Practicing wiccan Regina Moon is starting over in the tiny town of Groves, Arkansas, hoping her New Age shop will succeed despite her friends objections. A ritual-type killing of a local man transforms the quiet little community into 1692 Salem, with all eyes on her, and has the sheriff, Trace Langston not only trying to solve a murder but disbanding a mob of angry townspeople hell-bent on burning her at the stake. In all the upheaval, a cold case, sealed within a circle, is unearthed and an evil no one knew existed revealed.
Regina stepped inside the VFW hall and glanced around, the smell of stale coffee and popcorn overwhelming her.
Why had she decided to come? She’d never played Bingo in her life, not even as a child, but Sylvia thought it would be a good idea for her to get to know the residents of Groves—put a face to her business and start to assimilate herself into the community.
She scanned the tables peppered here and there with people, unsure of what she was supposed to do.
“B three,” echoed over a loudspeaker.
Regina recognized the voice. Sheriff Langston. Her eyes swept the room, spotting him sitting at a card table, turning a handle on some wire contraption. He reached in and pulled something out. “I twenty-three.”
The man’s voice vibrated like an electrical current down Regina’s backbone. Tonight, he wore a light blue chambray shirt, which highlighted the color of his eyes, and she noticed how full his lips were beneath them.
“Are you going to play?” a man asked, forcing her attention away from the sheriff’s mouth.
“I’m not sure. I’ve never played Bingo before.”
The young, brown-haired man standing next to her smiled. “You must be the owner of Healthy Glow.”
She frowned. “How did you know?”
“We don’t get many new people in Groves. Trace told me he met you today.”
Regina’s frown deepened. “And you are?”
“Oh, sorry. I’m Garrett Sherwood. Trace’s deputy.”
The ruddy color of his cheeks and nervous stance had her thinking he wasn’t used to talking to women he didn’t know. But that didn’t stop him from doing a full body scan, his gaze stopping abruptly on her chest. Men were all the same. Give them a rack to stare at and they’ll be happy to do so.
He looked up, knew he’d been caught, and turned red.
Regina sighed. She thought it best to move on and learn how to play. That was why she was here, after all. That, and to meet the people in town. “So, explain this game to me.”
“Okay. I’ll get us some cards.” Garrett scratched at the nape of his neck. “Find us a seat and I’ll teach you the basics.”
She glanced around the tables. Sitting with women would be best. Older ones. They were more accepting.
“N forty-five,” the sheriff said.
Regina turned and found his gaze on her.
She sucked in a breath and blindly found a table. Regina didn’t care who she sat with. She was too busy shaking off the rush of intense heat coursing through her body, making it hard to breathe. No man had ever made her feel so frazzled. Maybe it was just fatigue. That had to be it. Because lately men just gave her the willies. Especially after the way her ex-boyfriend tried to end their relationship—with her dead. Psychopathic lunatic.
Garrett dropped down in the seat next to hers and placed a card on the table in front of her. “Open your hand.” He grinned.
The boy had a cute smile. She’d give him that.
Regina stuck her hand out, and he dumped a bunch of green see-through orbs onto her palm. She stared at them, unsure of what she was supposed to do. She glanced at the people around her table. Okay. They were markers of some kind.
Regina squirmed in her chair. The sheriff’s voice alone could give a woman an orgasm. What would that baritone be like whispering sweet nothings in her ear? The mere thought had her nipples puckering. She hoped Mr. Ogler next to her didn’t notice.
“You have that one.” He pointed to it on her card.
She stared at the number and realized she needed to cover the spot with the green circle thingy. Regina placed one over the sixty-five and smiled at Garrett, who again turned red. He was worse than an adolescent. She’d think the guy was a virgin if he wasn’t at least twenty-five. No man his age could be one. Could he?
“G forty-seven.” The sheriff’s words cut into her thoughts and diverted her attention back to him. He looked up, and their eyes met.