Edge of Sightby Roxanne St. Claire
The killer she can't escape . . .
The heartbreak she can't forget . . .
The one man who can stop them both.
When Samantha Fairchild witnesses a murder in the wine cellar of the restaurant where she works, the Harvard-bound law student becomes the next target of a professional assassin. Desperate for protection the authorities won't provide,/b>/b>… See more details below
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The killer she can't escape . . .
The heartbreak she can't forget . . .
The one man who can stop them both.
When Samantha Fairchild witnesses a murder in the wine cellar of the restaurant where she works, the Harvard-bound law student becomes the next target of a professional assassin. Desperate for protection the authorities won't provide, Sam seeks help from Vivi Angelino, an investigative reporter who recruits her brother, Zach, to protect Samantha. A Special Forces vet with the scars to prove he's equally fearless and flawed, Zach takes the job, despite the fact that he and Sam once shared a lusty interlude that ended when he left for war and disappeared from her life. Now, as they crack a conspiracy that leads to Boston's darkest corners, Sam and Zach must face their fears, desires, and doubts, before a hired killer gets a second shot...
4 ½ stars St. Claire has become the go-to gal for romantic suspense. Rip-roaring fun, gripping intensity and sizzling passion span the pages of Edge of Sight."RT Book Reviews"
When it comes to dishing up great romantic suspense, Roxanne St. Claire is the author you want."RT Book Reviews"
On the fast track to making her name a household one."Publishers Weekly"
With Roxanne St. Claire, you are guaranteed a powerful, sexy and provocative read."
Read an Excerpt
Edge of Sight
By St. Claire, Roxanne
ForeverCopyright © 2010 St. Claire, Roxanne
All right reserved.
I understand you got into that little law school across the river.”
Samantha Fairchild scooped up the cocktails from the service bar, sending a smile to the man who’d been subtly checking her out from behind rimless glasses. “Our trusty bartender’s been bragging about me again.”
Behind the bar, Wendy waved a martini shaker like a sparkler, her eyes twinkling. “Just a little, Sam. You’re our only Harvard-bound server.”
Sam nodded to the light-haired gentleman, not really wanting to start a conversation when Paupiette’s dining room was wall-to-wall with a Saturday night crowd. Anyway, he wasn’t her type. Too pale, too blond, too… safe.
“Nothing to be ashamed of, a Harvard law degree,” the man said. “I’ve got one myself.”
“Really? What did you do with it?”
The smile widened. “Print money, like you will.”
Spoken like a typical Harvard law grad. “I’m not that interested in the money. I have another plan for the future.” One she doubted a guy dripping in Armani and Rolex would appreciate. Unless he was a defense attorney. She eyed him just as two hands landed on her shoulders from behind.
“I seated Joshua Sterling and company in your section.” Keegan Kennedy’s soft voice had a rumble of warning in it, probably because she was flirting with lawyers in the bar when her tables were full. “I’ll expect a kickback.”
“That sounds fair.” She shrugged out of his grip, balancing the cocktail tray.
“I bet he’s a generous tipper, Sam,” the lawyer said as he placed two twenties on the bar and flicked his wrist for the bartender to keep the change. “You’ll need it for the Con Law texts alone.”
She gave him a wistful smile, not too encouraging, but not a complete shutdown, either. “Thanks…”
“Larry,” he supplied. “Maybe I’ll stop in before you start classes with some first-year pointers.”
“Great, Larry.” She forced a more encouraging smile. He looked like a nice guy. Dull as dry toast, but then he probably wouldn’t kick her in the heart with an… army boot. “You do that.”
She turned to peer into the main dining area, catching a glimpse of a party of six being led by the maître d’s second-in-command.
Joshua Sterling’s signature silver hair, prematurely gray and preternaturally attractive, glistened under the halogen droplights, hung to highlight the haute cuisine but casting a perfect halo over this particular patron.
It wasn’t just his tipping that interested Sam. The last time Boston’s favorite columnist had dined here, they’d gotten into a lively debate about the Innocence Mission, and he ended up writing a whole article in the Globe about the nonprofit. The Boston office where Sam volunteered had received a huge influx of cash because of that story.
“Good work, Keegan.” Sam offered a grateful smile to the maître d’, who had vacillated between pain in the ass and godsend since he’d started a few months ago. “Count on ten percent.”
He laid a wine list on her cocktail tray, threatening the delicate balance of the top-heavy martini glasses. “He tips on wine, so talk him into something from the vault. Make my cut fifteen percent and I promise you we will not run out of the tartare. It’s Sterling’s favorite.”
She grinned. “Deal, you little Irish weasel.”
After delivering the cocktails to another table, she headed toward the newly seated party, nodding to a patron who signaled for a check while she paused to top off the Cakebread chardonnay for the lovers in the corner, all the while assessing just who Joshua Sterling was entertaining tonight.
Next to him was his beautiful wife, a stunning young socialite named Devyn with sharp-edged cheekbones and waves of golden hair down to trainer-toned shoulders. Two other couples completed a glossy party of six, one of the women finishing an animated story as they settled into their seats, delivering a punch line with a finger pointed at Joshua and eliciting a hoot of laughter from the rest. Except for Devyn, who leaned back expressionless while a menu was placed in front of her.
Joshua put a light hand on his wife’s back, waving casually to someone across the dining room. He whispered to her; then he beamed at Sam as she approached the table.
“Hello, Samantha.” Of course he remembered her. That was his gift, his charm. “All ready to tackle Hahvahd?” He drew out the word, giving it an exaggerated Boston accent.
“Classes start in two months,” she said, handing over the wine list, open to the priciest selection. “So, I’m ready, but nervous.”
“From what you told me about that volunteer work of yours, I think you’ve got more legal background and experience than half that first-year class. You’ll kick butt over there.” He added a smile to his laser-blue gaze, one that had been getting more and more television airtime as a talking head for liberal issues on the cable news shows.
No one doubted that Joshua Sterling could hit the big time down in New York.
“I hope you’re right,” she said, stepping aside for the junior maître d’ to snap a black napkin on Devyn Sterling’s dark trousers. “Otherwise I’m going to give it all up and go back into advertising.”
“Don’t doubt yourself,” Joshua warned with a sharp look. “You’ve got too much upstairs to push computers and burgers. You need to save innocent victims of the screwed-up system.”
She gave him a tight smile of gratitude, wishing she were that certain of her talents. Of course, doling out bullshit was another gift of his. “What’s the occasion?” she asked, wanting to get the conversation off her and onto a nice big drink order.
Joshua waved toward the brunette who’d been telling the story. “We’re celebrating Meredith’s birthday.”
“Happy birthday.” Sam nodded to her. “We have two bottles of the ’94 Tattinger left.”
“Nice call for champagne,” he said, “but I think this is a wine crowd. You like Bordeaux, right, Meredith?”
The woman leaned forward on one elbow, a slow smile forming as she looked at him. “Something complex and elegant.”
Sam waited a beat, as the woman’s gaze stayed fixed on her host. Devyn shifted in her seat, and Sam could practically taste the tension crackling in the air.
“Let me get the sommelier,” Sam suggested quickly. “I bet he has the perfect Bordeaux.”
“I know he does.” Joshua handed Sam the wine list back without even looking at it. “Tell Rene we’d like two bottles of the 1982 Chateau Haut-Brion.”
“Excellent selection.” Was it ever. “While I get that, can we offer you sparkling water or bottled?”
They made their choices, which Sam whispered to a busboy before darting down the narrow passage from the dining area to the kitchen, her shoes bouncing on the rubber floor as she left the gentle conversation and music of the dining room for the clatter and sizzle of the kitchen.
“Where’s Rene?” she asked, a smell of buttery garlic and seared meat rolling over her.
“I’m right here.” The door to the cellars flipped open as the beefy sommelier hustled toward her, carrying far too many bottles. Two more servers came in right behind him with similar armloads.
“Rene, I need two bottles of ’82 Haut-Brion, stat.”
“After I help with the upstairs party,” he shot back.
“Then give me the key and a general idea where I can find the ’82s.”
“You’re not getting the ’82s, sister.” The faux French accent he used with customers was absent as he deftly set bottles on the prep deck. “One slip of the hand and you just cost us both a month’s pay.”
“Come on, Rene. I can get two bottles of wine, for crying out loud.”
“You can wait like everyone else, Sam.” He started handing bottles to one of the other servers, who gave her a smug look of victory.
The doors from the dining area swung open, and Sam squinted down the hallway, just in time to get a glimpse of Joshua strolling across the room, reaching out to greet a gorgeous former model and her date sitting at the deuce near the bar. So he wasn’t in a huge rush for his wine. She glanced at the plates on the stainless steel pass, calculating exactly how much time she had to get this wine poured before her four orders for the old Brahmins on ten came up.
Not much. She wanted the Haut-Brion delivered first or she’d lose her whole rhythm.
One more of the waitstaff came up from the cellar, several bottles in hand. “This is the last of it, Rene. I just have to go back down and lock up.”
“I’ll lock it,” Sam said, snatching the keys.
“No.” Rene sliced her with a glare. “I’ll get them, Sam. Five minutes is all.”
“Come on, Rene.”
The door from the dining room flung open and Keegan marched through. “Sterling wants his wine,” he announced, his gaze hard on Rene.
“Then you get it,” Rene said. “Not Sam.”
But Sam was already on her way. “Thanks, Keegan,” she said quietly as she passed. “You know I’ll slather you with payola tonight.” As she opened the door, she called back to Rene, “The Bordeaux are in the back nests, the Haut-Brion on the lower half, right?”
“Sam, if you fuck this up—”
“I will dust the bottles! You can watch the video tomorrow,” she added with a laugh. As if that prehistoric camera was ever used.
“I will!” Rene shouted. “I just put a new tape in.”
She hustled down the poorly lit stairs, brushing by one of the sous-chefs carrying a sack of flour from the dry storage pantry. Farther underground, the temperature dropped, a chill emanating from the stone walls as she reached the heavy door of the wine vault.
A breeze blew the strands of hair that had escaped her ponytail, making her pause and look down the dark hallway. Was the alley exit open again? The busboys were always out there smoking, but they sure as shit better not be taking lung therapy when Paupiette’s was this packed.
Tarragon and rosemary wafted from dry storage, but the tangy scents disappeared the moment she cranked the brass handle of the wine vault, the hinges snapping and squeaking as she entered. In this dim and dusty room, it just smelled of earth and musk.
She flipped on the overhead, but the single bare bulb did little to illuminate the long, narrow vault or the racks that jutted out to form a five-foot-high maze. She navigated her way to the back, her rubber soles soundless on the stone floor. Dust tickled her sinuses and the fifty-eight-degree air finished the job. She didn’t even fight the urge to sneeze, managing to pull out a tissue in time to catch the noisy release.
Behind the back row, she tucked into the corner where the most expensive wines were kept and started blowing and brushing the bottles, almost instantly finding the distinctive gold and white label of Haut-Brion.
Sliding the bottle out, she dusted it clean, and read the year 2000. In racks stocked chronologically, that made her a good eighteen years from where she wanted to be. She coughed softly, more dust catching in her throat. Crouching lower, she eased out another, 1985.
Getting closer. On her haunches, her fingers closed over a bottle just as the door opened, the sound of the brass knob echoing through the vault. She started to stand but a man’s hushed voice stopped her.
Freezing, she worked to place the voice, but couldn’t. It was low, gruff, masculine.
There was something urgent in the tone. Something that stilled her.
She waited for a footstep; if he was another server, he’d walk to a stack to find his bottle of wine. If it was Rene, he’d call her name, knowing she was down there, and anyone else…
No one else should be down here.
Her pulse kicked a little as she waited for the next sound, unease prickling up her spine.
Nothing moved. No one breathed.
Praying her knees wouldn’t creak and give her away, she rose an inch, wanting to get high enough to see over the stack. As she did, the knob cracked again, and this time the squeak of the hinges dragged out as though the door were being opened very slowly. She rose a little higher to peek over the top rack of bottles.
A man stood flattened against the wall, his hand to his chest, inside a jacket, his head turned to face the door. In the shadows, she could hardly make out his profile, taking in his black shirt, the way his dark hair blended into the wall behind him. Not a server. No one she’d ever seen before.
He stood perfectly still as the door opened wider, and Sam tore her gaze from the stranger to the new arrival. The overhead bulb caught a glimmer of silver hair, instantly recognizable. What the hell was Josh—
The move was so fast, Sam barely saw the man’s hand flip from the jacket. She might have gasped at the sight of a freakishly long pistol, but the whoomf of sound covered her breath, the blast muffled like a fist into a pillow.
Joshua’s face contorted, then froze in shock. He folded to the floor, disappearing from her sight.
The instinct for self-preservation pushed Sam down behind the rack, her head suddenly light, her thoughts so electrified that she couldn’t pull a coherent one to the forefront. Only that image of Joshua Sterling getting a bullet in his head.
She closed her eyes but the mental snapshot didn’t disappear. It seared her lids, branded her brain.
Something scraped the floor and her whole being tensed. She squeezed the bottle in her right hand, finding balance on the balls of her feet, ready to pounce on whoever came around the corner.
She could blind him with the bottle. Crash it on his head. Buy time and help.
But no one came around the rack. Instead, she heard the sound of metal on metal, a click, and a low grunt from the front of the vault. What the hell?
Still primed to fight for her life, she stood again, just high enough to see the man up on a crate, deftly removing the video camera.
The security camera that was aimed directly at the back stacks.
She ducked again, but it was too late. She heard him working the screws in the wall, trying to memorize his profile. A bump in a patrician nose. A high forehead. Pockmarks in a grouping low on his cheek.
Dust danced under and up her nose, tickling, tormenting, teasing a sneeze. Oh, please, no.
She held her breath as the camera cracked off the wall, and the man’s feet hit the floor. In one more second, the door squeaked, slammed shut, and he was gone.
Could Joshua still be alive? She had to help him. She waited exactly five strangling heartbeats before sliding around the stacks and running up the middle aisle.
Lifeless blue eyes stared back at her, his face colorless as a stream of deep red blood oozed from a single hole in his temple. The bottle slipped out of her hands, the explosion of glass barely registering as she stared at the dead man.
God, no. God, no. Not again.
She dropped to her hands and knees with a whimper of disbelief, fighting the urge to reach out and touch the man who just minutes ago laughed with friends, explained a joke to his wife, ordered rare, expensive Bordeaux.
This couldn’t be happening. It couldn’t be.
The blood pooled by his cheek, mixing with the wine. The smell roiled her stomach, gagging her as bile rose in her throat and broken glass sliced her knees and palms.
For the second time in her life, she’d seen one man take another’s life. Only this time, her face was caught on tape.
Excerpted from Edge of Sight by St. Claire, Roxanne Copyright © 2010 by St. Claire, Roxanne. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Meet the Author
First published in 2003, Roxanne St. Claire is a RITA-award winning author of twenty-five novels, including her bestselling Bullet Catcher series. Her critically-acclaimed books have been published in numerous languages and recognized with multiple awards including The National Reader's Choice Award, the Daphne du Maurier Award and the HOLT Medallion, all for best romantic suspense. She currently lives on the east coast of Florida with her husband and two children. Excerpts, contact information, and free reads are available via her website, www.roxannestclaire.com.
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This was an all time favorite. The suspense was out of this world. Who did what... the romance was believabe and touching. I cant wait for the next one.
Life is all about second chances and taking the lessons learned and figuring out how to make you better. Zach Angelino has had second, third and fourth chances during the many life altering changes in his life and has built a life around guarding his heart and keeping secrets. But Zach though war torn and a little more than beat up is now being given the chance of a lifetime to correct the mistake he made when he walked away from Samantha Fairchild for one of his secret military missions. He told himself he was doing the right thing when he left but seeing her in the flesh again he realizes it was the one fear he could not conquer that made him run, losing what you love. But Sammi is not so sure she wants Zach in her life even though right now she really needs him more than ever. She was a witness to a murder and now the killer is after her to tie up all the loose ends and the Boston police have marked her as a bad witness due to prior mistakes. Sammi best friend and Zach's twin sister Vivi has come up with a great idea to solve everyone's problem, she wants to start a security firm similar to her cousins' that does personal protection and investigation. Vivi decides their first case will be Sam and Zach can be the guard protecting her. No one likes the idea but quickly the entire extended family that Zach and Vivi grew up with are on board and Sam is overrun and outmaneuvered and getting way more protection than she asked for or wanted again in her life. Zach tries to keep it professional but too soon he takes it personal and Sam has to decide if she is willing to run the risk of this hurt again. But before any major decisions can be achieved they have to find the person or persons trying to kill her, figure out who set all this mess into motion and stay alive which is getting more difficult by the minute. Heartache and pain can take you down or make you grow and seeing how it not only made Sam and Zach grow as individuals is what a well written story is all about. Roxanne St. Claire has allot to live up to following her Bullet Chaser series but I believe this group of individuals that she has created in the new series will be up for the challenge. This particular story lays the ground work and does in with an amazing plot, twists and turns you don't see coming and main characters you are rooting for. I am grateful that Ms. St. Claire found her muse with this group it is going to be a great run.
I can honestly say that this is one of the best murder mystery romance book I have read in a very, very long time. My heart was racing and there were times I forgot to breathe while reading. Roxanne has officially been added to my favorite authors list!
At a restaurant she works at in the Boston area, Harvard law student Samantha Fairchild witnesses the assassination of journalist Joshua Sterling; the second time she saw a person kill another human. Her horrified face is caught on the security tape and the killer knows she saw him and is coming for her. The Boston Police Department refuse to protect Samantha because they hold her culpable for exposing a BPD scandal years ago though they hide their rejection (but not their contempt) behind bureaucratic garbage. Desperate she turns to her friend investigative journalist Vivi Angelino whom she has avoided since an affair with her brother Zach ended with him rejecting her. Zach has recently returned from the combat zone, but bears physical and mental scars from his time over there. He is not the same person who left for the Middle East although his sister makes him open up a private investigative firm with her. Then Samantha enters the office; the woman who he will always love though he broke her heart. The opening Guardian Angelinos romantic suspense series is a great Massachusetts' thriller. The story line is action-packed from the opening scene at the restaurant and never slows down as Roxanne St. Claire's fans anticipate two showdowns; one between the stalking killer and the lead couple and the other between the lead couple. As with her Bulletcatcher saga, Ms. St. Claire provides readers with a super tale. Harriet Klausner
This is one heck of a start to what I believe will be ANOTHER phenomenal series by Roxanne St. Claire! I could not put this book down! I was absolutely hooked from page one. The suspenseful entertainment never dipped and kept me guessing until the very end, hence reading the entire book in an incredibly short amount of time. One of my favorite things about Miss St. Claire's writing is her ability to create such strong leading ladies. And of course, no one writes the kind of men we hope to fall into the arms of better than this writer! The emotion in this book can both bring you to tears and make you laugh. I am in love with the entire Angelino family, she did a really great job at introducing the family members and giving us just enough to be anxious as all get out waiting for more books in this series to debut! And Bullet Catcher fans, the subtle little referrals to characters from that series will give you an added chuckle. I thoroughly enjoyed the novel cover to cover and am confident you will too!
Roxanne St. Claire is a bestselling author of twenty-four novels of suspense and romance. In addition to being a four-time RITA nominee, her books have won the National Reader's Choice Award for best romantic suspense for two consecutive years, as well as the Daphne du Maurier Award, the HOLT Medallion, the Maggie, Booksellers Best, Book Buyers Best, several Awards of Excellence, the Aspen Gold and multiple Gayle Wilson Awards of Excellence. Roxanne holds a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Market Communications from UCLA and completed several post-graduate courses in Marketing Management at Harvard University. Prior to launching a full-time career as a novelist, Roxanne worked as a television actress and news reporter, appearing in Bosom Buddies and Laverne & Shirley, and hosting a regional news program in southern California. She then launched a career in public relations and marketing, including seven years as a Senior Vice President for Hill & Knowlton, one of the world's largest communications firms. Roxanne joined the Romance Writers of America in 2000, held a board position in her local chapter and is currently active in three chapters in her home state of Florida. Other titles include: Hunt Her Down, Make Her Pay, First You Run, Then You Hide, Now you Dies, and Hit Reply. Harvard-bound law student Samantha Fairchild has just witnessed the murder of a Boston celebrity journalist, and now she's the assassin's next target. With nowhere else to go, Sam seeks help from her once best friend, Vivi. But the investigative reporter recruits her brother Zach Angelino to protect Sam. Despite the fact that they once shared a passionate affair that ended badly when he went to war, Zach takes the job. But Zach isn't the same person he was then. He's come back scarred and reclusive. But one thing hasn't changed... As they race for their lives in a hunt to gain the truth, the fire which once consumed them for three short months long ago quickly ignites again. This is my first Roxanne St. Claire book, but it won't be my last. I love an author who can write with depth and emotion in a suspense, and make it seem plausible. This was witty, sexy, and breathtakingly raw. I especially love the secondary characters in Zach's family, and the setting in Boston was well-written and vivid. A definite must read! Kelly Moran, Author and Reviewer, Bookpleasures
Fun, exciting and hot
Great story. Lots of suspense and sweet romance.
She writes a sexy alpha hero so well and Zach (Zaccaria) Angelino is a perfect example of her talent for conjuring up men who go far past appealing. (Drool Factor!) He is a former Army Ranger, "tall, broad, dark and...imposing" as she describes and he is part of a large Italian family. I like that she has made Zach both cocky and yet vulnerable too.
Loved all the books in this series!