Title: Forever Keep Your Secret
Author: Elizabeth John
Genre: Romantic Suspense
A fatal car accident threatens to expose Rose Becker’s secret. Four years earlier, she promised her dying mother that she would keep her unplanned pregnancy and her son’s adoption a secret, even from her sisters. When her son’s adoptive parents perish in the car crash, Rose agonizes over her child’s future and yearns to get involved in his life. Fear consumes her when she learns he might be in danger.
Mark Winters believes the hit and run collision that caused the deaths of his brother and sister-in-law was no mistake. The police investigation turns up no witnesses and no suspects. When his nephew’s biological mother shows up demanding answers, he is confused about her motives. Does she really want what’s best for the child she gave up?
As they spend time together, searching for the truth about the accident, Rose develops feelings for him, and Mark finds himself falling in love with the beautiful bridal shop owner. But someone wants them to stop asking questions and attempts to kill them. When they become targets, they must not only protect Rose’s son, but each other.
She couldn’t be seen now, not after she had been invisible for four years. Rose slunk down in the driver’s seat of her black Toyota Solara and tipped the baseball cap down her forehead. Waited.
Rose licked her lips. She wasn’t prepared for a stakeout, no water, no snacks. Didn’t even know how to prepare for one. As usual, she didn’t think things through. Her vigil should have lasted only a few minutes, but she had already been watching the house in her car for two hours with no sign of him. She pressed her chapped lips together.
No. Leaving the cul-de-sac was not an option. She had to make sure he was okay. Was he crying somewhere in that pristine, five-bedroom red-brick house with the sparkling chandelier hanging in the front entry window? If so, who was comforting him?
What stranger hugged her child tight?
A middle-aged woman in leggings and a T-shirt walked a German shepherd past Rose’s car on the passenger side. The woman stared into the car as she passed on the sidewalk. Rose stared back. Fabulous. Just what she needed. A nosy neighbor to call the cops and report a suspicious person hanging about the street.
Maybe that would be a good thing. At least she’d get some answers instead of staring at an empty house. But then there’d be questions and, under the terms of the contract, Rose must refrain from contact. That was the deal.
The woman nodded and continued walking her dog. Rose swallowed down her concern about getting caught. People would say she had no business here. But she did. He would always be her business.
As she rummaged through her large hobo bag, searching for a mint, cough drop, anything to moisten her dry, scratchy throat, a black SUV skidded into the driveway of the house where her boy lived. A man dressed in jeans and a light blue T-shirt folded out and stared at the house.
He reached into his back pocket and raced along the paved walkway highlighted with perfectly cut shrubbery. He played with the brass locks on the ornate wood door and let himself in.
Rose had never seen him before. She didn’t think he lived there, but she wouldn’t really know now, would she? Tears started to form from years of regret. There was so much she didn’t know. Maybe he did live with them. She sucked in a deep breath. Should she dare peek in a window? Should she risk getting caught?
She reached for the car handle and rested her hand there until she made the decision to exit the anonymity of her car. As she pushed open the latch, the man stormed out of the house and ran down the driveway. Rose nearly slammed the door on her leg. She tried to make herself small again, unseen, but she couldn’t tear her eyes away from the sandy-haired man as he ripped open the mailbox. He ran his hands through his longer locks, started to pace, then headed toward the backyard through a privacy gate.
Rose’s heart pounded as she waited. She couldn’t see what he was doing, but he was obviously looking for something. He came out front again and studied each window, touched the glass of one. What the? He flew down the driveway again and stopped when he spotted her car. Oh, crap. She grasped her phone near her face and pretended to be talking, hoping he would think she had turned off the main road to make a call.
He jogged across the grass to the house next door and rang the bell. No answer. He returned to his car and reached for something. When he slammed the door shut, he grasped a large black camera in his hand. Rose’s already sweaty palms grew slicker as she grasped the steering wheel.
Although Rose had cracked open the windows, the interior of her car was warming up. The coolness from the early spring morning had disappeared, and she was beginning to perspire. Oh fab, here comes Shepherd Lady. She must live on this cul-de-sac and was heading back. Of course, she stopped at the house to talk to Sandy Hair.
He had the camera hanging around his neck from a strap and he flailed his arms as he pointed to the house. They spoke for a few minutes. He leaned slightly forward, placing his hands on his hips. The woman said something and he suddenly turned and stared at her car. Oh, crap, crap, crap. The next thing Rose knew, he aimed his camera at her and shot. He took her picture! Why? What did that woman say?
Well, she was about to find out because he made a beeline straight for her and motioned for her to roll down the window. She gulped. She was caught. Now what?
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Forever Keep Your Secret is the second book in The Becker Sisters Bridal Series. If you like small coastal towns, weddings, and family secrets with a dash of murder and mayhem, you’ll love this series!
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Elizabeth John creates tender romances with a touch of intrigue. She writes at sunrise before her busy day as an elementary school teacher. Admittedly, she’s a TV and movie junkie and has noble intentions to practice yoga daily. In her spare time, she can be found walking her two rescue dogs, researching her family’s ancestry, gardening, or relaxing at the beach with her nose in a good book. She is a member of New Jersey Romance Writers, Romance Writers of America, Liberty States Fiction Writers, and Sisters in Crime.
Elizabeth loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website: www.elizabethjohn.com
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