In Too Deep
Second book in The Kincaid Brides series
by Mary Connealy
Audra's father married her off to Wendell Gilliland in trade for money that he owed the man. Now that Audra's husband, an abusive man, a drunk, a gambler, and a thief to name a few attributes, is dead, she has to decide what she's going to do now. She owns two properties, one in Rawhide, CO and her ramshackle cabin where she lived basically alone with her step-daughter and two babies while Wendell spent most of his time in town running a General Store, at least he told her it was a General Store. She had never been into Rawhide, yet alone to the store, so she had no idea that the building was a place for Wendell to spend time and live his disgusting life. Audra also doesn't know that the reason they had to leave Houston so fast and Wendell had to change his name, was because he'd stolen a lot of money.
The Kincaid's are her closest neighbors and the only people she knows, they helped with Wendell while he was sick and buried him for her. Maggie, her first child by Wendell has grown very close to Ethan Kincaid and when she goes into the cavern with Seth, Ethan's younger brother, Ethan unwillingly faces his fear of the cavern and saves her. It is after the scare of losing Maggie that she starts thinking that she needs to move back to her parents home, it's better than living alone with the children in a shack.
The Kincaid brother's and Julia, her step-daughter, don't see that as an option. Audra's father is as abusive as Wendell was and Julia is afraid she would get 'sold' into another marriage, repeating the actions he'd already done once. Rafe, Ethan's older brother, comes up with the idea of Ethan and Audra getting married. This discussion finally ends with the two agreeing to the arrangement, not happy about it, but agreeing to it. The group travel into Rawhide and Audra becomes Mrs Ethan Kincaid.
The action soon begins when two men hired by Jasper, the man Wendell stole the money from, come looking for him. They discover in Rawhide that Wendell is dead and his widow has remarried a Kincaid brother, and that Ethan is looking to hire some men. Mitch and Grove get hired on, and the first night they start a fire in the barn to distract Ethan in order to get to Audra. It doesn't work, Ethan has told her to go to the cellar, way to the back and bolt the door. When she is about to bolt the door she sees a man coming down the steps, thinking it's Ethan at first she calls out to him, she then realizes it isn't and manages to get the door closed and Grove is unable to break it down, he's failed.
They all decide they need to find the money and send it back to Jasper so Audra will be left alone. Ethan and his brothers go scouting the next day to see if they can find any tracks of the man that started the fire, little do they realize they're being followed by two men and a gunfight is soon to begin. Rafe ends up with a flesh wound on his hand and the men get away. Plans are made that night to recheck the building in town and Ethan, Audra and Seth will go to the cabin and search around. Mitch and Grove follow them, knock Seth out and pushed him off the cliff, then attack Ethan and drag him into the cabin. Seeing Ethan and not knowing where Seth is, Audra pretends to know where Wendell hid the money so she can protect her husband and kids. Audra has never been in the cavern where she's about to lead these to villains, she only has the memory of what she's heard from the Kindcaids.
Can she pull this off and get them to fall or shove them into the hole? Will Ethan be okay and where is Seth? Can they find the money that Wendell stole so it can be returned to it's rightful owner?
In this book and in the first book, Out of Control, there are times I felt claustrophobic when reading about these caves. I had to remind myself it's just another 'pull you into the pages of the story' book. There are some emotional scenes in this book also, but I'm leaving that for you to find out the story behind Ethan and his fear. Another great read by Mary, another 'gotta have' book. There is one more coming in August, Over The Edge, guess I'll have to get that one too. I love a good series.