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by Lynde Lakes
Description: Sparks fly when An "Officer and a Gentleman" type, Air Force Intelligence Lieutenant Jay Corning, is tackled by the female version of "The Bodyguard." When he finally learns that the supposed tart is really his grandmother's bodyguard, Lisa Dixon, they join forces. Together they struggle to keep his grandmother and each other alive while trying to uncover the person trying to kill the strong-willed matriarch. But the escalating danger closes in from the dark corner of the small community, stirring fears and steamy emotions.
eBook Publisher: Amira Press, 2010
eBookwise Release Date: May 2010
10 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [287 KB]
Reading time: 182-255 min.
Jay jolted alert as Bud slammed the front door. His brother lowered his head like a charging bull, ready to gore anything in his path. Bud's blond mane was still rock-star long, and he'd retained his football lineman build. Judging by the speed and agility of his running strides, he was in good shape. Bud wore his forty years well, in spite of Tom's bad-mouthing assertion that Bud was a heavy drinker. If his fool brother hadn't changed in deed any more than he'd changed in appearance, he was probably the same immature, trouble-seeking, sometimes violent jerk he'd always been.
Bud yanked open the door of his hopped-up, primer-painted Thunderbird and climbed in. Jay tipped his Stetson lower on his forehead, stopping just past the top rim of his mirrored sunglasses. It was a needless gesture. Bud didn't even glance toward the van.
Bud gunned his T-Bird to life and sped backward out of the long drive. Now might be a good time to talk to Grandma. If she wasn't well enough to talk, perhaps he could speak to Bud's woman. What might be the disadvantage of just appearing at the door unannounced? Whoa, it looked like he wouldn't have to. She stepped out onto the porch and glared at Bud's disappearing T-Bird. So, all was not well between the lovebirds. If that was the case, getting rid of the woman might be easier than he thought--divide and conquer.
Jay wanted to use his binoculars to zero in on her features, but if someone saw him, it would be a red flag that he was spying. No sense chancing it. He could see well enough. The woman wasn't very big, but her erect posture and "take no prisoners" stance suggested that she was a powerhouse. Her whole body seemed charged with anger and energy. Whatever was wrong between the lovers, Bud had probably been wise to clear out until she cooled off. As furious as she obviously was, she had noticed his van--and him. Now what? He could take advantage of Bud's absence and her anger toward him and end this waiting game. He could march right up to her and tell her who he was. However, if Bud had left instructions to keep him out, that direct approach might work against him. He'd better stay put a while. Sometimes no action was the best option. Maybe she'd think he was part of the construction operation.
But who the hell was she? She moved among the workers with a confident stride like she owned the place. She wore a sleeveless T-shirt that revealed enough feminine muscle to be interesting. Her formfitting jeans had already attracted appraising looks from some of the construction crew working on the wall, but her no-nonsense stride would probably discourage whistles. He could see why Bud was attracted to her. She was "lean and mean," and understatedly gorgeous. The way she moved reminded Jay of the women in his unit--strong, powerful, in control. For sure, Bud was no match for this woman. And Tom was right, she was no nurse.
She spoke to a workman. The muscular black man had been shouting orders to the other men like he might be the construction boss. The big guy looked in Jay's direction, squinted, shrugged, and looked away. But the woman didn't look away. Jay shifted under her unrelenting gaze. He felt wired, like he'd been plugged into an electrical circuit. The woman wasn't at all what he'd expected. An uneasy feeling tugged at him. He gripped the steering wheel, trying to regain his usually unflappable control.
He was relieved when the big guy distracted her. The guy pointed to a length of steel rebar, perhaps telling her the quantity he'd used in the wall. They talked a few minutes. She sent another glance in Jay's direction, then turned and went back into the house. What was the deal with her? What was her interest in Grandma's property? And why the hell did it appear that she was in charge?
Jay poured a cup of coffee from his thermos and grabbed a green apple from his duffel bag. He wasn't thirsty or hungry, but the activity gave him something to do while he tried to figure out his next move. He crunched into the crisp apple, then took a gulp of coffee to wash away the tart taste. Or was it to neutralize the bad taste he had in his mouth for what he had to do? Undecided about his next move, Jay slouched deeper into the seat and rubbed his tight neck muscles.
The front door opened again, and Bud's woman walked out into the yard. Her unflinching gaze zeroed in on his van again. And he couldn't stop looking at her. She had captured her honey-blonde hair in a ponytail. A few lighter tendrils had escaped and straggled carelessly about her temples. She didn't look like the vulnerable or easy airheads that Bud had gravitated to in his younger years. Something didn't add up. This woman couldn't be the wild temptress Tom wanted him to get rid of. If Jay had sized her up correctly, she could be far more dangerous than that.