OUT OF CHARACTER
by Diana Miller
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Stepping out of your comfort zone can be hazardous…
Denver, Colorado, ER doctor Jillian Rodgers has never done an impulsive thing in her life. But all that changes when she meets the man of her dreams on a ski vacation. Within twenty-four hours, they’ve spent a passionate night together and Jillian is convinced she’s halfway in love. After all, she figures the worst that can happen is she’ll go home with a broken heart…
But the man pretending to be an ordinary guy is far from it. In fact, he shouldn’t get anywhere near Jillian. Yet there’s something about her he can’t resist—and she’s perfect for his cover. Besides, he’s sure he isn’t endangering her.
Unfortunately, they’re both wrong.
When someone uses their chairlift for target practice, Jillian ends up wounded—and her dream man promptly disappears. Within days, her car explodes. Just when things can’t get any worse, she’s kidnapped at gunpoint. Soon Jillian’s running for her life and forced to depend on the man who deserted her, a man who claims he’s trying to protect her but whose story has more holes than a gauze bandage. A man Jillian once thought she loved, but now isn’t sure she should even trust.
The night was frigid and dark, the moon and stars obscured by clouds. Snow-caked pine needles scraped Jillian’s cheeks as Paul guided her through the trees. She wasn’t sure why he’d roused her in the middle of the night and led her out a basement window and into the woods, but she’d bet it wasn’t for a midnight hike.
“This way. Hurry.” He released her hand and pressed his palm against her back. Within seconds they were jogging, crunching over icy snow that seeped into Jillian’s running shoes and under her jeans, scratching and biting her bare legs above her socks.
Then she heard it. An explosion behind them. Followed by the odor of burning gasoline.
She froze as a wave of nausea engulfed her. “No.” She looked over her shoulder toward the sound and smell. Through the trees, she saw flickers of red, yellow, and orange.
“Come on.” Paul wrapped his arm around her shoulders and urged her forward.
Her legs wouldn’t move. “The smell. It’s the same smell.” Fire mixed with gasoline, consuming her car. Consuming–
Paul’s arm tightened around her, and his lips brushed her ear. “No one’s inside this time.” He gently turned her head away from the fire. “Don’t look at it. Don’t think about it. Think about moving your legs, about running. Just think about running.”
Paul’s words and pressing arm got her legs moving again.
“Where are we going?” Jillian puffed out after a couple minutes of jogging through snow.
“Away.” Paul didn’t sound the least bit winded. “Unfortunately, our car was disabled, so it’s on to Plan B.”
“Do you have a Plan B?”
“I always have a Plan B. And Plans C and D. Follow me.”
When she was eight, Diana decided she wanted to be Nancy Drew. But no matter how many garbage cans she dug through, conversations she “accidentally” overheard, and attics she searched, she never found a single mysterious letter, hidden staircase, or anything else even remotely mysterious or suspenseful. She worked as a lawyer, a soda jerk, a stay-at-home mom, a hospital admitting clerk, and a conference host for events ranging from Lutheran music to the International BB Gun competition. She spent long hours volunteering in a nineteenth century mansion allegedly full of secrets and a few ghosts. Still no luck.
Diana ultimately decided the only way she was going to inject any mystery or suspense into her otherwise satisfying life was by writing about it. Her debut novel, Dangerous Affairs, won a Golden Heart Award from the Romance Writer of America, and she’s received five Golden Heart nominations, including one for Out of Character.
Diana lives in the Twin Cities with her family and an energetic Wheaten terrier.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/dianamillerwriter
Kensington link: http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/book.aspx/31374?category=313166
Diana Miller will award a $50 Amazon/B&N gift card to a randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter.