About the author
The author of over 50 consecutive New York Times bestsellers, Jane Anne Krenz uses three different pen names for each of the three subgenres of romantic paranormal suspense in which she works: Jane Anne Krenz for contemporary readings, Amanda Quick for historical and Jane Castle for futuristic readings. The total circulation of her books exceeds 30 million copies.
Jane Anne Krentz graduated from the University of California with a degree in History and a Masters in Library Science. She is the first recipient of Romantic Times' Jane Austen Award, created to "honor members of the romance community who have significantly influenced the genre."
About the book
North Chastain has an unusual gift - paranormal night vision, with which she tracks down the most dangerous psycho criminals. He learns that his father has fallen into a coma after being attacked for an artifact that belonged to his grandfather, who worked for a secret government lab. In order to save his father's life, he must find the artifact in question. And to prove the integrity of his grandfather, considered a traitor by many of the members of the secret organization the Foundation.
However, his gift is weakening with each passing day and North realizes that he cannot do it alone. He turns to middleman Sierra Raines, who knows the underworld of antique and relic collectors, for help. The two embark on a search for the artifact and soon find themselves at the scene of the incident from several decades ago in the town of Fog Lake. An incident that marks entire generations and changes their lives forever.
North and Sierra will uncover shocking truths about what happened that fateful night. However, someone is watching them and will do everything in their power to keep the secrets of the past buried forever…
– Why do you want to kill me? Sierra Raines asked. – I'm just an intermediary.
– I'm sorry Miss Raines. Parker Keegan pointed the gun at her. The weapon twitched slightly in his hand. There was real passion in Keegan's eyes-not sexual, but another kind of madness, no less dangerous. – I'm afraid this is the end of our business relationship.
Another crazy, obsessed, paranoid collector, Sierra thought. I should have predicted it. The problem was that most of her clients could be defined as crazy, obsessed, or paranoid-usually some sinister combination of the three. If he avoided all collectors and dealers in the hot artifact business who fell into one or more of these three categories, he would be out of a job in just one day.
However, Keegan proved to be more of a problem than most of her clients. First, there was a gun. Fortunately, few of the collectors and dealers she worked with had gone so far as to threaten her with a gun, although two had drawn knives and one guy had tried to lock her in the trunk of a car he intended to push off the pier. in Lake Washington. Most collectors were elated at a successful deal and eager to continue doing business with her. Slowly but surely she was building a reputation as a reliable and discreet partner.
It should come as no surprise that her new business has also had some difficulties. In all her previous attempts to find her calling she had encountered problems and experienced failures. He was starting to think of himself as a career serial killer.
They were in Keegan's private gallery. Like the galleries of most collectors obsessed with paranormal artifacts, the space was a converted basement. There was no one else in the big house, and the nearest neighbors were a kilometer away. If Keegan shot her, no one would hear the shot.
“Don't get me wrong, Miss Raines,” Keegan said. “I am very grateful to you for finding the artifact and delivering it so quickly and so discreetly. The problem is that you now know too much about my collection and my business affairs.
Keegan didn't look particularly dangerous. Lean, short, middle-aged, he had the air of a meticulous scholar. But over the past few months, Sierra had discovered that when it came to collectors and dealers, looks were invariably deceiving.
However, mirrors never lied, not a person of her ability. And here, on the wall just behind Keegan, hung a large nineteenth-century mirror in an elaborate frame. By activating her abilities, she could see the reflection of his energy field. The only way he could describe it was unstable.
Not that she needed a mirror to arrive at that diagnosis, she thought.
“I'm a Treasury agent, Mr. Keegan,” she said, keeping her tone polite but firm. “You know as well as I do that Mr. Jones would not be pleased if one of his brokers was killed on the job.
– I have considered the problem with Mr. Jones. Don't worry Miss Raines, your body will never be found. I intend to tell Jones that you failed to deliver the artifact. He'll think you stole it and disappeared with it.
– No, said Sierra. "He won't believe it." You wouldn't want to make Mr. Jones angry.
– I'm not afraid of Jones, Keegan snapped.
But it sounded like he was trying to convince himself, not her.
“There's no reason to kill me,” she repeated carefully. – You received the artifact. The reputation that Mr. Jones has built is based on complete confidentiality. As long as his clients don't try to cheat him, he keeps their secrets. His agents too.
“Unfortunately, I have trust issues,” Keegan said.
– Seriously? Turns out I have some issues too. She gave him a dazzling smile and casually removed one of the elegant black leather gloves. – Therefore, of course, I take precautions at every stage of delivery.
– What is that supposed to mean?
Sierra raised her hand to the small locket she was wearing. Open it to reveal the mirror inside. It wasn't a standard mirror, but rather a flat circle of highly reflective crystal.
– I won't bore you with a detailed explanation of how this is done, she said. – This would involve some complicated physics. All you really need to know is that you're going to pass out.
– Pass out? You are crazy. Why am I going to pass out? I am in excellent he alth. I'm vegan.
She quickly found focus and channeled some heat through the mirror crystal, reflecting the streams of Keegan's energy field back at him. The reflected waves sent the equivalent of an electric shock to his aura, effectively short-circuiting it.
Keegan stiffened. His eyelids fluttered shut. The gun fell from his hand and he collapsed to the floor without a groan.
There was a sharp sound and the beautiful nineteenth-century mirror on the wall became covered in a web of cracks.
The key is control, Sierra reminded herself. She was pretty good when it came to channeling energy through the crystal, but when she was nervous, sometimes things went awry. In this case, it was a shame because the antique mirror definitely had a paranormal vibe. In good condition it would be worth a lot of money on the black market.
However, she had more serious problems. Her fingers were burning. He waved his hand several times in an instinctive but completely futile attempt to ease the burning sensation. He quickly slipped on the leather glove.
Sierra closed the locket and rushed through the gallery. She crouched next to Keegan, but she didn't feel like removing her glove to touch his neck and check his pulse. Fortunately, his chest was rising and falling normally. He was alive but unconscious. He had no way of knowing how long he would stay in this state or what he would remember when he woke up.
It didn't matter. As far as she was concerned, the deal was closed. She had done her job. The buyer had failed to fulfill his part of the bargain. It was bad enough that he tried to kill her.