She was one step away from a hanging, not because of anything she'd done, but because of who she was.
He was one step closer to capturing the most notorious outlaw in Texas.
When U.S. Marshal Trey Thornton saves Charlotte "Charlie" Daughtry from a lynch mob, he plans to use her as bait to capture her father and brothers. One thing stood in his way, he fell in love with the outlaw's daughter.
Charlie felt stirrings deep in her heart for the handsome lawman. She wished he could look beyond the Daughtry name and see her for who she truly was - someone who desperately yearned to be loved by him. But could she love a man who wanted to send her father and brothers to the gallows?
Charlotte Daughtery clawed at the rope around her neck and squeezed her eyes shut. As the noose tightened, she gasped for air. Lack of oxygen sent stars floating before her eyes. Sweat poured off her forehead, dripping down her cheeks like tears. The savage cries, filled with bloodlust, voiced their hatred for anything and anyone Daughtery.
“Get it over with. Hang her!”
“She’s a Daughtery. She don’t deserve no better.”
She could hardly blame these people. The Daughtery gang had terrorized Texas for as long as she could remember. But she’d never been a part of the gang—didn’t these people realize that? She hated what her family did—and who they were. Shame tinged her cheeks like a branding iron.
She’d done nothing wrong—yet she was going to hang because of who she was.
Two men grabbed her hands, twisted them behind her and bound them. The rawhide cut into her wrists, ripping and tearing her skin. Time stood still as she waited for someone to slap her horse’s flanks and snap her neck like a twig. She stiffened in the saddle.
With a prayer on her lips, Charlie stared at the faces in the crowd. No one there would raise a hand to help her. No one! Well, she wouldn’t beg for her life or ask forgiveness. She’d never killed or robbed anyone. Oh, she’d shot a few buzzards who were trying to hurt her. Wasn’t she entitled to defend herself?