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Thorne’s Thorne Series, Book One
By K.L. DOCTER
Some secrets are better left dead.
Rachel James’ ex-husband is released from prison determined to reclaim her and her little girl — the child is his key to controlling the James fortune. Frightened, Rachel flees to Denver with the child who hasn’t uttered a word since her daddy went to prison.
Contractor Patrick Thorne wants nothing to do with another of his parents’ charity cases. He failed his own wife so abysmally she took her own life as well as his unborn son’s. After two years, it’s time to concentrate on the bid he’s won and the saboteur trying to destroy his construction firm.
There is no room for trust in either of their hearts. But trust is all that will untangle the secrets that dominate their lives, free a little girl of her silent prison, and save them all from a serial killer who stands too close.
Thorne’s Thorne Series, Book One
By K.L. DOCTER
Patrick stalked across his parents’ lawn past the woman he’d promised to watch over, lying on the ground like a negligent child’s broken toy. He didn’t stop moving until he’d slammed Rachel’s attacker back into the painted wood siding of the house. “Hit her again, pal,” he gritted out, pressing his forearm down on the man’s windpipe, “and you won’t have any hands at all!”
The man clawed ineffectually at Patrick’s arm, his lips moved. All that came out was a gurgling noise.
“Wait! Stop!” Rachel said from behind them. “I-I fell!”
Patrick froze. That wasn’t the impression he got running out of his house on the heels of Suze’s interruption of his planning meeting with overwrought pleas to “save ‘Manda’s mommy from the bad man”. All he saw was Rachel sprawled on the ground, a strange man looming over her with a raised fist. In Patrick’s experience a man didn’t raise a hand unless he were a hair’s breath away from using it or already had, but he slowly backed off and released the stranger.
The man scuttled quickly around him to the middle of the yard, his hand rubbing his neck as he gasped for air. Blond, handsome in that cookie-cutter, preppy way many women couldn’t seem to resist, at first glance he didn’t look like a bad man. But Patrick had to give Suze credit for her ability to spot the mean look in his eyes. Pretty boy or not, this man was capable of violence.
“Preppy” stiffened. “How dare you come between me and my wife?”
As far as he knew his parents’ houseguest was, in fact, a divorcee. Yet Patrick would have ignored the querulous question anyway. He walked over and reached out a hand to assist Rachel to her feet…and nearly dropped her again.
When her fingers slid across his calloused palm, a ragged edge of awareness zipped through his bloodstream, awakening something inside him he’d buried long ago. Craving. White hot and mind-numbing desire. He couldn’t release Rachel fast enough. She swayed unsteadily, and her slender frame tumbled into his arms. The top of her head came to just below his chin and, damn it all to hell, she smelled like his mother’s Persian lilacs after a spring rain. Lush. Potent.
He gave himself a mental shake. He had no business wrapping his starved libido in the scent and feel of this woman! Lifting a pale honey curl away from her cheekbone, he worked to reestablish his distance. “You okay?” he asked, the words like gravel in his throat. His gut knotted as she simply gazed back at him with those liquid brown eyes so like the mute, blond cutie that had traipsed through his house and office on Suze’s heels these past few days.
“Let go of my wife.”
“Screw you.” It wasn’t often he threw his bulk in another man’s face, but for reasons he didn’t want to acknowledge, he was spoiling for a fight. No matter what he’d told himself earlier about Rachel being on her own, he couldn’t allow any woman to be threatened under his nose. He didn’t think she “fell” all by her lonesome either. All of his protective instincts primed, he tucked her under his left arm.
The ages-old display of masculine possession wasn’t lost on the stranger. His face turned the color of Mrs. Steinbecker’s new dining room walls, a sickening shade of puce. “Who do you think you are?”
Rachel’s Southern-laced voice punched through Patrick’s senses like a double shot of raw whiskey, but it was the words she uttered that robbed his speech. “Patrick’s my boyfriend, Greg.”
“Preppy” laughed, although he didn’t look the least bit amused. “You’re joking.”
Patrick didn’t question how she knew who he was, much less contradict her. Her declaration did the weirdest thing to his objectivity though. Rather than immediately discounting her claim as the blatant lie it was, he felt a Neanderthal urge to puff up his chest and carry his prize off to his cave. He hadn’t felt this possessive about a woman since…well, never.
Like they were the only things holding her up Rachel’s fingers fisted in the folds of his work shirt at the base of his spine, a trembling reminder the woman was terrified and likely to grasp at anything to throw between her and the ex. Even a fake boyfriend would do.
Rachel’s declaration gave him tacit permission to act as one. “You didn’t expect Rachel to remain alone for long, did you?” he challenged.
“Is that what she told you her name is? Rachel? You must be rolling in dough.” Her ex-husband curled a lip in a first class sneer. “I have to tell you, pal, Felicia’s quite the con artist. She may look like some kind of ingénue, but she’ll have you laid out to dry the second she gets her hands on your fat bank account.”
For all he knew, the woman was a con artist. Her fabrication about their imaginary relationship had tripped off her tongue easily. She’d certainly insinuated herself and her daughter into his parents’ good graces fast enough. However, he didn’t like the way “Preppy” looked at her so he stifled his reservations. For now. “Rachel can shave her head, call herself the Dali Lama, and spend every penny I have,” he said. “I have no problem sharing what I have with her and Amanda.”
The man didn’t say anything for several moments. Then, like he’d drawn four aces in a game of five-card stud, he smiled. “You may have somehow wormed your way into my frigid wife’s bed, but that’s about to end. You can’t have my daughter. She’s mine.” His gaze shifted to Patrick’s left. “And you’re a package deal, aren’t you, Felicia darlin’?”
Felicia darlin’, Rachel, whatever her name truly was separated from Patrick’s side. “Greg, please. Don’t do this.”
Amazon Bestselling Author Karen/K.L. Docter writes two different kinds of romance novels…Contemporary Romance w/a Karen Docter and Romantic Suspense w/a K.L. Docter.
Karen’s contemporaries are delightful, spicy romances. She loves writing about real men and women with dreams and goals that don’t allow for a relationship just so she can throw them in each other’s path.
Her romantic suspense novels are also filled with romance, although the dangers the hero and heroine face are intense, usually because a serial killer is bent on ending one or both of their lives before they can fall in love.
Karen/K.L.’s an award-winning author, a four-time Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® finalist, and won the coveted Kiss of Death Romance Writers Daphne du Maurier Award Category (Series) Romantic Mystery Unpublished division.
When she’s not saving her characters from death and destruction or helping them to fall in love, she loves camping and fishing with her family, reading, gardening & cooking. If she can do most of those things over a campfire, all the better! Website/Blog: www.karendocter.com
Titles Available from K.L. Docter:
KILLING SECRETS, Thorne’s Thorns Series, Book One
Titles Available from Karen Docter:
CATCH THAT SANTA
COP ON HER DOORSTEP, True Love In Uniform Series, Book One
Links to Karen’s website, blog, books, etc.
Join Bestselling Romantic Suspense Author K.L. Docter at #RomCon2015 when she, along with 60+ fabulous romance authors, host this annual READERS CONFERENCE. Get one-on-one with your favorite authors in Intimate Chats. Play games. Attend the book signing. Put on your favorite cowboy hat and join us for Western Cowboy Night, too. There will be lots of swag…and so much more! Enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win the Paperwhite and Saturday Admission.
Want a 1 in 7 chance to win a Kindle Fire 7 HD, too? All you have to do is sign up to sit at my Luncheon Table on Saturday, September 26th. Win your admission through the Rafflecopter below OR purchase a $99 ticket for the full day, or even better, join us for the entire weekend. I’d love to meet you! I’ll have goodies for everyone at my table and one of people who sits at my table will win the Kindle Fire 7 HD.
I’ll be signing Killing Secrets, as well as my Karen Docter novels, Satin Pleasures and Cop On Her Doorstep, at the autographing. If you already have the books, bring them with you so I can autograph them for you. If your book is digital, I’ll have trading cards to sign, too.
Can’t wait to meet you. Happy Reading!
#WIN Kindle Paperwhite & Saturday Admission to #RomCon2015 Reader Weekend in Denver, Colorado!!