Title: SEEING CLEARLY
Author: Judythe Morgan
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Evie Parker is forty-seven, a widow raising her grandson after her only child and his wife die in a suspicious car accident. Dawson McKey is thirty-four, a divorced, overly cautious ex-cop, who manages her shipping company. Revenge drives him since his twin sons were killed by a cartel’s bomb.
A compelling attraction develops. But drugs show up in a company shipment at the same time mysterious emails threaten Evie’s grandson. Then the nanny she hired against Dawson's advice disappears with her grandson. Dawson suspects cartel involvement in the kidnapping. Their search for the toddler tests their trust, even as it binds their hearts.
Darkness swirled in Evelyn Parker’s head. Dawson McKey’s voice drifted like a soft light through the blackness. She heard her name, the drone of whispered words, and other sounds she couldn’t identify. It was like trying to thread a needle, blindfolded.
She opened her eyes and reality came crashing through her haze. Hospital. Accident. David and Mandy dead.
She pushed upward from the hard, cold medical center floor. “No.”
“Lie still, Mrs. Parker.” A doctor lightly touched her wrist, checking his watch. “You fainted.”
Fainted? She snatched her hand from the doctor’s grip. She never fainted. Not even three years ago when her husband died in her arms. “I’m fine. Where’s my grandson?”
Tiny bumps pebbled across her neck. Did she already know that answer? Is that why she fainted?
The way-too-young-looking doctor pointed to a room next to the busy ER waiting area. “Why don’t we go in there and talk? I’ll check that bump.”
His voice sounded soft and sympathetic. She searched his face for any sign of hope against the truth she feared. Her legs wobbled.
Dawson, her friend and Parker Industry’s Director of Security, eased his arm behind her back. “Steady,” he whispered, tucking her into his side.
She leaned into the solace of his chest for a nanosecond then straightened her shoulders and followed the doctor to a closet-like room with an ancient metal desk and two chrome-armed chairs that had seen better days.
Evie sank into the nearest one. The doctor gently rubbed the back of her head. She flinched.
“Everything looks fine. However, if you develop a headache, become nauseous or dizzy, you need to come back immediately. You don’t want to mess with a head injury.”
“I will. Now, what about my grandson? Is Michael okay?”
Dawson’s large, warm hand covered hers. She wanted to nestle into his heat, lean against his strong body, to hide until all of this went away. She stiffened her spine instead.
Dr. Morrison studied her face. “Your grandson’s doing okay. He appears to have only cuts and bruises. His seatbelt harness snapped when the SUV was hit, throwing him from the vehicle as it flipped. He escaped the fire, and the car seat protected him. We’ve done X-rays and MRIs to be sure. Results aren’t back yet.”
The room tilted. A fiery image flashed in her mind’s eye sending a cold chill down her spine. She swallowed. She couldn’t allow her brain to go there, wouldn’t go there. Doing well sounded a little iffy, but—thank you, Lord—not as final as dead.
She pressed her fist to her lips, pushed back the dizziness, and managed to connect with the doctor’s gaze. “Can I see him?”
The doctor opened the door. Clatter and chatter from the ER waiting area filled the room. “Follow me.”
Evie planted her flip-flops on the floor with a thud. The clip-clop of the rubber soles boomed in rhythm with her pounding heart as she followed.
Dawson slowed his pace to Evie’s stride. He drew deep on years of training to keep his body language relaxed while his senses were on high alert after what the investigating officer told him. A witness reported another car clipped David’s SUV, causing it to careen off the road.
By accident? Not likely with the gambling debt David Parker had. More likely a deliberate act executed by someone he owed or the cartel. He’d bet the cartel.
Either way, it was one more question to add to his ever-growing list of unanswered questions about Evie’s son.
Parker had risked everything and lost. Traded his love of gambling for life and family. You don’t mess around with the cartel. How well Dawson knew.
He’d promised Evie’s dying husband he’d take care of her. If she knew that, she’d send him away. She thought she could take care of herself. He should explain his suspicions about her son. Pointless, she’d never believe David hadn’t reformed like he promised. Not without proof. Proof Dawson didn’t have. Yet.
Dr. Morrison motioned them inside. Their hands still clasped, Dawson guided her to Michael’s crib side.
His vision blurred. A fire exploded in his gut. In that instant, he made another vow. Whoever had done this, he’d find them and make them pay.
Same as he’d vowed to find the cartel leader Marco Torres and make him pay for what he’d done to his boys.
From the waiting room of Mercy Regional Medical Center, the man watched Parker’s madre and McKey approach, trailing behind the doctor down the corridor. Anger stiffened his back and burned his eyes. Would he ever be rid of McKey? He whirled in the opposite direction and veered to the exit.
His plan to do away with McKey had bombed. Now another big screwup. This one threatened their supply chain. Prickles of apprehension twined with his anger. Not good. Not good at all. Mistakes in a business with no margins for error made him look weak. Made the cartel bosses wonder why he was here. His papá was not going to be happy.
And when papá was not happy, it was never a good thing.
He stomped toward his accomplice waiting beneath a crape myrtle. The man gathered Angel’s shirt in his fist and hauled him through the shrub. “Idiota! You’ve killed our only way to get the shipments into the country. What are we going to do now?”
“It wasn’t my fault, boss.”
“It never is.” Knuckles cracked against cheekbone. “One of these days, I just might have to kill you.”
He jerked the Mercedes door open. He had to think. Another shipment was on its way. He had to come up with a way to keep the setup going and keep McKey away.
Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08768ZJQX
What’s the first binge-worthy book you read and why was it a must-read?
The Sound of Glass by Karen White is most definitely a binge-worthy read. Her characterizations made the characters come alive. The way she weaves hints to solve the mystery throughout kept me turning the pages.
What makes your featured book a binge-worthy read?
In these trying times of hard reality, it’s nice to read stories with relatable characters in scary places and find a happy ending. Seeing Clearly offers both. Readers say they loved the tension between Evie and Dawson and the fact that she’s older by twelve years.
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Judythe Morgan was an Army brat then Army wife. She’s traveled a lot. Her start-and-then-move-again careers include teacher, antiques dealer, former mayor's wife, sometimes-church pianist, and award-winning author. Her life’s rarely been dull.
Those varied experiences fill her stories with authentic characters, exciting settings, and compelling plots. Her writing’s won multiple writing contests. Check https://judythemorgan.com for details.
Besides fiction, she writes a weekly blog at www.judythewriter.com