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Seattle bicycle courier April Thompkins loved adventure. But being kidnapped to a remote island with stuffy resort developer Tyler Nielsen was more excitement than she wanted.
The unlikely pair must battle criminals and the elements to escape. Can they overcome their differences to save their lives without losing their hearts?
With one final, lung-wrenching heave, April Thompkins powered her battered, fixed-gear Cannondale over the crest of what had to be the steepest street in Seattle. The bitter taste of extreme exertion flooded her mouth. She was more than ready for the rush down the other side.
But she didn’t get a chance to coast. The black van she had noticed pacing her in the left lane for the last block or so suddenly swerved in front of her bike. A burly arm shot out of the passenger window and clutched at her as the van zoomed down the street. Thick fingers bounced off her shoulder bag and skimmed her arm. The van cut her off and forced her directly into the path of a Metro bus just as it pulled away from the curb.
April gasped and lunged down hard on the pedals, her handlebar missing the bus by mere fractions of an inch as she whipped in front of the startled, gray-haired bus driver.
Spurts of adrenaline pumped through her body as she raced down the hill, leaving the bus and van behind in a splatter of mud thrown from her back wheel. In the tiny side-view mirror fixed to her helmet, she saw both bus and van drivers lift their arms at the same moment to shake their fists at her in perfect synchronization.
April sucked in a great gulp of air and let out a hoot of laughter. As though she were the one at fault. Few drivers ever extended any of the normal rules-of-the-road courtesies to bicycle messengers anyway, but what kind of sick mind would think it was funny to grab her? Was he trying to steal her shoulder bag or what?
She rotated her shoulders quickly to release tension. She didn’t have time to speculate about weirdoes. She had work to do.
April ripped open her Velcro arm pouch to glance at the slip of paper with the address of her current delivery scribbled on it. It had to be on this block. Dashing away the rain that dripped from her helmet, she scanned the street numbers.
There. The tall, dark-blue building that loomed just ahead.
April hopped her bike up over the curb, unclipped her Shimano shoes from the pedals while she was still moving, leaped off the leather seat and dropped the Cannondale where she stopped. Triumphantly, she raised her arms high above her head and did a victory dance right there on the sidewalk, ignoring the covert stares of the few pedestrians braving the foul weather. Inches from instant death, and she had made it--still gloriously alive!
A brief frown flitted across April’s face as the adrenaline dissipated and her thoughts returned to business. There was no nearby place to lock her bike and no time to search out a safe spot. She was going for a personal best. This was her forty-seventh delivery today. It was getting late in the afternoon, but she still had time to beat her all-time record of forty-nine.
Fifty deliveries! Her eyes lit up as she thought about the possibility. That would be the perfect cap to the day. She would be in the same league as the courier stars at XPress Messenger Systems.
And she could use the extra commissions. April stared down ruefully at her shredded kneepads. That last spill she had taken when she had unexpectedly met a motorcycle at the end of an ally had really done a number on them. She badly needed a new pair.
Resolutely, April snatched up her bike. She’d take it in with her. If she could just sneak past the security guard, she would be in and out of the building in a matter of minutes and on her way to delivery number forty-eight.
The door to the building opened automatically in front of her. Great! she thought. She didn’t have to wrestle with the door while holding on to her bike. More good luck--there were two security guards, but they were engrossed in answering the questions of a flock of Japanese businessmen clutching electronic foreign language translators. The guards were turned away from her just enough so she could whip past them through the lobby and on to a long bank of elevators.
I was born in Marshall, Missouri, and lived the first few years of my life with my mother and father and grandparents in a big, old farmhouse. It was mysterious and spooky with front stairs and back stairs, antiques and ghosts. I still have dreams about that house. It apparently penetrated deep into my psyche.
A few months before my sister, Barbara, was born, my mother, father and I moved a short way down the road from my grandparents’ house into a clapboarded log cabin with only three rooms. Baths were taken in tin tubs in the kitchen with water heated on the stove, though we did have an indoor toilet in a small, converted pantry. The smaller round tub had been soldered, so you had to be very careful how you sat in it to avoid a rude poke. When Barbara and I were old enough for clamp-on roller skates, we were allowed to practice in the kitchen, but you couldn’t go very far before you had to turn around.
My father was a farmer and probably would have preferred to have had sons, though I don’t ever remember him complaining about his two daughters. I don’t think he had very high expectations for us, but that proved to be a benefit, as he and our mother always seemed surprised and delighted at everything my sister and I achieved.
Perhaps the deep love and support I felt all through childhood and on into my adult years formed the interest I have in writing about families and relationships. Whether I was living in a coffee shack in Hawaii where the rent was paid by picking up macadamia nuts or in an attic in the Bronx, my family was always there for me. I wish my father had lived long enough to see my first book published. He would have been amazed.
Big Bad Wolfe - Linda Wallace does a beautiful job drawing the reader into the hopes, dreams, and even the fears of the characters. I am intrigued by the llamas. The grace and gentleness of the animals is impressive. Ms. Wallace incorporates them into the story in a way that enhances the reader's enjoyment as well as educating about an animal we don't normally hear a lot about. -- 4.5 Blue Ribbons, Reviewer: Chrissy Dionne, Romance Junkies, firstname.lastname@example.org
"LINDA WALLACE has written a wonderfully romantic story in "Big Bad Wolfe." Her descriptions of places and things are wonderfully right on. The way she describes her characters make them leap off the pages at you. This book was very hard to put down. Linda has made a keeper of this book for me. I will be re-reading this one again and again. The love between the characters is so wonderful, even with all of the crises they face to admit to that love." -- 5 Angels, Recommended Read, leyna, Fallen Angel Reviews
"BIG BAD WOLFE is a book that is impossible to put down. It is a very emotional story that will keep you turning page after page. You are silently cheering for both Corey and Brandon to open up to each other. You want them to admit their feelings. This book builds to an explosive ending with emotions that will bring tears to your eyes." -- 5 Coffee Cups, Sherry, Coffee Time Romance
BIG BAD WOLFE -- "Ms. Wallace gives the reader a dynamite story filled with passion that touches the heart in so many angles. So grab a chair with a box of tissues, perhaps two boxes, and cuddle up for a remarkable read that will leave a lasting impression. Ms. Wallace does more than touch the heart; she reaches deeper into the soul and that is why she gets five lighthouses. This book is worth the read." -- 5 Beacons, Linda, Lighthouse Literary Reviews
"I really loved reading BIG BAD WOLFE; it was a very romantic book. Going through the pages it really took my heart away and I kept on wondering how the story would end. You experience all kinds of emotions while reading BIG BAD WOLFE; happiness, sadness, loneliness and what I experienced most of all; both Corey and Brandon are afraid to love. If you want to find out if they are able to overcome these problems, or if you just love a good written, romantic story, you really should read this book! I even felt a bit sad when it was finished; Linda Wallace really did a good job with this book!" -- 5 Stars, Sylvie, Euro Reviews
"SPECIAL DELIVERY was a book I truly enjoyed reading. It was funny, sweet, suspenseful and a lot of fun to read. Tyler and April were well matched, and the story just seemed to flow. If you are looking for a fun read with a lot of action, you will love SPECIAL DELIVERY by Linda Wallace." -- 4.5 Blue Ribbons, Dina Smith, Romance Junkies
"SPECIAL DELIVERY was very good reading! The story felt like I was watching a romantic suspense-filled movie on the big screen! A movie starring Tom Cruise or someone of his caliber! Linda Wallace's writing seemed effortless and each sentence flowed from one to another naturally and with ease." -- 4 Stars, H. Renay Anderson, Euro Reviews
Book Publisher: Wings ePress
No. of Pages: 226
Paper Weight (lb): 9.6
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