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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

She Can Run by Melinda Leigh

. Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A few weeks ago, I received an ARC but I was soooo busy, plus I hated the cover so I left the book unread...why didn't I remember the old saying, "Don't judge a book by its cover"?

Just read She Can Run by new author Melinda Leigh, a romantic suspense novel about a woman on the run from her abusive husband. Thrill-packed and full of mystery, it was a fast and enjoyable read.

Publishers Weekly has called her "an author to watch" and after reading her debut book, I can see why.

Here's the full blurb:

Ten months ago, Elizabeth Baker uncovered a dangerous secret about her politician husband—a secret that nearly got her killed. Now she and her children are running for their lives. When Beth is hired as the caretaker of a remote Pennsylvania estate, she dares to hope she has found a corner of the world where Congressman Richard Baker can’t find them. But when her new boss dies suddenly and his nephew inherits the estate, Beth is faced with outwitting a former homicide detective who is very smart, very suspicious—and very attractive.

Forced into retirement by an injury and grieving the loss of his uncle, Jack O’Malley is unprepared to share his new home with a strange woman and her two kids. He is even less prepared for the instantaneous attraction he feels whenever Beth enters the room. She is beautiful, intelligent, kind…and obviously terrified of someone or something. As Jack’s investigation uncovers the shocking details of Beth’s past, the rural community is shaken by the murder of a local woman Driven by instinct and desire, Jack is determined to keep Beth and her children safe, even if doing so means putting his heart—and his life —on the line.


And here's a killer excerpt:

Beth’s hand trembled. Her knuckles hovered an inch from the recessed oak panel. The office door was closed, which meant Richard didn’t want to be disturbed. She glanced at the box in her hand, delivered by messenger just moments before. It must be important. Would Richard be angry if she interrupted him? Or angrier if she didn’t? Her stomach clenched. He’d be angry no matter what she did.

With a hitched breath, she rapped lightly. The latch hadn’t caught properly and the door swung open. Beth froze, paralyzed by the scene before her.

Confusion shifted into comprehension, and fear turned her insides to ice water.

Could she slip out before he noticed her? She eased backward, but Richard sensed her presence. He turned and stared. Their gazes locked for a few seconds, his feral, hers panicked. The lion and the gazelle.

Then he grabbed the crystal letter opener on his desk and lunged.

Beth ran.

She couldn’t leave the house. Her children were upstairs. She needed a weapon. Her eyes locked on the kitchen doorway ten feet away.

His Italian loafers scraped the wood floor of the hall behind her as he fought for traction. The rubber soles of her sneakers fared better. She almost outran him. Almost.

At the threshold, he caught her in a flying tackle. She flung her hands out. Pain shot through her wrists and palms as she braced her fall before her face slammed into the tile.

After all this time wondering if he’d eventually kill her, there was now no more doubt. If she didn’t get away, she was dead.

Panting, on all fours, he pulled on her legs. She donkey-kicked backwards, catching him on the side of the face. He grunted. His grip loosened, and she belly-crawled forward a few inches before his hand closed around her calf.

She raised her chin and eyed the knife drawer, an impossible ten feet away on the other side of the room. In a frantic visual sweep, her peripheral vision caught the cordless flashlight plugged into the outlet on her left.

She kicked at his fingers. They jerked open. Pulling a knee under her body, she pushed forward and yanked the flashlight from the wall. Richard crawled closer and slashed at her middle. Her skin registered a flash of agony, then went numb.

Without losing momentum, she turned over and swung the flashlight in an arc toward his head. Metal clanged against bone.

His eyes widened in shock before his body went limp.

Shaking, Beth scrambled out from under his torso. Blood seeped through her silk blouse.

Lungs heaving, she rooted through the odds-and-ends drawer and pulled out a roll of duct tape. She rolled him to his side, forced his wrists behind his back, and taped them together. As an extra precaution, she secured his hands to a heavy table leg, then bound his ankles. She slapped a final piece of tape across his mouth. Richard wasn’t going anywhere until the cook arrived in the morning.

Adrenaline and nausea coursed through Beth as she glanced at the clock. She had exactly ten hours to vanish.

~
Love, light, and laughter!
Jocelyn Modo

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