KAREN’S KILLER BOOK BENCH: Welcome to Karen’s Killer Book Bench where readers can discover talented new authors and take a peek inside their wonderful books. This is not an age-filtered site so all book peeks are PG-13 or better. Come back and visit often. Happy reading!
Angel Falls Series Book 4
BY TESS THOMPSON
She Made Him Want Things He Thought He Could Never Have
Andras Aguilar wants nothing more than to live a solitary life on his horse farm in northern New Mexico and forget his painful past. He’d shrugged off the small-town whispers and gossip about his involvement years ago in the murder of a young woman. That is until his chance encounter with a beautiful stranger. He desperately wants her to believe in him even if he can’t believe in himself.
They Warned Her That He Was A Dangerous Man
They told her Andras Aguilar was a murderer and to turn him away. Dr. Harper King is terrified of the sensual man asking her for help, but not because of his reputation or what the town believes but because of her own weakness to the passion she feels whenever he is near. When the killer strikes again and another woman is killed, Harper knows Andras is innocent, but will her love and faith be enough to save him?
Harper King moved her cart down the aisle of the only grocery store in Angel Falls, unsure of what to buy for her dinner tonight. She was tired of nuking frozen meals full of salt and preservatives, but her culinary skills were sadly lacking. While other women her age had learned to cook at their mother’s knee, she’d learned about the periodic table and algebraic equations. Her husband Neil had been the cook.
Her heart twisted in pain, and she fought back the tears as she thought about him and everything she had lost in her previous life. Resigned to another meal from a box, she quickly turned the corner and plowed into a man standing by the bread display. He bent down to pick up the loaf he had dropped, and when he stood up and looked at her, for several seconds, all she could do was stare.
He was the most enthralling man she’d ever seen. His mussed, jet-black curly hair fell just below his ears, and his dark, nearly black eyes seemed to look right through her. Although he was dressed casually in jeans and a denim shirt, the clothes somehow looked elegant on him. It was a silly thought, and she had no explanation for her reaction.
“I’m terribly sorry,” she said while trying not to sound like an idiot. “I wasn’t looking where I was going. Completely my fault.”
“No problem,” he said. His voice, a deep rumble, sent a ripple of awareness through her as he nodded and walked away.
She watched him until he was out of sight and jumped when she felt someone’s hand on her arm. She turned and saw a woman she recognized but couldn’t remember from where.
“What did he say to you?” the woman asked. “He didn’t touch you, did he, Dr. King?”
“No, I ran into him. He was polite.” She touched the collar of her blouse, a nervous gesture, and said, “Why, what’s the matter?”
“That’s Andras Aguilar. You want to stay far away from him. The face of an angel, but the soul of the devil,” she said in a hoarse whisper.
Harper thought the woman’s behavior was melodramatic and said, “He seemed perfectly normal to me.”
The woman leaned in closer, and Harper could smell cigarettes on her breath. Harper remembered having seen her at the clinic last week, but her name floated around in Harper’s subconscious mind.
“You know he murdered that woman a few years back. Oh, he managed to cover his tracks, but everybody knows it was him. Been in trouble his whole life. His poor mama. Such a wonderful lady to have such an evil son. You know—a bad seed.”
Harper had no idea what to say. The woman stepped back slightly and said, “I’m Georgia Nickels. I brought my daughter in to see you last week.”
“Certainly, I remember.” The child was a horrid five-year-old who screamed the entire time and tried to bite her. Because Harper was out to make a good impression as a newcomer to the town, she choked down the truth and told a lie, “Sweet little girl.”
Georgia stepped closer again and said, “You stay clear of him. If he comes to the clinic, best you turn him away. He had a brother who was a wonderful boy and Andras’s strongest supporter. One day they had a fight right here in front of this store, and then Rafael just up and disappeared.” Georgia crossed her arms and said, “I’ll bet he found out what Andras had done, and that got him killed.”
“Mrs. Nickels, I’m not comfortable gossiping about someone, and I would never turn him away if he needed medical attention.”
Georgia’s voice hardened. “I’m only trying to offer my advice. You’re a woman alone in town, and mark my words, he’s dangerous.”
Georgia suddenly gasped, and her face turned ashen as she stared over Harper’s shoulder. When Harper turned around, she looked into Andras Aguilar’s taunting black eyes, and she was sure he had overheard most of the conversation.
The poor man had heard all of the horrible accusations that woman had flung around. If even half of them were true, she was sure he’d be in prison, instead of buying bread at the local store.
Embarrassed for herself and for Georgia Nickels, Harper murmured another apology his way and pushed her cart in the opposite direction. She really needed to get out of this store. This time, she almost ran down a woman with a toddler.
The woman gave her a bright smile and said, “I see you ran into Mrs. Nickels. I promise not all the residents of Angel Falls are as … well … as opinionated.” She held out her hand and said, “I’m Maggie Zarek.”
“I know, I recognized you from your photo. I was on the town committee searching for a new doctor. Welcome, Doctor King.”
“Please call me Harper.” She glanced at the pretty little girl sitting in the shopping cart and said, “Well, hello, there.”
“This is Marie, my daughter. Now that we have a doctor in town again, I’ll bring her in for her well checkup. I hope you’ve settled in all right. I meant to get by the clinic to say hello, but this is a busy time of year for me, so it’s hard to get away.”
“I understand. Everyone has been very helpful.”
“Don’t listen to what Georgia said about Andras. I’m surprised to see him in town because he usually keeps to himself. He’s had a difficult life, and he’s a little different, but you don’t need to be afraid of him.”
Marie squealed, and Maggie leaned over and kissed the top of her head. “I’d better run. She’s probably getting hungry. My family has a lodge and campground a few miles outside of town. It’s called Cielo Verde, and we’re off the main road by the lake. Come by sometime if you’re not busy. I’d love the company.”
Harper forced a thank you out of her mouth as memories of another child flooded her mind while she watched Maggie and the delightful little girl move away. She left her basket in the middle of the aisle and walked quickly out of the store.
Tess Thompson is a pen name for two sisters, Charlene Tess and Judi Thompson, who combined their two last names into a pseudonym when they began writing novels as a team in 2002. Although they live over 1400 miles apart, they continue to write romantic suspense as Tess Thompson and romantic comedy as Annie Curtis.
Judi lives with her husband Roger in Texas. She is a retired supervisor for special education at a local school district and a novelist.
Charlene is a retired English and creative writing teacher and a novelist. She writes educational materials and eBooks for TeachersPayTeachers.com. She lives in Colorado, with her husband Jerry.
Links to Tess‘s website, blog, books, etc.
Boxed Set of books 1-4 of Series available here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08KPMB1FJ
Email contact: firstname.lastname@example.org