A Man's Promise

By: Brenda Jackson

A man’s word is his bond. His family is his strength. His heart is his own.

Superstar musician Caden Granger has spent years running from love, commitment and family. Yet despite his fame and fortune, he knows the kind of respect and adoration he needs can only come from one person—the very woman who wants nothing to do with him.

Charity volunteer and owner of a wine boutique, Shiloh Timmons finally got her life on track once her relationship with Caden ended, and she’s in no hurry to revisit a romance with the man who believes she left him standing at the altar.

If Caden can’t have Shiloh by his side, all the success in the world will mean nothing. Now he has a chance to renew his promises…but is it too late?




Prologue

Fifteen years ago

She was going to die....

Sylvia Granger swallowed tightly as she stared into eyes that were as cold as glaciers. She lowered her gaze to the gun pointed at her. Her only chance was to talk her way out of this, at least to buy enough time before her husband, Sheppard, arrived at the boathouse for their meeting. He should be here any minute now. She began talking, pleading, practically begging.

“Please, don’t do this. They are playing the two of us against each other. Why can’t you see that?”

“Are they?”

“Yes.”

The mocking chuckle made her skin crawl. “Haven’t you figured things out by now, Sylvia? There is no one else. I only led you to believe there were others, just to see if you could be trusted. You failed the test.”

Sylvia’s mind went into a frenzy. There’s no one else? That can’t be true. But after seeing the look of triumph flaring in the eyes staring at her, she knew it was true. “But—but how?”

“I don’t owe you any explanation regarding the way I handle my business. You were smart, but not smart enough to betray me.”

“But it wasn’t that way at all.” She spoke quickly as fear spread throughout her body, settling deep into her bones.

Another chuckle. “Yes, it was that way. You proved just how deceitful you are. Killing you will be a favor to everyone...especially your husband. He has no idea what you’ve been up to.”

Sylvia slowly backed up as the gun was cocked. “Please. Don’t. You won’t get away with this,” she said frantically. “Shep is on his way here. You can’t leave without him knowing—”

The sound of laughter sent a chilling sensation all through her. “I can, and I will, get away with it. I have too many players in place to fail. The stage has been set. I’m the major star, and your services are no longer needed.” The gun was lifted higher and, in an instant, a shot rang out.

Pain ripped through Sylvia’s chest, and before she could blink, a second shot followed the first. She crumpled to the floor and took her last breath while gazing up into a pair of dark, evil eyes.





One

Present day

Shiloh Timmons’s hands trembled as she set down the newspaper she’d just read. Emotions she’d been suppressing for the past four years were reemerging, and she refused to let them get the better of her. Caden Granger would never hurt her again; she would see to it.

Hearing someone clearing their throat, she glanced across the room and saw her brother standing in the doorway of her office. Growing up, Sedrick had been her hero, the big brother every girl needed and deserved. He’d been her protector. Even now, he was trying to protect her...especially since Caden had returned to town.

“It wasn’t Caden, Shiloh,” he said, referring to the newspaper article she’d just read.

“No, but it could have been. Did you read what that article said, Sedrick?”

He shrugged before coming into her office, closing the door behind him. “Didn’t have to. It’s dominated the local news since the story broke a few days ago.”

Shiloh drew in a deep breath. All last week she had been in California, in the heart of Napa Valley, making purchases for the grand-opening celebration of the wine shop she’d opened a few weeks ago. When she’d returned home last night it had been late, and since she wasn’t a television watcher, she hadn’t turned on the set. Instead, she had showered and gone to bed, knowing this would be a busy week at the Wine Cellar Boutique. She was gearing up for a party that would put her specialty shop on the map.

She’d been sitting at her desk, about to take her first sip of coffee, but nothing could have prepared her for what she saw in the morning paper. The headlines blared out at her in bold letters: Granger Narrowly Escapes Death.

Literally holding her breath, she read that Jace Granger, Caden’s older brother, had been kidnapped from the parking garage at Granger Aeronautics. He had been just seconds from losing his life when the FBI had located him in the warehouse where he’d been held hostage. Arrests had been made, and the authorities were trying to determine whether there was a possible tie-in between the kidnapping and the reported ongoing trade-secrets investigation at Granger Aeronautics. Of course, the article took the opportunity to remind the readers that Jace’s father, Sheppard Granger, was serving a thirty-year sentence for murdering his wife, Sylvia, fifteen years ago.

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