Whispers in the Dark: Kylie Hafford craves adventure when she heads to the remote Puebloan ruins of Lost Valley, Colorado, to excavate. Romance isn’t in her plans, but she soon meets two sexy men: Danesh looks like a warrior from the Pueblo’s ancient past, and Sean is a charming, playful tourist. The summer heats up as Kylie uncovers mysteries, secrets, and terrors in the dark. She’ll need all her strength and wits to survive—and to save the man she’s come to love.
Whispers in the Dark is thrilling romantic suspense set in the Four Corners region of the Southwest. “This book kept me turning pages until the end. The plot was full of twists and turns, always keeping the reader rooting for the heroine. Excellent read!” Reader Suzanne Borchers
Whispers in the Dark
…. I hurried along the trail until I reached the canyon rim, where I stopped and grinned. The canyon cut across the land in front of me—maybe more of a ravine, really, several miles long but only a quarter-mile across and a few hundred feet deep. The bottom looked shady and cool, while the sun lit up the small ruin to my right.
The now-roofless mud-brick structure wouldn’t impress anyone but an archaeologist—except for the way it perched recklessly atop a thirty-foot boulder. The boulder sloped at a sharp angle, so it looked like the whole structure should slide into the canyon. And it had been there for over 700 years!
I spotted carved hand and toeholds in the rock, leading up to the low doorway. I tried to imagine the Anasazi living there centuries before, scrambling up the steep side of the boulder as easily as I walked up the stairs to my second-floor apartment. I half-closed my eyes to blur my vision and tried to picture the way it must have been before the walls crumbled and the roof collapsed. I imagined small, tanned people in loincloths, women on the roof, crouched over their work, children playing nearby, men returning from hunting or working their cultivated fields. I could almost hear their cheerful shouts.
I opened my eyes and turned down the path along the canyon rim, humming with pleasure. I couldn’t wait to explore further. Of course, regular tourists weren’t allowed to leave the trail, but one of the perks of being an archaeologist was special access. For the next few weeks, this would be my playground.
The next site on the map was just a vandalized rock shelter, and the trail guide complained that people had torn down the walls before it could be excavated. Only part of one wall and a jumble of stones remained. But the guide also mentioned that the site might have yielded storage jars or food remains, had it been left for archaeologists. Since my interest was ancient food, I decided to creep down for a closer look.
I moved carefully, so as not to disturb the loose rocks, and squatted near the biggest pile of rubble. I gently lifted a few pieces of broken brick, putting them back in the same place after I’d examined them. I couldn’t do much with the fragments, but as always, I marveled over touching something from the past.
Tomorrow would be soon enough for scientific method, for testing and hypothesizing. Tonight I only wanted to touch the magic of this ancient world. I closed my eyes and tried to feel some ancient presence, to hear whispers from the past. The air seemed to tremble with possibilities. If only I believed in magic—
A shout slashed the air. I twisted so fast I tumbled onto my backside.
I gaped up at the man towering over me. Bare chest, muscular and bronzed. Black hair pulled back from a face full of sharp planes and angles. Dark eyes fierce under scowling brows.
My heart jolted painfully. I’d come face to face with an ancient warrior. He was gorgeous.
“Don’t you read signs?”
I blinked at the apparition. “Uh….”
He gestured back at the main path. “The signs at every turn saying ‘Stay on the path’? The notice at the entrance telling you to leave artifacts alone? I could have you arrested and fined.”
Oh. I felt color flooding my cheeks. My pounding heart refused to slow yet, and the rush of adrenaline turned my arms and legs to jelly, but I rose steadily enough. I tried to ignore the heat in my face and the queasy feeling of panic in my stomach, which hadn’t yet accepted the message that I wasn’t in danger. “I’m Kylie Hafford,” I said coolly. “The archaeologist. Are you Danesh?”
I saw a satisfying flash of surprise and then guilt. Or maybe I had just imagined it, as his face settled immediately into a neutral mask. “Yes, I’m Danesh.” He hesitated before adding stiffly, “It’s nice to meet you.”
“The pleasure’s all mine.”
He must have caught my irony, because he almost smiled—I think. He said, “I’m sorry I startled you. I wasn’t expecting you yet, and….” He shrugged. “I’ve been noticing scuff marks in the ground, off the trail where tourists aren’t supposed to go. I figured someone was poking around, maybe looking for treasure.”
“And you assumed I was your treasure hunter?”
Kris Bock writes novels of suspense and romance with outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. The Mad Monk’s Treasure follows the hunt for a long-lost treasure in the New Mexico desert. In The Dead Man’s Treasure, estranged relatives compete to reach a buried treasure by following a series of complex clues. In The Skeleton Canyon Treasure, sparks fly when reader favorites Camie and Tiger help a mysterious man track down his missing uncle. Whispers in the Dark features archaeology and intrigue among ancient Southwest ruins. What We Found is a mystery with strong romantic elements about a young woman who finds a murder victim in the woods. In Counterfeits, stolen Rembrandt paintings bring danger to a small New Mexico town.
Fans of Mary Stewart, Barbara Michaels, and Terry Odell will want to check out Kris Bock’s romantic adventures. “Counterfeits is the kind of romantic suspense novel I have enjoyed since I first read Mary Stewart’s Moonspinners.” 5 Stars – Roberta at Sensuous Reviews blog