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The love of a family is stronger than even the greatest tragedy . . .
Twenty years after their impulsive marriage, Maggie and Bill Barrett are happily settled into the quiet comfort of their dream home with their three beautiful children. Then, the day after Christmas 2004, their world is shattered apart.
Feeling isolated, Bill leaves to try to discover peace on his own. Maggie shuts down, incapable of connecting with her children or even sleeping most nights. Getting by in a daze, she has no idea how to begin picking up the pieces of their lives.
Enter Kate: a woman who placed an ad in the paper to be a housekeeper and companion to a family. Kate has secrets and sorrows of her own, but her gentle caring has an immediate effect on the children?and on Maggie herself. When Bill announces that he’s fallen for another woman, Maggie realizes that she will have to fight to put her family back together. But after all they’ve been through, can anything truly fix their broken ties?
After being bullied into the closet by his conservative senator father, Jay Molloy reconciles himself to a life of one-night stands instead of the loving D/s relationship he craves. When he meets the man of his dreams, trained Dom Eric Keger, all Jay dares to hope for is a quick fling. Eric has other ideas. He’s been hired by Jay’s father to run security at the family’s hunting resort, but now he has his heart set on Jay.
When murder victims begin to turn up at the resort, Eric and Jay start an investigation, but chasing down the killer proves less frustrating than dealing with Jay’s abusive, homophobic father. Exploring their new relationship would be hard enough on their own, but Eric and Jay also have to deal with politics, Jay’s fake fiancée, and a murderer who may be something more than human.
Todd and Nick Ruger have settled into their life and work, the master/slave bond in New Colorado tying them together in a sacred rite of service, protection, and—in their case—love. But out of the blue, Todd receives a letter from the vice chancellor of New Colorado threatening their bond, demanding ownership of Nick under eminent domain.
It turns out Vice Chancellor Clarke desperately needs the help of the sentries, especially Nick, to investigate a problem involving the Chancellor. With New Colorado on the verge of war with West Caldera, a rift in the government would be disastrous. Todd and Nick agree to help, and Nick enters the orphan slave compound while Todd joins the Estate security force.
They don’t expect the danger they discover. Now the target of an unimaginable threat, Nick and Todd will face terrors that lead to murder, imprisonment, and the threat of separation forever as the hopeless battle escalates into full-scale war.