Welcome to this week’s Midweek Tease. Thanks to all of you for all the kind words and comments on No Good Deed. They were appreciated. Today, I bring you a snippet from one of my back-listed novels, All For Love. This is also a romance suspense novel. Enjoy.
To overcome your fear, you must first face it.
Someone is out to destroy Greg Robertson and everyone he has ever loved. After an accident leaves his teenage daughter depressed and distraught, Greg will do anything to make her happy again, including hiring a bodyguard to protect her.
Olivia Cummings lost both her fiance and her cousin in a deadly avalanche. She has vowed never to set foot on a ski hill again. But now, working as a bodyguard with Marshall Security, Olivia must face her greatest fears to save Greg and his daughter.
Something about Olivia’s determination strikes a chord in Greg, but will she be the salvation he needs, or will he be her destruction?
Surprised, Greg rose and began to pace. He’d expected Tim to do the talking. He hadn’t realized he’d have to bare his soul this way. He might be a writer, but there was a huge difference between putting words on paper and uttering them. He swallowed and licked his lips. Where to begin…
“It’s really quite simple. Someone is trying to kill me.”
“Kill you?” Vicki and Veronica jumped up and spoke as one.
“Why would anyone want you dead?” Vicki cried.
“I don’t know, but it’s not just me. It’s all those who are important to me—my daughter and her mother.”
“You have a daughter? Why didn’t I know that?” Veronica stared pointedly at Vicki.
“I thought you said he was single,” Veronica hissed.
Greg laughed self-consciously. “I am single. I’ve never married. Sixteen years ago, as a junior screenwriter, I had a fling with Nadia Eastman, but it didn’t last long, and we went our separate ways—something I’ll regret to the end of my days. I didn’t know Sheena was mine until the child was four. Nadia wanted money, and I wanted to see my daughter. We compromised. I got the short end of the stick, but little is better than none.”
“What do you mean?” Veronica asked, still glaring at her twin.
“Until now, I’ve only spent two weeks a year with Sheena, but it wasn’t by choice.”
“Well, that doesn’t sound fair to me,” Veronica stated loudly, her indignation obvious.
Greg swallowed. Talking about the accident was harder than he’d expected. “Six months ago, Nadia and Sheena were on their way to a reception when a van ran a red light and struck the Mercedes. The first responders were able to get Sheena out, but Nadia and the chauffeur were already dead.”
“That’s awful,” Veronica’s hands rose to cover her red cheeks. “I’m so sorry for your loss.”
“Nadia Eastman sounds familiar,” Vicki said, ignoring her sister’s glare. “Who was she?”
“She was an actress. You’ve probably seen her on television, but she did more work in Britain and Europe than in America. You might remember her from The Secret Society. That film was nominated for an Oscar. It did well here.”
“Didn’t we go see that movie?”
Veronica cocked her head to the side. “I think so. Was the other driver killed, too?”
Greg shook his head in denial. “I don’t know. The driver fled the scene, and the authorities haven’t been able to find him, but you must understand. Nadia’s death wasn’t an accident.”
“Why do you say that? The van may have been stolen, but…” Veronica wasn’t the only one who looked perplexed.
“There was a bomb attached to the undercarriage of the car.”
Vicki and Veronica stared at him with saucer-sized eyes, their mouths agape. With similar expressions on their faces, the twins finally resembled one another. No wonder the babies looked alike.
“Someone rigged the car to explode?” Jack was on his feet in seconds.
“Yes. There was a press conference scheduled at the Russian Embassy in London. A few weeks earlier, she’d let me know she’d be bringing Sheena to me for her annual visit. Her career hadn’t been going well since her last film, and I think she hoped to get some free publicity. The press got wind of it—no doubt her agent had leaked the information. Something came up at the last minute, and I sent the limo ahead for them and called a cab for myself.”
Vicki gasped and stared at him. He could read the horror on her face.
“That’s awful. Do the police have any leads?”
“A fringe group specifically targeting Nadia’s politics tried to claim responsibility for her death. Her role in a recent IRA based movie didn’t endear her to some. Sadly, new evidence indicates it isn’t that simple.”
“That’s insane!” She turned an accusing look on her husband. “Did you know about this?”
“Not all of it, but I’ve since spoken our security teams, and they’ll be on the alert.”
“Our security?” Vicki’s voice went up an octave.
“Well, yes. If whoever is behind this knows we’re related, we could all be at risk. Words gone out to the others. I’ll keep the family safe.” There was strength in Tim’s words that reassured Greg.
“This has all the makings of a George Stanton spy novel,” Veronica added. “I don’t know London well, but isn’t the Russian Federation’s Chancery located on Kensington Palace Gardens?”
“It is. The police are toying with the idea the accident was just that and actually prevented a far greater disaster. While I’ll never forgive myself for Nadia’s death and Sheena’s injuries, had the bomb gone off in the chancery parking lot, things could have been much worse. I can’t even imagine the collateral damage it might have caused. I’m not ready to take the credit for starting another war.”
“So, if you are the target, what’s the reason?” Vicki asked.
“Graven Image is set in Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion,” Veronica nodded. “It’s an excellent book, one of your best, but you were very critical of the rebels in the novel—that can’t have made you too popular with some of the more militant factions over there.”
“It hasn’t. I had my doubts about the press conference, but my agent had set it up to announce the filming, and since a lot of the movie will be shot on Russian soil, the Kremlin was eager to be part of the announcement.”
“You think someone is trying to kill you because of that novel?” Howard asked quietly.
That’s it. Please visit the other teasers.