Please help me welcome fellow author, Susanne Matthews, to Monday Musings. Today, Susanne is introducing us to her latest novel, a suspense romance, Sworn to Protect.
Four years ago, a car accident robbed Nancy Frost of her child and her mother, taking what was left of her marriage with it in the process. A forensic accountant, she agrees to look at a company’s books in a divorce case, trying to find hidden assets, but her meeting with the lawyer goes terribly wrong when the restaurant is attacked.
The moment US Marshal Neil Copeland discovers his wife has been shot in a Baltimore restaurant, he rushes to her side, determined not to let her down again. As the police investigate, evidence suggests the attack was a ploy to hide a specific hit. When a professional assassin tries to kill Nancy a second time, it’s clear that she was the target and whatever’s going on is a lot more complicated than they think.
When Nancy awakes after a month in an induced coma, not only does she not remember the attack on the restaurant, she doesn’t remember marrying Neil.
Faced with the challenge of protecting his wife from a powerful, faceless enemy, Neil must bring her up to date, dredging up all the sorrow that tore them apart in the first place, hoping something will jar her memory.
As he races against time, can he save her from an unknown assassin and convince her to give the love they once had a second chance?
Unable to squelch her curiosity, Nancy put down the tear-soaked quilt, stood, and walked over to the extension on the bedside table. The number wasn’t a familiar one. She took a deep breath before picking up the receiver.
“Hello?” she answered, her voice husky.
“Yes.” She didn’t recognized the man’s voice and hoped she hadn’t picked up on a telemarketer. It wasn’t a 1-800 number, but … Normally, she hated being rude to anyone, even annoying strangers at the end of a phone line; however, in her current mood, this guy might be in for a tongue lashing.
“This is Larry Jackson. I was speaking with Meredith Stone earlier, and she said you’d agreed to look at some financial records for me.”
The man’s voice was pleasant, but he sounded tired, and his words carried an undercurrent of frustration and anxiety.
“I’ll do what I can, Mr. Jackson,” she answered, trying to sound like the confident professional she needed to be.
Meredith might think she was the best in her field, but every time Nancy looked at a new set of books, doubt assailed her. What if she missed something critical?
“If there’s anything there, I’ll do my best to find it, but, as I’m sure Meredith told you, sometimes everything’s on the level. Unless there’s a second set of records hiding somewhere—”
“I wouldn’t put it past this sleaze ball,” Larry interrupted. “I just got off the phone with his lawyer. B. J. Pratt informed me they’re moving the meeting date up to Tuesday. I’d hoped to be able to give you more time, but he’s backing us into a corner. I’m sorry about this. I’ve emailed you the records we were given. Let me know if there’s anything missing.”
“Not a problem. I’ve come up against B. J. Pratt before. He won’t be happy you’re bringing me in on this.”
“That’s the best news I’ve heard all day.” Larry paused. “When can you have a look at them?”
“Later today. I’ll call you tomorrow if there’s anything suspicious.”
He chuckled, but she could sense his concern. “That’s all I’ll need, and don’t worry about the time and cost. The husband’s footing the bill.”
Nancy started. “Her husband’s paying to have me go through his company books and personal finances, and Pratt agreed to this?”
“They agreed to an independent audit and recommended a few local forensic auditors,” Larry answered, “but if they suggested them, I didn’t want to use them. Meredith tells me you’re the best there is, and that’s all I need to know. Pratt doesn’t know it’s you yet. I’ll let him know in the morning—maybe it’ll throw off his golf game.”
“It probably will,” she answered and chuckled, imagining the sour look on Pratt’s face. “I’ll get back to you tomorrow. Goodbye.”
Nancy hung up the phone, went into the bathroom, and washed her face. Staring at the haunted woman in the mirror forced her to admit the truth. She had to stop grieving before it killed her.
“This pity party is over.”
She wasn’t Cinderella, and there wasn’t a fairy godmother waiting to make all the terrible things in her life go away. Prince Charming had left the ball, taking his glass loafers with him. It was time for her to pick up her rags and get on with it. She reached for her purse and car keys. The first step was always the most difficult. Go big or go home.
About the author:
Amazon bestselling author Susanne Matthews was born and raised in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. She is of French-Canadian descent. She’s always been an avid reader of all types of books, but with a penchant for happily ever after romances. A retired educator, Susanne spends her time writing and creating adventures for her readers. She loves the ins and outs of romance, and the complex journey it takes to get from the first word to the last period of a novel. As she writes, her characters take on a life of their own, and she shares their fears and agonies on the road to self-discovery and love.
Her first novel, Fire Angel, set the tone for an exciting new career. While most of her books are romantic suspense, Susanne writes stories that range from contemporary to sci-fi and everything in between. She is a PAN member of the Romance Writers of America.
When she isn’t writing, she’s reading, or traveling to interesting places she can use as settings in her future books or as interesting entries for her blog, Living the Dream. During the summer she enjoys camping with her grandchildren and attending various outdoor concerts and fairs. In winter, she likes to cuddle by the fire and watch television.