Mountain Guardian Bear
Bears of Pinerock County, Book 4
A scarred loner with a tragic past rescues an amnesiac Goldilocks whose deadly secrets may destroy them.
Of all the ways Daisy would have wanted to wake up in a stranger's bed, having that stranger staring at her from a foot away was not one of them.
She cried out and flung herself backward, nearly falling off the bed in the process. It was some small comfort that he did the same thing, slamming into the wall.
Now at a more comfortable remove of ten feet or so, they stared at each other.
Goodness, he's huge. He was well over six feet, with tremendously broad and well-muscled shoulders, and was he wearing a vest made out of an animal skin?
And yet, now that she'd gotten over her initial shock, she was considerably less frightened than she really thought she ought to be. She simply didn't get a feeling of menace off him at all, despite his size. Part of it was the way he was pressing himself against the wall, as if he wanted to make himself seem smaller so as not to scare her. But it was also an instinctive feeling, as if she could tell just by looking that he meant her no harm.
Her gaze wandered up to his face. It was a broad, ruggedly handsome face, framed by shaggy dark hair long enough to brush his shoulders. His eyes were dark and intense, like those of some forest creature. But the thing that really caught her attention was a scar that slashed across his face from one side to the other. It started at the outer corner of his right eye, and cut through his face at a diagonal, under the eye and over the bridge of his nose and through his left cheek, all the way to his jawline. A little higher, she thought in shocked sympathy, and he would have lost the eye; a little lower and it would have damaged his mouth, making it impossible for him to ever do anything except grimace on that side.
"Why are you looking at me like that?"
She jumped when he spoke. His voice was low and rasping. At first she had the wild thought that his vocal cords had been damaged too, but then she realized it was merely that he didn't often speak, and wasn't used to talking to people.
"I was feeling sad for you," she said. When you found yourself in a strange person's bed with no memories farther back than the middle of the previous night, it seemed like a good idea to be as honest as possible. "I wondered who did that to your face, and if they were punished for it."
One of his big hands came up quickly to half-cover the scar, and she caught the look of shame before his face turned away.
"I'm sorry," he said, not looking at her. "Didn't mean to scare you."
No ... I didn't mean ... Now she'd made him self-conscious, but there was nothing ugly about the scar to her. It only upset her that someone had hurt him like that.
With both their pasts returning to tear them apart, two broken lovers must overcome their personal tragedy to find their HEA. Small-town bear shifter romance with heat and heart and a close-knit bear clan who would do anything to save one of their own.
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