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Sniffing Sand
Sarita Leone
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Building the perfect house on idyllic Chincoteague Island is a dream come true—or so Nina thinks. But when her marriage ends just as the finishing touches are put on her beachfront home, Nina’s pleasure turns to pain. To further complicate things, a body washes up just outside her back door. Not just any body, either. Facedown and seaweed-covered, the corpse is her ex’s new lover. Now that presents its own share of problems!

Maxx Tallman, Chincoteague’s Chief of Police, is smart, handsome and fast on the trail of the murderer. He just might be the man to help Nina free herself from the web of intrigue that ensnares her. Who knows? He might be the one to help fill her lonely nights, too.

But first they’ve got to catch a killer. Fast—before the tide pushes any more bodies onto the sand.

The handmade Italian tile cooled Nina’s toes as she walked across the room. Late afternoon sunlight gently kissed the ceramic squares, giving them an almost luminescent glow. The enormous room would have felt cavernous had it not been for the warming qualities of the hand-hewn local pine on the cathedral ceiling, stone fireplace with its deep, wide hearth and filled bookshelves spanning an entire wall.

Her fingers traced slow circles on the back of the soft, chocolate brown, leather sofa. It faced a pair of matching club chairs. Nestled below two hand-blown Murano chandeliers, delicate amethyst glass teardrops with characteristic bubbles and soft shading, the room was designer perfect. It looked like it had come directly off the pages of a decorating magazine.

Lifting her gaze, Nina contemplated the imported light fixtures. They were works of art. She had fallen in love with them the instant she’d seen them. There had never been any doubt in her mind when the house was under construction that they would look ideal in this space. She had been right about them, and about every other detail of the house. Still, she couldn’t help but remember the uproar the chandeliers—and almost everything else—had caused. Nina could still hear the arguments as loudly as if they were taking place now, instead of months earlier.

“Nina, we need to rethink your ideas.” Kevin’s bad temper made him look less like the husband she had married and more like a man she didn’t know. Unfortunately “Disgruntled Kevin,” as Nina had taken to silently calling him, surfaced more frequently as the house’s construction progressed. He scowled, the movement pulling his lips into a snarl. “You can’t keep insisting on all of these ridiculous upgrades. They’re unreasonable, can’t you see that? Why can’t we just build a basic house now? Then—maybe—we’ll add on later. These prices are killing me.” He ran his hand through his wind-rumpled sandy blonde hair.

The habit usually made Nina smile but today there was little her husband could do to amuse her. His sudden reticence to move forward with the house plan had her stumped. Why was he dragging his feet now, after they had discussed this, their dream home, for years? How could he balk at the commitments they’d made to each other and their future? She couldn’t understand it.

After searching for what felt like forever they had found the perfect building site. The island, only seven miles long and one and a half mile wide, was Nina’s favorite spot on earth. Building a home here was the fulfillment of one of her life’s ambitions. She had visions of raising children here, in the warm sunshine, surrounded by the ocean and the bay, on the soft sandy earth. It was all she wanted. All she’d ever wanted.

Chincoteague. The name alone was enough to make Nina smile. The Gingo-Teague tribe, led in the 1600's by Chief Barabokees, had called this land their own, with the variation of their own tribal name. In English it meant “the beautiful land across the water.”

“We’ve been over this before. Time and again, really. All the building plans—we’ve discussed them. None of this is new. In fact, it’s exactly what we’ve been talking about. So why are you getting upset now?”

“Nina, Alex, and Maxx were all such good characters. I can’t choose one as being my favorite. Nina was calm and cool under pressure. Alex had a fun personality. Maxx knew how to get the job done but at the same time he could also be very romantic. Let me say I love Sarita Leone’s books. She would be what I would call a reader’s author. Mrs. Leone knows just how to write a good story and keep her fans coming back for more. You can tell Sarita loves what she does as it shows in her books and that’s what makes her special.” 5 Angels! Reviewed by: Cheryl


“Nina had nothing left but her dream house. Before the paint dried, her husband walked out on her and into the arms of his lover. With the help of her friends, Nina begins putting her life back together. Just as things are looking up, the body of the ex’s girlfriend washes ashore on the beach in front of Nina’s dream home. The hunky sheriff is hot on the case. I liked this book. It is a light romance/suspense. Sarita Leona is a talented author. Her characters are interesting, and the plot is well developed. Fans of romance will enjoy Sniffing Sand.”

4 Stars! Reviewed by Debra Gaynor for ReviewYourBook.com


“Sniffing Sand is a romantic suspense of the cozy mystery variety. It’s not a fast paced thriller but more like something Agatha Christie might have written and just as fascinating.” 4 Books! Reviewed By Orange Blossom, The Long And Short of It Reviews


“I really enjoyed this whodunit read. There were times in the latter part of the story where the confrontations between Nina and her soon-to-be ex, Kevin (what a twerp), had me literally on the edge of my seat. And while I thought I knew who the culprit would be in the end, I didn't (my guess really was too obvious and I should have picked up on that), which is always a big plus in any mystery or suspense book I read. Watching Nina try to bring herself back from despair over the breakup of her marriage with her best friend Alex ever at her side, seemed very real and believable, as did the relationship that develops between Nina and Maxx over the course of solving the mystery. Those two truly belonged together and I guess that if I can't have Maxx, then I'm happy to turn him over to someone that I approve of.
I wouldn't for a minute hesitate to read another Sarita Leone book, and I heartily recommend SNIFFING SAND to anyone who enjoys a good romantic mystery with one heck of a memorable hero.” -- Nancy Davis, Romance Reader At Heart

Fiction Books :: Mystery & Detective Books :: General Books

ISBN: 1603132114
ISBN(13-digit): 9781603132114
Copyright: 2009
Book Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
Binding: Perfect
No. of Pages: 294
Paper Weight (lb): 12.4

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