Cody was, this man was stunning. Shorter than her host, he was just as muscular but more compact. Her fingers longed to explore the texture of the glossy black hair he wore cut military-short. His face was tanned and clean-shaven with a tantalizing square jaw and high cheekbones she’d bet spoke of more than a touch of Native American mixed with his obvious Latino ancestry.
Every movement was silent and graceful, nearly soundless, even in his jeans and cowboy boots. The sinuous sway of his hips as he walked reminded her of the calculating, smooth motions of a wild animal, a predator.
And his eyes, his eyes were a bright gold she’d never seen before, framed by thick black lashes that only served to make them more piercing. They were an almost inhuman color, one that would be more at home in the face of an animal.
“Texas, this is Lara Saunders. Lara, this is my friend Matthew Martinez. He’s the Park Ranger I told you about.”
Lara continued to gape at the newcomer, oblivious to the hand he held out to her until he forcibly picked up her own from the table to shake it.
Even his touch felt wild and untamed. And it carried the unmistakable touch of the spirit world as well.