Loving Gia To Death by @RenaKoontz is a Mystery/Suspense pick #romanticsuspense #giveaway
Loving Gia To Death
Blake Matthews is caught in a deadly Catch-22 predicament. In order to save his daughter, he must prove his wife is a monster. He’ll divorce her and move out, but that leaves five-year-old Gia alone in the house with the very person he suspects is hurting her. But proving his ex-wife is deliberately harming Gia is next to impossible. Few police agencies are familiar with Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. It doesn't help that his ex points an accusatory finger at him.
Nurse Noreen Jensen is suspicious of both parents and afraid for Gia after she treats the child for a broken arm. Too many unanswered questions overshadow that so-called accident and she undertakes her own investigation into Gia’s numerous hospital emergencies. The more questions she asks, the more intrigued she is by Blake, who grudgingly provides the answers. It’s obvious his devotion to his daughter is steadfast but why did he leave her?
Blake is a firefighter, dedicated to serving the public, just like Noreen. Can he convince her he's one of the good guys?
And together, can they stop her mother from loving Gia to death?
The ambulance screeched to a halt in front of Blake Matthews’ driveway, automatically attracting a crowd of onlookers who spilled out onto their front porches. Joe looked around while he yanked the emergency equipment from the rear ambulance compartment. Why were so many people at home in the middle of the day?
Lynne Matthews burst out of her front door screaming for them to hurry. He braced himself for another irate interaction with the woman. They’d had them before. Just looking at her nauseated him. She splayed her hands against the sides of her face.
“What the hell took you so long?” Her right arm extended toward the house, her finger pointing inside. “My baby’s in there choking to death. Can’t you move any faster?”
Then she straightened and surveyed the street, assessing which neighbors watched and appeared concerned about her emergency. He rolled his eyes when she tugged on the deep V-neck midriff shirt she wore, purposefully offering an ample display of her assets. She was proud of her gifts. Considering her flare for drama, the woman should’ve been an actress. Especially since she now spoke as if she were center stage.
“I’ve never seen a child so sick before. It was all I could do to keep her hydrated. And she just kept clutching to me for dear life.” She made this announcement to no one in particular. “If something happens to my darling baby, I don’t think I could deal with it.”
“Oh, brother,” he whispered under his breath as they bypassed her and rushed into the house.
After eight years on the job, Blake knew the staff in the emergency room by their first names and he nodded a silent greeting to each one he passed. Likely they’d been informed already of the incoming transport. He snagged a cup of coffee from the EMT hospitality room and paced at the emergency entrance, barely sipping the brew.
In minutes, the ambulance arrived. He ran to the rear and waited for Rob and Joe to open the doors.
Gia sat upright on the cot, an oxygen hose clipped to her nose. Nevertheless, her face erupted into a wide smile. “Daddy!”
Perched beside her, his ex-wife scowled. He stepped out of the way while Rob and Joe rolled the cot out of the ambulance, his anxiety allayed by Gia’s pink cheeks and cheerful greeting. They whisked her toward the emergency doors and he turned to follow when Lynne called out to him.
“Really, Blake. Would you at least help me out of this box?”
Her hand stretched toward him in anticipation of his assistance. He fleetingly entertained the urge to leave it hanging there and walk away but his mother raised him better. He respected women and treated them accordingly. Even though his mother wasn’t a fan of The Captain, Lynne’s self-created position in their life, his mom would expect him to be courteous. He reached for Lynne’s hand, eyeing the red high heels and mini skirt. There was a time when an outfit like that would motivate him to crawl into the ambulance with her and lock the doors behind him. But not anymore.
Seductively, she placed both hands on his shoulders and shoved her breasts in his face when she jumped out of the ambulance. Before she could speak, he released himself from her grip and ran double-time toward the emergency doors.
Rob and Joe stood at the counter completing intake paperwork. Joe directed him to the cubicle where they’d rolled Gia’s gurney. The minute he threw back the curtain and reached her bed, Gia jumped to her feet and launched herself into his arms,
causing the oxygen line to snap out of her nose and an intravenous pole to roll forward when the line tugged.
“Daddy!” Her arms wrapped around his neck, a feeling he long ago decided he’d never tire of. Blake hugged her and then, with his hands on her arms, eased her backward. “Hey, peanut. What’s up? Are you sick?”
Behind him, Lynne’s high-pitched response pierced the air and immediately, Gia’s smile disappeared. “Of course she’s sick. Why else would I summon an ambulance? She’s been puking all over the house. It’s been a helluva mess for me to clean up, I’ll tell you that. By myself no less.”
He ignored her and gazed into his little girl’s eyes. “Honey, tell me where it hurts.”
Wide-eyed, Gia plopped to the bed, crossing her legs Indian style. Her gaze dropped to a spot on the blanket. “I’m all better now, Daddy. It’s okay.”
Blake cupped his daughter’s chin, the skin beneath his hand as soft as flannel. Was it?
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I'm a lifelong journalist and an award-winning author. My writing career has taken me into the sports arena, politics, feature writing, editorial writing, and my favorite, cops and courts. I've chased fire trucks and police cars, covered all sorts of crimes, including murders, and reported criminal, civil, high profile, and ordinary trials.
And that's what I write about. In my books, cops are the good guys and the good guys always win.
My books are based on real incidents. Plus, I'm married to a retired FBI agent whose stellar career fuels my ideas and whose technical advice is invaluable. He also takes credit for the steamy scenes!
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