Romance and adventure await…
My newest mystery romance has changed quite a bit as I’ve written it. The characters have taken on very feisty lives of their own. New York City? Gone; the setting has been replaced with Houston. I think this is a much better fit for this charming couple and their story, though. I hope you’ll agree.
A preview of how the main characters meet:
Blackmail. The word left a funny taste in Seamus’s mouth and turned his stomach. There was no other word for it, though. It echoed through his head with every footfall as he ran down the path, like some bizarre cadence call that only he could hear. With just thirteen days offered to him before they’d destroy his career and life, he was at a loss as to what to do.
In an attempt to clear his head, he had gone across town to Cullen Park for his morning run. All told there were about eight miles of trails on the property if he covered them all and that seemed like a good start to him. Maintaining certain fitness standards was a necessary part of his career, but he enjoyed it as well. Where other people might try to find their inner peace with soft music or quiet contemplation, he found it in the air or running as fast as he could. Movement was his meditation.
The park officially opened at six, but he had arrived well before then. The air was dark and cold as the last hints of night lingered. At first he had assumed that he had the park to himself, but a few minutes on the trail had proven that wrong. An attractive redhead was ahead of him, her pony tail bouncing as fetchingly as her curves. As much as he enjoyed the view, it occurred to him that being followed by a strange man was likely to make her uncomfortable. He slowed his pace accordingly and began to watch for a split in the path so he could give her more space, though he was unfamiliar enough with the park that he wasn’t sure if there were any.
While he watched for a place to turn off, his mind wandered back to the blackmail again. He was no spy and he was certain that an investigation would clear him of all accusations, but it would still taint his reputation and his reputation was everything his career was built on. Without trust, he was nothing. And even if an investigation did clear him, it wouldn’t do it in time for him to be chosen for the mission. They had well and truly screwed him over.
Lost in thought, he didn’t notice how close he had come to the female jogger until he was nearly on top of her. It was as he was trying to decide whether to stop or just pass her that he stumbled over a rock on the path and slammed forward into her body. Despite his momentum and greater size, she didn’t go down when they collided. She let out an indignant cry and spun on him. He saw a brief flash of angry green eyes before a fist struck his cheekbone.