About the Book
Date Published: 12/11/2013
Child psychologist Rachel Kelly isn't quite sure how to handle the situation with her newest client -- a six-year-old boy who says he can talk to angels and one is coming to help Rachel. She already has her hands full of trouble this Christmas season, and things quickly take a turn for the worse when a stalker crashes Rachel's Christmas party and takes her young clients hostage.
Police negotiator, Lt. Jake Dillon, walked away from his fiancée Rachel when she suddenly balked at having kids. His kids. Yet when the hostage crisis erupts, Rachel calls Jake first. Now he has a choice to make -- stand back and wait for the cavalry to save Rachel or step in and try to save her himself. Time is running out, and Jake may be their only chance for rescue.
Unless Rachel's little angel-spying client is telling the truth…
Jake whipped his BMW into the Azalea Center parking lot and switched off his headlights in one smooth motion. Clutch depressed and guided by the light from the few streetlamps, he coasted to a stop next to Wally's jeep though his emotions had tempted him to come screeching around the corner like the cavalry. Common sense and the need for stealth had won out. He couldn't risk driving the trespasser underground only to have him surface later when Jake had left.
Clicking off his interior lights, he pulled his Sig Sauer from the glove compartment, then climbed out and pushed his car door in until the latch quietly held. He waited several seconds to let his eyes and ears take in the entire scene. All the landscaping crowded around the Center provided a multitude of places for a trespasser to hide.
He touched the hood of Wally's jeep. Still warm, even in the cold night air. A brief stab of guilt hit him for leaving his team so abruptly in the Beef n' Brew. Couldn't be helped.
His gaze scanned the closest landscape beds for some sign of Wally. A stiff north breeze whipped across the parking area and stirred up leaves and debris. Barely visible through the treetops, the almost-full moon blazed bright.
He made his way past the large perimeter oaks to the interior sidewalk where he began a circle of the building, checking sections of garden as he paced. All the offices on the west side of the building were unoccupied, and all windows were dark, a few with vestiges of their interiors visible from adjacent emergency lighting.
Rachel's office faced the back of the property just around the corner. At this time of night, her office interior would be entirely visible with her lights on. Jake knew because he'd snuck over here enough times in the last few months to observe her office from the garden. He was pitiful and every few weeks, had needed a glimpse of her to get by. A wry smile twitched at the edges of his mouth. He could've been called in as a trespasser on any one of those nights should anyone have spotted him and cared enough to make the call.
Careful to remain off the sidewalk, he silently eased his way toward the back garden. If the trespasser was a stalker, then the perp probably knew the Center had no security guard and no security system -- a fact that had always bothered Jake.
He reached the back corner of the property and crossed the sidewalk to inspect the landscape areas adjacent to the building. Two quick steps and he shifted from one landscape bed to another. He crouched as he left the larger Camellias and moved through the shorter azaleas and Indian hawthorn.
Clearing the corner, his position was now even with the back of the building. He paused to reconnoiter and stared at the faint pool of light cast by an overhead office -- Rachel's office.
As his gaze rose to the second-floor office, his eyes searched for the all-too-familiar figure. Without thinking, he straightened to his full height, clearly visible to anyone glancing out the window. Yet no one searched for a figure in the garden. All eyes in the office were busy.
Rachel stood with Olivia and her children on one side of the conference room. On the other side of the room, a man in a worn red jacket and baseball cap faced them -- pointing a gun.
This was Jake's horrible nightmare.
About the Author
Petie earned a zoology degree from the University of Central Florida and enjoys her “day” job as an aquatic biologist at "The Most Magical Place on Earth." Petie is a member of Romance Writers of America, and she shares homes in Tennessee and Florida with her horticulturist husband, a spoiled-rotten English Springer spaniel, and a noisy Nanday conure named Sassy who made a cameo appearance in Angel to the Rescue.
Petie has three other books released with Desert Breeze Publishing: Everglades, Catch of the Day, and No Going Back, recently named a 2014 EPIC eBook Award Finalist for the category of Contemporary Romance.