2012 WINNER Write Touch Readers' Award ~ Romantic Suspense
The best laid plans...
Halli Sanders spent two years planning the trip of a lifetime to Italy. Her itinerary did not include being stranded by her siblings, kidnapped by a sexy American movie star, dodging bullets, or fleeing criminals in a car chase around Lake Como. And that's just in the first three hours.
...often go awry.
Trent Tomlin put his movie career on hold to investigate his brother's murder-ruled-suicide at his Italian villa. He's closing in on the suspects when an American tourist unwittingly films the murder of the retired cop helping him. The killers will stop at nothing to get the evidence--including holding Halli's family as collateral.
Life's a little different unscripted.
Thrust into the role of real-life hero, Trent finds himself falling for the Plain Jane whose beauty blossoms with every challenge they face. But how can he keep the evidence from the murderers to get justice for his brother and friend without betraying Halli and her family?
Trent cast his own quick glance in the rearview mirror, pressure squeezing his body like a starving boa constrictor as he searched for the men who'd spotted her and her camera across the bay.
By his amateur calculations, he figured he had about three more minutes. If
Pushing up to sit on the headrest, he prepared to turn on the superstar charm that had brought him such success at the box office.
"I'm waiting for my brother and sister," she said before he could speak.
So that's who'd driven off as he watched the scene unfold from one street above and behind her.
He lifted a tense shoulder in a careless gesture.
"Quick spin around town, and I'll bring you right back.
They'll never know you were gone, sugar."
Her eyebrows drew together above those deep blue eyes. Damn
He fought his own frown.
Based on previous experience with star-struck women, she should've jumped in at the first invitation.
Wasn't it just his luck, this one had common sense.
Leaving the car running, he swung his legs over the door and rounded the front of the convertible.
His heart thumped with each step as he tried to figure out the best way to get her out of this mess.
It was one thing when he was following a script, but how the hell did one orchestrate a rescue in real life when the rescuee wouldn't cooperate and he had no time to explain the danger?
It's not like he could play her the recording tucked in his pocket.
The girl backed away from his approach.
He fought back rising apprehension and forced an easy smile.
"Look, I appreciate the offer, Shain, but--"
Her blush deepened.
"I know. Trent.
"I need you to get in the car."
As an afterthought, he added, "Please."
He used her glance down the road as cover for his own.
Still time, yet his control slipped.
The sharp command widened her eyes.
Suspicion darkened them to navy, and she took another step backward.
Then her shoulders squared while her gaze narrowed with determination.
The right taillight on his Alfa Romeo exploded.
Trent ducked reflexively as bits of plastic flew in all directions.
Adrenaline spiked through him, but other than a sharp reactive jerk, the girl just stood there holding her camera.
Trent lunged forward, grabbed her arm and hauled her toward the car.
"Hey--let me go!"
She pulled back with surprising strength.He picked her up and shoved her head first into the passenger seat, then vaulted over her to slip behind the wheel. Heartbeat thundering in his ears, he gunned the gas with a sickening grinding of gears before the convertible shot out into traffic amidst screeching tires and blaring horns.