On Tour with Prism Book Tours.
The biggest risk she’ll ever take…
Tessa Henning is no damsel. But she’s definitely in distress. If her husband really is involved in the ivory trade, he’ll come after her when he finds out what she’s uncovered. Unfortunately, the only person who can help is Mac Walker. Stubborn, fiercely independent, danger-loving bush pilot Mac Walker—with whom she shares custody of their orphaned nephew. Though Mac’s no knight in shining armor, he can keep her and their nephew safe in the Serengeti while they wait out this storm. But he can’t protect Tessa from the strange weather brewing inside her, stirring up feelings for Mac she wishes she could ignore.
MAC STOKED THE logs in the fire pit until the flames danced like Masai tribesmen dressed in their bright red and orange colors. The pit, encircled with local lava rocks, was set up in a clearing not far from the guest tents. A mix of wooden stumps and folding chairs surrounded it. He’d helped arrange those rocks and seats so that guests would have a nice place to congregate for after-dinner drinks and stories. Mugi always did love telling stories with dramatic flare.
Nick was already sleeping in the tent he was sharing with Mac, and Mugi and Kesi had gone to bed. Tessa stared at the flames with her knees tucked against her chest and her chin resting on them. Her hair glistened in the firelight like the river’s surface on a full moon. He looked back into the fire. He had no business noticing those sorts of things. At least not in a way that stirred unwelcome feelings of nostalgia and longing. As a teen there’d been something about her that drew him in, but she’d always kept her guard up good and strong.
It didn’t matter. Mac was a loner. He lived for the present and future. Not the past. Tessa wasn’t his type, anyway. The only thing they had in common was custody of their nephew. She was another man’s wife—a fact that, ever since she’d shown up in his office the night before, he had to keep reminding himself of…and that bothered him to no end. The sense of loss…the fact that she’d never really cared for him and his attraction had never been reciprocated…he could handle all of it when she was in her own country, but he’d made Kenya his and she’d crossed his boundaries. Tessa crossing any boundary and pulling a stunt like this had thrown him off-kilter. The Tessa he knew would never have done that. The woman sharing the campfire with him was a whole lot more appealing, way more interesting…and very taken. The smoke and flames had to be playing hypnotic tricks on him. He rubbed his eyes, remembering that he hadn’t really slept the night before.
“What are we going to do about all this?” she asked.
Obviously she was talking about her situation with her husband, but for a split second, he thought maybe she’d heard his thoughts.
Perhaps mind-reading came with raising a kid together.
A log popped with a long hiss and crackle and he pushed it toward the center of the pit. He’d never forget the time she’d taken Maria and Allan’s side about his first trip to the Serengeti. She’d told him he should listen to his dad and brother and stay put. It was only a week before he was scheduled to leave to do volunteer work for the experience and flight hours…and because he’d needed a break from his father and brother breathing down his neck about what he was going to do with his life. Real men made a lot of money, they said. Enough to support their families. According to them, working for free made as much sense as a hare curling up with a cheetah at night for warmth.
History had a way of repeating itself, didn’t it? Tessa had sided against him before. She’d never agreed with his choices. Why should she care about his opinion now?
He eyed her carefully across the flickering tips of the fire. Burned once, twice shy. For all he knew, Brice had sent her. How convenient would it be if they couldn’t see the files on those drives and there was no proof but her word? Or if the drives were fake? Maybe this was all a ploy because her husband didn’t want an ornery teenager in his house. Did Nick clash with their uppity lifestyle? Or were her intentions even darker? What if Brice was involved in ivory smuggling and Tessa was embroiled in her husband’s business right alongside him, like a good, loyal wife…but was having second thoughts? Maybe she was getting scared and trying to save face by making herself seem innocent. Was she playing the victim? She’d never been the type to stand up to anyone or risk losing the people in her life. If Brice had asked her to do something that went against her values, would she have been strong enough to say no?
She used to express strong opinions on animal welfare in their school paper, but after she got married, she’d settled on a fashion column. Maybe she’d given up her integrity and dreams for money. She could be here to use their shared custody of Nick to draw him into their sick game. Or she could be here as a spy, trying to get him to reveal inside information about the wildlife reservations, rescue and conservation groups in the area and the Kenyan Wildlife Service’s plans against poacher activities. Or maybe her marriage had simply gone south and she was looking for excuses to come running to him for help and support because she didn’t want to be alone. Tessa had always hated being alone.
He took the last swig of his beer and set the bottle in the dirt next to him.
“Let’s see. What are we going to do about all this?” he said. “I’d say the safest thing would be to give me the drives you have. I’ll check them out while you and Nick stay here. If there is indeed incriminating information on them, in what’s bound to be a phenomenally dramatic and dangerous operation, I’ll turn it in and help catch Brice red-handed…then kill him. In self-defense, of course, because something tells me he’s used to getting what he wants and won’t give himself up peacefully.”
Tessa had dropped her feet to the ground and sat there gaping at him.
“Are you crazy?”
Mac shrugged and leaned forward.
“Guilty of being stupid once or twice in my life and a bit stubborn, but no, not crazy.”
“Then don’t make fun of the situation and don’t go painting Brice out to be some superruthless alpha villain just because he’s rich and powerful. He was always kind and good to me. I’m not sure why he’s involved in all this or to what extent, but I know when I married him he was a smart, stable and talented man.”
The air tasted bitter and even the insects, whose rhythmic humming had been loud enough to mask their whispers, hushed. Mac wanted to walk away, but doing so would add power to her words. What Brice was, Mac wasn’t. His father would have liked Brice. She knew it, too.
Other Books in the Series
He wants to take her child out of Africa…
The Busara elephant research and rescue camp on Kenya’s Serengeti is Anna Bekker’s life’s work. And it’s the last place she thought she’d run into Dr. Jackson Harper. As soon as he sets eyes on her four-year-old, Pippa, Anna knows he’ll never leave…without his daughter.
Furious doesn’t begin to describe how Jack feels. How could Anna keep this from him? He has to get his child back to the States. Yet as angry as he is with Anna, they still have a bond. But can it endure, despite the ocean–and the little girl–between them?
Does following her passion mean losing her way?
Marine Ben Corallis is an expert at facing death, but nothing comes close to the terror that grounds him when his wife is killed in a car accident the day he returns from duty. He’s left to raise an infant, a toddler and a ten-year-old girl who hasn’t uttered a word since her mother’s death.
It’s hard not to care for the widowed marine with three young children. Yet he’s still grieving, too burdened with guilt to fall in love again. And Hope Alwanga’s future as a doctor awaits her on the other side of the world, in Nairobi. If two such opposites can’t agree on a common country, how can they ever create a safe place to call home?
After a childhood enriched with exotic travels and adventures (both in books and real life), USA Today and Amazon Bestselling author Rula Sinara is now settled in rural Virginia with her husband, three boys and crazy but endearing pets. When she’s not writing, she’s busy attracting wildlife to her yard, watching romantic movies or researching trees on her garden wish list.
In addition to being a coffee addict, she’s also a 2015 HOLT Medallion Award of Merit winner, a 2014 National Reader’s Choice Award winner and double finalist, a 2015 Golden Quill Award Runner Up and a 2015 Book Buyers Best third place recipient. For updates on her releases and more, sign up for her newsletter.
June 5th: Launch
June 6th: Brooke Blogs & underneath the covers
June 7th: Becky on Books, Rockin’ Book Reviews & deal sharing aunt
June 8th: Wishful Endings & EskieMama Reads
June 9th: Lampshade Reader, Christy’s Cozy Corners & 23 Review Street
June 10th: Thoughts of a Blonde, Book talk & The Reading Diaries
June 12th: Grand Finale
US PRIZE PACK: One winner will receive 3 ‘From Kenya, With Love’ series canvas tote bags (one of each book), bookmarks, autographed copies of The Promise of Rain and After the Silence, and a $10 Amazon gift card.
INTERNATIONALLY OPEN PRIZE: One winner will receive Kindle copies of The Promise of Rain and After the Silence.
Ends June 17th