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Out of the Past (MF)

Siren-BookStrand, Inc.

Heat Rating: SENSUAL
Word Count: 72,005
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ePub

[BookStrand Romantic Suspense]

Amateur genealogist Melissa Wendell inadvertently uncovers a secret from the past, putting her in the crosshairs of an assassin’s rifle.

Detective Mike Rawlins is assigned to the case and hunts the assassin while trying to uncover secrets long buried in her family's past. Her sister seems to sense the evil that lies ahead, and Melissa believes in her sister’s psychic ability, but Mike Rawlins is skeptical of any such claim.

After a second attempt on her life, Melissa leaves Seattle for Boston where she discovers that her grandmother is reaching out from the grave. An unknown assailant follows her there, and soon, she is once again fighting for her life.

For her survival and the love they’ve found together, can Mike and Melissa unravel her long-buried family secrets before a killer finds her again?

A BookStrand Mainstream Romance

Professional Reviews

5 STARS: "What happens when sisters Jaylene and Melissa uncover a mystery? OUT OF THE PAST begins in 1975 with an assassin killing an unidentified man at a cabin in the Adirondack Mountains. Fast forward thirty-five years to 2010 when the sisters are nearly run down by a shiny black Cadillac in a Seattle mall parking lot. When Detective Mike Rawlins responds to the accident site, he finds out that in addition to the near miss, Melissa has been receiving phone calls telling her to "stop snooping or die". But why? Melissa is the head of HR for a Seattle Corporation and her only hobby is tracing her family tree. Jaylene started having premonitions as a small child. As she's aged, her psychic gift has developed. Jaylene is convinced that there is a link between the near miss in the parking lot and the phone calls, which points to Melissa being in danger. A day later, Mike Rawlins finds he is in agreement with Jaylene when the clues all point to a professional hit man. Getting up during the night, Jaylene spots the dark shape of a man running across the backyard of Melissa's secluded house. Police officers arrive on the scene to handle the call and right behind them is Detective Rawlins. Jaylene informs Mike that the prowler has been watching them and the house for several days. The detective urges the sisters to leave the area until the perpetrator is caught. When Melissa and Mike speak with a psychiatrist in Boston looking for either her or Jaylene, she decides that further investigation is warranted. One of his patients keeps seeing the sisters grandmother, Ida Wendel in her dreams desperately trying to pass along a message. Wanting to research the Boston branch of their family and curious about the psychiatrist's patient's visions, the sisters decide that a trip to Boston is in order. When they meet with the psychiatrist's patient, she relays a message from their grandmother. The message is that "one of the sisters is going to die". After another attempt on her life, Melissa turns the tables on the perpetrator and he falls to his death in the hotel atrium in Boston. That's all it took for Mike Rawlins to book a flight in order to rescue Melissa. Will another hit man be given the contract? Why are the sisters being targeted? Will the attraction between Mike and Melissa catch fire? Terri Lynn has created a page turning thriller in OUT OF THE PAST. The characters were well developed and I never figured out who was behind the attempts on Melissa. Definitely put this novel on your To Read Shelf this summer!" -- Tiffy, The Romance Reviews

4 CUPS: "Melissa Wendell works in Human Resources for a communications company. Her favorite hobby is working on her family’s genealogy. She is single and happy in her work and her life. Jaylene Wendell is Melissa’s sister. She is also a well known western romance author, and psychic. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mike Rawlins is a police detective in Seattle, the city that Melissa lives in. He gets assigned to a case that involves Melissa and Jaylene. It starts with threatening phone calls that Melissa chalks up to a kid playing pranks. She doesn’t think too much of them since there is no reason, at least not one she can think of, for someone to want to hurt her. When Jaylene comes for a visit to Seattle a car nearly runs both the women down, and Jaylene’s psychic gift is screaming at her there is more to this than Melissa thinks. Shaken up the two women return to Melissa’s rather isolated house after talking to the police, and that night there is a second incident. This time, Jaylene, who often has trouble sleeping at night, sees a man running across her sister’s backyard. Convinced this is the man that tried to run them down earlier in the day, Jaylene drops a glass and it shatters on the kitchen floor. This brings her sister running whom Jaylene then tells to call the police. A handsome detective Mike Rawlins arrives and is assigned to their case when it becomes apparent that Jaylene did indeed see someone in the backyard. The cops also find that this someone has been in Melissa’s backyard several different times. While Detective Rawlins is attracted to Melissa, he is not so sure that her sister is not some quack since she claims to have a “gift” and know things, though she seems nice enough. He warns the sisters not to go anywhere alone, or to any isolated locations. When the sisters decide to go to Boston for a short vacation so Jaylene can do some research for a future book, and Melissa can do some further genealogy research, he is less than enthused about the idea. However, at this point he can do little to stop them and warns them to be careful. Stranger things begin to happen, including someone claiming to be getting messages from their dead grandmother. In spite of everything, the two make the trip only to have danger follow them to Boston. Will Melissa and Mike have a chance at getting to know each other and falling in love? Or will a killer silence Melissa and Jaylene forever? I really enjoyed reading this book! This appears to be Ms. Lynn’s second book, and I for one plan on buying the other one now that I’ve read this one. The build up of suspense in this story kept me on the edge of my seat and turning pages as I read very late into the night. I simply could not put this book down until I knew the conclusion. It has everything, romance, ghosts, psychics, bad guys and a sexy hot cop. A girl cannot ask for much more from a romance, and this author in my opinion just hit all the right buttons, at least for this reader. If you enjoy romantic suspense with all of the elements listed above then you simply have to get your copy of Out of the Past today!" -- Regina, Coffee Time Romance and More

Excerpt

STORY EXCERPT

 

Melissa shook her head. “I don’t have any enemies.”

She turned to watch Officer Donovan speak to the witnesses. A few minutes later, a blue sedan pulled up, and a tall, handsome man dressed in a dark suit stepped out of it. He hurried toward the police officer. Melissa watched him as he spoke with the officer and wrote on a pad of paper and then turned his attention to the witnesses and the mall guard. She could see him nodding as he took notes. The witnesses dispersed as he walked to the police car and opened the door on her side. He stood well over six feet tall with a military bearing. He had blond, wavy hair and eyes the color of light jade. He leaned down, smiling at them, but his serious eyes appraised them.

“I’m Detective Mike Rawlins. I understand this isn’t the first trouble you’ve had. Come on over to my car. Let’s talk about it.”

Melissa looked up into his hypnotic green eyes and almost missed the detective’s hand as he reached to help her out of the car. Warmth raced up her arm as his hand touched hers. She thought she saw a startled look in his eyes. Hoping he hadn’t noticed her reaction to his touch, she followed him out of the car without a word. With a muscular build, he was more than good looking. He was perfect. She waited as he helped Jaylene.

They stood next to the unmarked police car as Detective Rawlins peppered Melissa with questions.

“According to the officer on scene, you didn’t recognize the car or the driver. Is that right?”

“Yes.”

The detective turned his attention to Jaylene. He glanced at his notes before looking up. “I understand you’re from Las Vegas.”

“That’s right.”

“And you believe the car was a late-model Cadillac and the driver was a man?”

“I don’t believe that,” Jaylene answered, her voice determined. “I know that.”

“Officer Donovan said you believe this wasn’t an accident?”

Jaylene pulled her ripped jacket closer around her. “He deliberately tried to hit Melissa.”

Melissa watched Jaylene as she clenched her teeth and stood ramrod straight, staring back at the detective.

Mike Rawlins stopped taking notes and watched her intently. “What makes you think this was deliberate? There are three witnesses, and they all think it was just a reckless driver.”

Jaylene’s voice dropped lower. “I just know, that’s all.”

“I see.”

Melissa heard the skepticism in the detective’s voice and saw Jaylene give him that icy look of hers, the one that could freeze someone in place. The detective didn’t seem to notice.

Mike Rawlins glanced at Melissa. “I understand you’ve gotten some weird phone calls at home. Can you tell me about them?”

“They’re really nothing.” Out of the corner of her eye, Melissa glimpsed Jaylene frown. “I think it was just some kid who had nothing better to do. The calls stopped about a week ago. Whoever it was probably decided to harass someone else.”

“Did the caller say anything?”

Melissa looked uneasily at Jaylene. “Yes. He said, ‘Stop snooping or die.’”

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