Katherine’s father, Dillon Blackwood, has a heart attack. At his doctor’s suggestion he takes a cruise to recuperate and returns with a new bride, Eleanore. Eleanore brings her three offspring to live at the Blackwood house, located outside of Richmond, Virginia, and then plots to get rid of her new stepdaughter – one way or another. Her lies and deception cause Dillon to severely beat Katherine. Then the stepchildren plan to play nasty sexual games with Katherine while her father’s away.
Fearing for her life, Katherine calls her brother, Devin, who quickly comes to her rescue. In Texas, Katherine quickly substitutes Frank Dailey for her father. However, Frank’s feelings are anything but fatherly. Blake Dailey retires from being a professional hired killer (hit man) and returns home. Blake immediately detects his father’s true feelings for Katherine. Blake figures she’s a gold digger after his father’s money so he decides to court her to prove her a phony. This plan backfires when Blake falls for her.
Refusing one last hit, Blake discovers Dillon Blackwood is the intended target. Blake wants to visit Katherine’s father under the premise of asking for her hand, while actually trying to determine who ordered the hit and stop it. Things immediately go bad in Virginia when Katherine is kidnapped to get her father to where the “accident” can happen. Back in Texas, Kyle (Frank’s youngest son) finds out about Blake’s past when an old acquaintance of Blake’s visits to see if Blake took a hit he refused. After hearing the Blackwood name and the state of Virginia, Kyle goes to Devin and his father. Frank assumes Blake plans to kill Dillon and possibly even Katherine to keep her from marrying him.
In Virginia, things get worse, even after Blake’s rescue of Katherine and her father. Frank is enraged to learn his oldest son is a cold-blooded murderer, and Katherine’s father insists she have nothing more to do with Blake. Katherine returns with Devin to Texas after Blake promises to come for her. Back in Texas, Frank proposes to Katherine. She refuses and tells him that she’s in love with Blake. Blake arrives and they flee to Utah. Devin calls and says Kyle left to search for them. Thinking they would hide in New York City, Kyle goes to Katherine’s oldest brother, Dustin.
Unfortunately, Blake’s old boss has now put out an open contract on Blake. Blake threatens his old boss with a horrible death and a deal is struck – Blake will make one more hit on the man’s rival. On their way back to Texas after the job, Kyle takes a bullet meant for Katherine. This forces Blake to return home with Kyle’s body to face his father. Frank’s hatred for Blake surges out of control. He’s lost Katherine and now Kyle – because of Blake. Uncontrollably enraged, Frank suffers a massive stroke. Blake is forced to run his father’s ranch while Katherine tries to help Frank recover. Although Katherine and Blake are secretly married, because of her tender care, Frank thinks she’s secretly in love with him. When Katherine discovers she’s pregnant, she tells Frank hoping this will bring father and son together. In a fit of rage, Frank screams that he hopes the child dies.
Two days later, a fall down the stairs causes a miscarriage. Blake then hires Frank’s physical therapist, Terry, as a housekeeper because Katherine’s fall will keep her bedridden for a while. Frank marries Terry and spending his money like there’s no tomorrow. Blake ends up using his money to keep the family ranch in the family. An attempt on Blake’s life sends them again fleeing to Utah so Blake can recover. The assassin finds them and Katherine is forced to kill him to save Blake’s life. Again pregnant, they return to Texas to finish their dream home and raise the child Katherine is now carrying. When Frank’s money is gone – so is Terry. Blake begins to wonder if his life is a contract living on borrowed time.
Meet the Characters ~
Katherine Blackwood ~ At 24, she suddenly has a new stepmother who schemes to get rid of her. Her flight to Texas takes her right into the arms of a hired killer. Her father’s old Marine buddy wants to be more to Katie than a father figure but she’s hopelessly in love with his oldest son, Blake.
Dillon Blackwood ~ At 59, he never expected to have a heart attack or find himself a second wife. There are a lot of other things he’s going to find out that he’s not expecting either.
Devin Blackwood ~ At 27, he’s running a successful cattle ranch in Texas. He runs to Virginia to rescue his baby sister and brings her back into even more trouble. What’s a big brother to do?
Frank Dailey ~ At 56, he finds himself in love with a girl younger than his first-born son. A widower for over 12 years, he’s thinking maybe he’ll marry the little filly. He’s thrilled when his oldest son returns home to help him run the ranch because this will leave him more time with Katie. Unless, of course, Blake takes Katie for himself.
Blake Dailey ~ At 32, he’s been a contract killer for the past ten years. Tired of all the killing and knowing his luck will eventually run out, he returns to his father’s ranch in Texas. Surprised to see his level-headed father head over heels in love with a girl younger than himself, Blake decides to take matters into his own hands. What Blake doesn’t count on is falling head over heels in love himself.
Eleanore Hartman Blackwood ~ The merry widow who winds up married to the wealthy widower. She’s got her foot in the door and her fingers in a nasty pie. Together with her three maniacal offspring, she intends to be a wealthy widow very soon.
Kyle Scott Dailey ~ At 17, he’s loved Katherine all his life. He idolizes his older brother and is determined to follow in his father’s footsteps with ranching. He doesn’t expect his own footsteps to end in Syracuse.
Book Details ~
Format ~ Paperback, 268 pages
Publication Date ~ April 2018
ISBN-10 ~ 1979502366
ISBN-13 ~ 978-1979502368
Format ~ Kindle eBook
Publication Date ~ October 2012
ASIN ~ B0792SLHPH
Where to Purchase ~
Contract on Time, by Marcia Oster, may be purchased online through these merchants. Click on any of these links to find out more.
You may also purchase a signed copy directly from the author.