The Wakefield Disturbance
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by Susanne Marie Knight
Description: A GIFT ... OR A CURSE? Lara Wakefield receives messages from the dead. Her latest "client" is a murdered young girl who wants to be put to rest. The girl's killer, however, objects. Can Lara find the girl's body without becoming the next victim? MONEY OR LOVE? Private investigator Stuart Manning wants nothing to do with supernatural phenomena. A retainer of $50,000 overcomes his reluctance. Lara's innate ability, integrity, and beauty cause him to have second thoughts about psychics, while deadly occurrences cause him to believe the little girl's murderer is still hanging around. How can Stuart protect Lara when the killer is always one step ahead?
eBook Publisher: Uncial Press, 2008
eBookwise Release Date: March 2008
12 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [286 KB]
Reading time: 173-242 min.
"...an interesting suspense tale with three good main characters. Stuart is a tortured ex-cop who feels responsible for his partner's death. Lara is cursed by her gift and wishes it would go away, and Chrissy is an unwanted and neglected child who befriends the both of them. The rest of the cast is like a group from a mafia cartoon, from the boss and his taciturn right hand man, to his widowed sister and femme fatale niece. They add a bit of comic relief. The plot itself is fun to read with elements of suspense, romance and the paranormal. 4 Cups!"--Maura, Coffee Time Reviews
Lara groaned. It was official; this was the worst headache she'd ever suffered because of her gift. In all the years she'd served as messenger girl to the dead, she never, ever felt as totally wiped as she did this very minute.
Exhaling her frustration, she lay limply on what she assumed was a bed. She didn't even have energy to open her eyes, plus her memory had holes large enough to walk through. Where was this bed located? Where was she? Why did her head feel two sizes too large?
Flitting images teased her. She saw herself in a mirror; a drugged out zombie peered back at her. She recalled taking a moon walk to a truck. The taste of a sandwich laced with spicy mustard stung her mouth. More walking and more eating, but where to and what kind of food eluded her. The cold chill of floor tile had iced her bare feet. She also remembered the pull of a shirt over her head and some trouble sticking her arms through the large armholes.
A masculine fragrance drifted over to her. The rugged face of the man she'd met yesterday--was it just yesterday?--popped into her mind. In all these memories, Stuart Manning had helped her. She heard his deep voice. He'd told her that she wanted to accompany him.
Why couldn't she remember?
Lara lifted her bent arms up, then out, brushing the back of her left hand against her forehead. The hard surface of a ring hit her left temple.
Whoa. Her eyelids flew open and in the dark, she stared at her ring finger. A slim gold band encircled it--a band signifying marriage.
She immediately sat up. There was no way she could forget getting married. No way at all. She glanced to her right and her stomach dropped. On the pillow next to her lay Stuart Manning--in the flesh. Her gaze drifted down to his neck, his broad shoulders, and part of his well-defined chest, generously delineated with hair. The bed sheets hid whether he was completely naked.
"Omigosh!" She stuffed her fist into her mouth. That he still slept was a blessing. That she so wantonly slept next to him was a catastrophe.
But was it so wanton if they were married?
This can't be. This just can't be! Not wanting to wake him, Lara slipped from the bed. As she'd remembered, she wore an oversized tee shirt--his, most likely. When she patted herself down, she cringed. She had nothing on underneath.
Oh, God. How could this get any worse?
Her imagination supplied several answers. Well, you could've gotten pregnant, could've contracted a social disease, he could be a mass murderer--
Stop it! Useless conjecture didn't help this situation. She had to pull herself together and try to remember. Thankfully, her head wasn't quite so fuzzy as before, so she took stock of her surroundings as best as she could in the dark. One bed, two night tables, dresser, table and chairs equaled standard hotel/motel room fare.
She cautiously made her way to the window and peeked out from behind the heavy drapes. Early morning's murky haze bathed a crowded row of vehicles parked near the building. The partial view showed her a neon sign proclaiming "Bismarck" and "No Vacancy."
Dropping the drapery, she leaned against the wall. Her legs didn't want to support her anymore. North Dakota? How could she suddenly wake up in North Dakota?
Or, the more important question, how could she suddenly wake up married?