Title – Haunted Hearts
Author – Kimberly Dean
Genre – Romantic Suspense
Does a ghost from the past want the man of her future?
Callie Thompson is thrilled when she inherits a house in the small town of Shadow Valley. The house is old and creaky, but she’s not afraid of hard work. Unfortunately, no matter how many repairs she makes, the strange noises won’t go away. Items disappear. Lights flicker. Footsteps echo down the hallway. Her nerves are soon so frayed that she resorts to calling the one person in town she hasn’t been able to get along with, bullheaded police chief Carter Landry.
Carter doesn’t have time to investigate things that go bump in the night—although, with Callie, the idea is tempting. He’s busy working with the governor’s task force on a major case and dealing with a rash of petty Halloween crimes. He knows that Callie’s house isn’t haunted… no matter what the town legend says. Still, when her distress call comes in, he hits the ground running. He may not believe in ghosts, but someone is intentionally scaring the sassy blond. And he doesn’t like it.
As the couple gives in to their mutual attraction, the strange occurrences in the house subside. But could Carter’s presence be the reason? Callie fears that her sexy cop may be the one the ghost has wanted all along.
Callie started shivering all over again as she watched Carter cross her porch and disappear into her house. He didn’t believe her, but she knew what she’d seen and what she’d heard. Now that she’d figured out the secret that everyone had tried to hide from her, things were beginning to make more sense.
Her house was haunted.
That was why the repairmen hesitated to go inside—and why David flat-out refused. It was why her bedroom door kept locking, the lights flickered, and the television misbehaved. It also explained why the temperature could drop twenty degrees in under a second.
She wrapped her arms around her middle. She’d been living in that house with the undead for almost a month. The sounds… the squeaks and thumps. Why hadn’t she figured it out sooner?
Other people had. She’d been told about all the renters who had come and gone over the years. No wonder Adelaide had appeared and ordered her out of the house. She’d been the dense one. Nothing else had worked with her.
A nervous laugh escaped her. The ghost wanted her out of the house. She’d gotten the message loud and clear this time.
Her teeth began to clatter, and she turned the heat on high. What was taking Carter so long? She wanted him out of there now. He didn’t know what was in there. He refused to believe. She’d give him two more minutes and then she’d…
She’d what? Go inside herself?
Two minutes passed by, and her hand went to the door handle. She was just about to get out when she saw the light in the windows turn off. Carter stepped outside, and the breath she hadn’t realized she’d been holding rushed out. He closed the door behind him and crossed her lawn with a box tucked under one arm.
Cold air breezed into the cruiser when he opened the door and slid in behind the wheel. He grabbed some things out of the box before putting it in the back seat. When he handed her slippers and his old blanket, tears pricked at her eyes. She quickly put the slippers on her feet and huddled underneath the warm throw. “Thank you,” she said, her throat thick.
“I hope I grabbed the right stuff. I’m not too good with these kinds of things.”
She bit her lip. She supposed it should embarrass her that he’d gone through her personal items, but she was just happy she hadn’t had to do it herself.
She was quiet as he swung the car around and headed down Highland, away from her house. She felt better with every inch of distance he put between her and that place. “You should have told me,” she said quietly.
He made a turn toward Alice’s house before glancing at her. “That was the mistake that was made when other renters moved in. They’d hear about Adelaide before their boxes were even unpacked. Every little squeak and groan would set them off. You didn’t need that.”
“Ignorance wasn’t bliss. I heard the same squeaks and groans.”
“But you took them in the right light. It’s an old house. It’s supposed to squeak and groan.”
“But the sounds weren’t from the house. I have a ghost.”
He let out a sigh. “Callie.”
He was a skeptic; she got it—but was he calling her a liar? “I saw her. She chased me out of there.”
“I know that’s what you believe, but your mind can play tricks on you, especially in the dark.”
She stared at him, dumbfounded. His jaw was set, and he refused to look at her. It ticked her off. “I don’t know why I asked David to call you.”
He hit the brakes, and, reflexively, she reached for the dashboard. Gravel crunched under the cruiser’s tires as he pulled over to the side of the road and threw the engine into park.
She was stunned when he reached over, undid her seatbelt, and hauled her across the console.
“You damned well better call me when you need me.” His blue eyes glowed in the light of a nearby streetlamp, and her heart skipped a beat.
His hand fisted in her hair. She gave a gasp, but he sealed their mouths together in a kiss that silenced her. His mouth was hot and possessive, protective, and her reaction was like a solid kick in the gut.
“I don’t care if it’s Adelaide or a mouse or something as little as a hangnail,” he said as he came up for air. “You call.”
The hard knot of fear in the pit of her stomach finally loosened. A soft sound left her throat, and she turned into him. She was wound tight as a top, but she’d been afraid to turn loose. For all his gruffness, he was letting her. With relief, she rested her head against his shoulder. He ran a hand up and down her back, and her eyelids drifted closed.
“I hate seeing you scared,” he said. “Absolutely hate it.”
“All I could think was that I wanted you there.”
“I turned on a dime when the call came over the radio.”
He kissed her again, and Callie was lost.
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I’m one of the authors participating in the Trick or Treat Binge-Read Giveaway and you can win a signed print copy of Hacking IT.
Runs October 1 -31 and is open internationally.
Winner will be drawn November 1, 2018.
When taking the Myers-Briggs personality test in high school, Kimberly was rated as an INFJ (Introverted-Intuitive-Feeling-Judging). This result sent her into a panic, because there were no career paths recommended for the type. Fortunately, it turned out to be well-suited to a writing career. Since receiving that dismal outlook, Kimberly has become an award-winning author of romance and erotica. She has written for seven publishing houses, both domestic and international, and has recently focused her efforts on the exciting world of self-publishing. When not writing, she enjoys movies, sports, traveling, music, and sunshine.
Social Media Links
Twitter - @KDean_writer
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BookBub - @KimberlyDean
Amazon Author Page – www.amazon.com/author/kimberlydean