Book 1 in the Back From the Edge Series
“If you need to be frightened, thrilled and exhilarated, this is the book for you.”
Set adrift by her memories, mired in guilt over her past, Dr. Robyn McGill’s only hope of uncovering the truth is to trust Officer Luke Carlisle, a man whose past where women are concerned is shrouded in treachery.
Their belief in each other is the only defense against the desperation that haunts them, the death that surrounds them, and the man whose sole purpose is to kill them.
Purchase it online at:
Read an Excerpt
The snap of gunfire cut the air. Robyn McGill leapt back, slamming her shoulder into the stern rail of the sailboat. Fear choked the breath from her lungs as she slid into the safety of the cockpit.
Her movements were slowed by a sense of disbelief as she edged along the roughened, fiberglass decking. With the light of the companionway guiding her, she crawled toward the safety of the cabin until her fingers bumped against cold metal. She gripped the rounded, deadly shape of a gun.
Panic pulsed through her, as if driven by a giant bellows, penetrating every part of her being. This couldn’t be happening to her. Not here. Not now.
She sensed a sudden movement near the bow of the boat.
“Nathan? Peter?” Robyn’s words joined the gray mist floating around her as she grabbed the boat’s wheel and pulled herself to her feet.
Her eyes scanned the forward deck. The only sound was the lap, lap, lap of the frigid Atlantic water against the hull, and the occasional slap of a sail in the fog-shrouded stillness. Silence, like a malevolent force, clung to everything.
She needed to talk to Nathan, to feel her fiancé’s arms around her, to be reassured she had only dreamed––
There! Another movement beyond the cabin door near the foresail. “Nathan,” she cried, her breath leaving a trail of mist in the cool night air.
Terror stiffened her shoulders, making her heart smash into her ribs.
Robyn slid down the companionway to the cabin below. Her gaze swept the space. Gleaming teak and the smooth, rounded surfaces of the cabin’s interior were awash in the muted light offered by brass sconces.
In the comfort of the luxurious quarters below deck, Robyn could almost believe that nothing was wrong. She walked toward the bow of the boat, checking each space as she went: the head, silent and immaculate; the mirrored hanging locker, displaying a full-length image of a woman whose eyes radiated fear as they peered back at her. And finally, the forward cabin with its rich, burgundy duvet and shimmering brass lamps.
A silver framed photo of her brother, Peter, holding a prized racing trophy was displayed in a stationary frame attached to the table. His insulated storm jacket lay on the bed next to his wallet and keys. Everything was just as it should be. Robyn sobbed in relief.
She knew where the men in her life were and what they were doing: playing cards in the cabin at the stern of the boat. She raced back, through the main cabin, and flung open the door to the aft suite. “You guys had me scared to death!”
Her hands clutched the door. The graphic violence of the room yanked the air from her lungs. Pictures dangled crookedly from the walls. The locker door clung to the wall by a single hinge. The mattress of the queen-sized bed lay disemboweled, bleeding white foam through huge tears in the quilted fabric.
“Oh, My God!” Robyn sobbed as she covered her mouth to block a scream, her fingers cold and sticky against her lips.
Slowly, she lifted her hands from her face. Half-dried blood covered her palms and traced bizarre patterns up the length of her quivering fingers.
A bloodcurdling scream tore from her lips.
The ringing of a phone filled the air, wrenching her awake and away from the painful nightmare. Force of habit had Robyn clutching the phone before it stopped ringing. “Yes.”
“It’s the Emergency Room calling. There’s been a six-car pileup, and we need all the help we can get.”
Robyn groped in the darkness for the bedside lamp and turned it on, flooding the room with light. “I’ll be right there,” she muttered while a ghostlike dream faded into the night.
Dropping the phone back into its cradle, she slumped against the pillows. Try as she might, she couldn’t bring the dream back from its hiding place. All that remained was an overwhelming sense of guilt that she was somehow responsible for what happened. A guilt that years of therapy could not erase.
What had she done that was so awful as to cause this recurring nightmare? It had to have some basis in reality. She’d awakened the same way for the past two nights, to the same nightmare that had plagued her for three years.
Was it only a disturbing nightmare? Born of her imagination and all her unanswered questions? A terrible dream of no real importance, with no basis in reality?
Robyn hoped so, but didn’t know anymore.
She threw back the bedclothes and scuffed down the hall to the bathroom. Not wanting to wake her ten-year-old nephew, Jason, who slept soundly in his room, Robyn eased the door closed and turned on the light.
Her eyes ached as light flooded over her. Squinting into the mirror, she rubbed a damp facecloth over her heated skin. Worry lines marred her expression, making the anxiety in her eyes stand out against her pallid skin.
Once again she was gripped by an unsettling sense of foreboding. While she waited for the confusing feelings to fade away as they always did, she shoved her tear-matted hair from her forehead and wished with all her heart that the nightmare would just go away. And stay away.
Her fingers trembled against her pale lips. Her throat ached, her head pounded in rhythm with her heart. More than anything in the world, Robyn prayed she’d feel safe again.
Maybe it was too late.
Maybe it had always been too late….