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Authors: Bobbi Smith

Defiant

ROMANTIC TIMES
PRAISES BOBBI SMITH,
NEW YORK TIMES
BESTSELLING AUTHOR!

HALFBREED WARRIOR

“Smith is the consummate storyteller. The pacing is quick, with snappy dialogue moving the story forward at breakneck speed.”

BRAZEN

“As sexy and gritty as [Smith] has ever written.”

HALF-MOON RANCH: HUNTER’S MOON

“Bobbi Smith is a terrific storyteller whose wonderful characters, good dialogue and compelling plot will keep you up all night.”

FOREVER AUTUMN


Forever Autumn
is a fast-paced, delightful story.”

LONE WARRIOR

“Fast paced, swift moving and filled with strong, well-crafted characters.”

EDEN

“The very talented Bobbi Smith has written another winner.
Eden
is filled with adventure, danger, sentimentality and romance.”

THE HALF-BREED (SECRET FIRES)

“Witty, tender, strong characters and plenty of action, as well as superb storytelling, make this a keeper.”

BRIDES OF DURANGO: JENNY

“Bobbi Smith has another winner. This third installment is warm and tender as only Ms. Smith can do. . . . Ms. Smith’s fans will not be disappointed.”

BRIDES OF DURANGO: TESSA

“Another wonderful read by consummate storyteller Bobbi Smith. . . . Filled with adventure and romance. . . .”

MORE
ROMANTIC TIMES
RAVES FOR STORYTELLER OF THE YEAR BOBBI SMITH!

BRIDES OF DURANGO: ELISE

“There’s plenty of action, danger and heated romance as the pages fly by. This is exactly what fans expect from Bobbi Smith.”

WESTON’S LADY

“Bobbi Smith has penned another winner.”

HALF-BREED’S LADY

“A fast-paced, frying-pan-into-the-fire adventure that runs the gamut of emotions, from laughter to tears. A must-read for Ms. Smith’s fans, and a definite keeper.”

OUTLAW’S LADY

“Bobbi Smith is an author of many talents; one of them being able to weave more than one story. . . . Ms. Smith creates characters that one will remember for some time to come.”

THE LADY & THE TEXAN

“An action-packed read with roller-coaster adventures that keep you turning the pages.
The Lady & the Texan
is just plain enjoyable.”

RENEGADE’S LADY

“A wonderfully delicious ‘Perils of Pauline’ style romance. With dashes of humor, passion, adventure and romance, Ms. Smith creates another winner that only she could write!”

THE TASTE OF TEMPTATION

“You are a very tempting woman, Rachel Hammond,” Clint told her, putting her from him.

She was puzzled. She didn’t know why he’d stopped kissing her. She wanted to go back into his arms and stay there, but his next words stopped her.

“But you are the preacher’s daughter.”

His words jarred her back to reality.

“Oh—”

A mixture of conflicting emotions assailed Rachel as she stood there, momentarily lost in the confusion of the battle between her emotions and logic.

Clint knew they both needed a distraction, so he went to his saddlebags and rifled through them.

“Since we’re going to be stuck here a while longer, you want to have a little fun?” he asked her as he finally found what he’d been looking for.

“I thought we were having fun—” she said, feeling a little wild as she said it.

Clint bit back a groan at her remark. In her innocence, she was the perfect seductress. He could only imagine what she would have been like if she’d known what she was doing and the effect she had on him.

Other books by Bobbi Smith:

HALFBREED WARRIOR

BRAZEN

BAYOU BRIDE

HUNTER’S MOON

FOREVER AUTUMN

LONE WARRIOR

EDEN

WANTON SPLENDOR

SWEET SILKEN BONDAGE

THE HALF-BREED (SECRET FIRES)

WESTON’S LADY

HALF-BREED’S LADY

OUTLAW’S LADY

FORBIDDEN FIRES

RAPTURE’S RAGE

THE LADY & THE TEXAN

RENEGADE’S LADY

THE LADY’S HAND

LADY DECEPTION

The
Brides of Durango
series:

ELISE
TESSA
JENNY

Writing as Julie Marshall:

MIRACLES
HAVEN

B
OBBI
S
MITH

D
EFIANT

The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.

Text copyright © 2006 Bobbi Smith

All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without express written permission of the publisher.

Published by Montlake Romance
P.O. Box 400818
Las Vegas, NV 89140

ISBN-13: 9781477835043
ISBN-10: 1477835040

Contents

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-one

Chapter Twenty-two

Chapter Twenty-three

CHapter Twenty-four

Chapter Twenty-five

Chapter Twenty-six

Chapter Twenty-seven

Epilogue

This title was previously published by Dorchester Publishing; this version has been reproduced from the Dorchester book archive files.

 

 

This book is dedicated to Mason Ryan, my third perfect grandson!
“Hi” to all my friends at Dierberg’s—Jessica Lister, Jeanne Velders, Debbie Peirick, Charlene Climer and Bobbi at the checkout. And “Hi” to the real Michelle Lofton at Emmis Radio in St. Louis. You’re wonderful!

D
EFIANT

Chapter One

Texas, Late 1870’s

It was getting late as twenty-five-year-old Clint Williams walked out on the front porch of his family’s ranch house to find his father sitting alone on the top step, staring off into the night.

“I thought I might find you here,” Clint said as he sat down next to him. He’d noticed how quiet his father had been during dinner and wondered what was troubling him.

“I needed some time to think,” Frank Williams answered, his tone worried.

“What’s wrong?”

“This Tucker Gang I’ve been tracking is trouble—bad trouble,” he told him.

“I’ve seen the wanted posters. How close are you to catching them?”

“I’ve been on their trail for several months now, and I think I’m finally closing in.”

“Good.” Clint knew what a fine Texas Ranger his father was. Frank Williams was the reason Clint had become a Ranger, too. Clint knew that if anyone could catch this gang, it would be his father.

Frank went on, “These men are the most cold-blooded killers I’ve ever seen. There’s got to be more going on here than just robbery. Glen Tucker and Ax Hansen seem to be the leaders, but I’m beginning to think they’re not really running things. I’ve got a few ideas, but nothing I can prove—yet.”

“You’ll do it. You’ll stop them.”

Frank looked over at his eldest son. “I have to. Too many innocent people have died.”

They shared a look of understanding.

“Well, I’m just glad we both happened to show up here at the ranch at the same time.” Clint said. “It’s good to have this time together. How long can you stay on?”

“One more day, unless I get word that something new has happened. What about you?”

“I have to ride out first thing in the morning,” Clint answered.

“It’s always good to get home, even if only for a short while.” Frank loved his family and their ranch, the Lazy W. He planned to retire there eventually, but not yet—not while evil men like the Tucker Gang were still on the loose. “Your brother’s keeping things running smooth around here.”

“Yes, he is,” Clint agreed, proud of Jason.

“What are you two doing, sitting out here in the dark?” Kate asked as she came outside to find her husband and son deep in conversation.

“Just relaxing in the peace and quiet,” Frank told her. “Come on and join us.” She was the love of his life, and he missed her when he was away.

Kate sat down between them. She loved having her whole family together. It didn’t happen often, so she treasured every minute. It was always hard for her to watch Frank ride off on his assignments, for she never knew if he’d come home again, and since Clint had followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the Rangers, she had him to worry about, too.

Kate looked over at her handsome eldest son with a mother’s love shining in her eyes. Many times, she’d wanted to try to stop her husband and son from leaving, knowing the danger they faced, but they were Williams men, and once they were determined to do something, they did it. She prayed a lot while they were gone and always gave thanks when they made it home safely.

“Are you sure you have to leave tomorrow?” she asked Clint.

“Yes, I have to report to Captain Meyers by Wednesday,” he told her.

“Well, let’s hope your captain gives you an easy assignment this time.”

“I’ll tell him you said so,” Clint chuckled, “but I don’t think he’s got many ‘easy’ assignments.”

Jason returned from the stable then to join
them, and they spent the next hour enjoying each other’s company before calling it a night.

It was a few hours before sunup, and the outlaw gang was ready to take action.

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