Kissing the Key Witness (Harlequin Intrigue Series #1135) [NOOK Book]

Overview

A dying man's last words threatened to reveal the identity of a powerful crime boss, and after hearing them, Dr. Maya Santiago knew her life was in danger. As a killer stalked her, only one man could help....

Homicide lieutenant Stephen Talbot had always wanted Maya. Even though he didn't feel worthy of the compassionate doctor, he was determined to protect her at all costs--especially from himself.

But as he and Maya grew closer...and the ...

See more details below
Kissing the Key Witness (Harlequin Intrigue Series #1135)

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$4.50
BN.com price

Overview

A dying man's last words threatened to reveal the identity of a powerful crime boss, and after hearing them, Dr. Maya Santiago knew her life was in danger. As a killer stalked her, only one man could help....

Homicide lieutenant Stephen Talbot had always wanted Maya. Even though he didn't feel worthy of the compassionate doctor, he was determined to protect her at all costs--especially from himself.

But as he and Maya grew closer...and the killer drew nearer...could she convince him to put his heart on the line as well?

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426832864
  • Publisher: Harlequin Enterprises
  • Publication date: 5/1/2009
  • Series: Harlequin Intrigue Series , #1135
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 337,031
  • File size: 207 KB

Meet the Author

Jenna Ryan was born in Victoria, British Columbia. After long stints in different cities across Canada, she returned home to Vancouver Island where she has lived ever since. She has had eighteen books published by the Harlequin Intrigue series. Her ideas come from real life, and she is helped in her writing by her sister Kathy.

She enjoys reading and is a big fan of women's fiction, psychological suspense and mystery novels. She also enjoys watching classic suspense movies. She loves strong heroines, heroes with character, romance stories and a good whodunit by the fire on a rainy night.

Her heritage is a blend of English and Irish—which is probably where the gift of blarney comes from. She is unmarried, but involved with a wonderful man. She also has a little white cat named Sheena.

Whenever she is not writing, she travels as much as time and finances will allow. After North America, Europe is her favorite continent to explore, because it was in those countries that many of the myths and legends she drew upon in her early years of writing were born.

Growing up, she considered various careers and dabbled in several of them, including, after university, the travel industry, tourism, sales and modeling. Work in the fashion industry in Toronto and Montreal gave her an interesting peek into various aspects of that world. She learned that where money, power and people come together, there will always be unpredictability—an element she feels is essential to a strong mystery. Add a healthy measure of personal conflict, an intriguing setting and a spicy romance into the mix, and you have the ingredients for what she believes to be the best of allpossiblestories—a great romantic suspense.

Jenna loves to hear from her readers.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Maya, wait!"

So close, Maya Santino reflected, with a sigh. She'd actually made it to the staff exit this time.

A lanky E.R. nurse swooped in from the side. "Nice try, Doc, but it's a no go." Spotting Maya's earbuds, she cupped a hand to her mouth. "I said, we need you, Dr. S."

"Yes, I gathered that, Jamie." She pulled out the earbuds and stuffed the iPod into her oversize bag. "What's the problem?"

"McVey's here."

Although she wanted to resist, Maya let her friend and colleague propel her back along the corridor. "You do know I was coming off a ten-hour shift even before that last two-hour meeting, right?"

"Is it my fault the man won't see anyone but you?" Jamie Hazell continued to push her forward. "Admissions says his hand's wrapped in a filthy towel, but he flat out refuses to go to the clinic. Says it's you or no one. There's Lysol at the desk if you want it."

Maya grinned. "My uncle raises chickens in South America. Spend a weekend on his farm, then talk to me

about McVey." A brow went up. "Treatment room four?"

"As far from the madding crowd as possible."

"There's a madding crowd?"

Jamie swept a hand in front of her as they rounded the corner. "You decide."

From Maya's perspective, it was only mild mayhem. She'd seen much worse during her three-year tenure at Miami's Eden Bay Hospital. Once, the sea of gurneys had been so deep, she'd been forced to climb over one to reach another.

Of course, they'd been smack in the middle of the hurricane season then. Storm after storm had pelted the southern coast. There'd been home and highway accidents, tramplings and assaults. Scores of buildings had been damaged. Maya's roof had taken two beatings from uprootedtrees. Her car had gotten it from a toppled streetlamp.

Reaching out, she straightened her friend's name badge. "Cheer up, Nurse Hazell. You're transferring out of the E.R., remember? Thirty days and counting."

"Unless Dr. Driscoll changes his mind. It's happened before. Enjoy your patient."

Five minutes later, her earbuds replaced by a stethoscope around the collar of her lab coat, Maya pushed through the treatment-room door.

McVey—it was the only name he used—sat on a table. His thin shoulders were hunched, and his back was bowed. The thought struck, as it often did, that he seemed familiar in some way. Then, poof, the thought vanished, and he was just McVey again, a man currently in a great deal of pain.

He supported his injured left hand with a grimy right.

He might not live on the street, but Maya suspected the odd jobs he did at a low-income apartment complex didn't keep him far from it.

"Okay." Using her two index fingers, she indicated the bloody towel. "What's the story?"

"Got slammed in a furnace door. Rusty metal, sharp edges. Tore the skin when I jerked free. Uh, is Witch— sorry, Nurse Hazell working tonight?"

"I'm afraid so."

Maya watched his face as she unwrapped the towel. He kept his eyes averted. Meant he was lying about something, though she figured the rusty-metal part was probably true enough.

"Any point asking if you've had a tetanus shot over the past decade?"

He almost smiled, but still didn't meet her eyes. "Any point trying to fake you out?"

"Not much." It was a deep gash that would require several stitches. "Why me?"

Another near smile. "Because you're pretty?"

"Other doctors are prettier."

"But only you remind me of Sabrina."

"Excuse me?"

"The movie, remember? Audrey Hepburn was the title character. She grew up and was transformed, like you've done since you came here as a resident."

"Have I known you that long? Huh, blink and the years fly by."

A grim-faced Jamie came into the room. She sorted through the instrument tray while Maya finished her examination.

McVey's eyes narrowed. "You're not gonna spray me again, are you, Nurse?"

"I'd like to do more than spray you," Jamie retorted, with an expression that made Maya's lips twitch.

"Careful," she warned when McVey opened his mouth. "Remember, Nurse Hazell administers the local."

He pressed his lips together for the duration, even took the tetanus shot without a whimper. But then she suspected he was accustomed to injections and, if the alcohol on his breath was any indication, not in quite as much pain as he could be.

"Okay. Done." She snapped off her latex gloves. "Grab a doughnut on your way out."

The door cracked open, and an intern's head appeared. "Sorry to interrupt, Doctor, but there's been a pileup on the interstate. Twenty, maybe thirty cars. Several injuries, and we're the closest E.R."

"We're also the most understaffed," Jamie called after him. "Crap. Why's it always us?"

"Fate or proximity to the freeway. Take your pick." Maya started for the door. "Keep that hand as clean as you can, McVey. Come back Monday, before I go off shift, and I'll look at it."

Her attention shifted instantly at the sound of sirens wailing. She joined the line of attendants jogging toward the entrance.

It was going to be a very long night.

Everything around him had gone gray and blurry, even with his eyes open. Sort of open, Adam amended, inasmuch as he could think with the light that kept tugging at him. Beautiful light, silvery and soft. It had siren qualities, but he resisted the lure.

He sensed movement, saw the gray haze alter. Ugly streaks of red slashed it apart. Noise, like shrieking daggers, jabbed into his brain. Hands clutched his shoulders and shook him.

"Don't die," Falcon pleaded from above. "I need that information back."

Adam would have laughed if an anvil hadn't been sitting on his chest.

"I have to go." The snitch's voice faded. "Someone'll help you. I'll come back when you're better. I don't think he saw me in the warehouse. I think you blocked his view…."

Probably true, Adam thought fuzzily. Man, this had definitely not been his night.

The darkness thickened, grew hotter, stickier. He couldn't swallow, could no longer think. Faces flashed inside the red. His ex-wife's, his old friend's, his new enemy's.

Voices shouted indistinct words. The hands on his shoulders fell away. He heard Falcon swear, then a more familiar voice.

"Adam?"

Startled but not panicky. Female.

"Maya?"

She leaned over, and he saw her face. Exotic features, dark hair, incredible eyes. Bluer than a tropical lagoon.

"Screwed up," he murmured. "Made you hate me."

"I don't hate you."

Maybe not, but she was waking the pain anyway.

The light around him intensified. He was breathing fire now. He felt her hands on him and groped until he caught her wrist. "Stop," he croaked. "Listen."

"Adam, I can't help you if—"

"I'm dead, Maya. I know it, and so do you. Do this for me, please."

"Do what?"

He squeezed. "Take care of things. Made a will last year. Straightforward. Money, investments—they're my sister's. Condo's yours. Go through it and—Ahh!" Pain sheared from chest to brain. He had to talk through his teeth. "Don't let my brother have the Mustang… Crash addict. Give my sweet baby to Tal." He fumbled two sets of keys fromhis pocket. "Condo keys, car keys. Promise."

"Yes, okay, I promise. Now let me help…."

"There's more. Stuff, official stuff. Hid it. Don't trust anyone, anywhere. Huge mistake. Big fish, small pond. S'all I can say. Tell Tal to finish the deal."

The light flared. It seemed to explode like a starburst that went from a bang to a fizzle.

"Sorry, babe." He rattled out a breath. "I'll tell your mom you're good."

"Adam?" Now she shook him. "Adam!"

The last thing he saw was her face. Then the sparkles died, and there was nothing.

"Dr. Santino?" A nurse with red curls and acne touched her sleeve as she stared at her ex-husband's face. "A lower body trauma's just come in. Female. Six months pregnant."

Through the buzz of shock in her head, Maya caught the last part of the nurse's statement. She shook off what she could and refocused. "Where?"

"Over there." The young nurse—Cassie? Callie?— pointed. She looked down, then hesitantly up. "Can I, uh, do anything for you?"

"No. Thanks, but no." With a hand that wanted to shake, Maya closed Adam's eyes. She regarded the paramedic who'd helped her lift him from the ground to the gurney. "Take him inside. I'll be right there."

"Got a bleeder over here," another nurse called.

The words jarred. "Thirty seconds," Maya told the redhead. "Get Jamie to take the bleeder."

Turning away, she pressed two fingers to her temples. She needed to settle herself, to absorb what had just happened.

Adam had always been a risk taker. She'd loved him once, hated him briefly, then figured to hell with it and dealt with her mistakes. With her mistakes.

They'd been strangers, for the most part, after the divorce. He'd transferred to Orlando, but returned to Miami sixteen months ago, because his roots were here, he'd said.

She understood roots. Hers were mostly here, too. In any case, she hadn't hated him by then.

"Doctor Santino?"

Her thirty seconds were up. Adam was dead. She couldn't make him undead by standing outside the emergency room, ignoring the injured while a host of memories swamped her.

"I'm really sorry, Adam." Head tipped back, she spoke to the night sky. Then shut down and fixed her attention on the living.

"Are you awake, Tal?" Don Drake's voice hacked rudely into Stephen Talbot's dream.

"Go away," Tal said into the phone. "I'm still working the Demorno case."

"You're done enough to be back in Miami, so listen up. I got a call from Lieutenant Morse in fraud."

Tal tried to prop his eyes open. When that failed, he rolled onto his back and let the watery light outside play against his lids. "You've got about ten seconds before my brain shuts down. This is the first time I've seen a bed in three days."

"Tyler's dead," his captain growled. That worked. He went up on one elbow. "Adam Tyler?" "You got it. He was shot late tonight, died in the E.R." Tal swung his feet to the floor. "Eden Bay?" "You're two for two. He went to his ex for help—or was taken there. Details are sketchy. McGraw's on his way over to firm up what he can, but since homicide and fraud are more or less cooperating on the Perine investigation, I want a rep there, too. Tyler was a cop, Tal. He was one of us. I know you're familiar with the case he was working on, even if you weren't directly involved. I want that shooter nailed. Tyler was your friend, so I'm thinking you'll want the same thing."

Tal's sleep-deprived mind resisted the attempt to shove it into line. When had he and Adam talked last? Seven, maybe eight days ago, and only briefly then. Adam had called him in Tampa.

"He said he had a line on Orlando Perine." "Had a hook in the bastard's mouth, near as I can tell." Drake gave a grunt. "Grill McGraw, see what he knows, but don't count on him giving you straight answers. You know how the fraud boys are. Vultures over a rotting carcass."

Standing, Tal bulldozed the last of the grogginess from his brain. His old academy friend was dead. He'd died at Eden Bay Hospital. Adam's ex-wife worked at Eden Bay. Had she seen him, spoken to him? Hell, had she watched him die?

With the light off and the phone wedged between his shoulder and ear, he located his jeans. "Adam was working with an informant last week," he said. "Some guy who wanted out. Didn't get a name."

"He didn't, or you didn't?"

"Both. He called the guy Falcon."

Dragging a T-shirt over his head, Tal searched for boots, sneakers, shoes—anything wearable. He found a pair of black hikers on the closet floor and, holding his keys in his mouth, laced them on.

"You know Tyler's ex, don't you?" the captain asked.

Tal grabbed a jacket. "We've met."

"Use it. Tyler was a good cop, and homicide's our business. We call the shots. Fraud's on the sidelines here. Make sure McGraw understands that."

Tal really didn't care what McGraw understood. Adam had been his friend. Whether officially or unofficially, this was his case now.

"Heading out," he said and tossed the handset aside.

Adam Tyler was dead. And the man responsible was going to pay.

"You can't outrun the truth, Ms. Santino. Someone shot your ex-husband. Someone who works for Orlando Perine, aka the slimiest scumbag in the Sunshine State."

Gene McGraw enunciated the last part of his statement as if speaking to a five-year-old child. Not the best approach, in Maya's opinion, but then if the rumors she'd heard about him had any merit, he wasn't the most tactful cop in the fraud division. He certainly wasn't the most incisive.

Three hours had passed since the first ambulance had pulled in. She'd lost count of how many patients she'd treated—which was just as well, since counting meant thinking, and thinking would lead her straight to Adam. Not that she could avoid that destination indefinitely. Detective McGraw was dragging her there despite the crush of activity around them.

Bumping him back, Maya palpated the ribs of a man groaning on a gurney outside an overflowing treatment room.

"Ms. Santino…"

She turned from the patient. "You don't seem to be getting it, Detective McGraw. I haven't got time for a cross-examination right now. Although it continues to escape your notice, we're a bit busy here."

"So the fact that your ex-husband's been murdered doesn't mean diddly to you?" He hitched a testy shoulder as a pair of paramedics elbowed past.

Appearance-wise, McGraw reminded Maya of a shaggy blond Columbo. In terms of attitude, however, the word caveman sprang to mind. Or perhaps more aptly, her cousin Diego, who she swore was a throwback to one of her mother's nastier Andalusian ancestors.

"Believe me, Detective, I'd give a great deal to be able to reverse time and bring Adam back, but I can't do that, and unless you know some secret science, neither can you. What I can do is help the people in the here and now. Once the last patient is treated, I'll be more than happy to answer any question you want to throw at me. Until then, the machine in the doctor's lounge has better coffee than the cafeteria. It's also free."

Tipping her lips into a quick smile, she sidestepped his arm and was out of range before he could object.

"Guess you told him, huh?

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 1
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2012

    Bad sample

    Won't buy. The sample was less than a page and didn't include either of the leading characters. Boo

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)