For twenty years, they moved from town to town every few months. They
paid in cash. They kept only what they could carry. But 26-year-old
Charlene Bailey and her father were a family, complete and happy.
Until a woman stabbed him to death in a New Orleans café, right in
front of Charlene’s eyes, screaming in a language she didn’t
understand. Now the police are claiming that her whole life is a lie.
To find out who she is, she’ll have to find out what they were
running from. And to discover that, she’ll have to find someone she
As a charter boat captain out of Key West, Marshall Crow has seen
his share of reckless tourists. But the fierce young woman asking for passage
to Cuba isn’t one of them. He never thought he’d put the skills he learned in the
Navy to work smuggling a stranger, but he’s drawn to her the same
way she’s drawn to the truth. And through the dark waters of the
Florida straits and the narrow streets of Havana, the danger that
awaits them is far too vicious to face alone.
Sorrow coiled in Charlene’s heart as she inched toward her father’s body on the metal slab. The pungent air crackled with the stillness about her, and her bones sagged with an emptiness deep in her soul. Her father didn’t look peaceful. She should’ve expected that, given the way he’d died. The stubble in his beard was longer than usual, and she was surprised at how many gray whiskers he had. Lips that had always been quick to smile were tinged the color of acid-washed denim. His almond-colored eyes were closed, destined to remain that way forever. With trembling hands, she curled her fingers beneath the seam of the white sheet concealing his body and eased it down from his neck. Fighting the quiver in her chin, she stared at the jagged knife wound in his chest. It was surprisingly small considering the amount of blood that’d gushed from it. Charlene squeezed her eyes shut, trying to force the brutal attack from her mind. But it was there to stay. Every precise second was permanently etched into her memory. The woman who’d stabbed him was a stunning brunette with olive skin and fierce brown eyes. She’d looked petrified. Clearly her father and the woman had known each other, but Charlene had never seen her before. They’d argued in Spanish. Charlene didn’t speak any other languages, and she’d had no idea her father did either. When the woman had grabbed her father’s steak knife, Charlene had seen the look in his eyes. It wasn’t fear. It was resignation. Like he’d always expected that moment to one day come. Shaking the recollections free, she opened her eyes and touched his forearm, just as she’d done a thousand times over, except this time she had to resist recoiling at the cold beneath his flesh. As a single tear trickled down her cheek, she wondered if their past had finally caught up to them. Twenty-two years it’d taken. Twenty-two years since her father had whisked her away in the middle of the night. Twenty-two years since she’d last seen her mother. They’d moved to twice as many cities in that time. Just the two of them. Charlene inhaled the tangy disinfectant and the emptiness around her. “What am I going to do?” Even her voice sounded hollow, lacking in emotion. Life as drifters had meant she had no friends. Her time with her mother was nothing but a whispered dream. Her father never did tell her what happened when she was six years old. And after a while, she’d stopped asking. In fact, she’d often wondered if it was just a silly childhood nightmare. Now she was all alone. The enormity of it had hit her yesterday when the police started asking questions. Her father had no identification. No driver’s license. No credit cards. Not even a Social Security card. Just a small amount of cash and the key to their rented apartment. It hadn’t surprised her. The police, however, had implied that it was abnormal. Deceitful even. Charlene had explained away all their questions, yet Detective Chapel had looked at her like she was hiding something. She’d learned to live with inquisitive gazes; she’d been the new student at twenty or so schools. Being the stranger in a crowd was completely normal. The door cracked open, and the sound ricocheted about the room like a bullet. She jolted at the interruption and turned. Detective Chapel had a look of sorrow that for some reason seemed forced…too practiced. She flicked the tears from her cheeks and stepped back from her father’s lifeless form. “Ms. Bailey, are you okay?” Charlene swallowed the lump burning in her throat and shook her head. Okay? His question was ludicrous. Nothing will ever be okay again. Ever. She turned back to her father’s body and through her murky tears scanned his face. Finally, she nodded. “Yes.” When she turned to look into Chapel’s eyes, she had a strange feeling he didn’t believe her account of what happened. She blinked and tried but failed to cast the unfounded feeling aside. “What happens now?” “If you’re up to it, we’d like to ask you a few more questions.” She glanced at her father one last time, hardly able to believe what she was seeing. He’d always been full of life…the first to try out a dish he couldn’t pronounce at a restaurant or jump off the bus to explore a new vista. He taught her to appreciate the sunrise and the glow of the moon over the ocean. His days were long and his nights short in his attempts to squeeze the life out of every second. All that had been stolen with the slice of a blade. She bit her lip in an attempt to halt her quivering chin, and before she succumbed to the burgeoning tears again, she allowed Chapel to lead her from the morgue.
Out of Mind
Maximum Exposure Book 2
A love frozen in time . . .
Holly knew the romantic helicopter ride up to the remote peak of Whisky
Mountain was a bad idea. But she never expected it to snatch her
fiancé from her—or destroy her life. A few fiery seconds turn a
postcard-perfect morning in the Canadian Rockies into a snowy hell,
thirteen thousand feet above sea level. And in the midst of grief and
agony, Holly catches sight of a scene in the ice that will haunt her
until she can return and discover the truth.
Oliver Nelson could see the stranger had a mystery inside her. The scars on
her face, the pain in her eyes, the insistence that he teach her
completely alone—no one needsto
learn rock climbing, or so he thought. But the more he gets to know
her, the more he admires her drive, her ingenuity, and that little
edge of recklessness. If she can trust him with her story, he’s
ready to follow her wherever her heart takes her.
But nature’s deadly beauty isn’t the only danger waiting for them on
Whisky Mountain. To survive, Oliver and Holly will have to move
fast—and think faster . . .
In a place where a city can be lost hundreds of years . . . they can
still find each other.
Lily saw the temple of Agulinta on television: a vast stone structure
swallowed by the Yucatan jungle, rediscovered only now after hundreds
of years. So why did the papers she found after her father’s death
show the same mysterious carvings that puzzled archaeologists at
Agulinta? Her search for answers pulls her to Mexico’s southern
border, where the journey to the lost temple will take her through
jungle and mountain, over waters home to crocodiles and drug runners,
and into uncomfortably close quarters with a man whose need to wander
has become a way of life . . .
Australian Carter Logan’s work as a nature photographer has given him the
excuse he needs to roam wherever his restless feet take him. But in
all the time he’s traveled, he’s never been drawn to anyone the
way he is to this determined, cagey young American. Lily’s
perseverance through dirt, sweat, and danger to the heart of the
ancient temple fires through him. But when the two of them are left
alone and stranded in a vicious wilderness, their connection might
prove the difference between life and death . . . if the secrets of
the past don’t come between them first.
Kendall Talbot is the author of the Maximum Exposure series and many
other action/adventure stories. A thrill seeker, hopeless romantic,
and award-winning author of stories that’ll have your heart
thumping from action-packed suspense and steamy bedroom scenes, she
lives in Brisbane, Australia with her very own hero and a fluffy
little dog who specializes in hijacking her writing time. Meanwhile,
Kendall’s two sons are off making their own adventures—look out world
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