The Texas heat did nothing to stop an elusive criminal
Omega Sector: Critical Response agent Jon Hatton is running out of options. If he doesn't get a decent lead soon, a serial rapist will strike again. His best chances lie with the intuitive skills of forensic artist Sherry Mitchell, a beautiful woman struggling with PTSD.
In exchange for her help, Jon teaches Sherry to manage her symptoms, and soon they are unable to resist their Texas-hot attraction. With Jon as her lifeline, Sherry uncovers clues that prompt a frightening message from the attacker. Jon knows Sherry's determined to help catch this criminal, but keeping her safe is his top priority. Followed by making her his bride.
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Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. 2016
Sherry Mitchell was pretty sure she was the only tourist on the beaches of Corpus Christi, Texas, wearing a long-sleeved shirt and jeans to try to help her relax. Especially since the late-afternoon heat was expected to spike toward one hundred degrees on this June day.
Granted, she was under a large, colorful beach umbrella that threw enough shade to protect her from a great deal of the sun's rays and the heat. She was from Houston--a Texas girl born and bred--so was perhaps a little more adjusted to the heat than some of the tourists used to more temperate climates. But she'd still received a couple of odd glances.
She had her bathing suit--a red bikini she'd bought last week especially for this vacation--on under her clothes. Somehow she hadn't been able to force herself to wear just the tiny scraps of cloth just yet.
Not that they were that tiny. The suit itself was pretty modest compared to some seen around here on any given day. Not to mention, it was quite attractive on her.
The problem wasn't anything to do with a bathing suit or modesty or appearances at all. The problem was the iciness that seemed to have permeated Sherry's very core recently.
She felt cold almost all the time. As if she would never be warm again.
Intellectually she knew that couldn't be true. She knew this feeling--a chill even in upper-90s weather--was all a product of her mind, her psyche. Her body wasn't really cold. She didn't have some rare disease or unknown illness. It was all inside her head. She'd taken her temperature to make sure.
It had been completely normal.
Nothing was wrong with her physically. She'd double-checked with her doctor. Gone in for a physical. "A couple-years-late, quarter-of-a-century checkup," she'd told him, not wanting to bring up the fact that she had the heater running at her house even though winter had long since passed.
Ironically the doctor had not only declared her completely healthy, but had congratulated her on being more grounded and wise than many people her age who tended to avoid physicals until something was wrong.
Sherry didn't avoid physicals. But it seemed that her mind was doing its best to avoid reality.
She pulled her shirt around her more tightly. It wasn't just the cold. She also couldn't stand the thought of being exposed, of sitting out here with no cover. As if the clothing she wore would somehow keep her insides from fragmenting into a million pieces and flying away.
Icy and fragmented. Two words she would never have used to describe herself a year ago now fit her perfectly. She had seen too much, been close to too many people with shattered lives. Had worked for too long without a break, without giving herself a chance to recharge. To heal.
Now her mind was evidently taking over that duty for Sherry. She was getting a break from her work whether she wanted it or not.
Because if she thought the cold was bad on normal occasions, it was downright frigid every time she tried to pick up a pencil and sketch pad.
Unfortunately, lives depended on her ability to do so.
Janie Crouch has loved to read romance her whole life. She cut her teeth on Harlequin Romances as a preteen, then moved on to a passion for romantic suspense as an adult.
Janie lives with her husband and four children in Virginia, where she teaches communication courses at a local college. Janie enjoys traveling, long-distance running, movie-watching, knitting and adventure/obstacle racing.
For more: www.janiecrouch.com
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Book Description Harlequin. MASS MARKET PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0373749414 *BRAND NEW* Ships Same Day or Next!. Bookseller Inventory # SWATI2132282443
Book Description Harlequin, 2016. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110373749414