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In Too Deep

In Too Deep

4.8 6
by Sharon Mignerey

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After testifying at a mobster's murder trial, Lily Reditch thought she would finally be able to give her daughter a normal life. She never expected to fall for her new boss, Quinn Morrison, which only made things better. Then an assassin threatened Lily's life, jeopardizing the passion--and safety--she'd found in Quinn's protective arms.

As the danger


After testifying at a mobster's murder trial, Lily Reditch thought she would finally be able to give her daughter a normal life. She never expected to fall for her new boss, Quinn Morrison, which only made things better. Then an assassin threatened Lily's life, jeopardizing the passion--and safety--she'd found in Quinn's protective arms.

As the danger mounted, a devastated Lily realized that the only way to keep her daughter safe was to disappear--alone. But how could she abandon her little girl or the new love she had found? And no matter how far she ran, she couldn't run from the fact that she was carrying Quinn's child....

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Silhouette Intimate Moments Series , #1228
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Read an Excerpt

In Too Deep

By Sharon Mignerey

Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 2003 Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0373272987

Chapter One

"Mommy, look at what we found." Five-year-old Annmarie's call was filled with enthusiasm from where she was bent over a tide pool with her new best friend, Thad.

Lily Jensen Reditch grinned at her daughter's excitement as she clambered around several large boulders to reach the rocky beach. Act the act until you feel the feeling. Normal was the feeling she wanted, and today felt ... normal. Her daughter's carefree joy as she skipped through life was something that Lily would give a lot to have back in her own. She'd done all the right things to be better - gone through grief counseling and completed the regime recommended by victim's advocacy - and she was determined to be her old self. The optimistic one. The naive one. That thought made her smile. Optimistic - oh, she hoped so. Naive - never again.

Movement farther down the shoreline caught Lily's attention. She breathed a sigh of relief when she realized it was just Thad's uncle Josh, hiking around the Hollywood Bowl.

It was a collapsed mineshaft that had eroded into a clamshell shaped cave at the water's edge.

Lily deliberately reminded herself that the whole reason she had moved here was so she didn't have to assess every person she met as a threat. No threats here, despite the sleepless nights that continued to plague her and despite the nightmares that made sleep something to avoid. Dismissing Josh from her thoughts and reminding herself to smile, Lily returned her attention to the children and the beach, which was dotted with tide pools that reflected the misty noon sky of late August.

By Alaska standards the day was warm. Cold, though, compared to the balmy weather of California where they had lived until two months ago. Despite the gray sky that promised rain, Annmarie's blond hair gleamed, and Lily touched her daughter's head when she reached the kids. Wrapping her thick red cardigan more firmly around herself, Lily bent over the pool where the children crouched.

A small scallop and an equally small crab rested at the bottom of the pool. A second later the crab bumped the scallop, and it shot through the water with surprising speed.

Annmarie laughed. "Wow, did you see that?"

Lily grinned at her daughter's unabashed delight. "I did."

"How do you suppose he did that?" Thad asked.

"He clamped both halves of his shell together, which squirts the water out and makes him leap forward," she responded, demonstrating with her hands. The mechanics of how a bivalve moved was elementary compared to the mountains of research data she had been absorbing during the last few weeks.

A hydrothermic vent discovered last year was the major project under way at the Kantrovitch Research Center. Lily had uncovered several interesting areas where she could put her background to work ... if she chose to get back into the research fast track. She was tantalized, a surprise since all she had wanted was to come home so she could be closer to family, especially her sister Rosie.

During the past month, the center had been practically deserted, evidently a planned break until additional funding arrived in September. Max, a jack-of-all-trades and handyman, had been the only other person around, caring for the specimens in the various aquariums, setting up the pressure tanks needed for deep-water specimens, and providing her with the extra muscle she had needed to drag new file cabinets out of the middle of the floor.

The project leader, Quinn Morrison, had interviewed her by phone, hired her sight unseen, and had encouraged her to settle in. He'd left her a set of keys and told her to take any desk in the main room except the one closest to the windows.

"How do you know it's a he?" Annmarie wanted to know, drawing Lily's attention back to the discovery at hand - the small scallop. "It might be a girl."

"Could be."

"How do clams make babies?" Annmarie asked, pulling at Lily's sleeve. Whether talking about her aunt Rosie's pregnancy or other animals, babies - or, more accurately, the making of them - recently held endless fascination for Annmarie.

"I bet they do it like snails. I've seen 'em in my brother's aquarium," Thad said before Lily could answer.

"But this is a clam," Annmarie said.

"Not it's not. It's a scallop," Thad said with the superiority that came with being two years older. "I bet they open their shell real wide so they can touch like snails do."

"Actually, the male and female never touch," came a voice from behind Lily, deep, as gravelly as the surf over rock, and pure Texan in the accent. "The male's sperm is drawn through the water to the female when he senses eggs are present."

Lily whirled around to look at the man, alarmed they were no longer alone and that he'd managed to arrive without her seeing or hearing him. His statement could have been salacious, but it was, instead, the matter-of-fact explanation of a scientist.

She sized him up through the haze of warnings that she hated ... that she wasn't safe, that strangers were potential threats. The man's deep voice matched his appearance. Tall, broad-shouldered. Bigger than life, in fact, from where she knelt on the rocks next to the children. His sandy hair curled at his nape and over his ears, mussed as though he had repeatedly run his fingers through it. His eyes were dark, the color of a fjord when the shadows stretched over the water.

He smiled as he knelt next to them and said to Lily, "Hi, I'm Quinn Morrison." Before she could respond he smoothly turned his attention back to the kids with, "This scallop will be lucky to even find a mate." He pointed at the sea star that also occupied the tide pool. "See this guy here? He's Pacific Henricia and his favorite food is the scallop. And if he gets close enough -"

"The scallop will be lunch," Thad finished.

Lily's galloping heartbeat settled. This was her new boss - and, of course, he knew the scientific names of the local sea life.

"That's right," the man agreed.

"Maybe we should take her out of this pool and put her into another one," suggested Annmarie.

"What if the sea star is hungry?" he asked. His glance skipped over Lily before focusing on her daughter.

Each time he looked at her, Lily could feel a charge in the energy around her. She hadn't felt a spark of awareness like this in nearly forever. She shivered and openly watched him. The tanned lines of his face and the deep smile lines around his eyes reminded her of the men in her family - men who wrestled a living from the sea by fishing the waters of the inside passageway.

He smiled easily as he talked to the children, the expression encompassing his entire face. It wasn't so much handsome as interesting. Prominent cheekbones sculpted a deep hollow at his cheeks and a cleft emphasized his chin and square jawline. Clearly in his element, he wore a long-sleeved denim shirt, a micro-fleece vest and worn, button-fly jeans.

Annmarie asked, "Why does he have to eat this scallop?"

"Because Mother Nature intended that some animals be food for others. Sure, we could move it, but it could end up being somebody else's lunch." He winked at Annmarie. "Yours or mine."

"That's right," Thad agreed with an emphatic nod. "I've eaten scallops. Lots of times."

"So, how does the boy scallop know when the girl scallop has eggs?" Annmarie asked, returning with single-minded purpose to her earlier topic. The child had babies on the brain.

"Well," the man answered, "we don't actually know for sure. We think the female's scent changes. That's the trigger for mating behavior in most animals."

"You mean, they smell? Like perfume or something?" She wrinkled her nose.

He laughed. "Yeah. Like perfume or something."

Once more his gaze slid from Annmarie to Lily, who felt her color rise. She became aware of his scent - not cologne or sweat. Something far more subtle and altogether ... pleasant. A nudge of awareness became something more, a primal recognition that welled out of the depth of her heart. He's the one.

She shoved the thought away. John had been the one. Her beloved John who had died so suddenly more than two years ago. Whatever spark she felt was loneliness, she reasoned. Maybe even envy at seeing her sister and her brother-in-law so deeply in love. Maybe missing someone to hold her through the night when her thoughts were consumed with a past she couldn't change.

He smiled and extended his hand. "You must be Dr. Jensen."

"You're back." She automatically shook his hand. A common, ordinary act. Still, she was aware of his touch, his hand large and warm and inviting around hers.


Excerpted from In Too Deep by Sharon Mignerey Copyright © 2003 by Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Meet the Author

Sharon will likely tell anyone who asks that her life is so ordinary it could be used as a commercial for sleep aids.

She always knew she wanted to be a writer from the time she was in second grade and discovered those sentences that had to be written to go with the spelling words could be turned into stories. Magic! She remembers vividly getting that first library card, and from then until now she's always read as much as she could. All that reading, in turn, fueled her passion for writing. Though the path to becoming published was a longer one than she'd ever anticipated, she never gave up on her dream to be a published author.

After she graduated from college, she became a technical writer, and for many years wrote software documentation for computer systems. User's guides and system analysis weren't quite what she had in mind, though, and she always wrote fiction on the side. During the years she kept polishing her stories and submitting them for publication, while she and her husband raised two daughters who are now grown. One is a ballet instructor and the other is a software developer.

Sharon likes to garden, but considers herself an amateur compared to her parents, whose acre yard is a showpiece. Her friends will tell you she has a gardening analogy for just about any life situation--some people compare life to football, Sharon maintains it's like a garden. Her favorite part of her yard is a water garden complete with water lilies and goldfish.

She's been married to her best friend for more years than she admits to being old. When she's asked about that, she professes to be lucky--that she got it right the first time and that she can't imagine living her life with anyone else. But then she'll add that marriage is like a garden. It has to be tended and nurtured regularly; you have to focus on the blossoms, recognize and appreciate the cycles of the seasons, and get rid of the weeds so there's room for the good stuff to grow.

Her constant companions are a cat and two dogs, an aging Lhasa apso that she's had for many years and a shih tzu rescued from a puppy mill. She says training the shih tzu has been one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences she's ever had. "He had never been around people, except in a negative way," she says. "So, he was very timid at first, and we'd had him over a month before he wagged his tail for the first time--that was a red-letter day."

Sharon is part of a critique group that has been together for nearly 10 years and says its members have become her closest friends. "Publication," she says, "might never have come without their support and encouragement."

Once asked what her core belief is, she answered that there are two. First, love conquers all. Second, dreams do come true...when you work diligently toward their achievement.

Sharon loves to hear from her readers, who can reach her at sharon@sharonmignerey.com.

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In Too Deep 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sharon Mignerey captivates you right from the start. You will instantly fall in love with Quinn and Lily's story. It is set in coastal Alaska and Sharon makes you feel like you are right there in the midst of the action. Full of suspense and romance. I have read all of Sharon's works and they keep getting better and better. You won't be disappointed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've been waiting for what seems like forever for Lily's story. If you've read the previous two books in the series, you know that Lily was a witness to a murder. At last, that's over and she's gone home to Alaska to raise her daughter and where things are safe. Or so she thinks. She immediately falls for her new boss, a marine biologist Quinn Morrison. This guy is wounded and tender and strong and all the things we readers hope for in a romance hero. He tells himself that he likes Lily and because he does, he's going to do the honorable thing and stay away from her. He's rotten at relationships, and he's very up front with Lily about this. Except, that doesn't scare her off. And he begins to fall for her, too. Then strange accidents keep happening, and they are potentially life threatening. And Quinn keeps doing the right thing and taking good care of her. Then Lily learns that the guy she testified against has put a contract on her life, and she must make a choice. Abandon her family and all the people she loves to go into Witness Protection or risk endangering them if she stays. This choice was heart wrenching to read and I felt like I was right there with her. Not only is she tied to the hero, but she also has deep ties with her sisters and her friend Hilda. In the middle of all the suspense, Lily's little girl, who wants a baby brother or sister, asks Quinn to marry her mother. You just know he's a goner even though he vows that he's never going to get married again. I won't give away the end, but I will tell you that it will have you on the edge of your seat. This story is set in coastal Alaska, and the setting is so rich and so vivid I'm ready to visit right now. With the way this story is written, it couldn't have taken place anywhere else. If you've read TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT and FRIEND, LOVER, PROTECTOR you've probably also wondered what's happened with Rosie and Ian and with Jack and Dahlia. There here, too, just enough to satisfy. I loved every single thing about this book, and I'm looking forward to Sharon Mignerey's next book. I just wish she'd write them faster.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has it all, romance, adventure, and surprises galore. It is a fitting story for Lily who has been through so much and for Quinn who in his own way has been through a lot. They are truly meant for each other, but have so many obstacles to overcome. Add in mystery and intrigue and you have a wonderful read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is absolutely wonderful! You are swept away from the very first paragraph to the very last page. You can't help but adore the supporting character Annmarie and have true empathy for Lily and Quinn. It's a great read!