Gotcha! (Sisterhood Series #21)

Gotcha! (Sisterhood Series #21)

4.4 114
by Fern Michaels
     
 

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Revenge Is Never Outdated

Sometimes, justice is a long time coming. That's the case with Julie Wyatt, whose story strikes close to home for the original founder of the Sisterhood, Myra Rutledge, and her best friend—and fellow Sister—Annie. Julie is convinced her greedy daughter-in-law Darlene had something to do with the mysterious circumstances

Overview

Revenge Is Never Outdated

Sometimes, justice is a long time coming. That's the case with Julie Wyatt, whose story strikes close to home for the original founder of the Sisterhood, Myra Rutledge, and her best friend—and fellow Sister—Annie. Julie is convinced her greedy daughter-in-law Darlene had something to do with the mysterious circumstances surrounding her son Larry's death. She desperately wants to get a confession out of Darlene—and to ensure the safety of Larry's daughter, Olivia. As Myra, Annie, and their cohorts dig deeper into Darlene's shady dealings, events unfurl in a way that no one could have predicted, bringing to light the true meaning of loyalty and courage—and the kind of friendship that can create miracles. . .

Praise for Fern Michaels and her Sisterhood novels. . .

"Readers will enjoy seeing what happens when well-funded, very angry women take the law into their own hands." —Booklist on Weekend Warriors

"Revenge is a dish best served with cloth napkins and floral centerpieces. . .fast-paced. . .puts poetic justice first."—Publishers Weekly on Payback

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781410458377
Publisher:
Gale Cengage Learning
Publication date:
06/26/2013
Series:
Sisterhood Series, #21
Edition description:
Large Print
Pages:
439
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.10(d)

Read an Excerpt

Gotcha!


By FERN MICHAELS

KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.

Copyright © 2013 MRK Productions
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4201-3199-4


Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Earlier that summer


In Manhattan, Mace Carlisle stepped out of the door of the Dakota, where he lived, and looked at the new day. A perfect early summer day, the temperature just right, he thought. Perhaps not at six o'clock in the morning but certainly by nine o'clock, just three short hours away, the day would be bright and sunny, with marshmallow clouds moving lazily across the sky. The trees in Central Park would whisper and do their dance for all the tourists, dog walkers, and joggers trying to take advantage of the golden day.

Mace stood a few minutes more to savor the early morning air before he walked to the curb and hailed a taxi. He could have driven, but today was a secretive kind of day, a day when he didn't want to be followed or watched. A Mace Carlisle day.

He was headed to the office of his lawyer, Oliver Goldfeld. Oliver was the only other person he knew who arrived at his office by six thirty, just the way he, Mace, did. For over twenty years, the two men had convened for coffee and Danish at Oliver's office two days a week to discuss Mace's affairs. It was something Mace looked forward to, because he always seemed to have a good day after meeting with Oliver.

Oliver and Mace weren't just lawyer and client. They were friends in the true sense of the word. While Mace wasn't Oliver's only client, he was his biggest and richest client. In fact, most of Oliver's clients had signed on with Oliver because of Mace's endorsement of the lawyer. Goldfeld and Associates was an eight-man law firm whose specialty was corporate law.

It was six twenty-five when Mace stepped out of the elevator and walked to the plate-glass doors he knew would be open. No one else would be in the offices yet, so they would have the place to themselves.

The reception room was neither lavish nor shabby. There were shiny green plants and a lot of mahogany. The lighting was subdued and the carpeting soft. Once, years ago, Mace had told his friend that he needed to "slick up the place," and this was the result.

Mace looked up at the sound of footsteps coming down one of the halls. He fixed a smile he wasn't feeling onto his face and moved forward.

Some people meeting both men for the first time might take them for brothers, or at least close relatives. Both men were tall, six-two and -three. Both weighed in at one-seventy or thereabouts. Both liked to dress in custom-cut Savile Row suits. Both had gray hair, and both had summer blue eyes even at their age, which was, in both cases, sixty. Both had hawkish noses and strong chins. They had both been bachelors until three years ago, when Mace had gone off the rails and married his masseuse, a marriage he had regretted the moment he returned from his Hawaiian honeymoon.

Oliver led the way to his private conference room, where he already had two containers of Dunkin' Donuts coffee and a bag of sugary donuts sitting on the table. "Your turn next week, Mace," he said as he handed over napkins and paper plates.

"Shouldn't you be serving this on fine china, with all the money I pay you?" Mace grumbled.

Oliver laughed, a great, booming sound. "Mace, you say that every time we picnic here in the conference room. One of these days, I'm going to surprise you and haul in some fine china just for you. Spit it out, buddy. You look like hell, by the way."

"I feel like hell. Where's Andrew? I thought you said he wanted to sit in this morning, so he could do a hatchet job on me." Andrew was the firm's CPA and a lawyer in his own right.

"It's his turn to carpool this morning. I don't know what more he can say except to say it in person. I faxed his report to your office. You need to get rid of her, Mace, before she does a number on you from which you cannot recover. Wall Street is already rumbling, but then you know that. I have the divorce papers drawn up; they just have to be filed and served on her. I did the restraining orders for her and her son. You hired that weasel, and he's biting you big-time. The eviction notice is prepared and ready to be served. The thing is, I want you out of here, far away, when all this goes down. Tell me you understand, Mace?"

"I understand. Did she really divert twenty-seven million dollars to her own bank? I almost lost my lunch when I read that. Yes, yes, I know I never should have put her son in charge of the legal department. Look, I was stupid, okay? I'm sorry I didn't listen to you. I admit to being the biggest fool to walk the face of the Earth. What more do you want me to say, Oliver?"

Oliver massaged his chin as he stared at his friend. "Do not worry about the money. We can freeze the money. I have a very good man who excels at such things. But I want her out of your apartment before I do that. At the proper moment, her credit cards will be canceled, right along with everything else. The minute she walks out of the building, it will get done. Everything has to be synchronized, and you have to be gone. The weasel will also be escorted from your corporate offices by your security. I need you to tell me you are okay with all of this, Mace."

"What about the prenup?" Mace asked.

"Ten million dollars if the marriage lasts five years. It's cut-and-dried. When I draw up a prenup, I draw up a prenup. No way on this Earth can it be broken. She gets nothing other than what you've given her in the way of jewelry and her own personal bank account, which, by the way, has over eight hundred thousand dollars in it. That, plus what you paid her son for doing nothing and screwing up your legal department, is more than fair for three years of marriage. I also took the liberty of canceling the lease on his apartment in Trump Towers that you're on the hook for. What I mean is, it will be canceled the moment your security walks him out of the building."

"Should I worry about any of this, Oliver?"

"Hell, yes, you should worry. Your wife is a greedy, vindictive woman. She's already saying you're over the edge and doing insane things to the detriment of the company. Your shareholders are not going to like that. As I said, the boys on the street are making rumbling noises. No matter how you look at it, Mace, it's a mess. Now, when are you planning on leaving?"

"As soon as I walk out of here. I can't go back to that place. The minute she's out, put it up for sale and be sure to get the locks changed. You have someone who can handle all of that, right? Oh, and have someone pack up my things and put them in storage. In the meantime, I can buy what I need when I get to where I'm going."

"Where are you going, Mace?"

"I don't know. When I arrive, I'll let you know. Here," he said, tossing his cell phone across the conference table. "I bought a new one. When I call you, you'll be able to see the number. Here are my credit cards. I've seen enough spy movies about people going on the run and the good guys tracking them by their cell phones and credit cards."

"Take mine, Mace. At least take my passport. The picture is bad enough that no one will look twice. We could pass for each other anytime, anyplace. You need cash, too."

"Yes, I know, but I didn't want to risk going to the bank and taking money out. I didn't want to tip my hand. Give me some cash out of one of my escrow funds. One last thing; I want you to have my power of attorney, Oliver."

"Not necessary. The old one is still good, Mace. How much cash do you want?"

Mace grimaced. "A wad. I can always call you if I run out. Okay, now what is my cover story?"

Oliver blinked. "You're asking me? You're the one taking it on the lam. I thought you had a plan."

"Well, if getting in the car and driving somewhere is a plan, then I have a plan. I'll just drive till I run out of gas, and that's where I'll end up. Can you come up with something better?"

Oliver shook his head. "No, actually, I can't. What car are you planning on driving, Mace?"

Mace slapped at his forehead. "Crap! My car will stand out like a daisy in a manure field. How about I take one of yours?"

"Mine are just as noticeable as yours. In case you forgot, we bought our cars at the same time. So take your own and don't worry about it. When whoever it is gets around to me, I will have all the answers. You better get going, Mace; it's almost seven o'clock. No matter which way you're going to go, you are going to hit rush-hour traffic. Let me get the cash for you, then you need to go. Check in from time to time, okay?"

"I will. So, from this moment on, I am going to be Oliver Goldfeld, right?"

"Just don't go practicing law and giving out advice. I don't relish being hauled before the bar. What about her and the kid's cars?"

"Take them," Mace snapped.

"And ...?"

"Sell them to the highest bidder. I really don't care what you do. Just get rid of them."

"I have this vision of the mother and son riding the subway. Now, there's something I would pay money to see."

In spite of himself, Mace laughed.

Five minutes later, Mace had a manila envelope full of cash.

Five minutes after that, the two old friends gave each other a manly hug.

"This is going to turn out okay, isn't it, Oliver?"

"Well, if it doesn't, it won't be for lack of trying. Everything is set to go. She won't even know you're missing until you fail to show up this evening. That puts you in a good position. Keep a low profile, and I'll take care of this end."

"Oliver, why hasn't either one of us used her name? We refer to her as her or she. We don't even call the boy by name."

"First of all, he isn't a boy, he's thirty-three years old. His name is Eli. Her name is Eileen. There, does that make you feel better?"

"Not one bit. See ya when I see ya, Oliver."

"Go on, you big lug, get out of here before I go all mushy on you. Hey, on your way out, why don't you go to the SPCA and pick up a dog. Pick the ugliest one they have, the one no one else wants, and that dog will love you forever. You have enough time to do it."

"You know what, Oliver? That's the best advice you've given me since I got here. Do me a favor; call them and tell them I'll be by to pick her or him up in an hour. I'm going to do it. Thanks for the suggestion. Man and his dog. I like that. I really do."

When the door closed behind Mace Carlisle, Oliver Goldfeld picked up the phone to call the SPCA. While he waited for the call to go through, he muttered, "Good luck, Mace."


Ninety minutes later, Mace Carlisle roared into the SPCA parking lot. He climbed out and literally sprinted toward the door, to be greeted with barking and howling dogs. A frazzled attendant looked up and said, "You must be Mr. Goldfeld." Mace nodded, then looked around. He had a bad moment when he realized he was there just to rescue one dog. He blinked, and in that instant he knew if he wanted to, he could save every animal in the shelter. He blinked again and yanked out his brand-new cell phone and called Oliver. He turned away and spoke quickly and quietly. A huge smile split his features when he turned back to the attractive blond woman behind the counter.

"Here she is," the woman, whose name tag indicated that she was Connie Toulouse, said. "Her name is Lola. She's a mix of God only knows what. She's timid, and she needs some TLC. Actually, she needs a lot of TLC. Are you up to it, sir? Owning a dog is a huge responsibility. Lola is going to depend on you. I don't have any stats on her. Someone found her and brought her here, so I have to assume she's been on her own for a while. I cleaned her up, and she's had her shots. I'd have your own vet look her over. That will be seventy-five dollars."

Mace whipped out two one-hundred-dollar bills and laid them on the counter. "Give me one of everything she's going to need." Then he bent down to look at the skinny, trembling dog, who was trying desperately to be invisible to the huge man standing over her. Mace dropped to his knees. When he looked into Lola's eyes, it was love at first sight. He picked her up and held her close to his chest. He couldn't ever remember anything feeling this good, this right. He stroked her head and whispered words he would never remember later. Lola continued to shake, but, gradually, she seemed to calm down. Mace continued to croon soft words in her ear.

Mace looked at his $1.38 million Maybach Landaulet, which generated 543.1 horsepower. Lola was certainly going from rags to riches. He grinned, something he hadn't done in a very long time. He opened the door and set the dog down in the front seat. He threw her gear into the back and slid behind the wheel. He buckled up and set Lola on his lap. He babbled nonstop to the dog until she relaxed and curled into a ball on his lap. "Don't you worry, little lady, you're mine now. I'm going to take good care of you, and I'm not going to feed you those rabbit-poop pellets Connie Toulouse gave us. We're going to stop at the first place we come to when we get out of Manhattan and get you some real food. Later, we'll adjust your diet after the vet checks you out."

It was almost noon when Mace peeled into a fast-food stop in New Jersey and went through the drive-through. He ordered basically one of everything, then pulled the ultra-luxurious high-end car over to a shaded area. Lola sniffed at the bag of food but didn't move. In the end, Mace fed her by hand. She ate daintily and looked up at him with soulful brown eyes. She had completely stopped shaking by then. After eating as much as she wanted, Lola sat up, put her paws on Mace's shoulders, and licked at his face. Mace could feel his eyes mist over. After hugging the dog, he opened the car door.

Lola cringed. "No, no, we're just going to go over there under the tree. I'm going to carry you. It's okay, Lola. Shhh," Mace said as he cradled the dog against his chest.

Once they were under the tree, Mace sat down on a bench and lowered Lola to the ground. "I think this is where you pee or something since you just ate and drank. You have to do it."

Lola tilted her head to the side, listened to the words, and squatted. "Good girl! You ... ah ... have to do anything else?" Lola tilted her head again and moved off to the base of the tree, where she proceeded to do the something else. Mace laughed. When she was finished, he scooped her up, and they were back in the car within minutes and on the way south to God only knew where.

By late afternoon, Mace and Lola had entered the state of Virginia. He stopped for the night at a roadside campground whose sign said that dogs were welcome. The cabin was a far cry from the Ritz, but not only was it clean, it even smelled clean.

In the lobby of the main cabin, Mace picked up a road map and took it with him back to his cabin. He spread it out on the floor and told his dog, "Pick a place, Lola." He never knew if Lola had understood him or not, but she obligingly planted a paw on the map. Mace looked down and laughed. "Okay, Lola, Alabama it is!"

CHAPTER 2

Julie Wyatt looked down at her dogs and wagged her finger. "Listen up, you guys. I am just going to the market and bank, and I'll be back in an hour. You chew even one string, and you both get punished. Bark once if you understand me, twice if you plan on defying me."

The two Chesapeake Bay retrievers looked up at their mistress and barked. Once. Julie laughed. "Yeah, right! Listen to me, Cooper. I know you have separation anxiety when I leave, but I am coming back." Then she looked over at Gracie, who was swishing her tail importantly. "Bite his ear if he starts chewing, Gracie."

Normally, Julie took the dogs with her when she ran her errands, but the A/C in her truck was on the sluggish side, and the big dogs had trouble with the high humidity. So she was leaving them behind.

Outside, on her flower-bedecked veranda, Julie looked at the golden day, then at her yard. Yep, with all the rain they'd had lately, her four-acre yard was beginning to look just like Jurassic Park. She groaned when she thought about how much extra she was going to have to pay the gardener just to trim everything up before it got out of control.

As she looked around at the different flowerpots and the comfortable furniture on the veranda, she found herself smiling. Once the sun went down, she loved sitting out with a frosty glass of iced tea and watching the paddle fans overhead whir softly, causing the luscious ferns hanging from the beams to stir in the light breeze. The dogs loved it, too, especially when she gave them bacon-flavored chew bones to chew on. Sometimes she even dozed off with the dogs.
(Continues...)


Excerpted from Gotcha! by FERN MICHAELS. Copyright © 2013 by MRK Productions. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
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.

Meet the Author

Fern Michaels is the USA Today and New York Times bestselling author of The Sisterhood and Godmothers Series, Fancy Dancer, Tuesday’s Child, Betrayal, Southern Comfort, Return to Sender, Mr. and Miss Anonymous, and dozens of other novels and novellas. There are over seventy-five million copies of her books in print. Beyond her writing, Fern Michaels has a passion for giving back to her community, and has built and funded several large day-care centers in her hometown, and has outfitted police dogs across the country with special bulletproof vests. Originally from Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Michaels now resides near Charleston, South Carolina.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Summerville, South Carolina
Place of Birth:
Hastings, Pennsylvania
Education:
High School

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Gotcha 4.4 out of 5 based on 2 ratings. 114 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
 This book was so awsome brought a tear to my eye more than once. I am ready for book 22 . Best series i have ever read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Starting reading and couldn't put it down, AWESOME!!!!! Hope there will be more. Best series I've read. Feel like I'm right there with them .
lovesbooksRF More than 1 year ago
Wonderful to have the Sisterhood Series back. "Gotcha" is pure sisterhood.....keeps a reader interested enough to stay up all night finishing it. Hopefully more of the series will be forthcoming.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another awesome book in this series! Could not put it down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great continuation of the Sisterhood series. I always enjoy the ladies, and find moments to laugh and cry. I am sometimes dismayed at the violence of the women, but they are vigilantes. I would love to know where Avery Snowden takes the " bad guys" at the end since this is a recurring theme in this series, but Ms. Michaels hasn't revealed much about that.
Claudito More than 1 year ago
My 93 year old mother enjoys this series immensely and is on book #22 now. I haven't read them but she says they are very good.
goldieinaz More than 1 year ago
The Sisterhood has been the best series I have ever read. The author continues to create stories that impossible to put down. I recommend that anyone who loves a good story should read each and every book in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am such a BIG fan of the sisterhood series. So excited that there are more books. I encourage anyone that is a fan of Fern Michaels to read this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LOVE THIS WHOLE SERIES
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really did enjoy this book. I hope she comes up with somemore in this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read it in one day. Love all the characters. Ready to teach my yellow labs some new tricks!
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: Gotcha - The Sisterhood Book 21 Author: Fern Michaels Published: 6-25-14 Publisher: Zebra Pages: 273 Genre: Women's Fiction Sub Genre: Series, Suspense, Mysteries & Thrillers ISBN: 9781601830678 ASIN: B00BHLJLD8 Language: Occasional Profanity Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley . Julia Wyatt has gone through many major life changes with a few more still to go. While still trying to navigate how these new changes are going to affect her everyday life she meets a fellow dog lover and rents him her the small cottage behind her home. Her greatest worry though is her granddaughter Olivia. Following her son's death, Olivia's stepmother, Darlene got custody and has kept Julia and her family from being able to see Olivia even though Julia's son was in the process of leaving Darlene and taking Olivia with him to move back Julia's house. Julia knows that Olivia is at least verbally being abused and fears she may also be suffering physical abuse. She had contacted the sisterhood shortly after Darlene obtained custody, but never received a reply. Unknown to Julia the Sisterhood were fugitives at the time and never received her letter. Years later Julia gave a last attempt and sent another letter. When Myra Rutlig receives Julia's this letter she immediate calls Annie and they make arrangements to go to Julia and help in any way necessary to make share Julia gets her granddaughter back. I thought Fern Michaels had abandoned the Sisterhood series and was ecstatic when she started it up again. Gotcha shows us that Fern Michaels has in no way lost her touch. Gotcha has a topic close to the heart of most Grandparents and that is the rights of Grandparents in the United States. How far would you go to protect a member of your family, especially a young child. Myra and Annie both know the pain of losing a child as do many others. Like the other characters in the Sisterhood series these women have steel in their backbones and iron wills. I would greatly love to meet and get to know them. I always enjoying a chance to visit them again and again. The Sisterhood is back and they are better than ever. I have only one warning to readers not familiar with this series. The Sisterhood delivers up their own brand of justice and it is brutal and violent.
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queeniePS More than 1 year ago
Have never read one of Fern Michaels but a good friend told me to so I did. Am reading another right now. I think I will plan on reading as many as I can. They are really good, fast reading, good plot line, interesting characters. and just plain fun to read. I would surely recommend her books but I would start with a little earlier one rather than #21.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love your books. Keep writimg fern michaels
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. Could not put it down. Had some good twists and turns. But I have to admit I enjoy all the Sisterhood Series that I have read.
SadieSueMarie More than 1 year ago
I have been reading the Sisterhood Series all a long, and the only negative I can say is Fern doesn't write them fast enough. I love the series and have recommended it to may others.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like Fern Michaels books, this is the first one in the sisterhood series that I have read. I really didn't care for the violence. It had a good plot and a good ending.