Here is the Prologue to, Love, Lies and Murder, the second novel in my Charlotte Ross mystery Series.
Love, Lies and Murder is the sequel to Romancing a Mystery
Charlotte Ross sees her world about to crumble when the man she loves announces his engagement to someone else.
Charlotte’s best friend, dubious globe-trotter and mystery author, Jane Marshall, arrives back in town only to stumble across the gruesome body of the town’ millionaire industrialist.
To ease her heartbreak, Charlotte joins forces with her friend to find the old man’s killer. In the process, the two self-appointed sleuths turn their small town upside down.
Charlotte is endearingly impractical as her impulsive choices lead her into and out of peril, with only the wry and often-misguided advice of the capricious Jane to guide her.
Eldridge Corners is rich with quirky, small town personalities who both aid and thwart the young women’s quest, as they discover that people are not always who they seem-and a single error in judgment can prove fatal.
Threading her petite fingers through his strong ones, Charlotte Ross couldn’t believe her good fortune. Here she was, on a plane taxiing to the runway. Everything was perfect: the wealth to which she’d become accustomed, the large house she’d soon call home, and the handsome man beside her.
She traced her thumb over the back of his hand, ruffling the down of hair that began at his wrist and worked its way up his finely sculpted arm. She lost herself in his brown eyes before they crinkled with laughter. Blushing, Charlotte knew she had been caught staring at her new husband. The man of her dreams had shared the perfect day when they had exchanged vows earlier. Now she yearned for their honeymoon. The Italian Riviera would be as amazing as her husband.
Life couldn’t get any better. She sighed in contentment. A loud rumble filled the air, and a sense of impending doom clenched her heart. The plane jolted. Charlotte gasped. “No,” she murmured. “No.” A second rumble wrenched her from the seat. Her hold on her husband’s hand slipped–
Charlotte jerked awake. Her heart climbed to her throat as another rumble split the silence of the dark room. Thunder from a summer storm had turned her beautiful dream into a nightmare.
Lying still, Charlotte waited until her heartbeat slowed before she opened her eyes. She turned over in bed and glanced at the man beside her. His muscular form was sprawled across the bedding in peaceful bliss. An occasional flash of lightning flickered through the room and caressed his handsome features, long eyelashes casting shadows on his cheekbones. Flashes of light played in the shades of his chestnut hair.
Charlotte stretched lazily beside him, her gaze followed the contours of his slumbering form. The night before had been… magical. It was as though he knew what a woman – what she – wanted and needed, and he selflessly gave in to all her desires. Could there ever be another man as sensitive or as passionate? The blinking light on the nightstand tore her gaze from her lover’s body.
She gently nudged the man with her elbow. “You’d better get up. It’s nearly dawn.”
“Five minutes, sweetheart,” he mumbled, his voice as rich and smooth as honey, before he rolled over and slipped his arm around her waist.
It would be easy to snuggle up to his warm body and go back to sleep, but Charlotte bit down the impulse and nudged him again. “You’d better get up now or you’ll be late. You have to go home and change for work.”
He cuddled closer as his lips touched her ear. “I don’t want to go to work,” he whispered, “I’d rather stay here in bed with you.”
“It’s very tempting, and I’d love for you to stay,” she teased, “But…”
“Please, Charlotte, just a few more minutes.”
She pressed a finger to his soft lips. “If you don’t leave now, you won’t have enough time. Don’t forget you still have to pack for your business trip this afternoon.”
“Why do you always have to be so practical?” he moaned.
“Because it’s part of my job as your administrative assistant.” Now it was her turn to tempt him. “But if you hurry and come to work early, I’ll bring something special and we can enjoy a leisurely breakfast,” she purred as her fingers played across his chest. “In your private office.”
“It’s a date,” he whispered, kissing her shoulder before he climbed out of bed.
As he picked up his clothes and began to dress, Charlotte stared at the muscles on his sex-foot-two, athletic physique. He gazed back at her and his lips curved into a smile that revealed a hint of a dimple in his left cheek, and the most beautiful, straight, white teeth she’d ever seen.
After he slipped on his shoes, he bent down, his eyes darkening in passion, and placed a kiss on her lips. It seared through her body and he shifted slightly, deepening the kiss until she clung to the collar of his shirt and ached for him to join her in bed.
Their lips parted on his chuckle and he winked at her before heading out the door. Charlotte moved to the side of the bed where John Trent, her boss and the man in her dreams, had spent the night. She pressed the side of her face into his still warm pillow and inhaled the intoxicating, musky scent of him. Slowly letting her breath out, she glanced at the bedside table where a crystal vase sat, filled to overflowing with the red roses he’d given her the previous night at dinner – one of his many thoughtful and romantic gestures. Rolling over in bed, she sighed, “He loves me.”
Love, Lies and Murder – Amazon – http://tinyurl.com/9jjl5xc(print)