eBook Details

Danger in Deer Ridge

Series: Blackthorne, Inc.
By: Terry Odell | Other books by Terry Odell
Published By: Terry Odell
Published: May 27, 2011
Word Count: 101,000
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Available in: Epub, HTML, Microsoft Reader, Mobipocket (.mobi), Adobe Acrobat

Categories: Romance>Suspense/Mystery/Thriller Mystery Suspense

What do you do when your life turns upside down? Whatever it takes.

When Elizabeth Parker arrives in Deer Ridge with her eight-year-old son, she's constantly looking over her shoulder, afraid her husband won't believe she's dead, despite the new identity provided by the high-end firm of Blackthorne, Inc. Within hours of her arrival, a man shows up claiming he's there to hook up her gas line. When he keeps turning up, she's wary as to his motives. For Elizabeth, trust doesn't come easy. She'll never let her husband lay a hand on her son, no matter what, and if this man is working for her husband, she wants no part of him.

Mark Grinciewicz, Grinch to everyone who knows him, was Blackthorne, Incorporated's top pilot. When his ex-wife dies, he is left with custody of a five-year-old son he hardly knows, and everything changes. Determined to do what it takes to help his son adjust to a new life, Grinch finds himself tethered to the ground, unable to do what he loves—fly.

When he gets a call from Blackthorne, requesting that he take a simple assignment—teach a woman how to fit into the community under her new identity—he reluctantly accepts the task. Bad enough he's not supposed to let on he's aware of her identity, or that he's on her side. But what he doesn't know is that she has something her husband needs, and the man will do just about anything to get it back. Suddenly, everyone is a potential threat. Can Grinch break through her defenses and earn her trust in time to save her without endangering her son or his?
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She popped the trunk and reached in for the red metal case. The sound of footfalls behind her had her jerking upward, slamming her head into the edge of the trunk. She forced herself to move slowly.

Ignore the pain. Keep both hands free. Did she have time to open the chest and grab something heavy? Wasn't there one of those tire-changing things lying in the trunk? Trying not to be obvious, she groped along the carpet-lined space.

"Ms. Parker?" A deep male voice conjured images of a linebacker-sized hit man. But why would a hit man use her new name? Her mind whirled. The voice wasn't Victor's. If Victor sent some thug, wouldn't he be asking for Julie Ann? Who other than Grace and a Realtor she'd never met face-to-face knew she was here? The Realtor was a woman. Should she admit to being Elizabeth Parker?

And then a thought surpassed all others.

Will's alone in the house.

Her fingers wrapped around cool metal. Barely registering its four-sided shape, she hefted it. Heavy enough to do some damage. Awkward to conceal. She half-turned, keeping her head down.

He cleared his throat. "Sorry I'm late. I'm here to turn on the gas."

Relief supplanted some of the fear. Warily, her makeshift weapon at her side, she searched for a gas company vehicle. She saw a pickup at the far end of her steep, winding driveway, but she couldn't make out a company logo. Was he blocking her in? If he was from the gas company, where was his toolbox? She hated this life, having to be your-life-might-be-at-stake careful instead of the normal-woman-alone careful.

"Got a flat?" the man asked.

She dared to look at him directly. Not a linebacker. Baseball player, maybe, although the dirt-streaked blue coverall he wore hid his shape. But there was no denying the underlying muscular build. A rugged face, jaws shadowed with stubble. Snapping her gaze from his face, she looked more closely at his uniform, seeking some gas company identification. Instead, a red-and-yellow embroidered patch with a helicopter and "Life Flight" stood out against the dark fabric. Beneath it was a small green cartoon logo, but she wouldn't step close enough to see exactly what—or be caught staring. He kept looking up the driveway toward his truck, then back at her, his expression more questioning than menacing. Did he have a partner there? Was he signaling him?

He cleared his throat. "I can change your tire if you need it."

"What?" she said.

"A flat." He tilted his chin toward her arm. "You're holding a lug wrench. Assumed you needed to change a tire."

His expression said he knew damn well what she'd planned to use it for.

Danger in Deer Ridge

By: Terry Odell