Forgotten Sins (Sin Brothers, #1)

Forgotten Sins (Sin Brothers, #1) by Rebecca Zanetti

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To Vince Rossi: the best godfather, softball coach, cowboy, dentist,

and river guide who ever lived. We miss you so very much.


I love the acknowledgments page in a book because thanking people makes me happy; yet it adds some stress in case I’ve forgotten anyone. If I have, I truly apologize. Many people worked hard to make this book happen, and I am very grateful.

First, a big thank-you to my husband, Big Tone. People ask all the time how an author with a day job and kids gets everything done, and I tell them it’s because I’m married to you. You get things done. Even before I sold my first book, when writing just took time away from activities, you encouraged me to give it a shot. Thank you.

To my kids, Gabe and Karly, thank you for the support, for the laughs, and for the fun. You’re the best kids on earth, and I love you.

To my talented agent, Caitlin Blasdell, thank you for protecting, guiding, and enhancing my career. The edits you send always make the book so much stronger. You’re the calm in a wild industry, and I appreciate you so much! Thank you to Liza Dawson for teaching me to set the scene, to Havis Dawson for his expert editing advice, and to Hannah Bowman for character insights. The Dawson gang truly rocks.

To my amazing editor, Michele Bidelspach, thank you for the fantastic, detailed edits for this book. I think we reached a depth with the characters that readers will love, and that’s from your expertise. I’ve really enjoyed working with you and hope we have many books to come. Thank you to everyone at Grand Central Publishing who has worked so hard on getting this book to readers.

Thank you to Kelly Mueller at Books-n-Kisses for your friendship and support, and thank you to Bonnie Paulson, Tina Jacobson, and Asa Bradley for answering quick questions about grammar and logic… and for your friendship. Also, thank you to Carla Gallway for your hard work.

Thank you to the Lethal Ladies Critique Group for the wisdom and fun, to my FB street team for the encouragement and laughs, and to my local RWA Group, IECRWA, for the support and good times.

And as always, thank you to my constant support system: Gail and Jim English, Debbie and Travis Smith, Stephanie and Donald West, Brandie and Mike Chapman, Jessica and Jonah Namson, and Kathy and Herb Zanetti.


Southern Tennessee Hills

Twenty Years Ago

Shane settled against the cold block wall, engrossed in the television set across the room but forcing himself periodically to glance outside the darkened window. The second dawn hit, he and his brothers had to flee the computer center. Their current transgression was punishable by beating or confinement. Probably both.

But a night spent watching a marathon of the show featuring a family living in the city was well worth the risk and provided an insight into a world he had only dreamed about. Breaking into the private room housing the television had been almost too easy. It surprised him the soldiers taught them stealth and surveillance but didn’t expect them to use the skills.

A boom sounded in the distance—probably from a coal mine hours away. Just to double-check, he lifted his head and used his special hearing to make sure they were safe. A wolf prowled a mile or so away, and prey scattered. No humans breathed nearby. Well, none other than his three brothers while they watched the show. The eighth episode wound down to cheerful music and a happy ending.

“What’s a family?” Jory, his youngest brother, asked.

Shane forced a shrug. “I think a family is people who live together.”

“So we’re family?” Jory’s voice cracked.

Shane nodded, his shoulders straightening. “Yeah, we’re family.”

“What’s a mom?” Jory scratched his head.

“I guess it’s that lady there.” Shane pointed at the woman on the screen.

“She looks…” Matt, the oldest of them all, said thoughtfully, “soft.”

They all nodded.

“How come we don’t have moms or ladies here?” Jory asked.

Shane shrugged again. He probably didn’t deserve a mom, but Jory did. Why didn’t Jory get a mom? “Maybe soldiers don’t get moms.”

“Oh.” Jory turned back to the screen. “She looks nice.”

Yeah. The soft lady had looked nice.

Nathan jumped up. “It’s time to go—sun’s out.” As the second oldest, Nathan usually kept a close eye on Jory and Shane, while Matt spent his time training them to survive.

Shane stood and reached down to help Jory up.

He yanked back. “I want to stay.”

“Now, Jory.” Matt slid the door open a sliver to peer outside. “They’re already starting hand-to-hand.”

Jory stood and brushed off his pants. “Fine.”

“Follow me, and don’t look guilty.” Matt headed into the chilly dawn, followed by Nathan.

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