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by Michelle L. Levigne
Description: Novelist Maggie Tortelli considers dropping her pen name and persona, Magda Torrene, thanks to a psychotic fan who begins stalking her, expecting her to be Stacy Peach, the slinky PI she'd created. Maggie knows it's time to get out of the writing business and return full time to investigative work, but her PI boss, Byron Stone, has numerous enemies of his own, and one of them also tries to frame Maggie for murder.
To keep Maggie safe, Byron recruits his handsome PI buddy, Rick Sloane, to become her bodyguard. Rick, however, has reservations about his assignment, until he discovers that the woman behind the character of Stacy Peach really knows her police procedural, has a calm head in a crisis, and is someone he truly wants to get to know better.
When Rick and Maggie find themselves stranded on a remote Lake Erie island during a winter storm, they mistakenly believe they can relax in their hidden hideaway. Yet once the weather breaks, it soon becomes a struggle for survival and a question of who will get to Rick and Maggie first--the psycho, the murderer, or Maggie's mysterious new relatives who conveniently come running to the rescue...
Genres: Romance / Romantic Suspense / Romantic Thriller
eBook Publisher: Amber Quill Press, 2010
eBookwise Release Date: June 2010
2 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [380 KB]
Reading time: 247-346 min.
"4.5 Nymphs!...A fantastic story, from a woman's point of view, regarding law enforcement and men, in particular. I really enjoyed Maggie's character, who became more realistic by her behavior regarding weight gain, binge eating and her determination for getting a job done...Ms. Levigne writes of murder, budding romance, friendships and of finding new families. The secondary characters really added quite a bit to the story with their backgrounds and research help to Maggie...I look forward to reading more from this author, who wowed me with this book."--Goddess Minx, Literary Nymphs Reviews
What would Stacy Peach do with someone like Clint giving her a hard time? Maggie snorted as she slipped her camera into the inside pocket of her jacket and zipped it up. She knew exactly what that slut, Stacy Peach, would do with Clint. Take him for a ride until he had a heart attack from trying to keep up with her. Unfortunately, that road led to all sorts of disgusting diseases that modern science couldn't cure, and a chance of discovering Clint was even more perverted than she feared. She just wasn't that kind of girl.
She was old-fashioned, despite the adventures she sent Stacy on. Maggie couldn't imagine ever getting intimate with anyone who didn't touch her heart like Al had.
No, the best she could hope for was that someone would get fed up with Clint and remove him from her life. Permanently. Preferably in some long, drawn-out fashion so there would be time for Clint to understand why he had to die.
She blinked, silently cursed herself for getting too wrapped up in her own thoughts, and watched Barker actually get up and walk around his kiosk, taking puzzles off shelves. The Incredible Bulk could actually move. Would wonders never cease? Those kiosks, she had to admit, were rather clever. The doors were wings that folded out to provide shelving and display space, and the bottom portion of the cart had cabinet doors, where Barker now stashed his merchandise. She waited, slowly packing up her own stake out survival kit of water bottles--three, all empty--a notepad, a crossword puzzle book, MP3 player, unsalted rice cakes--more enjoyment from nibbling on Styrofoam, thanks very much--and some sugarless candy that made the inside of her mouth feel like she had coated it with plastic.
That settled it--she had to get Byron to send her on jobs that required some movement. This was as bad as spending hours glued to her chair, writing Stacy's adventures, and contributed just as much to the expansion of Writer's Butt.
Barker finished up his task, moving a little faster with every minute that passed. Miracle of miracles, he had some expression on his face now. Was that a smile?
Maggie got up and pretended to look around her seating area, as if she would leave anything lying around. All the trick-or-treaters had vanished from the mall altogether. Probably halfway home and deep into a sugar coma by now. She missed those innocent days of guilt-free gluttony. She knew where the various kiosk vendors picked up and dropped off their carts, so she walked that direction to get there ahead of Barker, and kept him in sight by the simple expedient of watching his reflection in the windows of the stores she passed. With most of the lights off in at least half the stores already, it was easy.
"Nice night for taking pictures, huh?"
"Excuse me?" Maggie dug her heels in and turned the moment she felt the hand settle on her arm, just above her elbow. Then she looked into the face of the man who approached her from the mall customer service alcove. That handsome, Clark Kent-style face grimaced when her move slid her neatly out of his grasp. He reached for her at the same moment she took a step backward.
Directly into the grasp of two hands that locked on her shoulders. She dug both elbows back and dropped, going halfway to her knees and lunging up and out to break the grip. Maggie had the satisfaction of hearing both men snarl something angry. Then she stumbled and felt something twinge in her ankle.