Against the Storm (Raines of Wind Canyon Series #4)

Against the Storm (Raines of Wind Canyon Series #4)

by Kat Martin

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780778312925
Publisher: MIRA Books
Publication date: 10/25/2011
Series: Raines of Wind Canyon Series , #4
Edition description: Original
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 95,448
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.50(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Kat Martin is the New York Times bestselling author of more than fifty historical and contemporary romance novels. To date she has over 13 million copies of her books in print in seventeen countries, including Sweden, France, Russia, Spain, Japan, Argentina, Poland, and Greece. Kat and her husband, author Larry Jay Martin, live on their ranch outside Missoula, Montana, and spend winters at their beach house in California. Kat invites you to visit her website at

Read an Excerpt

Houston, Texas

Snow Dogs. Trace Rawlins sat at a table in back of the Texas Cafe thinking of his client and her white rapper husband, Bobby Jordane, the lead singer of the wildly successful rap music group, the Snow Dogs.

It seemed the perfect name for the mangy group, who sang about decadent society yet seemed to be the root of the problem. Only Bobby was married, his beautiful wife of the last three years was a creamy cocoa-skinned African American. Why she had ever married the guy, aside from his seven-figure bank account, Trace couldn't imagine.

Apparently, Shawna had come to the same conclusion, for she sat a few tables away next to her attorney, Evan Schofield, there for a meeting with Bobby.

Bobby Jordane was a wife beater par excellence, and he was extremely unhappy that Shawna had filed for divorce. But Schofield had managed to set up a meeting at a neutral location kept secret from the media, in the hope something could actually be accomplished.

The restaurant was old and narrow, with wooden floors and a long, varnished-wood lunch counter, a place for locals where a guy like Bobby wouldn't even be recognized. This time of day, the lunch crowd was gone and it was too early for dinner patrons. Only two other tables were occupied, one by an older man and his wife drinking chocolate shakes, another by two young women eating hamburgers. One of them was a foxy redhead Trace tried not to notice, but his gaze wandered back to her again and again.

Unfortunately, he seemed to have a penchant for trouble where redheads were concerned.

He returned his thoughts to the meeting at hand, which was supposed to include only Bobby and his attorney, Shawna and Evan Schofield, Trace's longtime friend.

But Bobby was a hothead, and Evan was no fool. He didn't trust Bobby, and neither did Trace. Everyone in Houston had read about the couple's fiery clashes and Bobby's out-of-control behavior, which recently had landed him in jail. Shawna had threatened to file a restraining order, and Evan had hired Trace, a private detective and the owner of Atlas Security, to keep a protective eye on his client.

The bell above the cafe door rang, flipping the little ruffled curtain above the glass. True to form, Bobby sauntered in without his attorney, just the other two obnoxious members of the Snow Dogs.

Clyde "The Mountain" Thibodaux hailed from New Orleans. Big, bald and tattooed, he was bare-chested beneath his leather vest. A small black goatee clung to his chin.

Lenny Finks, known to his fans as Lenny the Sphinx, was the nerd of the group. Skinny and homely, with kinky auburn hair, he was the talent behind the act, the guy who wrote the music, though Trace refused to call it that. Lenny was harmless, except for the viperous tongue he used to lash at the group's critics. He was a necessary component and the reason for the group's unbelievable success.

Bobby himself was as tall as Trace, about six-two, and as lean and solidly built. Having taken years of martial arts, Bobby thought he was a tough guy. Trace flicked a glance at the bruises on Shawna Jordane's beautiful face, clamped down on a surge of anger and wished he could show him ex-Ranger tough.

Instead, he tipped back his white straw cowboy hat, shifted in his chair and sipped his coffee, his gaze fixed on Bobby, who swaggered over to Shawna's table, his friends close behind.

"Hey, babe."

"Hello, Bobby." Her voice held the faint edge of fear.

Bobby turned a hard look on the man beside her. "So…Evan…you wanted me to come down here so we could have a little chat. Is that right?"

The lawyer, a slender man with sandy brown hair and intelligent eyes, sat up a little straighter in his chair. "I was hoping we might be able to make some progress in the matter of your divorce," he said.

Bobby shifted, his legs splayed in a belligerent stance. "You get my wife to file for divorce and you want me to come here so we can talk?" Reaching out, he grabbed Evan by his red-striped power tie and hauled him to his feet. Shawna screamed and Trace went into action.

Tossing Lenny out of the way like the skinny little runt he was, he reached out and grabbed hold of the back of Bobby's black, silver dragon T-shirt. Trace spun him around, waited an instant for Bobby to throw the first punch, then ducked and nailed him solidly in the jaw. Bobby went down like a sack of wheat, his head hitting the wooden floor with a melonlike thump that had his eyes rolling back in his head.

"You son of a bitch!" Clyde's blunt, meaty hands balled into fists as he lumbered forward, swinging a roundhouse punch meant to send a man to his knees. Trace ducked, turned a little and threw a straight-from-the-shoulder blow that sank four inches into the big man's stomach. Clyde grunted, doubled over, and Trace took him out with an uppercut to the chin.

Blood gushed from his nose and Clyde flew backward, knocking over a table and sending the surprised older couple scrambling out of the way. It was exactly the kind of thing Evan Schofield had hoped to prevent when he had hired Trace.

"Sorry, buddy."

Evan held up a hand. "Not your fault. I should have known this wouldn't work." He grinned. "Besides, it was worth it to see Bobby get what he had coming."

Shaking off the ache in his hand, Trace reached down and picked up his cowboy hat, settled it once more on his head. Lenny stood next to Bobby with his mouth gaping and his eyes wide. "Y-you shouldn't have done that."

"You don't think so?"

"Bobby…Bobby's gonna be really mad."

Trace chuckled softly. "If you're smart, you'll get him out of here before somebody calls the police. He doesn't need any more trouble."

Evan pulled out Shawna's chair. "Let's go."

She rose shakily to her feet and turned to Trace.

"Thank you, Mr. Rawlins. You have no idea how good that made me feel."

A corner of his mouth edged up. "Oh, I think I do."

Shawna turned and started walking, but before she had reached the door, a camera flashed, capturing her retreat. Then the photographer turned toward the man moaning softly on the floor. The camera flashed again and again, taking photos of Bobby Jordane that would be wildly embarrassing to a guy with an ego as massive as his.

Trace inwardly cursed. The redhead. Just as he'd figured, they were nothing but trouble.

Striding toward her, he reached out and jerked the camera from her hands, turned it around and deleted the last series of digital photos.

"Hey! What do you think you're doing? You can't do that!"

"Nice camera," Trace said. Walking over to the lunch counter, he handed it to Betty Sparks, the owner of the cafe.

The sexy redhead raced along behind him. "Listen, whoever you are—that's my camera! You can't just—"

"I just did. And you can have it back as soon as they're gone." Trace tipped his hat to the redhead and her friend, a tall, svelte brunette a year or two older. "Have a nice afternoon, ladies."

Turning, he strolled out of the café.

"Did you see that? Oh, my God!" The brunette's attention followed the man who strode down the sidewalk outside the window. "Who was that gorgeous hunk?"

Maggie O'Connell's gaze jerked toward the window just as the tall, lanky cowboy in the white straw hat disappeared from view. "What are you talking about?

That bastard just ruined my pictures. Bobby Jordane and his estranged wife? You know how much photos like that are worth?"

Maggie turned at the sound of a groan, saw the guy with the kinky hair—Lenny the Sphinx, his fans called him—help Bobby to his feet. Clyde the Mountain swayed upward until he was standing. Wordlessly, the small group staggered toward the door.

Maggie looked longingly at the lady who held her camera, but the older woman just shook her head.

Maggie sighed. She wouldn't be getting photos of Bobby Jordane sprawled on the old plank floor, beaten to a pulp. Not today.

"I hate to remind you, but you aren't the tabloid type," said her best friend, Roxanne De Mers. "You didn't come here to take pictures. You came for a late lunch with a friend. It just turned out to be a little more exciting than we planned."

Roxy swung back to the window, watching the rap stars as they made their way to the long white limo waiting out front. "I wonder who he was."

Maggie didn't have to ask who her friend was talking about. The cowboy was, at the very least, impressive. Tall and lean, with wide shoulders and slim hips, he had thick, dark hair neatly trimmed, golden-brown eyes and a set of biceps that were impossible to miss.

Still, she didn't appreciate his interference in her business. As the limo door closed, shutting the three men inside, she walked over to the counter to collect her camera, which the broad-hipped woman readily handed back to her.

"So who was he?" Maggie asked, nodding toward the window. "The Lone Ranger out there…what was his name?"

"You a reporter?"

"I'm a photographer. Mostly I do outdoor shots. I just saw an opportunity and took it—or tried to."

"Sorry it didn't pan out."

"Me, too. I can always use a little extra money."

"Name's Betty Sparks," the woman said. "Me and my husband, Bill, own this place."

"Nice to meet you, Betty. I'm Maggie O'Connell. You make a great burger."


The woman, who was in her late fifties, with a cap of short, curly gray hair, tipped her head toward the door. "His name's Trace Rawlins. Owns Atlas Security. He's a private investigator."

Walking up beside Maggie, Roxanne sighed dramatically, a hand over her heart. "I think I'm in love."

"The redhead's got a better chance," Betty said. "Trace has a weakness for 'em."

"No, thanks. I don't do cowboys."

Betty chuckled. "If I was twenty years younger, I'd dye my hair."

Maggie laughed. "How much do we owe you?" She walked over to the purse hanging on the back of her wooden chair and started digging for her wallet.

"On the house," Betty said. "It's the least I can do."

Maggie smiled. "Thanks."

"You new in the neighborhood?"

She nodded. "I just bought one of those town houses they built a few blocks away. Vaulted ceiling upstairs. Good north light, great place to work, you know?"

"Welcome, then. Maybe we'll see you again."

"If it's always this much fun in here," Roxanne said, "I'm sure you will."

Betty just laughed.

Maggie put her Nikon back in its case and slung the straps of the camera bag and her purse over her shoulder. Roxanne tossed a couple bills on the table for a tip, and the two walked out the door.

"You know that trouble you been having?" Roxy said.

Maggie paused. "What about it?"

"That cowboy…he's in the security business and he's an investigator. He might be able to help you."

Maggie started to argue, to say she didn't need any help. Then she thought of the way Trace Rawlins had handled those three men. "I hope it doesn't come to something like that."

But it might and both of them knew it. For more than a month, someone had been following her, phoning her and hanging up, leaving messages on the windshield of her car. So far it hadn't been more than that, but it was frightening just the same.

When she got home, she was going to look up the number for Atlas Security.

And write it down beside Trace Rawlins's name.

Trace returned to the Atlas Security office on Times Street. He lived in a house in the University District not far away, a place with a yard for Rowdy, his black-and-white border collie, with big shady trees and an old-fashioned, covered front porch. When his dad died, Trace had inherited the house along with the business, a company his father had started when he first got out of the army.

Seth Rawlins had been a Ranger, a tough son of a bitch. Following in his footsteps, Trace had also enlisted and become a Ranger, figuring on a career in the military. Then six years ago, his dad had been killed in a car accident and Trace had come home to take over the business as he knew his father would have wished.

He slowed his dark green Jeep Grand Cherokee, pulled into the parking area in front of his office and turned off the engine. Recently, he had purchased the two-story brick structure—or rather, he and the bank owned it together until he paid off the mortgage. Which, since his profits were up and he was making double payments, he hoped wouldn't take too long.

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Against the Storm 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 73 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved all of the Raines of Wind Canyon books (so far). Thank you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read! Good series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book...spent the weekend reading the series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kat Martin has done it again. Just about the time you figure all is good and they know who it is, you're wrong. You know Trace is going to come out the hero, he has to but the things our hero has to go through to win is what keeps you wanting more with each page you read. You just don't want the book to end but it will and it ends great. Can't wait for the next one..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the book I can't wait for the next book in the Against The series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed all the books in this series. Can't wait till the next one comes out
The_Reading_Reviewer More than 1 year ago
Maggie O'Connell is a well respected professional photographer with a great life, a future of success, and numerous professional accolades. Her philanthropic deeds have made her well respected in Houston which is one of the many reasons she is questioning why someone appears to be stalking her. Maggie needs help in figuring what these creepy notes mean and how they broke into her home. She turns to Trace Rawlins, a reliable private detective and ex-Army Ranger who is absolutely a cool drink on a hot Texas day. Trace has always had a weakness for redheads and this one in particular is really ramping up his "I want that" meter. Trace is dedicated to his business and realizes that mixing some great pleasure in the "she is a client" pot is a recipe for disaster. So concentrating his efforts on finding whoever is after Maggie and stopping this person quickly because whoever it is has decided to ramp up their actions and is getting more aggressive with each passing day. Despite other cases that may distract him, his one true goal right now is to find the stalker and stop whoever it is. The one clear objective Trace had was the truth and it appears Maggie is still holding back some important details he needs to know. She doesn't tell him all her secrets, refuses to acknowledge that anyone in her past could be the problem, and just won't let Trace know her true feelings. Trace has been burned and knows the pain that comes with betrayal but in order to make their personal and working relationship work Maggie has to stop the smoke and mirror routine and give everything to their partnership. When the security system fails, Maggie's house is set on fire, and tracking devices are found, Trace knows it is time to set the trap. His plan is brilliant and will work if Maggie can keep her cool and play her part without going off the script. Trace won't admit his feelings for her but they are true and run deep so nothing is going to harm a hair on that perfect red head of hers - you can take that to the bank. As a fan of Kat Martin's and in particular this series I was looking forward to where she was going with the books. The wait was worth it as this book is a total delight with a Texas background, great storyline and well developed characters. Ms. Martin knows how to entertain the reader by giving them just enough information to make sure they are so intrigued you never want to put the book down or have it end. This book is a sure winner and great addition to the series.
rhonda1111 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
4 STARSIt was a great mystery,romance novel that I enjoyed reading. Would not mind reading any more of her books.Maggie is a Photographer and is making a name for herself. While she was at lunch with a friend a celebrity couple was meeting with their lawyers,band members and a bodyguard to keep the peace. But the husband was abuser and he was mad and started to reach for his wife and bodyguard stopped him and also took one other band member out. Maggie had her camera and started taking pictures of band members on floor when Trace the bodyguard took her camera erased the pictures. Then took her camera away till she left.Maggie's friend told her that she might want to hire him to help her with her stalker. Maggie has red hair and everyone was already warning her about Trace liked red hair ladies.Maggie called Trace's security company when she had another note left on her car. She did not call cops, because when she was 16 she said her boyfriend raped her and a week later said , she lied. His father was a cop so no one trusted her or wanted to help her.Then someone broke into her house and Trace had alarms put in plus security cameras on front and back. Then the stalker called and left messages on her answering machine.Her half sister Ashley that she only saw a few times showed up with a baby asking for help. Ashley and Maggie started to get a long and know each other. Ashley loves to cook and wants to go to chef school when she ready.Maggie started seeing Trace apart from just working to find her stalker and she left his house to go home in the middle of the night and found her condo on fire.Lucky Ashley and her baby got out safely and were going to stay with Trace. Jason met Ashley when he followed Trace over their wanting to know if he had found out any new information on his father's sucide. He could not keep his eyes of Ashley and their first date was the night of the fire. He found a place where they could stay at a friends apartment who was away for weeks. So Ashley and the baby stayed there. Maggie stayed with Trace till her stalker was found.Their was a whole lot more going on with Maggie and Trace besides trying to find the stalker and see if he was also had paid someone to destroy her office and all photos and memory cards.
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J: It could have been so much better with a little less "hot, steamy romance." The story line was actually pretty exciting and suspenseful, but parts of it read like a cheep porn novel. A few times is great to establish the relationship, but then it becomes just more of the same and really adds nothing to the story. I found myself skipping over much of it to get back to the story. This author is way too good for this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the 1st book in the Raines series and I fell in love with it. Great book, with great characters. 
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Put your name or your clans name here to be put in the paper. If u r signing up your clan, put were it is lovated
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