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Storms of the Heart
Cheryl Norman
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Stephanie Bryant may be a genius but she's naïve when it comes to men. She runs away on her wedding day after learning the groom is a con man and murderer, even though a hurricane is making landfall in the north Florida hammock. When her car plunges into a canal, she's rescued by a surly-and sexy-fisherman who makes it clear she isn't welcome in Heart Swamp.

Cynical and reclusive, David Redmon isn't happy about the fugitive who invades his hideaway, even if she is pretty and smart. He has his own reasons for staying out of sight. But in the hurricane's aftermath, a more dangerous storm is brewing. Stephanie's life is at stake and David vows to keep her safe. As his attraction to her grows, he starts to wonder who will keep her safe from him?

Stephanie peered in horror through the windshield.

Had the wind actually moved her car? Her foot quivered atop the brake pedal, still pressing firmly against it. Another gust slammed her subcompact into the wood siding on the narrow bridge. Pushing the gearshift into reverse, she stomped the accelerator. The car slid over the glassy mud, plowed into the embankment beside the canal, then jolted to a stop.

Stephanie hardly dared to breathe. Dazed, she forced herself to focus, to concentrate on anything but the hypnotic sweep of the windshield wipers. The next gust of wind sent the Geo Metro to the water’s edge.

The hammering in her chest drove the air from her lungs. She pulled at the steering wheel to no avail. It seemed to freewheel in her hands. The car groaned, then slid sideways into the canal. Cold, dark water began to fill the interior. Saturating the carpet and upholstery, the water drenched her canvas shoes then covered her ankles, creeping toward her knees.

The irony of her plight struck her as she fumbled with the seat belt. In spite of her escape from Perry Conner, he was going to win.

She was going to die.

“No! Not like this!” Stephanie Bryant, the child prodigy who had once been proclaimed a genius, should know what to do. “Think,” she ordered herself. The inside pressure of the car would be equalized once it filled with water. How long would that take? The black water inched closer to her waist. Freeing herself from the safety belt, she grasped the door handle.

Her heart jumped along with her body as something smashed against the driver’s door window. Suddenly, the glass shattered and two large muscular arms reached inside and grabbed her. Squirming past the steering wheel, she clutched the slippery sleeves of the rescuer’s rain slicker as he pulled her through the small opening. His large hands almost encircling her waist, he lifted her to the embankment.

Standing clear of the car, she glanced back. The driver’s door window, the one she had scrambled through seconds earlier, sucked in dark water, then sank from view. She gulped grateful breaths of briny air. Brushing tiny shards of glass from her saturated clothes, she turned to thank the guardian angel who had saved her. But the words died in her throat.

“What the hell are you doing out here?” he yelled.

She flinched at the sharpness in his tone. The man’s slicker covered most of his body. A growth of reddish whiskers on his face appeared below the vinyl hood, highlighting his angry features.

Squinting, she tried to look in his eyes, hoping for a trace of kindness. The guy had saved her from drowning, but didn’t sound glad about it.

He pointed toward the road with the tire iron he had used to shatter her window. “Well? You’re trespassing. Why are you here?”

“I-I got lost.” Stephanie hated the timidness in her croaky voice. “I--have an emergency.”

“We all do, girl.” Taking her arm, he pulled her up the steep bank. “Don’t you know there’s a hurricane coming?”

“Of course.” She lifted her chin and straightened, hoping to maintain dignity in spite of her soggy pants and mud-soaked shoes.

The man crouched over her, peering into her face. “You hurt anywhere?”

“No. I’m not injured.” Not physically.

“Good.” He gripped her arm, pulling her toward the bridge.

Drenched and shaking, Stephanie raised her other arm against her forehead to shield her face from flying palm fronds. Forced to run to keep pace with him, she squinted to look ahead and recognized the dilapidated bridge they were crossing, the rickety one she had braked for earlier.

“Where are we going?” Her words were lost in the roaring wind.

At the other end of the bridge they stopped beside an old pickup truck. The man opened the door, quickly pushed a beagle--he called him “Spike”--into the middle of the seat, then yelled for her to get inside. He threw the crowbar into the truck bed, then jerked open his door.

Since starting her career with Wings ePress in 2001, Cheryl Norman has enjoyed the status of best-selling author, when her debut mystery Full Moon Honeymoon was the top selling launch title for Wings, and award-winning author, with her 2003 EPPIE win for her contemporary romance, Last Resort. She also self-published a healthy-eating cookbook, Hasty Tasty Meals, which is now available from her website. Some of her recipes also appear in Winging It in the Kitchen, also available at www.wingsepress.com .

Cheryl and her husband divide their time between their pine tree farm in northern Florida and their motorhome, in which they travel throughout the United States. In addition to her writing, Cheryl enjoys running, hiking, cooking, and sewing. She serves as a newsletter editor for her local RWA® chapter, volunteers for Good Sams of Florida, and is active in her local Women’s Club. At the end of a busy day, she loves to relax with a good book to read.

Visit her website at www.cherylnorman.com for grammar tips, recipes, and the latest on her writing career, which includes another mystery in her Full Moon series.

REVIEWS/QUOTES: …a book of the heart, one that stays with you.” --Jessica Holmes, Romance At Its Best

"Full Moon Honeymoon... a great read--wacky characters, fun set-up, but with a serious side, too--and a clever plot. Fantastic job, lady!!” --Joanne Pence / Avon author of To Catch A Cook, An Angie Amalfi mystery, and Bell, Cook, and Candle (01/'02)

Praise for author Cheryl Norman’s previous novels: STORMS OF THE HEART -- ...totally engrossing tale of murder and suspense.” --Faith V. Smith, Romantic Times Magazine

FULL MOON HONEYMOON“…a wonderful few hours of suspenseful reading pleasure…enjoy every word of this suspenseful, entertaining tale.” --Faith V. Smith, Romantic Times Magazine

"The humor of Full Moon Honeymoon, romance, mouth-watering pastries, blended family relationships, and a mystery full of surprise twists add up to an enjoyable read that is anything but lulling. This is a don't miss read by a talented author." ~Fran Keighley, author, Burnout and its award-winning sequel, Trick or Treat, Wings.

“Cheryl Norman has penned another great mystery novel in Full Moon Lullaby. It's filled with wonderful characters that keep you turning the pages and wanting to read more. ” --- Judy Leigh Peters, author, A Father’s Hope, Wings 10/03.

Fiction Books :: Romance Books :: Suspense Books

ISBN: 1590889568
ISBN(13-digit): 9781590889565
Copyright: 2008
Book Publisher: Wings ePress
Binding: Perfect
No. of Pages: 240
Paper Weight (lb): 10.2

If you like this book, you may also enjoy:

Angel on the Mountain              Skull Music              Now And Forever             
Sharleen Johnson Billie A. Williams Lori Libby

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