Whispering Rock [Virgin River Series Book 3] [Secure]
Click on image to enlarge.
by Robyn Carr
Description: A decorated U.S. Marine reservist, LAPD officer Mike Valenzuela was badly wounded in the line of duty, but has found hope and healing in Virgin River. When he agrees to become the town's first cop, he does so knowing it's time he settled down. Twice divorced and the lover of too many women, he secretly longs for the kind of commitment and happiness his marine buddies have found--a woman who can tie up his heart forever. He finds that woman in Brie Sheridan, a Sacramento prosecutor who understands his drive to protect and serve. Virgin River becomes a safe haven for Brie after nearly losing her life at the hands of a crazed criminal. Though tough and courageous, she's got some fears she can't escape--but now she has someone who will show her just what it means to trust again. Mike will do anything to help Brie free herself from painful memories. Passionate, strong and gentle, he vows to give back to her what she's so selflessly given him--her heart, and with it, a new beginning.
eBook Publisher: Harlequin/MIRA,
eBookwise Release Date: June 2007
64 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats [Secure - What's this?]: OEBFF Format (IMP) [531 KB]
GEOGRAPHIC RESTRICTIONS: Available to customers in: US, NZ, SG, TW, ER, GQ, LS, MG, MW, SD, SN, HM, MN, GD, JM, LT, SI, BY, FO, TR, PS, BM, AS, IO, SB, FK, SR, AF, FJ, CA, ES, PR, PH, BF, EG, KE, NG, RE, BV, TF, GE, KP, MV, PK, TL, BQ, HT, KN, CZ, CH, GI, IS, RS, SJ, BH, MH, NU, BO, AD, AL, AE, GF, MX, FR, IT, BE, CF, DZ, EH, GN, MA, MZ, SO, TD, TG, BT, KG, NP, VN, IM, AW, BB, CW, EE, LU, VA, IQ, QA, KI, PF, TK, AR, PE, AM, NI, KR, VI, UM, KM, MR, NA, NE, TN, TZ, KH, TJ, GG, LC, CY, FI, GR, HR, MD, JO, KW, OM, SY, YE, CC, FM, GT, MY, CD, CG, GA, ZA, ZM, ZW, MM, DM, GP, TT, VG, DK, HU, IE, LV, PT, SE, MC, ME, NO, IL, LB, GL, CK, GU, NR, PG, CL, GY, BL, BZ, DE, CN, BJ, CM, CV, GM, SH, UG, HK, UZ, GS, PN, SX, AT, AX, BG, MT, RO, BA, LI, MK, RU, PM, CX, PW, VU, CO, SV, UY, AU, BR, JP, BI, BW, CI, SL, BD, BN, ID, IN, LA, MO, TH, TM, MS, BS, CU, DO, MQ, TC, VC, PL, SM, UA, SA, TO, WF, HN, PY, NL, DJ, ET, GH, GW, LY, ML, MU, RW, ST, SZ, AZ, KZ, KY, MF, SK, JE, IR, MP, NC, NF, TV, WS, CR, EC, PA, VE, LK, AG, AI What's this
Mike Valenzuela was up and had his Jeep SUV packed long before sunrise. He had a long drive to Los Angeles and meant to get an early start. Depending on traffic around the Bay Area, the drive would be eight to ten hours from Virgin River. He locked up his RV, which was his home. It sat on the property at Jack's bar and grill; Jack and Preacher would keep an eye on it for him, not that Mike expected any kind of trouble. That was one of several reasons he'd chosen to live here—it was quiet. Small, peaceful, beautiful and nothing to disturb one's peace of mind. Mike had had enough of that in his former life.
Before coming to Virgin River permanently, Mike had made many trips to this Humboldt County mountain town for hunting and fishing, for gathering with an old Marine squad that was still close. His full-time job had been with LAPD, a sergeant in the gangs division. That had all ended when he was shot on the job—he'd taken three bullets and had a lot of hard work getting his body back. He'd needed Preacher's robust food and Jack's wife Mel's assistance with physical therapy on his shoulder. After six months, Mike was as close to completely recovered as he'd get.
Since moving to Virgin River he'd been home only once to visit his parents, siblings and their families. He planned to take a week—one day driving each way and five days with that crowd of laughing, dancing Mexicans. Knowing the traditions of his family, it would be a nonstop celebration. His mother and sisters would cook from morning to night, his brothers would stock the refrigerator with cerveza, family friends and cop buddies from the department would drop by the house. It would be a good time—a great homecoming after his long recovery.
He was three hours into his drive when his cell phone rang. The noise startled him. There was no cell phone reception in Virgin River so the last thing he expected was a phone call.
"Hello?" he answered.
"I need a favor," Jack said without preamble. His voice sounded gravelly, as though he was barely awake. He must not have remembered Mike was heading south.
Mike looked at the dash clock. It wasn't yet 7:00 a.m. He laughed. "Well, sure, but I'm nearly in Santa Rosa, so it might be inconvenient to run over to Garberville and get you ice for the bar, but hey—"
"Mike, it's Brie," Jack said. Brie was Jack's youngest sister, his pet, his favorite. And she was really special to Mike. "She's in the hospital."
Mike actually swerved on the highway. "Hold on," he said. "Stay there." He pulled off the road onto a safe-looking shoulder. Then he took a deep breath. "Go ahead," he said.
"She was assaulted sometime last night," Jack said. "Beaten. Raped."
"No!" Mike said. "What?"
Jack didn't repeat himself. "My father just called a little while ago. Mel and I are packing—we'll get on the road as soon as we can. Listen, I need someone who knows law enforcement, criminology, to walk me through what's happening with her. They don't have the guy who did this—there's got to be an investigation. Right?"
"How bad is she?" Mike asked.
"My dad didn't have a lot of details, but she's out of emergency and in a room, sedated and semiconscious, no surgery. Can you write down a couple of numbers? Can you keep your cell phone turned on so I can call you? With questions? That kind of thing?"
"Of course. Yes," Mike said. "Gimme numbers."
Jack recited phone numbers for the hospital, Jack's father, Sam, and Mel's old cell phone that they'd charge on their way to Sacramento and then carry with them.
"Do they have a suspect? Did she know the guy?"
"I don't know anything except her condition. After we get on the road, get the phone charged and we're out of the mountains and through the redwoods, I'll call my dad and see what he can tell me. Right now I gotta go. I gotta get down there."
"Right," Mike said. "Okay. My phone will be in my pocket twenty-four-seven. I'll call the hospital, see what I can find out."
"Thanks. Appreciate it," Jack said, hanging up.
Mike sat on the shoulder, staring at the phone for a long minute, helpless. Not Brie, he thought. Oh God, not Brie!
His mind flashed on times they'd been together. A couple of months ago she'd been in Virgin River to see her new nephew, Jack and Mel's baby. Mike had taken her on a picnic at the river—to a special place where the river was wide, but too shallow for fishermen to bother. They'd had lunch against a big boulder, close enough to hear the water whisper by as it passed over the rocks. It was a place frequented by young lovers and teenagers, and that big old rock had seen some wonderful things on the riverbank; it protected many secrets. Some of his own, in fact. He'd held Brie's hand for a long time that day, and she hadn't pulled it away. It was the first time he'd realized he was taken with her. A crush. At thirty-seven, he felt it was an old man's crush, but damned if it didn't feel awfully like a sixteen-year-old's.
When Mike met Brie for the first time a few years back, he'd gone to see her brother while Jack was on leave, visiting his family in Sacramento right before his last assignment in Iraq. Mike was oblivious to the fact that his reserve unit would be activated and he'd end up meeting Jack over there, serving under him a second time. Brie was there, of course, recently married to a Sacramento cop. Nice guy, so Mike had thought. She was a prosecutor for the county in Sacramento, the state capital. She was small, about five-three, with long, soft brown hair that flowed almost to her waist, making her look like a mere girl. But she was no girl. She put away hardened criminals for a living; she had a reputation as one of the toughest prosecutors in the county. Mike had immediately admired her brains, her grit, not to mention her beauty. In his past life, before the shooting, he'd never been particularly discouraged by the mere presence of a husband, but they were newlyweds, and Brie was in love. No other man existed for her.
Copyright © 2007 by Robyn Carr.