This is his last chance to reclaim his life.
In Comfort Bay, Oregon, undercover operative Ezra Moore has ten days to unload a shipment of illegal weapons and take down the international crime syndicate he’s infiltrated. But even the best-laid crimes can go sideways, and Ezra’s about to find out how far.
Alexa Counsel’s quiet life in Comfort Bay is perfect, or so she’s convinced herself. Then she meets the local B & B’s new handyman and all bets are off. Still, there’s something about Ezra she’s not sure she can trust—even though she’s in too deep to turn back.
Playing cat and mouse with one of the world’s fiercest criminals, Alexa and Ezra are about to discover how dangerous and delicious starting a new life—and finding a new love—can be.
“This book’s romantic crux describes a spiritual cleansing of the battered and damaged goods that are Ezra Moore. I found BEYOND A SHADOW gritty, engaging, and substantive.” — Raithe, Amazon reviewer
“Intelligent, witty, deep, edgy, gritty, savvy, and intriguing are all applicable when talking about BEYOND A SHADOW.” — Laurie D, Amazon reviewer
“I moved here five years ago. From L.A.”
“With your husband.”
“He wanted to get out of the city and give the quiet life a try.”
“He did not find it to his liking.”
“He grew tired of it. After a while. Yes.” Grew tired of her. Of their marriage that had been comfortable but never passionate.
“But you did not.”
She had, but she’d stayed. She did not abandon friends or treat her commitments lightly. But yes. She missed the energy of the city, the excitement, the environment that stimulated in ways Comfort Bay could not.
It took her a moment to realize Ezra was no longer walking beside her. She stopped, turned, snagged back strands of hair blowing into her face, but said nothing, waited instead for him to voice whatever he had on his mind, this man who was so very intriguing, so very . . . alive.
He didn’t make her wait long. “I was wrong about you, Alexa Counsel. You don’t like it here at all.”
She shook her head emphatically to disabuse him of the notion that he knew anything about her. To disabuse herself of the notion that he was right. “I have some of the best friends here I’ve ever had in my life. I love my students. There are so many advantages to teaching in a small district. The teacher student ratio for one. Of course there’s the disadvantage of less funding, but the pros really do make up for the cons.”
“None of that proves my assessment wrong.”
This had to be the most bizarre conversation she’d ever had with a man she’d just met. “What are you so interested in how I feel about living here?”
He tilted his head to the side, and she noticed for the first time the jagged scar like a lightning bolt running from his temple to his chin. It was old and faded, a wound from a long time ago, and it started her wondering about where he’d come from, the life he’d lived, how old he was now.
“Because of what it tells me about you.” He smiled then, a slight movement of his mouth that revealed the deep groove of a dimple at odds with the intensity of the rest of his face.
She wasn’t buying whatever it was he was selling. No dangerously perceptive stranger was going to cause her to start doubting herself. And she was not, she told herself, was not the least bit intrigued by the dichotomy of his dimple and that lethal looking scar.
“You’re wrong,” she assured him, assured herself as well. “I do like it here. I’m sure you will, too. Oh, one word of warning. If you stick around for any length of time, don’t be surprised if you get the sense that you’re living under a microscope. Comfort Bay is a very . . . friendly town.”
This time when she started walking, he was quicker to catch up. He also moved closer to her side, their shoulders brushing, the breeze blowing the salty scent of the sea from his clothes into her path along with the clean smell of soap.
“That will not be a problem. I am an open book.” He lifted his duffel bag higher. “I have no secrets.”
She didn’t believe a word that he said. She smiled politely, ignoring the prickles of premonition crawling down her spine, prickles telling her that his secrets were ones it might kill her to know.