A Christmas to Die For [The Three Sisters Inn Series Book 2] [Secure eReader]
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eBook by Marta Perry
eBook Category: Mystery/Crime/Romance
eBook Description: She was lucky to be alive after the hit-and-run that nearly took her life. But history seemed to be repeating itself when Rachel Hampton spied a car speeding down the dark road. Tyler Dunn came to Rachel's family inn seeking justice for a decades-old crime. Rachel wanted to trust the attractive architect, but he was too secretive ... until she uncovered a shocking link to her own past. Suddenly a holiday season amid the Plain People swarmed with hidden danger as Rachel found herself a killer's target. THE THREE SISTERS INN: Danger awaits the Hampton sisters in quiet Amish Country.
eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Steeple Hill
Fictionwise Release Date: November 2007
This eBook is part of the following series:
19 Reader Ratings:
Rachel Hampton stood on the dark country road where, seven months ago, she'd nearly died. The dog pressed against her leg, shivering a little, either from the cold of the December evening or because he sensed her fear.
No, not fear. That would be ridiculous. It had been an accident, at least partially her fault for jogging along remote Crossings Road in the dark. She'd thought herself safe enough on the berm of the little-used gravel road, wearing a pale jacket with reflective stripes that should have been apparent to any driver.
Obviously it hadn't been. He'd come around the bend too fast, his lights blinding her when she'd glanced over her shoulder. But now she was over it, she—
Her heart pumped into overdrive. The roar of a motor, lights reflected from the trees. A car was coming. He wouldn't see her. She'd be hit again, thrown into the air, helpless—
She grabbed Barney's collar and stumbled back into the pines, pulse pounding, a sob catching in her throat as she fought to control the panic.
But the car was slowing, stopping. The driver's-side window slid smoothly down.
"Excuse me." A male voice, deep and assured. "Can you tell me how to get to Three Sisters Inn?"
How nice of him to ignore the fact that she'd leaped into the bushes when she heard him coming. She disentangled her hair from the long needles of a white pine and moved toward him.
"You've missed the driveway," she said. "This is a back road that just leads to a few isolated farms." She approached the car with Barney, Grams's sheltie, close by her side. "If you back up a bit, you can turn into a farm lane that will take you to the inn parking lot."
He switched on the dome light, probably to reassure her. Black hair and frowning brows over eyes that were a deep, deep blue, a pale-gray sweater over a dress shirt and dark tie, a glint of gold from the watch on his wrist, just visible where his hand rested on the steering wheel. He didn't look like a tourist, come to gawk at the Amish farmers or buy a handmade quilt. The briefcase and laptop that rested on the passenger seat indicated that.
"You're sure the proprietor won't mind my coming in that way?"
She smiled. "The proprietor would be me, and I don't mind at all. I'm Rachel Hampton. You must be Mr. Dunn." Since she and Grams expected only one visitor, that wasn't hard to figure out.
"Tyler Dunn. Do you want a lift?"
"Thanks, but it's not far. Besides, I have the dog." And I don't get into a car with a stranger, even if he does have a reservation at the inn.
Maybe it was her having come so close to death that had blunted her carefree ways. Either that or the responsibility of starting the bed-and-breakfast on a shoestring had forced her to grow up. No more drifting from job to job, taking on a new restaurant each time she became bored. She was settled now, and it was up to her to make a success of this.
She stepped back, still holding Barney's collar despite his wiggling, and waited until the car pulled into the lane before following it to the shortcut. She'd walked down the main road, the way the car had come, but this was faster. She gestured Dunn to a parking space in the gravel pull-off near the side door to the inn.
He stepped out, shrugging into a leather jacket, and stood looking up at the inn. It was well worth looking at, even on a cold December night. Yellow light gleamed from the candles they'd placed in every one of the many nine-paned windows. Security lights posted on the outbuildings cast a pale-golden glow over the historic Federal-style sandstone mansion. It had been home to generations of the Unger family before necessity had turned it into the Three Sisters Inn.
Rachel glanced at the man, expecting him to say something. Guests usually sounded awed or at least admiring, at first sight. Dunn just turned to haul his briefcase and computer from the front seat.
Definitely not the typical tourist. What had brought him to the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country at this time of year? Visiting businessmen, especially those who traveled alone, were more likely to seek out a hotel with wireless connection and fax machines rather than a bed-and-breakfast, no matter how charming.
"May I carry something for you?"
He handed her the computer case. "If you'll take this, I can manage the rest."
The case was heavier than she'd expected, and she straightened, determined not to give in to the limp that sometimes plagued her when she was tired—the only remaining souvenir of the accident.
Or at least she'd thought that was the only aftereffect, until she'd felt that surge of terror when she'd seen the car. She'd have to work on that.
"This way. We'll go in the side door instead of around to the front, if you don't mind."
A man of few words, apparently. Dog at her heels, she headed for the door, hearing his footsteps behind her. She glanced back. He was taller than she'd realized when he sat in the car—he probably had a good foot on her measly five two, and he moved with a long stride that had him practically on her heels.
She went into the hallway, welcoming the flow of warm air, and on into the library. She didn't usually bring guests in through the family quarters, but it seemed silly to walk around the building just to give him the effect of the imposing front entrance into the high-ceiled center hall. The usual visitor ohhed and ahhed over that. She had a feeling Tyler Dunn wouldn't.
Copyright © 2007 by Martha Johnson.