Cover: Rachel's War by Barbara Colley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Title: Barbara Colley's Romantic Suspense Excerpts

Rachel's War
by Barbara Colley

 

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven . . .
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 & 8

 

September 5, 1984
Atlanta Memorial Hospital
Atlanta, Georgia

Prologue

Rachel Williams ached all over and her muscles were stiff from hours of sitting . . . waiting . . . praying. The only sounds in the glass-fronted C.C.U. room were the rhythmic beeps of the heart monitor that kept syncopated time with the noisy respirator. After a brief glance that encompassed the narrow bed and the once vital man who lay beneath the sheet, she stood, stretched, then walked slowly toward the only window in the room. With a shaky hand, she parted the blinds.

Darkness. No stars. No moon. Only the lonely, twinkling lights of a city gone to sleep.

How strange, she thought. Darkness, life. Light, death. It should have been just the opposite. But for her, nothing had ever been as it should. Not since the beginning of her life with Tim, then her life with Jon. The darkness of a terrible war was her life with Tim. The flashing lights of a car, a drunk driver . . .

She squeezed her eyes shut then opened them. No. She mustn't think of Tim now. Tim was her past, gone forever. Jon was both her past and present, her savior after Tim. And Jon was still her future, she added fiercely . . . still alive. But just barely.

Jon, along with J.J., Liz, and Crystal were her world—J.J., Jon's son, now a grown man and a far cry from the little boy she had raised since he was three; and Liz, Rachel's daughter, the fatherless baby that Jon had so unselfishly claimed as his own; and finally Crystal, the granddaughter that both she and Jon had been so proud of, had tried so hard to help Liz raise in spite of Liz's alcoholic husband, another casualty of yet another war.

Rachel winced. Poor Crystal. So troubled, so confused. Would J.J. be able to persuade her to come home now that Jon might—might— "Please, dear God," she whispered. "Don't take Jon from us. Don't let him die . . . “

The swishing of the door opening and the almost silent tread of rubber soled shoes interrupted Rachel's prayer.

It was only Margaret making her regular nightly rounds. Out of the four nurses who attended Jon, Margaret was Rachel's favorite. Her no-nonsense attitude and down-to-earth manner always put Rachel at ease. Margaret was not one to fawn and solicit like the rest. It didn't matter to her that Jon had financed one of the most modern research wings at Atlanta Memorial, the largest research hospital in the south. And it didn't matter to Margaret that just one word from Rachel could cost the nurse her job. Margaret’s sole concern was her patient’s welfare, a trait Rachel respected with all of her being.

Several moments passed as Margaret checked Jon’s vital signs, then Rachel felt Margaret's plump hand softly pat her shoulder. "No change," she said. "He's still the same."

The tightness along the back of Rachel's neck eased a bit, and she let out the breath she'd been holding. Thank you, Lord. Then again she offered up the silent litany she'd repeated during the last three days. Please don't take Jon from me. Not yet. Please.

"Why don't you get some sleep?” Margaret said. “It's almost midnight."

Rachel shrugged. "Maybe. In a little while."

"I promise to wake you if there's the least little change."

Rachel tried to smile. Margaret was a nag but a well meaning nag. No one seemed to understand that sleep wasn't important, not for her. Only Jon's recovery was important.

"Come on." Margaret patted the small cot that had been placed in the room just for Rachel, an almost unheard of precedent in the C.C.U. Ward. "Just rest a few minutes."

Rachel glanced over at her husband and then at the monitors. Margaret said nothing had changed, that he was the same. And she trusted Margaret. Without a word, Rachel nodded. Tomorrow would come all too soon, and deep down, she had a feeling she would need her wits about her for the ordeal she would have to face.

She still couldn't believe the events of the past three days. First Jon's massive heart attack, then the strange, disturbing visit from his attorney.

Rachel, only vaguely aware that Margaret had left the room, sat on the edge of the cot and felt her stomach knot with apprehension. The day Jon had been rushed to the emergency room, his attorney had shown up at the hospital. That he'd come hadn't surprised her, since Jack Warren headed up a small but prestigious firm that worked exclusively for Jon. A well-groomed, ultra-conservative man in his mid-forties, Jack had been waiting for her when she'd stepped out of C.C.U.

"Oh God, Rachel." He'd hugged her briefly then pulled away. "I'm so sorry."

Rachel had simply nodded, still feeling too numbed by Jon's heart attack to really comprehend what was going on around her.

With his arm around her shoulder, Jack urged her toward a nearby waiting room then motioned at a chair near the window. As soon as she sat down, he began pacing back and forth in front of her.

"I hate to be the bearer of more bad news—" He abruptly stopped. Taking her hand in his, he knelt down beside her. "I wouldn't bother you unless it was urgent, but I don't know what else to do."

Something about the desperation in his tone got through enough to jolt her out of her stupor. "You’re scaring me, Jack. What is it?"

"I had visitors yesterday—a woman and a man," he told her. "They barged into my office without an appointment." Jack released her hand long enough to shove his fingers through his hair.

"Come on, Jack. Just spit it out."

For long seconds he gazed starkly into her eyes. "She—the woman—claims that she's Jon's wife, and the man says he's Jon's son."

Rachel was so stunned she couldn't utter a sound. Even the thought of such a thing was preposterous.

"She has proof," he continued. "Legal documents."

Rachel immediately thought of the many trips Jon had made to Europe during their married life. He'd had opportunity for an affair . . . Then she dismissed the thought. Jon was a good man, devoted to her and their children. He would never betray them.

"It's a lie," she was finally able to whisper. "I'm Jon's wife. Have been for over forty years. Legal documents can be forged."

"There's more," Jack continued. "The woman wouldn't elaborate, but she also indicated that there is something so sinister in Jon's past, something to do with World War II, that if it were made known, the whole world would sit up and take notice."

"Sinister? The War?" There wasn't a sinister bone in Jon's body. The woman was lying. She had to be. And Rachel refused to think about any other possibility.

Then Jack told her that the woman had threatened to go to the press with her ludicrous claims. And Jack, like Rachel, had sense enough to know that the news media was the last thing they needed right now. So far, they'd been able to keep the news of Jon's heart attack quiet. Even the hint of scandal on top of Jon's sudden illness would effect too many lives, too many jobs.

After talking a while longer, they had finally agreed that she would meet with the woman . . . tomorrow.

Rachel looked up and stared at Jon. It was still hard to believe that he might die, and even harder to believe there was a possibility he could have deceived her for so many years. Since his heart attack, he hadn't regained consciousness, and the doctors had given her little hope that he would. The sudden thought that Jon could die without her ever hearing the truth from his lips caused her blood to run cold.

“No,” she whispered fiercely. She couldn’t think that way. Jon was not going to die, and she already knew the truth. The woman was an imposter, a charlatan. Tomorrow, she would face this fraud and expose her.

Rachel lay back on the hard cot fully dressed. It didn't matter what she looked like tonight. Jon wouldn't know and Margaret didn't care. The morning was time enough to once again look sleek and sophisticated . . . and in control. In the morning she could once again become Mrs. Jonathan Williams. But tonight, she needed to gather her strength for the ordeal ahead. For reasons she didn't completely understand, she felt the pull of her past, her heritage. Tonight she needed to remember what it felt like to be Rachel Thompson again and how she got to where she was.

Remembering the past always made her strong . . .

 

Winter 1938
Rural north Louisiana

Chapter One


Spring was late and the bitter cold of winter hung on with a vengeance in rural north Louisiana. The cotton-haired, frail girl shivered against the biting wind. She hugged her baggy sweater close as she waited at the edge of the dense woods. She didn't want to be late for school, but she didn't want to miss Tim either. He had promised to walk with her this morning and you didn't make promises to your best friend and then break them. So she waited.

Timothy Daniel Davis was thirteen to Rachel Thompson's eleven, but he was still the best friend she had. Tim never poked fun at the blouses her mama made from flour sacks, and he didn't think she was stupid because she got poor grades.

Rachel stooped down to rub her bare feet. They ached and felt stiff from the cold ground but she didn’t really care. She hated her new shoes. They were hard and pinched, and they had already rubbed a blister on her heel.

Suddenly she wiggled her toes and laughed. She had hid the ugly Oxfords and her socks beneath a small brush pile near the dirt trail a ways back. If Daddy ever found out, he'd wallop her within an inch of her life. She giggled again. He wouldn't find out. She'd pick them up on her way home that afternoon.

The rustle of dry winter leaves broke the quiet stillness, and she shivered once again against the piercing wind as she turned, searching for the cause of the noise.

Panting and out of breath, a tall, gangly boy in faded, patched overalls rushed toward her. "Come on, Rach. We'll both be late if we don't hurry. Old man Jones would just love to crack my knuckles again."

Rachel didn't argue with Tim. Without a word she took off beside him, trying hard to keep up. Ignoring the pain of the pea gravel biting into her bare feet, she ran as if her very life depended on it. She hated old man Jones, and she didn't want to give him reason to punish either of them.

She could hear the final bell ringing in the distance and her heart beat faster.

They were late.

Ezekiel Jones stood tall and forbidding by his desk, his dark, beady eyes watching as Rachel and Tim rushed into the classroom. Rachel hurried over to the fifth grade section while Tim walked quickly to the other side, where the seventh graders sat.

It wasn't the stares and whispers that bothered Rachel. She didn't care what the others thought. She'd long grown used to being the object of ridicule from her classmates.

No, their stares didn't even register. It was the hard gleam in old man Jones' eyes and the grim set of his hawk-like face that sent a shiver down her spine which had nothing to do with the drafty schoolroom. He seemed to thoroughly enjoy the punishments he dished out.

Rachel felt the sting of tears threaten and she swallowed several times. If the look on his face was anything to go by, she and Tim were in trouble for sure. Rachel glanced over at Tim who was staring at the top of his desk.

The harsh, loud sound of her name reverberated throughout the room, and Rachel jerked her gaze back to the teacher.

"Front and center, young lady," he commanded.

Once again Rachel looked at Tim. He cut his eyes toward her, then raised his gaze to openly glare at the teacher. As she got up and slowly walked to the front of the classroom, her heart began to thud within her chest and her legs felt like mushy oatmeal.

Daddy had warned her from the first day that she had entered school that she was to be a good girl and never shame herself or her family. He'd said they might be dirt poor, but they still had their pride and their God fearing, honest name. He had told her that whatever punishment she got at school, he would give her the same when he found out. She had never been punished . . . until now.

And Daddy would find out, she knew with certainty. Her two younger sisters would hear about it and delight in telling him.

"You're late," Ezekiel Jones accused.

Rachel could only stare at him while her insides quaked.

"You know as well as everyone else what that means." Without waiting for her to answer, he turned and reached down beside his desk for the whipping stick.

The stick was a little larger than a foot-long ruler, and made of hickory. It was long, flat and ugly, with little round holes bored out to make sure that every stinging blow was felt.

Rachel bit her bottom lip to hold back a sob. She remembered well the day Ezekiel Jones bragged about tricking one of his former students into making it for him, and how that same student was the first to have it used on him.

"Hand out flat. Five raps across the knuckles."

Rachel felt cold and hot at the same time. Her eyes blurred, and the tears she tried so bravely to keep from shedding trickled down her cheeks.

She glanced quickly at Tim, praying that he wouldn't think she was a baby for crying. As she held out her quivering hand, she saw Tim turn pale and grip the sides of his desk.

Just as the teacher raised the whipping stick, Tim abruptly stood, almost knocking over his desk. "Mr. Jones, sir," he said, his voice strong, clear and urgent.

Ezekiel Jones hesitated, the stick still in mid-air. "Yes. What is it, Mr. Davis?" he asked impatiently, a deep frown distorting his face.

"Please, sir. I want to take Rachel's punishment. It's my fault we were late."

Rachel ignored the giggles and snickers from their classmates. She ventured a side-glance at the teacher, and her stomach turned queasy. With a sinking feeling, she knew that Ezekiel Jones would allow it. He didn't like Tim and took great pleasure in finding reasons to punish him. Tim never cried out like some of the other boys, and Rachel secretly thought that was why old man Jones liked to punish him, to see if he could break him.

"Let me be sure I understand you, Mr. Davis. You're willing to be punished twice?"

Tim nodded yes.

After several long moments, an evil smile pulled at Ezekiel Jones' lips. "Very well. I will allow it." He gave Rachel a shove. "Be seated, Miss Thompson." He slapped the whipping stick against his palm while he waited for Tim to come forward.

Wiping her eyes with the back of her hand and trying to control the sob building in her chest, Rachel started slowly toward her desk. As she passed Tim, he whispered. "It's okay, Rach. Just don't look."

But Rachel did look. She stared straight into Tim's dark brown eyes as he held out his fist for the blows.

Whack! Whack!

Rachel jerked with the sound of each blow, but other than a quick blink, Tim didn't flinch as he held Rachel's gaze, conveying a silent message, a message that said she shouldn't be afraid for him, a message that said Ezekiel Jones wouldn't break him this time either.

As the sound of the last whack cracked throughout the room, Rachel knew that she would never love anyone else as much as she loved Timothy Daniel Davis.

That afternoon, with a tentative farewell touch to Tim's swollen hand, she promised to meet him again the next morning. Halfway down the dirt path that led home, she remembered her shoes. With a rueful glance at her feet, she shrugged. Daddy would never know how dirty her feet were once she put on her socks and shoes.

When Rachel reached the curve in the path, her stomach growled and her mouth began to water as she thought about the cold sweet potato she knew would be waiting at home. She began to skip.

Just as she rounded the curve, she abruptly stopped, almost stumbling as she took in the sight before her.

Where was the brush pile?

Staring straight ahead, she blinked several times. Rachel felt frozen and couldn't move. An untidy black square had been burned into the earth like a huge, ragged eye patch. The smell of smoke still lingered in the cold air, teasing her with its acrid scent. Where once trees had grown, there was nothing left but smoldering stumps. And where once green grass and vines had tangled beneath the trees, nothing but charred earth remained.

With a sinking feeling, Rachel knew that the owner had decided to clear the spot, probably for a garden. The brush pile was gone—and so were her shoes. All reduced to ashes.

Rachel slowly made her way home. Tim wouldn't be there to take her punishment this time, and she knew she deserved whatever Daddy gave her. It had taken him two weeks of splitting cross ties just to make enough money to buy the ugly Oxfords, the only shoes she had.

When she faced her father that evening, she knew that she would never forget the rage in his eyes, nor the hurt and disappointment, as long as she lived.

"I'm sorry, Daddy," she whimpered.

"Sorry don't make it right," he shouted as he reached up and took down the razor strap that hung by the wash basin. "Sorry won't git another pair of shoes. I sweated blood to git the money to buy them shoes, money we could have used for that new plow I been saving for. I figured since you're the oldest, you would ‘preciate having new ones instead of making do with your mama's hand-me-downs." He shook his head. "Stubborn—you always was too stubborn and headstrong for your own good. Guess you’ll have to learn the hard way." He grabbed her by the arm. "You should have knowed better."

The blows stung Rachel's legs, and she felt as if she had stumbled into a hornet's nest by the time her father had finished.

Later that night, as she tried smothering her sobs in her feather pillow, Rachel kept telling herself over and over that one day, when she grew up, she would have so many shoes that she could throw them away if she wanted to. One day she would marry Tim and they would get rich.


Excerpt from Rachel's War
Copyright 2006 by Barbara Colley

Publisher: Harlequin Line: Reader's Choice
ISBN: 0-373-19856-6

For more romance information surf to:
http://www.eharlequin.com

Order a Copy


 

Dangerous Memories
by Barbara Colley

 

Cover: Maid for Murder by Barbara ColleyChapter One

The sight of the sleeping man on Leah Davis's front porch gave her a start. He was slumped in a heap of humanity near the steps. His back was to her, his face hidden in the crook of his arm. And just beyond where he lay, on the top step of the porch, was the newspaper, the reason she'd ventured out in the first place.

"That's just great," she grumbled, shoving a stray strand of auburn hair behind her ear. "Just what I need." Between the August heat and humidity and the double shifts she'd been pulling at the hospital, not to mention the occasional bouts of nausea, she'd just about gone her limit. And now this.

Shading her eyes against the bright glare of morning sunlight that not even the deep porch of the old Victorian home could block, she stared hard at him.

At least this one appeared to be still breathing, she thought as she noted the slight rise and fall of his back. The last one she'd found on the porch had been dead, cancer and malnutrition according to the coroner's report.

Still staring at the man, she slowly shook her head. The fact that they kept showing up amazed her. It was almost as if every bum in New Orleans had some kind of built-in radar that directed them to her front porch.

"Thanks a lot, Grandm'ere," she muttered as she tightened the belt of her thin cotton robe more securely then stepped out onto the porch to get a closer look.

Almost a year had passed since her generous, softhearted grandmother had died, and still they came. Leah had inherited her grandmother's house, but she had no intention of taking over her grandmother's charity work as well. Even so, no matter how many times she called the police to come and haul away one of the unwelcome, indigent visitors, more kept showing up to take their place.

Most of them were harmless and simply there for a handout, but Leah had learned not to be as trusting as her grandmother had been.

"Enough's enough," she grumbled as she crossed her arms protectively around her slightly rounded abdomen and tapped her bare foot against the wooden floor of the porch. Unlike her grandmother, who had felt that it was her calling in life to help every hungry, homeless man who showed up on her doorstep, Leah didn't feel that she could take such chances, especially now that she had her unborn baby to protect.

With her eyes still on the man and with every intention of returning inside to call the police, Leah took a step backward toward the door. Instead of going inside though, she hesitated.

Tilting her head and narrowing her eyes, she frowned. There was something different about this one, different from the normal run-of-the-mill bums who had showed up in the past.

For one thing, even though he could use a haircut, his thick, dark hair looked fairly clean and well kept instead of long, greasy and dirty. And instead of the usual sweat and dirt-crusted pants and shirt, this man was wearing what appeared to be hospital scrubs.

Hospital scrubs?

Leah's frown deepened. Strange. Very strange indeed.

Even so, the hair and clothes had nothing to do with why he seemed different. Though it was probably a silly notion, she could swear there was something familiar about him. That she'd seen him before . . . somewhere.

Growing more puzzled with each passing moment, she continued staring at him. Was it possible that he was a former patient, someone she'd treated at Charity Hospital? Leah frowned. Now she was really getting paranoid. There was no way a former patient would know where she lived.

So why the nagging feeling of familiarity? Leah had no answer. Maybe if she saw his face, maybe then she'd know.

Just forget it. Go call the police and have his butt hauled off.

Leah glared at the man as indecision warred within her. "Oh, for Pete's sake," she muttered. There was only one way to find out for sure, and though she was curious, she wasn't careless. Her experiences working as a nurse at Charity Hospital had taught her to be cautious.

She reached just inside the doorway and grabbed the baseball bat that she kept propped there. Unlike her grandmother who, in Leah's opinion, had always been far too trusting, Leah kept the bat handy, just in case of trouble.

Taking a deep breath for courage, she gripped the bat with both hands and eased over to within a couple of feet of the sleeping man. Using the tip of the bat, she poked him just below the shoulder blades.

"Hey, you!" she called out. "Wake up!"

The man groaned, but he didn't budge.

Gripping the bat tighter, she poked him again, pushing harder than she had the first time. "You're trespassing, mister. If you don't leave I'm calling the police." She poked at him once more for good measure. "Now, get up!"

Suddenly, like a coiled spring, the man jumped to his feet.

With a yelp of surprise, Leah immediately jerked the bat into a swinging position as she stumbled backward. "Please leave," she shouted, her legs trembling. "Go on, get out of here."

Then, the man turned to face her, and she froze. Her breath caught in her lungs, and all she could do was stare at him, her eyes wide with disbelief, her heart pounding like a bass drum against her rib cage.

"Hunter?" she whispered. The baseball bat slid through her nerveless fingers and fell to the porch with a clatter. "No," she moaned as she slowly shook her head from side to side, trying to deny what was before her eyes. Had she finally lost it, gone over the edge? "Not possible," she protested. Hunter was dead. Yet, even while logic dictated that there was no way this man could be Hunter, her insides quivered with the ache of recognition. The same ruggedly handsome face, made even more rugged by the shadow of his dark beard . . . the same deep-set, steely blue eyes . . .

Though myriad questions rushed through her head, for the moment, she didn't care. For the moment, more than anything, she longed to throw herself at him, to once again feel his arms around her, just to assure herself that the man really was Hunter.

Then, their gazes collided, and when she saw the clouded, confused look in his eyes, her mind reeled with her own confusion. Something was wrong . . . terribly wrong.

He held up his hands defensively. “I don't mean you any harm," he said in that rich whiskey voice that had always sent goose bumps chasing up her arms. "You called me Hunter. Do you know me? Is that my name?"

He didn't know her.

Leah fought to gain control over her runaway emotions.

"Lady, do you recognize me?"

Lady? Even more disconcerted, Leah could do little more than nod. Of course she knew him. How could she not know her own husband? But why did he even have to ask such a question?

Mixed feelings surged through her, then suddenly, without warning, his face and the porch began to spin. Her vision grew hazy then dark around the edges even as she felt her knees buckle.

"Whoa--hey, lady--" He reached out and wrapped an arm around her shoulder to steady her. He was a tall man, six foot two to her mere five foot five, and her shoulders fit just beneath his armpit. His touch was a jolt to her senses, and memories of all the other times he'd touched her assailed her.

"Take it easy. You look like you're about to pass out. Are you sick?"

"No, not-not sick," she whispered, shaking her head as she gave voice to the half lie.

She had been sick though. For four, long, hellish months she'd been sick with guilt and remorse. How could she not? After all, it had been her fault. If it hadn't been for her, he wouldn't have gone out that night; he wouldn't have had the accident . . . he wouldn't have died.

Despite the heat, a chill ran through her. But how could he have died when he was standing next to her, talking to her, touching her? She began to shiver.

"Hey--" His arm around her shoulder tightened. "You'd better sit down before you fall down."

#

Hunter. Was Hunter his first name or his last name? the man wondered as he silently repeated it. He nudged the woman toward the porch swing. She looked exactly as he'd pictured her in the brief flashes of memory he'd had over the past month . . . well, almost exactly. Same warm brown eyes shot with flecks of jade, same alabaster skin sprinkled with a faint dusting of freckles across a pert, ski-jump nose, all framed by thick shoulder-length auburn hair. The only difference was her body. In his memory she’d appeared to be a lot slimmer. Not that she was fat, far from it; but then again, it was highly possible that his memory couldn’t be totally trusted.

Now that he'd seen her, there was no doubt that she was the one he'd traveled hundreds of miles to find. And even better, just as he'd hoped and prayed, she knew him. But how did she know him . . .

#

Unable to do much else, Leah allowed Hunter to help her to the porch swing. After she was seated, he knelt in front of her.

Leah searched his face. If she'd had any doubts that the man was Hunter, they disappeared. This close there was no denying who he was, right down to the tiny scar on the right side of his forehead where a bullet had grazed him.

"You know me, don't you?" he asked again. "Is Hunter my name?"

Leah nodded, still trying to make heads or tails of what was happening.

"First name or last name?" he asked.

"Your-your n-name is Hunter Davis," she blurted out. "And you're--" Whether it was instinct or her overcautious nature, for reasons Leah didn't understand, she couldn't complete the sentence, couldn't tell him that he was her husband . . . not just yet.

"Hunter Davis," he repeated softly, almost in awe as if savoring each syllable.

"Don't you remember?" But even as she asked the question she knew he didn't. If he did he wouldn't be asking in the first place. Even so, she'd had to ask, if only to hear him say it, to hear him admit it.

His head slumped forward until his chin almost touched his collarbone. "That's just the problem," he said. "I don't remember." He slowly raised his head until he could look her in the eye. "They tell me I have amnesia."

It was just as she'd suspected. But who on earth were 'they’?

"I was told that I was in an accident and almost died," he continued. "They said that the car I was driving went out of control and hit an eighteen-wheeler hauling gasoline, then burned. The only reason I survived at all was because I was thrown free." He cleared his throat. "When I finally woke up, it was a month later—so I was told. I was in a hospital in Orlando, Florida, and didn't remember any of it, not even my own name. They told me I'd been in a coma."

Leah frowned. As shocked as she was to see him, she could still think enough to realize he should have been identified right away. So why wasn't he?

"But what about your billfold? And fingerprints? Didn't they run a check on your fingerprints?"

He gave a one-shouldered shrug. "My ID must have burned with the car, and when the police ran a fingerprint check, they didn't find a match."

"But that's impos--" Leah broke off the sentence and clamped her mouth shut.

"What?" he asked. When Leah refused to answer and shook her head, he narrowed his eyes. "You were about to say something. What was it?"

"Nothing." She forced a smile, hoping it would take the wary edge off her tone. And suddenly, she was wary, big-time wary, and growing more so with each passing minute. Too much of what he'd told her simply didn't make sense. After all, the police were the ones who had told her he was dead in the first place.

Leah shuddered. They had said he'd been burned beyond recognition, burned to the bones, and she'd buried those bones in the same tomb that held her grandmother's remains. Then, there were the fingerprints. Hunter was a cop from New York City who had been on leave for medical reasons. His fingerprints would definitely be on file somewhere.

Why would the police have lied to her . . . and to him? What reason could they possibly have for such a deception?

And whose bones had they given her to bury?

 

Excerpt from Dangerous Memories
Copyright 2004 by Barbara Colley

Publisher: Silhouette; Line: Intimate Moments
ISBN: 0-373-27408-4

For more romance information surf to:
http://www.eharlequin.com


Excerpt Index: Dusted to Death | Wash and Die | Scrub-a-Dub Dead | Rachel's War
Maid for Murder | Death Tidies Up | Polished Off | Wiped Out | Married to the Mop


 


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