Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Angel to the Rescue, is the second of the Rescue Angel Romances -- action/adventure love stories with an angel hidden in the plot. The angel's identity is not revealed until the finale -- unless the reader figures it out first.
In Angel to the Rescue, child psychologist Rachel Kelly isn't quite sure how to handle her newest client -- a six-year-old boy who says he can talk to angels and one is coming to help Rachel. She already has her hands full of trouble this Christmas season, and things quickly take a turn for the worse when a stalker crashes Rachel's Christmas party and takes her young clients hostage.
Police negotiator, Lt. Jake Dillon, walked away from his fiancée Rachel when she suddenly balked at having kids. His kids. Yet as the hostage crisis erupts, Rachel calls Jake first. Now he has a choice to make -- stand back and wait for the cavalry to save Rachel or step in quickly and try to save her himself. Time is running out, and Jake may be their only chance for rescue.
Unless Rachel's little angel-spying client is telling the truth…
Rachel slid into the Publix parking lot on her way home from work. She'd picked the store close to her office rather than the one near the cottage, anxious to get the chore over with as soon as possible. She pulled out her list and collected the items on it in regimented fashion, aisle by aisle, doubling back only twice.
She checked her voicemails while waiting patiently in the long line at the checkout counter. Breathing a sigh of relief when the bag boy put the last sack in her cart, she wheeled toward the exit and froze.
Jake stood right next to the exit, plastic bag in hand and staring at her with nary a smile.
There were dark circles beneath his eyes. Hadn't he been sleeping? His hair looked tousled like he'd just run his fingers through it, and his clothes had a five-o'clock-mussed look to them.
He looked spectacular to Rachel.
His eyebrows rose. He was waiting for her.
She pushed her cart slowly forward, taking deep breaths to steady her heart rate.
"Since this isn't our Publix, I'm assuming you stopped on your way home from work," he said when she reached his side.
Our Publix? Had he even realized he'd said that?
"You're right," she replied. "So why are you here?"
"My apartment's just around the corner."
That simple statement shouldn't hurt -- she knew he had an apartment around here -- but it did. She nodded.
"I'll help you out." He gently nudged her hands off the cart handle and took over, setting his own bag on top of her stack.
Rachel paced alongside the grocery cart as they moved through the electronic door and was suddenly thankful for her parking spot at the end of the far row. She would have a few extra moments to be with him. How pitiful was that? She eased a step closer, anxious to inhale his unique scent of soap, aftershave, and pure Jake.
He glanced over and caught her staring. She felt her cheeks flush and hoped he didn't notice.
"Jake, look out!" She grabbed the cart to stop it just short of a car backing out.
He smiled his sexy crooked Jake-smile. "Guess I should keep my eyes on the road."
Her heart ka-thumped inside her chest. "At least till we get to the car."
Had she just flirted with him? Had it been that easy to get past the trauma for a few brief minutes?
Sooner than she would have liked, he pulled the grocery cart up at her Honda and helped stow her bags in the trunk, leaving his in the cart.
"Thanks for helping me," Rachel said.
"I'm glad you decided to stop at this Publix tonight."
"Yeah, I'm glad I got to see you." Jake brushed a knuckle gently across her cheek leaving a streak of tingly nerve endings in its wake.
"But I thought you wanted… I mean, I haven't heard from you in…" She cleared her throat. "…a long time. I thought you might've… "
Why couldn't she manage to finish a sentence tonight? Bad enough she felt pathetic, now she sounded pathetic.
"You thought I might've what?"
She swallowed hard. "Might've found someone else by now."
He stared intently for a long moment. "After all we meant to each other, you thought I'd go right out and grab a new girlfriend, just like that?" His mouth hardened to a thin line.
She hadn't meant to rile him. The last thing she wanted to do was fight with him. Without thinking, she reached up and brushed two fingers gently across his lips, wanting that sensuous mouth to smile at her again.
She startled him, and he jerked at her touch. She whisked her fingers away. "Sorry, I didn't want you to be mad."
His gaze trapped hers, his pupils expanding until little of the brilliant green remained. "There's no new girlfriend, Rachel," he said gruffly.
He slowly shook his head, his now-dark eyes tracking hers. He seemed closer than he'd been a minute earlier.
She exhaled hard. "Not yet anyway."
Why had she said that?
"No, not yet," he said flatly.
"I'm glad," she said quickly.
He was definitely closer now. If she eased forward just a few inches, she could press her lips to his, feel that certain sizzle that always flared when they touched. But Jake had walked out on her. His move -- though she ached with the want to hold him, if only for a second.
"Yes. Very glad. I don't want you to find someone else--"
His lips brushed hers into silence, sweeping gently across as though seeking permission, the touch just light enough to make her lean in for more. He didn't miss the movement and kissed her again, his lips settling against hers and nibbling at her lower lip.
The sensuous teasing had her knees growing weak, and she grabbed the placket of his dress shirt to steady herself.
He didn't miss that movement either, and he put his palms to her cheeks to deepen the kiss.
Rachel felt dizzy and twisted her knuckles into his shirt to keep him close. She didn't care if they were kissing in front of God and everybody. If Jake wanted to throw her down here in the middle of the Publix parking lot, she was ready. She could always shop at Winn-Dixie.
About Petie McCarty
Petie earned a zoology degree from the University of Central Florida and has worked as an aquatic biologist for most of her career. She even spent two years surveying Florida lakes and streams by airboat. Petie is a member of Romance Writers of America, and she shares homes in Tennessee and Florida with her horticulturist husband, a spoiled-rotten English Springer spaniel, and a noisy Nanday conure named Sassy who made a cameo appearance in Angel to the Rescue.
Posted by Anne Patrick at 6:09 PM