Title: Covet thy Neighbor
Author: Denise Carbo
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Single mom of twin boys, Olivia Banner, has her hands full juggling life’s demands. She doesn’t have time for her mysterious new neighbor or all the questions his presence conjures up, even if he is a handsome devil.
Toss in a complicated relationship with her ex-husband, meddlesome family members, and going back to school to provide a stable financial future for her and her boys, and Olivia turns to her gal pals for guidance.
Sometimes playing it safe is the right choice, and other times leaping into the unknown can lead to all the dreams you never knew you had coming true.
“My neighbor is a serial killer.”
“Umm…is that fact or supposition?” Lucinda’s blonde eyebrows arch halfway up her forehead as she leans against the marble counter nibbling on a piece of muffin.
The aroma of freshly baked chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies wafts across the kitchen after Franny opens the ovens. She puts the trays of cookies on the rolling rack in front of the ovens and props her hands on her hips. “You didn’t go back there without me, did you? I told you I would go.”
I shake my head and lift myself onto the counter next to the sink. “No—well, not intentionally. I was sitting on my back deck this morning enjoying my second cup of coffee while contemplating my life and what the hell I want to do with it when I heard a crash next door. So, of course, I went over to ensure no one was dying or anything.”
“You went over there thinking you lived next door to a serial killer? Why didn’t you call the police?” Lucinda drops the rest of her muffin into the garbage and brushes the crumbs off her fingers. “Have you called the police?” She glances at Franny. “She’s not serious, is she?”
Franny holds up a finger to her sister. “Hold on, Luce. Olivia, what happened?”
“My neighbor was on his patio, lying on his back, just staring at the sky. There was a ladder on its side near him. To be honest, for a second, I thought he might be dead. Then he jumped up and yelled at me for trespassing. I was ready to give him hell right back, but when I noticed the large assortment of weapons littering his kitchen table, I left.”
Franny frowns and glances at her sister. “This guy moved in next door to Olivia and was rude when she welcomed him to the neighborhood. She did a search for him on the internet and came up with nothing. She has her twin boys to worry about, so she’s cautious. I told her I would go with her next time because there’s plenty of reasons the guy might be unfriendly, but obviously her instincts were right in the first place. There’s something fishy going on.”
“I know I’m paranoid, but being a mother makes me worry about all sorts of things. So, when someone new moves into the neighborhood or comes into their lives, I do a quick search online and not only the predator lists, but a general hunt to make sure there are no red flags. Luke Hollister has no online presence whatsoever. No social media, nothing. That’s weird, right? Now, coupled with his behavior and the weapon stash—I’m not crazy to worry, am I?”
Lucinda shakes her head. “Not at all, I can only imagine what you have to worry over as a parent. And, although there is nothing criminal about being rude or unfriendly, I admit the multitude of weapons is questionable.” She raises her hand. “However, he could simply be a collector. Perhaps we shouldn’t jump to conclusions just yet.”
“Spoken like the lawyer you are.” Franny smirks.
“A collector of weapons? I admit I didn’t think of that. My mind went straight to murderous intent.” I swing my feet and stare at the black and white squares of tile on the floor. All right, my paranoia for my kids’ safety might be getting out of control.
“I’m simply throwing out other options. My firm in Connecticut had a private investigator on retainer. Would you like me to call him and ask for a referral for someone here in New Hampshire? Or we could ask our father to check with his former firm and see if they recommend anyone in the area.”
“You think Granite Cove is big enough to have a private investigator?” Franny leans on the counter with folded arms. “I’d like to see Mother’s face when you ask Dad for the name of a private investigator though.”
“Thanks guys, but hiring an investigator isn’t exactly in my budget.” I cross my ankles and sigh. “I guess I’ll just have to keep a close eye out and make sure my two devils don’t go wandering out of our yard.”
“Well, don’t go back over there, no matter what you hear.”
I nod at Franny. “I have no intention of setting foot on his property again. Maybe it’s time I replaced the fence between our properties. There used to be a split rail fence, but it rotted in places so the former owner tore the whole thing out before listing it for sale. I could put in a tall solid fence with barbed wire at the top.”
“That would certainly send a message.” Franny grins.
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Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/2940163025411
Denise Carbo writes Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance, and Romantic Suspense. She is a voracious reader, loves to travel, is fascinated by the supernatural, and enjoys solving mysteries.
She lives in a small, picturesque New England town with her high school sweetheart and their three amazing sons.
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