IN HIS SAFEKEEPING, Harlequin Intrigue mystery romantic/suspense by Shawna Delacorte reissued by Harlequin in ebook
G-EXCERPT #1: (who is Tara Ford?)
A car pulled into the driveway, drawing Brad Harrison’s attention back to the house he had been watching. The woman climbing out of the car matched his photograph of Tara Ford and then some. The photo definitely did not do her justice. For one thing, it was only a head shot and didn’t reveal the fantastic body that went along with that gorgeous face. He scanned her personal information in his file—twenty-nine years old, fine foot seven, auburn hair, hazel eyes and not married.
He watched as she bent over to retrieve the sack of groceries from the trunk of her car. Her tailored slacks hugged the curve of her hip without being obvious and the soft knit of her sweater rested gently against her breasts. He took a deep breath to break the tightness that pulled across his chest, but it didn’t help much.
She was certainly beautiful, but that didn’t tell him how she got involved with John Vincent. Was she really the innocent bystander she claimed to be or was she…
He snapped to attention, quickly dismissing his personal thoughts and becoming all business when he saw her nervously glance up and down the street. He unzipped his jacket for easy access to the 9mm semiautomatic handgun, but did not remove it from the clip-on belt holster. Her gaze fell on him for a second or two, causing him to crease his forehead in concentration. She appeared to be searching for something, her apprehension marring her delicately sculpted features. It was not the type of thing he would expect from someone who didn’t have any worries.
The tension knotted in his stomach as he continued to watch her house. The uncertainty of how to proceed weighed heavily on him. The last remnants of daylight faded. He had seen everything he could. He started his car and slowly pulled away from the curb with his headlights off.
Tara Ford cautiously peeked out from behind the mini-blinds at the kitchen window. The man who had been sitting in the car parked across the street was gone. She wished she had gotten a better look at his face, but was afraid to stare for fear he would suspect she had noticed him. For the past few weeks she had been plagued by an uncomfortable sensation that someone was watching her, but this was the first time she had actually seen who it might be.
She wanted to believe it was her imagination, a residual effect from the turmoil of being one of the key witnesses at John Vincent’s trial. Her portion of the testimony dealt with information she had discovered while employed by Green Valley Construction—the looting of his company’s pension fund and the income he had hidden from the Internal Revenue Service. But the testimony of other witnesses showing his bookmaking operation, loan-sharking and ties to organized crime had come as a complete surprise to her. That had been six months ago. John Vincent had been convicted and sent to prison. For a while everything seemed to be okay. She thought she had put the nightmare behind her. A little tremor of anxiety rippled across her skin. She wasn’t so sure anymore.
The ringing phone startled her out of her thoughts. She placed her hand on the receiver, then froze as a shiver of trepidation darted up her back. She was sure it was another of those calls where someone was there but no one said anything. She had been plagued with a rash of them over the past few weeks. On the fifth ring she finally picked up the receiver. The apprehension churned in her stomach before she could even say anything.
“Hello.” She heard someone breathing. She spoke louder, trying to force a calm control to her voice. “Hello…is anyone there?”
The shock left her momentarily speechless. Danny Vincent. John Vincent’s thirty-four old nephew—and her ex-fiancé.
An odd combination of irritation and relief passed through her. It wasn’t her anonymous caller, but it was the last person she wanted to hear from. Her displeasure forced its way into her voice. “How did you get my unlisted phone number?”
IN HIS SAFEKEEPING, Harlequin Intrigue by Shawna Delacorte has been reissued in ebook available at http://ebooks.eharlequin.com (do search for author name Shawna Delacorte). Also available at Barnes and Noble in NookBooks (www.bn.com) and Amazon for Kindle (www.amazon.com). Information and more excerpts available on my website at www.shawnadelacorte.com
One by one the government witnesses who’d testified against a mob associate began to die—and now Tara Ford was the last witness remaining. Suddenly with a killer shadowing her every move, she was forced to rely on the protection of U.S. Deputy Marshal Brad Harrison—a man whose take-charge attitude made her temper flare and whose strong sensuality made her heart race.
Brad never let emotion interfere with duty. But in close proximity with all-too-sexy Tara, he forgot all the rules. His instinct to keep her safe was as basic as his desire for her. And when he held her tenderly, he couldn’t help but wonder who posed the most immediate danger—the killer or Brad’s charge.