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Everyone has a secret. One they hide. Sometimes, one they run from—fast and hard, without stopping to consider the consequences of that mad dash for sanity.
Kelley Garrett? She’s got a secret. A big one. She’s hoping to shake its grip but even someplace as peaceful as Chincoteague Island may not be able to shelter her.
Then again, who knows? Maybe it will. That’s a chance Kelley’s willing to gamble on—with her life.
Rain hammered against the roof like hundreds of tiny fists looking to gain entrance. The almost deafening sound made the pounding in her temples more intense. Shaking her head, she prayed for an end to the racket. How much more could she take? And how long before the scream held tight in her throat erupted, adding to the din?
Just when she thought she couldn’t stand another second of the noise threatening to drive her insane, it stopped. Just like that, a stunning instant of silence, so absolute and unexpected it stole her breath.
Then her world exploded.
* * * *
Waves met sand in crashing thunder as Kelley Garrett stood on the damp shore and stared out to sea. The afternoon, with its typical bleak November overcast, matched her mood. So, too, did the roar of the ocean as it pummeled the beach.
The fury of the scene helped make the turmoil inside her easier to deal with, if only in small measure. The ocean’s loudness made the screaming within her head and heart seem duller, more manageable. The painful ache would never be completely gone, but at least here, with the water frothing and the wind howling, it felt smaller. Manageable—almost.
Two years. It had been two years since Kelley had last set foot on Chincoteague Island, yet it felt like no time at all had passed since that stay. No time…and endless time. The beat of a heart…the gaping stretch of eternity. So much had changed, yet so many things remained the same. And in all of it, where was she, really? And her life? Where was that headed?
Who knew? More importantly, who cared?
“Too much.” She whispered the words. There was no one on the beach to hear her voice. Even if there had been, she doubted she would have cared what anyone thought of her talking to herself. Let them talk, question her sanity. God knows she’d wondered often enough whether or not she was losing her mind. No, she would have spoken aloud even had there been a crowd around her. Which, fortunately, there wasn’t. No crowd save a few seagulls who were hoping for a crust of bread, an unwanted pretzel. “Too damn much. How can one person be expected to handle it all? I don’t know if I can do it.” With every word that flashed through her mind her pulse quickened. Each thought ratcheted the anger that simmered constantly inside her up a degree.
With perfect timing, the gull nearest Kelley tilted its head. Staring at her expectantly, its beady black eyes were bright and inquisitive. Fleetingly she wished she had brought something to feed them. Now she felt even more inadequate, and that annoyed her, too. Who comes to the beach in the fall and forgets about feeding the birds?
“Sorry, friend. No dinner from me.” She shrugged, the sleeves of her cable knit sweater flopping down over her hands. “I can’t even take care of myself. Don’t expect me to take care of you. You’ll be pretty disappointed if you do. That’s a promise.”
Turning on her heel, Kelley strode down the beach, keeping close to the tide line and its cold, wet sand. Her toes dug into the hard-packed surface and she walked for at least a mile without looking up. When she did turn her gaze to the distant horizon, she saw a black sky. Ominous, with wide purple swatches in the deepening gloom.
Perfect. A storm tonight. I hope it’s a big one. One that’ll make me forget why I’m here—even if just for an hour or two. Let the lightning flash and the thunder boom. Let it wear me out with its intensity. Maybe then I’ll be able to get some sleep tonight, some hours of peace. Finally.
She walked a while longer, heedless of the way the wind began to blow hard against her body. Fighting to stay upright in the face of the approaching storm gave her something to concentrate on. It saved her from the company of her own misgivings, the ones which never quieted. The same thoughts that threatened to drive her closer to madness with each day that passed.
4 Stars! “SandSwept is a delightful suspense. Kelley is a character fraught with emotion. Owen seems mysterious at first, but I soon came to adore him. The plot is interesting and well developed. Fans of suspense will enjoy SandSwept.” --
Reviewed by Debra Gaynor for ReviewYourBook.com
4 Angels! “I have enjoyed reading every book I have picked up by Sarita Leone so far. While I did like this latest novel, I had a slow start getting into the story. The reason for this was because I was trying to remember if what transpired in Sniffing Sand: A Chincoteague Island Mystery had to do with Sandswept: A Chincoteague Island Mystery, or if this was just a stand-alone story. A part of this had to do with the fact that Kelley would flash back to memories of her and Brad. Other than experiencing confusion at the beginning of the story, Sandswept: A Chincoteague Island Mystery was a good book. Owen had a great sense of humor as well as being easy on the eyes. The banter between him and Kelley was pretty humorous. I can’t wait to read Mrs. Leone’s next book.” Reviewed by: Cheryl Fallen Angel Reviews
“It is rare these days to find an actual romance story with all the erotica out there but there is definitely romance in Sarita Leone’s Sandswept: A Chincoteague Island Mystery. Though I had a hard time pronouncing Chincoteague, this story was not hard to swallow. The characters were real. The story moved at a very realistic pace and it made me feel something. Kelley is a woman with a secret, one that it is well worth your time to read and find it out. And Owen *sigh*. If you want to escape the clutter of erotic stories that are out there now, and read a story that was written by a master of mystery and romance, get your hands on a copy of Ms. Leone’s Sanswept. You will not regret it. And Ms. Leone, I applaud you for writing a story so rich and so worthy to be curled up with on a lazy afternoon. Bravo.” 5 Moons! Reviewed by Blu Moon- Moon Over Water Reviews
Book Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
No. of Pages: 158
Paper Weight (lb): 6.8
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