Heir to Murder

By: Elle James

In this thrilling conclusion to The Adair Affairs by New York Times bestselling author Elle James, the long-lost Adair heir is finally revealed!

Thanks to a DNA test, ranch hand Noah Scott discovers he’s heir to a billion-dollar fortune. Now an Adair, Noah must come to grips with his true identity and the shocking murder of his real father. Then he discovers that the one woman he thought he could trust was spying on him for his siblings, and he cuts Rachel Blackstone out of his life.

But his father’s killer has never been caught… With all those close to Noah targets—including Rachel—Noah needs to set a dangerous trap…using himself as ultimate bait.

“Less than a week ago, I knew who I was,” Noah said.

“I knew what I wanted to be and do with my life,” he continued. “I trusted the people I thought were family and the people I was working for. Now I don’t know who to trust or who I am.”

His words alone froze what Rachel had been going to say on her tongue.

“Apparently, some of them knew before the DNA test that I might be the long-lost heir or they wouldn’t have asked me to take that darned DNA test. Why didn’t they speak up then? Why all the secrecy?” Noah turned his head to the side to face her and held out his hand. “You’re not part of the Adair family. Tell me.” He paused before continuing. “Who can I trust besides you? Right at this moment, I think you are the only person I know who hasn’t lied to me.”

Wave after wave of guilt washed over her as she took Noah’s hand and squeezed it. “Noah, I…” She swallowed hard to clear her throat of the knot forming there so that she could say the words she knew she should.

Dear Reader,

When I was asked to participate in The Adair Affairs continuity, I was thrilled to revisit some of the characters I met in The Adair Legacy books. As a reader and a writer, I love to see the characters I’ve grown to know and love show up in other books. It means I don’t have to say goodbye to them quite yet.

What better place to set a book than near San Diego, California? I visited San Diego once and fell in love with the beautiful city nestled against the coast. Looking out over the water dotted with sailboats made me feel peaceful and happy. The weather in Southern California is perfect, never too hot or too cold, and you can grow just about anything.

I hope to return to San Diego someday. Maybe I’ll charter one of those sailboats to take me out on the ocean. If I do, I’ll be sure to write the experience into one of my books so that you can come along with me.

In the meantime, happy reading!

Elle James

Chapter 1

“Jackson?” A soft feminine voice called out through the doorway of the sixteen-stall stable at Adair Acres. The structure sat in the middle of one hundred and eighty acres of the most beautiful land Southern California had to offer. With sprawling citrus orchards, vineyards and pastures of alfalfa and the best horseflesh money could buy, it was an oasis of grace and beauty tucked in the gently rolling hills.


Noah Scott didn’t respond to the voice, refusing to acknowledge the name he’d been born with. He threw a blanket over the black stallion’s back and returned to the tack room for a saddle.

“There you are.” His half sister, Landry Adair, met him as he exited the tack room with a saddle in hand.

Standing five feet ten inches tall, she was almost as tall as he was. With her hair pulled back in a low ponytail, she looked more like a girl than the twenty-six-year-old daughter of the deceased billionaire, Reginald Adair. She smiled at him with her bright blue eyes so much like his own. “Rachel called. She’ll be here in a few minutes for her riding lesson.”

“Tell her I’m taking the day off.” He tossed the saddle over the stallion’s back with a little more force than usual.

Diablo danced sideways, his ears slanting backward.

“She’s driving all the way out here, expecting you to give her a riding lesson.”

Noah ran a hand along the horse’s neck, murmuring soothing sounds until the animal settled and let him reach beneath him to snag the girth. “Hell, you can give her the riding lesson.”

“She prefers having you as her instructor, Jackson.”

“Noah. My name is Noah.”

Landry nodded. “Noah. I have to admit I have a hard time thinking of you as Jackson.”

“Because that’s not who I am.” A couple days ago, Noah had known who he was and what he wanted to do: continue his import-and-export business on the side while working with his cousins at Adair Acres, where he could be around the horses and cattle he loved.

Now, he was reeling with the knowledge he wasn’t who he thought he was. His real name was Jackson Adair. The long-lost son of the man who’d owned the ranch he’d been working. The man he thought of as his uncle.

Jackson Adair. How would he ever get used to it? He’d spent the past thirty-seven years as Noah Scott. A man didn’t change his name overnight. Hell, his entire life. He didn’t bother facing Landry Adair, his half sister; instead, he focused his attention on the girth he cinched around the horse’s belly. Once the girth was tight enough, he let the stirrup drop in place on the stallion he’d adopted as his favorite since coming to work at Adair Acres three months ago.

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