I’d never heard him sound so husky. In that moment, I could have sworn he was choked up and pushing his words past tight vocal cords. Had his feelings grown for me while I was gone, just as mine had for him? Was it true? Did absence make our hearts grow fonder for each other?
I had two things I needed to say. To explain why I’d left without telling him where I was going and to apologize for not allowing him the chance to explain how he was involved in the Patterson mess. I should have trusted him. He’d never been anything except straight up with me, even when I didn’t like what he had to say. Sometimes he was brutally honest. Suddenly, the overwhelming urge to purge the speech I had practiced repeatedly on the multi-legged flight from Albuquerque to New York swelled in me so strong, I practically spit my spiel all over him.
“I’m so sorry, Paul.” Tears welled in my eyes from the stress of not knowing how he would receive my confessional. “I should have told you where I was going. I was scared and I didn’t know who I could trust. I should’ve trusted you, but everyone and everything was confusing me. You were confusing me. And then… I know you tried to tell me—”
“I know all that.” His laugh was filled with indulgent amusement. “That’s not what I want to know.”
Wasn’t it? Hadn’t I hurt him or insulted him or pissed him off by refusing to trust him or listen to him?
If possible he pulled me further into him. His nearness confused me and thrilled me, all at the same time. Shouldn’t he be chastising me? No. That apparently wasn’t his way. The man knew the power he had over women. Was he aware of what he was doing to me?
My body informed me that being near him like this was what I wanted…what I’d been longing for, desperately craving, what I had been too stubborn to admit to myself. Every part of my being surged toward him, striving to connect with him on all levels, physically, emotionally, mentally. Parts of my body responded to him in ways they hadn’t reacted in a very long time. His nearness warmed me from the inside out.
His head bent toward me. His mouth only microns from mine. A teasing smile curved his lips. I wanted his lips on mine so badly I was about to explode into a million tiny Ellie pieces.
“What do you want to know?” My whispered words barely left my mouth.
His reply fell soft on my ears, as soft as my question had fallen from my lips. “Why did you come back?”
I could have told him I came back because I wanted to hear for myself how he was involved with Patterson’s case. I could have told him staying in New Mexico wasn’t resolving anything for me in New York. I could have told him I had questions for which I desperately needed answers. Instead I blurted the truth. “I came back because I couldn’t get my mind off—”
“I’ve missed you, Ellie.”
“—you.” My eyes closed against my will.
His mouth met mine before the final word had finished passing my lips.
Sometimes the end is only the beginning.
Almost a year after her husband dies, Ellie Marston opens the file for Tab’s last manuscript, a thriller so compelling it reads like a true story. His manuscript needs an ending, so Ellie writes the obvious conclusion. The same morning she types The End, her career as an assistant district attorney falls apart. Accused of throwing the high profile Patterson case, she resigns in disgrace. The only friend she has left in the criminal justice system is Det. Paul Santiago, a man she has worked closely with on numerous cases. While she was married to Tab, she squashed her growing feelings for Paul, determined to make her deteriorating marriage work, but circumstances after Tab’s death bring Ellie and Paul together.
Ellie’s paranoia increases as she becomes convinced Patterson is harassing her, certain that someone is searching her belongings for any hidden evidence she might have that would reopen his case. It becomes clear there was a conspiracy to release Patterson. She seeks help from her former co-worker, Presley Sinclair, but soon discovers Presley is deeply involved in the subsequent cover up. Worse yet, Tab’s affair with Presley drew him into the twisted conspiracy as well.
Together Paul and Ellie attempt to uncover the conspiracy in the District Attorney’s office, the set up that forced her to resign. The key to the mystery is hidden in the pages of Tab’s manuscript. Once Paul and Ellie come to the correct conclusion—Tab’s manuscript is a true story and Ellie’s added ending is the only logical outcome—Ellie attempts to reveal Patterson’s hidden partner in the District Attorney’s office, but the co-conspirator she uncovers is not whom she suspects. Danger swirls around her as she steps further and further into the conspirator’s trap.
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Genre – Romantic Suspense
Rating – PG
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