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Lawyer Chris Brooks thinks Amelia Dawson is nothing more than a smart, sexy con artist. Heâ€™s been burned by her type before.
Lawyer-hating Amelia is too worried to be bothered with Chris--until she suspects heâ€™s part of the gang thatâ€™s terrorizing her.
"Who the hell are you?â€
Amelia jerked at the sound of the rough, male voice behind her. The wet, oversized dish she held in her hands crashed to the floor and shattered. Her heart pounded. Her mind froze.
"Donâ€™t move,â€ the voice commanded.
Acting on instinct, Amelia slipped her hand into the sink and fished through the warm water until she felt the ivory handle of her grandmotherâ€™s carving knife. Settling the knife in her palm, her thumb along the handle, she took a quick breath and turned to face the voice.
The intruder stood ten feet away, his hand still on the door. He was at least six inches taller than her five feet eight. Early thirties. Muscular. Her heart sank. He was too big for her to handle, even with a weapon.
An image of her daughter Katyâ€™s curly hair flashed through her mind. Tightening her grip, she brought the knife out from behind her back. "Stop right there.â€ Her arm shook a little, but she kept the quiver out of her voice.
The manâ€™s eyes flickered to the knife, and he stilled. Slowly, he raised his hands, palms facing forward. "O-kaay.â€
The inane chatter of the radio weatherman filled the room as Amelia stared at the intruder, not sure what to do next. The manâ€™s clothes didnâ€™t match her expectations of a desperate criminal. He wore a dark blue suit, a crisp white shirt, and his indigo tie hung off-center as if heâ€™d pushed it out of the way. His drawn eyebrows suggested concern rather than aggression.
Her fear ebbed a little and doubt replaced it. Oh God, had she pulled a knife on a door-to-door salesman? Or the minister?
The stairs to her left squeaked. She risked a glance. Her five-year-old daughter Katy stood on the bottom step with her Tigger clasped to her chest.
Amelia fought the nauseous panic that rose in her stomach. She faced the man again and gripped the knife tighter. "Donâ€™t come any closer.â€
Katy piped up from the stairs, "Are you going to hurt my mommy?â€
The intruderâ€™s gaze slid towards her daughter, and his hands dropped an inch. "I donâ€™t think thereâ€™s much chance of that.â€ The side of his mouth lifted in a half-smile as he pointed at Amelia. "Sheâ€™s the one with the knife.â€
Katy nodded as if this were a perfectly reasonable answer. She looked over towards Amelia and pursed her lips. "Mommy, you broke your favorite plate.â€
"I know, sweetie.â€ Amelia swallowed, her throat sandpaper dry. She took a step towards her daughter, but a shard of broken plate dug into her heel. She yelped and halted, furious that sheâ€™d shown the weakness of her position. "Go back upstairs, Katy. Now.â€
Katy ignored her and turned back toward the intruder, inspecting him. Still staring, she stepped down onto the kitchen floor.
Amelia inhaled sharply. "No!â€
She tiptoed in place, steeling herself to leap across the glass.
With a frown, the man dropped his hands and strode across the kitchen, the glass crunching under his shoes. He glanced over at her and waved her back. "Itâ€™s okay. Donâ€™t move.â€
She hesitated for a moment.
The man reached Katy and picked her up under her arms and placed her back on the stairs. His voice softened as he spoke to her. "Stay there, now. You donâ€™t want to cut your pretty feet.â€ He pinched Katyâ€™s toes, and the girl giggled. With a smile, the man tilted his head towards Ameliaâ€™s feet. "Same goes for you.â€
Distracted by the manâ€™s easy manner, Amelia glanced down at her feet, calloused and rough from long days standing in the store. It had been a long time since she had pretty feet.
The man stepped to the right of the stairs, yanked open the cupboard door, and pulled out her broom. She frowned at his familiarity with her kitchen. "Who are you?â€
"Chris Brooks.â€ He motioned with the broom and, at her nod, began cleaning up the glass.
"Brooks?â€ A wave of relief flowed through her. "As in Brooksâ€™s Books? Are you Jamesâ€™s...?â€
Chris nodded as he did a quick sweep in front of the stove. "Heâ€™s my dad.â€
Spare time in Prague prompted Nina Davies to start writing. Little did she know that those innocent first words would turn into an addiction.
Now back in Canada, Nina continues to write full-time. When dragged away from her computer, she enjoys hiking, skiing and mountain biking.
Dangerous Chemistry is her first novel--many more are in the works.
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
No. of Pages: 268
Paper Weight (lb): 11.4
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