Reckoning Excerpt

Praise for Reckoning

“Reckoning is a taut, complex, fast-moving thriller with a twist you won’t see coming while it still manages to include a little hot romance … A bittersweet but satisfying conclusion to this well-done series, Winter Austin ends it with a bang.” —
Nicole Petrino-Salter

“RECKONING is beautifully written with a plot that blew my mind away. An excellent read, Ms. Austin’s writing style is captivating and her way of describing situations are perfect.” —The Romance Reviews

Chapter Two

Head propped on her hand, she stared at the steady rise and fall of his bare chest. Day-old scruff and his dark-brown hair mussed from sleep made him a picture worth enjoying. She loved watching him sleep. It was a rare luxury, because he always seemed to become aware of her and wake up. What usually followed made her love him more.

Cody Lewis-LeBeau gnawed on her lip, debating whether to rouse her husband or let him sleep. Remy had come home late, another murder case keeping him in Dallas. Instead of staying at the condo, like they’d planned he should do on late nights, he drove back to Fort Worth. When he crawled into bed at two-thirty, Cody had been zonked out. She barely recalled the press of his lips against her forehead or his arms wrapped around her body.

Nine months of marriage and she still couldn’t get enough of him. Checking the clock next to their bed, she grimaced. She was already late getting out the door to do her chores. What was another half hour? The horses would keep.

Bending forward until her lips brushed his ear, she gently blew. Remy groaned and turned his head away. Once he settled, Cody nuzzled his neck, drawing in his warm, spicy scent. A low growl met her advances. She grinned.

“Ma vieille, I got five hours of sleep. Back off.”

“Only five? That’s more than you let me have the first four months we were married.”

He peeled his eyelids open. “Don’t you have horses to take care of?”

“They can wait.” Her hand slipped around his waist and started south.

Remy caught her wrist—he might be half-awake, but his reflexes still caught her off-guard—then dragged it up to his chest, where he trapped her hand. “Non. Let me sleep.”

“You’re no fun.” She went to roll away but found herself jerked back. Flopping onto his chest, she peered up at him.

“Kiss.”

Snorting, she pushed up to tower over him. “You’re awfully demanding for someone who’s kicking his wife outta bed so he can sleep.”

“That’s penance for waking me up.”

She leaned forward, their noses brushing. “I ain’t Catholic, so I don’t owe penance.”

Remy made a weird noise in his throat. “I am, so pay up, catin.”

“What? That ain’t how it works.”

He chuckled, his hand snaking behind her neck, and forced her head down. Cody resisted for all of point-zero-three seconds, letting his expert mouth wreak havoc on her mind and body. Apparently, all thoughts of sleep fled as he dragged her body over his, never breaking contact with her mouth.

Cody shivered as his hands slid the silk gown up her thighs. Maybe penance could work in her favor.