Seventeen-year-old Hope Craig is deaf and training hard to make the biathlon Olympic Team. But when is kidnapped from the groomed trails and taken into a remote cabin in the mountains, she must battle more than the elements to survive.
On the hunt for her daughter’s abductor, Colonel Amelia Matheson enlists the help of Richmond Morgan, a local Sheriff who once hurt her. To find Hope, Sheriff Morgan and Colonel Matheson must untangle a web of secrets, including their own.
Using her wits and skills, Hope sets out to escape the mountains and save the man her mother had sent to rescue herâ€”a man who is not who he appears to be.
(We’re here today with Eve Ford and Gil Thompson, two deputies working under Sheriff Rich Morgan in a picturesque Montana town.)
Interviewer: Welcome, Deputies. I’m glad you could both join me this morning for a little chat. What can you tell me about the cases your sheriff is investigating right now?
G.T.: Without going into too many details, let’s just say Sheriff Morgan is navigating a political minefield while investigating the blackmail of a senator.
E.F.: No one would be blackmailing the douche bag if he’d kept his pants on.
Interviewer: I see you don’t have a very favorable opinion of that senator, Deputy Ford. Would you care to share the reason behind the blackmail?
E.F.: I would love to, but I already said too much. I’ll ask you not to print this. I can’t afford to be fired, not when I’m a few months away from going into maternity leave.
Interviewer: I see you’re visiblyâ€¦
(Deputy Gil Thompson shakes his head at me. I don’t know if he’d guessed I was going to say pregnant, but in light of his silent warning, I decide not to mention the visible bump.)
Interviewer: You visibly know better than to share confidential information. May I ask about the Army Colonel that was seen entering the sheriff’s office?Â My sources told me she appeared to be in her late thirties.
G.T.: When I met Amelia Matheson, I thought she was a bit young for a colonel, but as soon as she opened her mouth, I realized she wasn’t the kind of woman to mess with. Sheriff Morgan shook in his boots when he first saw her, right Eve?
E.F.: Well, I agree that their first meeting wasâ€¦intense, but that’s irrelevant to the case. Colonel Matheson’s daughter has gone missing during a biathlon training practice in the mountains. Searching for the missing teenager falls under our jurisdiction, so we’reâ€”
(A phone rings, and Deputy Ford walks away to answer.)
Interviewer: Deputy Thompson, what can you tell me about Sheriff Morgan? Wasn’t he hired only last year?
G.T.: He’s a good guy and he knows what he’s doing. He gave up a promising career as a federalâ€”
E.F.: We need to go, Gil. Morgan has a lead and he wants us back at the office. (Ford rubs her belly as she gives me an apologetic look.) Sorry, but we’ll have to finish this interview later.
Interview: No problem. Good luck finding the girl!
(Before walking out, the deputies were kind enough to provide some insights into the sheriff’s and the colonel’s minds. Enjoy!)
Heavy breathing jerked her shoulders. She should have welcomed the potential lead in her daughter’s case, not go into a frantic frenzy over the possibility. Stumped by her reaction, Rich stroked her back, relishing the warmth and the feel of her body.
“We can’t rule out a connection, Amelia. The senator has refused to involve other agencies. Now that his daughter isn’t the one at risk, he may stop cooperating altogether, especially if I recruit help from outside my office.” Amelia’s expertise and security clearance exceeded his. The military woman, as distressed as she might be, was still his best ally. “You cannot lose it, Amelia. I need your help to find Hope.”
The fan of the fireplace switched off, and the humming ceased. An eerie silence enveloped the living room. Amelia stared at him, searching his face for…for something. Whatever she sought, he desperately wanted to give it to her.
“I haven’t slept in days, Richmond. I’m hovering on the brink of insanity. Under no condition should I be trusted. In your place, I would tie me to a bed, drug me, and wake me up after you found my daughter.”
As right as she might be, he trusted herâ€”more than he trusted himself.
Taking advantage of her vulnerability, he scooped her in his arms. “Then let’s get you some sleep.”
Amidst a gasp of surprise, she clawed at his neck. “What do you think you’re doing, Richmond Morgan?”
“Taking you into my bed.” He carried her through the hallway, nearly dropping her. “Would you stop wriggling?”
“I am not sleeping with you. I am not that insane.”
Of all the qualities she possessed, her indomitable spirit had been the most enduring. From the look in her eyes, that spirit was very much aliveâ€”and angry.
“Glad to know I already saved you from the brink of insanity.” The timing couldn’t have been worse, and yet, holding her had never felt so right. “By morning, you’ll be rested and trustworthy.”
“By morning, you’ll be dead if you don’t give up that plan.”
Threats would not stop him. Not this time. “I was going to use my arms to keep you safe and my snoring to scare the night monsters away. If you prefer, I’ll get the duct tape and the drugs.”
As she glared, he bestowed a tender kiss on her parted lips. They quivered in response.
J.S. Marlo lives in Northern Alberta with her wonderful hubby, and when she’s not visiting her children and little granddoggie, she’s working on her next series in front of the fireplace. You can visit her at www.sites.google.com/site/JSMarloAuthor
- About the Author
- Posts in the Past
J.S. Marlo is a romantic suspense writer. She’s already published five novels: Salvaged, Unscripted #1 / Unearthed #2 / Untamed #3 (Duty Bound Series), and Cold Sweat (Heart & Endurance Series). She’s currently working on two more books in front of the fireplace.