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Unearthed - ebook

Duty Bound, 2

"Shaped by regrets. Bound by duty. Driven by secrets." Rowan's future is jeopardized by the regrets she harbors and the deadly secrets she unearths.

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    Obligated to give up the man she loves, Rowan O'Reilly takes over Buccaneer Bed & Breakfast. Though her heart is in shambles, she is drawn to Avery Stone, a mysterious guest who reminds her of Bjorn…and everything she lost.

    Haunted by a fatal decision, Avery escapes his past in Buccaneer's attic, but he can't ignore the previous owner's peculiar death, the strange bones exhumed by the spirited Rowan…or the annoying doctor vying for her attention.

    As visitors wreak havoc on Buccaneer, Rowan stumbles onto deadly family secrets and unknowingly unearths a murderer.Yet nothing, not even the threat of her predecessor's fate, can stop her from digging for the truth.

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    Unearthed - ebook

    Unearthed - ebook

    "Shaped by regrets. Bound by duty. Driven by secrets." Rowan's future is jeopardized by the regrets she harbors and the deadly secrets she unearths.

    EXCERPT

     

    A cool breeze wafted through the open door of the garage. Alone with the bones that he and Jordan had spent the morning unearthing, Avery savored every drop of his latest Red Eye. The quiet solitude and the absence of guests suited his spirits. No one bothered him while he recreated his three little specimens. The dig had yielded two new skulls, confirming his belief he was dealing with two rabbits and a cat.

    “I ran into Terry Jordan as he was leaving.” From the doorway, Rowan looked at him with a haggard expression. “He told me you completed your collection.”

    Perspiration soaked her tank top, pasting the fabric to her chest, and mud caked the sides of her running shoes. The spirited woman wasn’t self-conscious about her appearance. One more quality he admired about her, though he didn’t like her ability to sneak up on him. Over the years, he’d relied on his sixth sense to warn him of someone’s presence long before a noise betrayed the intruder, but for some obscure reason, Rowan shut down his inner alert system.

    “Did you go running?”

    “Made it to the marsh.” In her hand, she held a glass half-filled with clear blue liquid. She took a mouthful. Droplets trickled down her chin, which she wiped against her collarbone. “Are you going to introduce me to the poor dead animals?”

    He invited her to approach the table. “Meet Calvin, Cisco, and Rascal.”

    A bright smile accentuated the glow on her face. “Nice names.” She scooped up Cisco’s cranium and examined it from every angle. “I see markings on the frontal bone.”

    “Very observant.” That she showed interest in the findings pleased him. “But you missed the ones at the back.” He set aside his Red Eye to cup the skull. His fingers brushed her hand, and he relished the softness of her touch as he flipped the skull for a better view. “Here…and there.” The tip of his index finger traced the shallow furrows.

    “They don’t resemble teeth marks.”

    “No teeth.” The lines were too precise to be random animal bites. “A tool was used. Something like a pocketknife or—”

    A spasm rocked Rowan’s body. The skull and the glass slipped from her hands. He reached out for Cisco’s remains but failed to catch the glass. It shattered on contact, spilling its contents on the cement floor. Bent over, she grabbed her abdomen. “I’m gonna be sick.”

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