USA Today Bestselling Author
Jewel wakes up in the hospital, with no memory of what happened to her or no reason why she was found on the highway—dead. As reawakening goes, this one is brutal, but even more confusing is her instinctive grasping for a missing necklace around her neck. Had she been robbed, beaten, and dumped? If so, why? She has few friends and even fewer family members left to care, but, unlike his name, Hurricane walks into her hospital room and becomes a safe harbor for a world gone nuts.
Hurricane had been asked by Stefan to help Jewel and to take possession of a necklace, if it was deemed dangerous. Hurricane has seen a lot of dangerous and crazy things in his life, but Jewel’s current state is something new to him.
As the dangerous storm heightens around them, Hurricane’s task—keeping Jewel safe, as she tries to regain her memories and her sanity—slips even further away …
Stefan calls Hurricane in to help with this latest problem. A pearl necklace that Jewel called him about because she was concerned. Now she’s in the hospital, and as Hurricane arrives, she’s just awakened.
The circumstances of just how Jewel ended up in the hospital is disconcerting and with amnesia she isn’t much help to the police or Hurricane.
As he gets her home, she starts remembering bits and pieces. For example, her home really isn’t her home, just a house. She spent most of her time in her studio, which she doesn’t remember the address of, but can somehow give directions once on the road.
This is a favorite scene.
“According to what you’ve told me, you have no idea how you came to be at the hospital. You have no idea what happened to put you in this condition, and yet you remember something about a necklace, that you use love in your work and you definitely remember Stefan.”
She gave a half laugh at that. “I asked how it’s possible that I could remember Stefan, but the real question is how would it even be possible to forget him.”
“Have you ever met him?”
“In real life, or whatever that means, no.”
Again Hurricane just studied her face carefully.
“And, if you’re looking for truth in that statement, that’s all I can give you,” she murmured. “I don’t believe I’ve ever seen him face-to-face.”
“Good enough,” Hurricane replied cheerfully.
She looked at him, puzzled. “Have you?”
“Yeah, a couple times. He is pretty hard to forget.”
“Even for those of us who haven’t met him,” she murmured. She groaned, as she slowly lifted her arms over her head and rotated her neck and shoulders, letting her arms stretch as high as they would go and then back down again.
“Sore?” he asked.
“The bruises,” she noted, “they’re sore.”
He nodded, his gaze going to her bare arms. “They are fascinating, as bruises go.”
“I don’t know that I like that term.” She followed the direction of his gaze. She held out her arms, twisting them slightly to get a better look at them. “I mean, they’re sore, but, if I’ve been beaten to within an inch of my life, which is what these bruises appear to indicate, they aren’t that sore.”
“Maybe that’s a good thing at the moment,” he suggested. “The mind has a tendency to only remember what it can cope with.”
She stared at him and then nodded. “Meaning, it’s a self-defense self-defense mechanism, and maybe what happened was so horrific that I’m not ready to face it.”
“That would be one guess, yes.”
She looked around the kitchen. “Where to from here?”
“You tell me,” he replied, a note of humor in his voice. “I brought you to what I thought was your home.”
“It’s apparently the house, but it’s not home, and that’s a pretty important distinction at this point.”
“So, you tell me,” he prodded. “What I’ve come to understand about you in this short time is that you really care about and were obsessed with your work.” She pondered that and nodded. “So, in that case, why don’t we go to where your work is.”
“Oh, well, that’s a completely different story.” Puzzled, he watched as she got up, pulled a travel mug out of a different cupboard, filled it with coffee, and then walked to the front door. When he didn’t move, she called back, “Are you coming?”
“Sure. Why not?” With that and a disgusted sigh, he got up and headed toward her. “You want to tell me where we’re going?”
“I’m not sure,” she began. “But, if you drive, I’ll give you directions.”
His eyebrows shot up at that, but he didn’t say another word, hopped into the vehicle outside, and asked, “Are you okay to leave the house unlocked?”
She nodded. “Nothing for anybody to find.”
“Glad to hear that,” he noted. “So now we need to know where everything you care about really is.”
“I think it’s in my head,” she shared. “But that doesn’t explain where the rest of it is.”
He turned on the engine and waited for her to speak. She hesitated a moment, and he watched as she appeared to almost meditate, looking for some answer. Then she stated, “Drive up to the next corner and take a left.”
Following that vague statement was hard. The rest of the instructions came a little clearer each and every time, though sometimes right on top of each other. By the time he pulled up in front of what looked like a warehouse, he was staring at her, then back at the warehouse. “Does this make sense? You remember this place?”
“I’m not sure,” she murmured. “But it’s all we have to go on.” She hopped out, still sipping the coffee in her hand, and waited for him to come around. When he did so, she smiled and pointed. “The left one.”
“How is it that you’re getting here? What are you following for a trail?”
She hesitated and then just shrugged, and he knew that whatever came out of her mouth wouldn’t be the truth.
He immediately called out, “Stop.”
She froze, looked at him, and asked, “What?”
“I only want the truth. If you don’t have the truth to give me, or you’re not ready to give it to me, then don’t, but do not insult me with lies.”
She slowly closed her mouth and shrugged. “Fine,” she agreed. And, with that, she cut in front of him, her steps smart, clipped, and she was clearly irritated.
He grinned and followed. At least she hadn’t followed through with the lie. He wasn’t getting any information at all now, and maybe the lies would have told him something. However, for the moment, it looked like they had a truce. He just didn’t know what the fight had been about.
Dale Mayer. String of Tears (Kindle Locations 380-422). Valley Publishing Ltd..
With every turn of the page something new is added. Dr. Maddie is in this one, as is her husband Grant. Stefan is in almost constant contact, and we get a couple of glimpses of his wife as well.
Now something I noticed, not so much inconsistencies but rather incongruency in some parts of Jewel’s recollection. Things not quite right, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. That is until it all breaks wide open. I did however see Hurricane falling for her and Jewel falling for him, I just wasn’t sure how that was going to pan out.
Holy Moly what an ending, I truly didn’t see it coming!
These books never fail to surprise me, and I really can’t wait for the next one.
5 Contented Purrs for Dale!
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Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It’s a Dog’s Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series).
She honors the stories that come to her – and some of them are crazy and break all the rules and cross multiple genres!
To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series. All her books are available in print and ebook format.