- N. N. Light
A Smuggler’s Last Song by @EllisSummers5 is an Indie Reads event pick #romanticsuspense #indiereads
Title: A Smuggler’s Last Song
Author: Ellis Summers
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Music is Emma Grant's world. Smuggling, blackmail, and murder are her family's. Emma has a deep love of music and has reached international acclaim for her sound engineering. She has the opportunity of a lifetime knocking on her door. A chance to inherit the 100-year-old recording studio owned by her family. But nothing good has ever reached her without a catch.
Her grandfather Richard offers her a deal that will change her life forever. After she runs the studio for half a decade, she will have to join Richard’s ‘private business for several months. Richard is a man who has the city at his fingertips. His uncanny aura as a flourishing tycoon has everyone’s attention. But what remains a mystery is the criminal activities he conceals under the disguise of being a reputable businessman.
Emma quickly agrees to Richard's offer, but after five years, times change, and so do her priorities. At 29, Emma unlocks her potential as an audio engineer, rewarded with all the success in the world. With her life dedicated to her music passion, she has little interest in joining Richard’s secret criminal empire - even for several months. Given her dedication to work and juggling her relationship with a handsome rock star, Emma ignores her Grandfather's demands.
Emma’s impulsive and naïve decision pushes her into a world with no happy endings. Her refusal to give in pushes Richard to deploy his plan, threatening her loved ones. With no means to escape, Emma gives in, joining the infamous syndicate run by her grandfather. An organization that is all about jewel smuggling, murder, and crimes.
What follows is a suspenseful tale that will take you through the darkness of blackmailing and kidnapping. With unexpected twists and turns, Ellis Summer brilliantly weaves a story immersing the reader in Emma Grant's world, and her struggle to free herself from her grandfather's chains. A Smuggler’s Last Song is a fast-paced, compelling thriller. With murder, mystery, family, and betrayal, this book has everything you can ask for. Plus a little fun and romance.
Sitting on a velvet seat in the auditorium, I cringed when my grandfather slid into the empty one next to mine and gripped my arm. My boyfriend Cameron sat on my left and didn't look our way. He was focused on the rock band playing on the stage. When the song ended and the musicians took their bows, my grandfather released his commanding grip, and Cameron slid his fingers from mine. One man would never hurt me. The other, my grandfather, wouldn't throw me a life ring if I were drowning.
We applauded along with the rest of the audience attending the low-key award ceremony.
Cam turned to me, pushed thick strands of blond hair from his face, and lowered his voice while nodding toward my grandfather. "Who's that bloke sitting next to you?"
"Well, Cam," I said in a loud voice, "It appears my grandfather Richard has decided to join us."
Grandfather introduced himself, and Cam shook hands vigorously with him. Cam was like so many others — clearly in awe to be in the fabled music producer's presence. Richard's eloquence and polish never disappointed his fans. With a fake smile, I pretended my grandfather was the coolest guy alive.
The lights in the auditorium came up, signaling the start of an intermission. We remained seated, and I nodded to several people from the recording industry strolling by our front row seats. I dared not look at Richard.
He renewed his death grip on my wrist, digging into my skin for a lasting reminder of the upcoming conversation. The pleasantries were over, and as his current object of affection, I wanted nothing more than to escape.
Cam’s attention switched to me. “Are you excited about our trip tomorrow?”
"Why won't you tell me where we're going?" I asked, happy to have a distraction.
"It's a surprise." He kissed my cheek. “I’ve got something important to ask.”
His words didn't register at first, but when they did, I found it hard to breathe. We'd been together for three years. Did he want to move our relationship to the next level?
He turned to Richard. "Honor to meet you." He pressed a kiss to my forehead and rose. “My band's up next.”
“Sure. See you after.” Cam took off and prickles tingled my arms. I wanted to join him, not be left alone with Richard.
My grandfather cleared his throat. “It’s been a while. How have you been, Emma?”
I didn't move a muscle. My breathing and heartbeat were racing.
"I see you cut your hair. It makes you look older." He smiled when I turned. "I guess we're all getting older."
He hadn't aged well since he left San Francisco five years ago. The lighting highlighted his graying hair and more wrinkles creased his brow. And since he always did things in his best interest, I feared his motives for showing up at this ceremony. I clutched the seat's armrest.
“Let's skip the niceties, Richard. You didn’t travel from wherever you've been just to pick up this award, did you?”
He chuckled. “A lifetime achievement award is quite an honor.”
If people only knew the true Richard Grant, they would never consider him for this award.
I snorted. "You've never cared about accolades. So, why now?”
“I need your assistance with a project." He lowered his voice. "In Paris.”
Paris? The Grant family's home away from home.
Assistance? Code for 'you don't have a choice.'
A project? Something illegal, no doubt.
I swallowed hard, hoping to negotiate my way out of this. “When?”
My eyebrows shot up. “Can I have a little notice to tidy things up? I’ve got a studio session planned.”
I didn't care if it sounded like I was begging. I was.
“You have a manager. Use him. I need you.” He shrugged, as if not having a care in the world. “When I retired, you pleaded with me not to tear down the house. Let me remind you I handed over that property and recording studio business to you with a stipulation.”
Would Richard threaten to tear down a historic landmark against the city's laws protecting historical homes? Sure. He was capable of anything. I couldn't call his bluff and watch him destroy the one thing I treasured in life.
The lights lowered, and thunderous clapping, along with hoots and hollers began. I snapped out of my nightmare. Cam's group took their places on the stage.
Richard kept a tight grip on my wrist, and I couldn't focus on the music. My fingers were going numb while I stared at the band without actually seeing them. The two minutes, forty-two seconds song flew by in an instant.
"Here's to working together again," Richard said over the audience's applause.
My breathing picked up, and my pulse raced. My perfect world was spinning out of control. I had to get out of his clutches. Whatever his plan was, I'd wager every guitar string I owned it wouldn't be good for my reputation or health.
It couldn't hurt to try to use our prior partnership to appeal to his emotional side. If only I could reach that part of him.
I gazed into his steel-gray eyes — ones that matched mine — and placed my free hand over his. In my softest voice, I asked, "I agreed to help you in your business, but does it have to be now? Cam's got a trip planned after his final show tomorrow."
Okay. Nice start.
Richard shook his head and narrowed his eyes.
I'd have to give it one more try before kissing my life goodbye. "Can't you give me a little break, Grandfather?"
He released my wrist. Discussion closed.
Cameron's boots clunked across the floor while he returned to his seat. As we congratulated him on his performance, I hoped he didn't notice my trembling limbs and my shaking voice.
"Don't disappoint me," Richard whispered in my ear. He leaned close, and his breath in my hair sent a shiver down my spine.
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
What makes your featured book a must-read?
Non-stop twists and turns, interesting characters and deep plotting.
Enter to win a $35 Amazon gift card:
Open Internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon Canada account to win. Runs December 13 – December 21, 2022. Winner will be drawn on December 22, 2022.
I’m an author specializing in novels about fun characters with unusual lives going through dramatic situations. My stories have high stakes, twists and turns, along with a touch of romance and humor. I live along the California coast, enjoying daily walks on the beach and discovering the gardens hidden away in town.
Social Media Links: