USA Today Bestselling Author
She came to Lighthouse Cove
to put the past where it belonged
and in the process,
she found her future.
Trinity Hughes has spent a lifetime resenting her biological father. However, now that he’s dead, Trinity wants to set the record straight. Her father might have killed one man thirty-five years ago, but he paid his debt to society. She knows deep in her soul that he did not murder sixteen men and she’s going to prove it. All she needs is a little help from the last man who saw her father alive.
After ending a six-year relationship, Local police officer Emmett Kirby has given up on love and family, dedicating himself to a career that has been the cornerstone of his life. And he’s happy to do it. However, when a homeless stranger comes through town and is accused of murder, and then killed right in front of him, Emmett questions the investigation and what he uncovers he not only doesn’t like, but it puts Trinity in the center of a twisted plan that could make her the killer’s next victim.
This book opens with Emmett being at the front line of a curious takedown. As a police officer he was well aware of a Jeff Allen, wanted for the murder of six men. When he’s confronted by that man, he begins to question his guilt. Although he tries to get the man to turn himself in, he rejects the idea in favor of going out un a blaze of gunfire. He knows the situation shouldn’t have ended that way and his mother, the chief of police, agrees with him. He leaves a packet with Emmett to give to his daughter. Emmett goes through it and takes photos before the FBI gets to it. The contents convince him even more of the man’s innocence.
Trinity has only met her father once. That was when she was sixteen and discovered her father wasn’t dead, he was in prison. She’s carried a lot of resentment because of that lie told to her by her mother and stepfather, although she understands they meant to protect her. He had reached out to her when he was paroled but when she reached out to that location he was already gone, and she didn’t bother looking again.
She’s with her parents when she gets a call from Emmett about her father. He was going to come to her but she insists on traveling to Lighthouse Cove instead.
Emmett negotiates a room for Trinity at his ex-fiancé Melinda’s B&B just before she arrives. Trinity doesn’t want to wait for answers but decides she could use a glass of wine while Emmett recounts the scene with her father.
Melinda’s B&B is top of the line, and she provides a lovely evening snack spread for her guests. Once they’re settled with wine on the patio, Emmett begins.
This is one of my favorite scenes.
Trinity tried like hell not to squeeze the wine glass so hard that she broke it. She stared at Emmett, focusing on his kind, blue eyes. They were like big pools of water, welcoming her to go swimming in them. If she could, she’d dive in.
Emmett seemed like the kind of man who cast a safety net wherever he went.
Her phone buzzed in her back pocket. Kathy had been texting and calling all day, driving Trinity crazy. Sometimes, her friend could be overbearing. She’d deal with her later.
“I’m not sure where to begin.” Emmett took a sip of his wine.
Neither did Trinity, but words bubbled to her lips. “Did my father seek you out? Was it a chance meeting?” Her mind spun with a million questions, and she couldn’t compartmentalize a single thing. It was like she was sixteen all over again and had just found out that her birth father hadn’t died but that he was a murderer.
Her life had been turned upside down in a flash.
Two years of therapy and a lot of anger management classes to get her life back on track, but she’d somehow managed to accept that her parents had done what most would have if they’d been in the same boat.
“I believe he saw my police car in the parking lot of the diner and came inside. But I don’t know that for sure because he was nervous when he made eye contact with me.”
“What did he do next?” Trinity took a long, slow sip of her beverage. A few boats drifted by as they returned from the ocean. The sun settled behind the bridge, and the moon appeared in the evening sky. Her heart pounded in her chest. It had been years since she’d talked with anyone who had come into direct contact with her dad.
Guilt filled her soul. She shouldn’t have given up the search.
“He asked if I would give you a message and the envelope.” Emmett sat up, swinging his legs to the side. “Have the FBI or the state police contacted you about what I gave them?”
“There was a note for you inside. I have a copy of it, but it belongs to you. They should have reached out to you already. If nothing more than to follow up. Hang on a second.” He dug into his pocket and pulled out his cell. He tapped on the screen and hit the speaker function.
It rang three times before someone answered.
“This is Agent Robash.”
“This is Lieutenant Emmett Kirby with the Lighthouse Cove Police Department. I was wondering if you’d been able to reach Trinity Hughes yet.” He lifted his finger to his lips.
“Actually, we have,” Robash said. “The family has been notified. I’ll be making a statement in the morning.”
Trinity opened her mouth, but Emmett reached out and covered it with his hand.
“I’m sorry. You spoke to Trinity?”
“Lieutenant Kirby, we appreciate your due diligence in this, but I have other things that need my attention. Thank you.” The phone went dead.
“What the fuck?” Trinity jumped to her feet. Wine sloshed out of the glass and onto her white shirt, but she didn’t care. She set it on the small table and patted down her pants pockets, finding her phone. “Nothing. Not a single message.” She found the last text string with her parents and quickly typed a note to them, asking if they’d heard anything. “Why would that agent lie?”
“I don’t know, but I plan to find out.” He took her by the forearms. “Hey. I’m going to get to the bottom of this, don’t worry.”
“Is that federal agent still in town?”
“She works out of Fort Lauderdale, but that’s only an hour south of here. I’ll contact her in the morning. If she doesn’t respond, I’ll go over her head. If that doesn’t work, there are other ways to get information from the feds. Trust me.”
“Why should I?” Trinity asked.
“Because I’m here and I made a promise to your father before he was killed.”
“My father might have killed a man thirty-five years ago, but I know he didn’t murder sixteen men over the last two years. It doesn’t make any sense.”
“I concur,” Emmett said. “Please. Will you sit down.”
She sucked in a deep breath and let it out slowly. “You said you had a copy of the note. Can I see it?”
“Of course.” He took a folded piece of paper out of his pocket. “I printed this off my phone. I shouldn’t have done that. I’m usually a by-the-book kind of cop. I mean, my mother is the chief of police and would can my ass if I wasn’t because I’d make her look bad. But she knows I did this. So, here you go.”
“I don’t understand. What did you do that is so bad?”
“I took pictures of the file your dad gave to me to give to you that I had to turn over to the feds.”
Trinity laughed. “That was a mouthful.”
“I know. I said it.”
With a shaky hand, she took the piece of paper and held it in front of her face, focusing on the first word.
Jen Talty. Mine to Save (Kindle Locations 513-553). Lady Boss Press.
Trinity is furious that the FBI agent lied about contacting her and Emmett is even more determined to get to the truth.
There are many twists and turns in this book and the attraction between Trinity and Emmett grows throughout the investigation.
In spite of the serious nature of the plot there is laughter, tears and some sizzle as well.
5 Contented Purrs for Jenn!
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Welcome to my World! I’m a USA Today Bestseller of Romantic Suspense, Contemporary Romance, and Paranormal Romance.
I first started writing while carting my kids to one hockey rink after the other, averaging 170 games per year between 3 kids in 2 countries and 5 states. My first book, IN TWO WEEKS was originally published in 2007. In 2010 I helped form a publishing company (Cool Gus Publishing) with NY Times Bestselling Author Bob Mayer where I ran the technical side of the business through 2016.
I’m currently enjoying the next phase of my life…the empty NESTER! My husband and I spend our winters in Jupiter, Florida and our summers in Rochester, NY. We have three amazing children who have all gone off to carve out their places in the world, while I continue to craft stories that I hope will make you readers feel good and put a smile on your face.