Lawman

( 51 )

Overview

When San Antonio FBI agent Garon Grier buys a ranch in Jacobsville, Texas, the strong, silent loner is hoping to mend some broken family fences. He is not looking for love when he finds an unexpected, unwanted attraction to the girl next door, a shy, lovely woman who believes some secrets are best kept hidden. But the truth will prove just as dangerous when Garon tackles the most difficult case of his career: hunting an escaped convict, a child predator whose former victims are ...
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Overview

When San Antonio FBI agent Garon Grier buys a ranch in Jacobsville, Texas, the strong, silent loner is hoping to mend some broken family fences. He is not looking for love when he finds an unexpected, unwanted attraction to the girl next door, a shy, lovely woman who believes some secrets are best kept hidden. But the truth will prove just as dangerous when Garon tackles the most difficult case of his career: hunting an escaped convict, a child predator whose former victims are all dead. All except one.

Grace Carver grew up in this quiet Texas town. She works as a cook at the local café and nurtures a spectacular garden in the home she shares with her elderly grandmother. She remains unmarried and untouched because of a past darkened by tragedy. Now, at only twenty-five, she has accepted loneliness as a way of life. That is, until she meets Garon.

Only when fear and uncertainty collide in reckless heartbreak does Garon fully realize what he's found with Grace—and what he may have lost. Because his hunt for a killer has led him to the last person on earth he would ever have expected to be the one who had escaped death at the hands of a madman. And now a desperate lawman and a proud woman must decide if secrets will come between them forever—or free them to love.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780373772834
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 5/1/2008
  • Series: Long, Tall Texans Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 304,775
  • Product dimensions: 4.21 (w) x 6.62 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author


Diana Palmer is a pen name of Susan Spaeth Kyle, a former newspaper reporter who now has well over one hundred books in print, translated and published around the world.

Former radio broadcaster Todd McLaren has been heard on more than 5,000 TV and radio commercials; narrations for documentaries on such networks as A&E and the History Channel; and films. His book narrations have earned him a prestigious Audie Award as well as a Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award.

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Read an Excerpt

THE OLD JACOBS PLACE was in disrepair. The last owner hadn't been big on maintenance, and now there was a leak in Garon's study. Right over his damned computer, in fact.

He glared at it from the doorway, elegantly dressed in a gray suit. He'd just arrived in Jacobsville from Washington, D.C., where he'd been taking a course at Quantico on homicide investigation. It was his new specialty, that area of law enforcement. Garon Grier was a career FBI man. He worked out of the San Antonio office, but he'd recently moved from an apartment there to this huge ranch in Jacobsville. His brother Cash was the Jacobsville police chief. The brothers had been alienated for some time. Cash had disowned his family over his father's remarriage just days after his beloved mother's death from cancer. That long feud had only just ended. Cash was newly, happily, married to Tippy Moore, the "Georgia Fire-fly" of modeling and motion picture fame. She had just had their first child, a little girl.

Cash thought the child was the crown jewels. To Garon, she looked more like a little red prune with flailing fists. But as the days passed, she did seem to grow prettier. Garon loved children. No one would ever have guessed it. He had a demeanor that was blunt and confrontational. He rarely smiled, and he was usually all business, even with women. Especially with women. He'd lost his one true love to cancer. It had eaten the heart out of him. Now, at thirty-six, he was resigned to being alone for the rest of his life. It was just as well, he decided, because he had nothing to give to a woman. He lived for his job. He would have liked a child of his own, though. A little boy would be nice. But he had no desire to risk his heart in pursuit of one.

Miss Jane Turner, the housekeeper he'd hired, came into the room behind him, her thin face resigned. "There aren't any construction people available until next week, Mr. Garon," she said in her Texas drawl. "We'd best put a bucket under it for now, I reckon, unless you want to climb up on the roof with a hammer and nails."

He gave her a superior look. "I don't climb up on roofs," he said flatly.

She looked him over in the suit."That doesn't surprise me," she muttered, turning to go.

He gave her a shocked look.She must think he never wore anything but suits, when he'd grown up on a sprawling west Texas ranch. He could ride anything with four legs, and he'd won prizes in rodeo competitions in his teens. Now, he knew more about guns and investigation than he did about rodeo,but he could still run a ranch. In fact, he was stocking purebred black Angus cattle here,and he planned to give his father and brothers a run for their money in cattle shows. He had in mind founding his own champion herd sires here. If he could lick the problem of getting qualified cowboys to work for an outsider, that was. Small towns seemed to draw into themselves when people from other places moved in. Jacobsville had less than two thousand people living in it, and most of them seemed to watch Garon from behind curtained windows every time he walked around town. He was surveyed, measured up and kept carefully at a distance for the time being. People in Jacobsville were particular about letting strangers join the family, because that was what they considered themselves—a family of two thousand souls.

He glanced at his watch. He was already late for a meeting with his squad of agents at the San Antonio FBI office, but last night his flight had been unexpectedly delayed in D.C. by a security hitch. It was early morning before the plane landed in San Antonio. He'd had to drive down to Jacobsville, and he'd barely slept. He walked out onto the wide, concrete front porch with its gray floor and white porch swing and white wicker furniture and cushions. Those were new. It was late February, and his housekeeper said they needed someplace for his company to sit when it came. He told her he wasn't expecting to have any. She snorted and ordered the furniture anyway. She was an authority on everybody who lived around here. She'd probably become an authority on him in short time, but he'd told her graphically what would happen if she dared to pass on any personal gossip about his life. She'd just smiled. He hated that damned smile. If he could have gotten any other spinster lady with her cooking skills to work for him…

He glanced at an old, black car of unknown vintage coughing smoke as it went slowly down the road. That would be the next-door neighbor, whose little green-trimmed white clapboard house was barely visible through the pecan and mesquite trees that separated his big property from her small one. Her name was Grace Carver. She took care of her elderly grandmother, who had a serious heart condition. The granddaughter wasn't much to look at. She wore her blond hair in a long pigtail, and went around mostly in loose jeans and a sweatshirt. She was shy around Garon. In fact, she seemed to be afraid of him, which was curious. Maybe his reputation had gotten around.

He'd met her when her old German shepherd dog trespassed into his yard. He'd escaped his fenced pen and she came looking for him, apologizing profusely the whole time. She had green eyes, very pale, and an oval face. She was plain, except for her pretty mouth and exquisite complexion. She'd only stayed long enough to make her apologies and introduce herself. She hadn't come close enough to shake hands, and she'd left as soon as she could, almost dragging the delinquent dog behind her. She hadn't been back since. Miss Jane had mentioned a week or so later that the old dog had died. Old Mrs. Collier, Grace's grandmother, didn't like dogs anyway. Garon remarked that Miss Carver had been nervous around him. Miss Turner told him that Grace was "peculiar" about men. God knew what that meant.

Miss Jane also said that Grace didn't get out much. She didn't elaborate. He didn't ask anything else about her. He wasn't interested. He liked an occasional night out with an attractive woman, preferably a modern, educated one. Miss Carver was the sort of woman he'd never found interesting.

He checked his watch, closed the front door and climbed into his black Bucar for the drive to San Antonio. He was entitled to use a Bucar—the FBI's term for a bureau conveyance—even though a new black Jaguar sat in the garage next to his big Ford Expedition. He carried all his gear and accessories in the Bucar. So he drove it to work. It was going to be something of a commute, but no more than twenty minutes either way. Besides, he was tired of apartment living. Miss Turner was astringent, but she was a hell of a good cook, and she kept house without talking his ear off. He considered himself fortunate.

He set off down the driveway, casting a curious glance after Grace's choking engine. He wondered if she knew that her car had a mechanical problem, and reasoned that she probably didn't. He glimpsed her from time to time mulching and pruning her roses. She had several bushes of them. That was one thing they did have in common. He loved roses, and during his brief marriage, he'd grown several varieties. It was a hobby he enjoyed,and he had plenty of room to practice it again here at the ranch. Of course, it was February. Not many roses would bloom this time of year.

THE OFFICE WAS BUZZING when he got there. A local homicide detective with San Antonio P.D. was waiting for him, in his office.

"I haven't even had time to brief the SAC about the workshop, yet," Garon muttered to the secretary he shared with another agent. "What's he want?" he added, nodding toward the tall, dark-headed man standing at the window with his hands in his pockets and his black hair in a long ponytail, even longer than the one Garon's brother Cash, wore. It designated a renegade.

"Something about an abducted child case he's working on."

"I don't do missing person cases unless they end as homicides," he reminded her.

She gave him a knowing look. "I work here," she pointed out. "I know what you do."

He glared at her. "Don't get smart."

"Don't get snippy," she shot back."I could be making twenty dollars an hour as a plumber."

"Joceline, you can't even put a washer in a faucet," he replied patiently. "Or don't you remember what happened when you tried to fix the leaky one in the women's restroom?"

She pushed back her short, dark hair. "The floor needed mopping anyway," she told him haughtily. "Now, if you want to know what Detective Marquez wants, why don't you go and ask him?"

He sighed irritably."Okay. How about a cup of coffee?"

"Already had one, thanks," she said. She gave him a smile.

"I hate liberated women," he grumbled.

"Gee, can't you lift a coffee cup all by yourself?" she asked with mock surprise.

"When you come asking for a raise, see what happens," he said.

"When you want a case report typed, see what happens," was the smug reply.

He muttered in gutter Spanish all the way into his office. He hoped Joceline understood every single nasty word. But if she did, she didn't let on.

The detective heard his footsteps and turned. He had black eyes and an olive complexion, and a worried expression.

"I'm Marquez," he introduced himself, shaking hands. "You'd be Special Agent Grier, I assume?"

"If I'm not, I don't have to look at all that paperwork piled on my desk," Garon replied dryly."Have a seat. Like a cup of coffee?" he added, then grimaced. "We'll have to go get it ourselves, of course, because my secretary is a liberated woman!" he raised his voice as she went past the door.

"The computer is about to eat your six-page letter to the attorney general about your proposed new legislation," she called merrily. "Sorry, but I'm sure you can draft a new one…"

"If you ever get married, I'll give you away!"

"If I ever get married, I'll give you away," she retorted and kept walking.

He sat down behind his desk with a rough sound in his throat. "She and my housekeeper must be sisters," he told the visitor. "I hired them and they tell mewhat to do."

Marquez only smiled. "I was told that you head a squad that deals with violent crimes against children," he said.

Garon leaned back in his chair, and all the humor went out of his face. "Technically I head a squad that deals with violent crime, up to and including serial murder. I've never worked child murders."

Marquez frowned. "Then who does?"

"Special Agent Trent Jones was our crimes against children specialist," he replied."But he just got transferred back to Quantico to work on a high profile case. We haven't had time to replace him." He frowned. "I thought Joceline said you had a missing person case?"

Marquez nodded. He looked as solemn as Garon did. "It started out as a missing person case. Now it's a homicide; a ten-year-old girl," he said quietly. "We've checked out everyone close to her, including both parents, and we can't turn a perpetrator. Now we think it might have been a stranger."

This was serious business. The news had been full of abducted children who were murdered by convicted sex offenders, all over the country. The case was, sadly, not that unique.

"Do you have any leads?"

Marquez shook his head. "We only found the body yesterday. That's why I'm here. I found a similar case. I think it's a serial crime. That means I can ask you for help."

Garon leaned back in his chair. "When was she abducted?"

"Three days ago," Marquez said quietly.

"Any latents at the scene?" Garon asked.

"No, and we had the criminologists on their hands and knees all over her bedroom with blue lights. Nothing. Not a single latent fingerprint."

"He took her out of her bedroom?" he asked, surprised.

"In the middle of the night, and nobody heard anything," Marquez replied.

"Footprints, tire tracks…?"

Marquez shook his head. "Either this guy is very lucky, or…"

"…or he's done this before," Garon finished for him.

Marquez drew in a long breath. "Exactly. Of course, my lieutenant doesn't buy that. He thinks we've got a pedophile who carried the kid away and killed her.I told him that this is the second case of bedroom abduction we've seen in the past two years. The last one was over in Palo Verde,and the child was murdered in a similar manner. I found it listed on VICAP, the FBI's violent criminal apprehension program. I showed it to the lieutenant. He told me I was chasing ghosts."

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 51 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(19)

4 Star

(15)

3 Star

(11)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 51 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2008

    Not What I Expected

    I've read several of Diana Palmer's works and have thoroughly enjoyed them. However, this book was a bit disappointing. The hero was particularly offensive in his disdain over the heroines looks and perceived inadequacies, and then his later treatment of her was simply inexcusable. Even though he did suffer a bit because of it, he never made amends for his outrageous behavior, and the fact that the heroine accepted that from him only made her seem even more pathetic. Call me old fashioned, but is it really romantic when the guy treats you like he is doing you a favor by being with you?

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2012

    First

    When I first began reading this story, I thought it was great. Good characters and with some background to make it interesting. WRONG.........Garon was oh, so, cruel to Grace. Shame on you Diana. To say all he did to her in front of other people. Until that part, I loved the book. If you had just had "the other woman" get some of the same treatment I would have been a lot happier with the book. I am one of those readers who likes the bad guys to get their comeuppance.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Don't buy this!!

    I checked out this book from the local library, thank goodness, and only got through the first 5 chapters before I closed it and never opened it again! It was awful. The hero is a total jerk and the female lead is written as if she is a child. She is the victim of a serial killer who tried to kill her as a child but she escaped and the entire town treats her as if she is mentally handicapped instead of a victim. I couldn't stand it. I figured the hero and the woman would get together in the end and I was aftaid it would be uncomfortable to read as there is no way to help but feel like the woman is a child or mentally handicapped...don't waste your money!!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2008

    Disappointed

    I usually love my 'visits' to Jacobsville and all the entertwining characters, but this visit was disappointing. While you cheer for the heroine whole heartedly, the more the story unfolds, you see what a self absorbed jerk the hero is. You can't help but hope some gallant and better suited hero will come along. She was better than him in so many ways. Not what I'd want in a man.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2008

    Not that Great...

    I was absolutely disappointed with this book. As mentioned before, the hero was just down right cruel. It's obvious the heroine has issues, and yet he's still cruel to her. As I was reading, I started hoping that she would find someone else - a twist to the usual romance storyline. I felt sorry for her, but then she became down right pathetic. I think it's important to have different kinds of characters. However, you don't want the hero to be such a jerk that is unredeemable, nor heroine that will just follow along. Hopefully, the next book will be much better. I almost didn't finish this book, but I kept hoping...for something. I was bitterly disappointed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2007

    A reviewer

    Another heart-wrenching heroine who suffers & then wins all. Quick, easy read with a satisfying end. But only 3 stars because of portrayal of Garon's former wife. I have been reading Diana Palmer's books for a few year's now, and she excels at creating characters who suffer and then are redeemed, but I'm starting to get annoyed at the one dimensional portrayal of professional women. Almost all of her books portray professional women as loose, immoral, cold, money-grubbing child deserters. Being an educated professional does not make a woman into a frozenhearted slut!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 10, 2013

    Great book, love this series

    I love this series & this book does not disappoint. Any book written by Diana Palmer is great.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2012

    I love diana palmer i am trying to get all her books on my nook

    I love diana palmer i am trying to get all her books on my nook

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2011

    Great Story

    This was a good storyline and I liked the characters. Highly recommend.

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  • Posted November 2, 2010

    Great on Audiobook!

    The reader of this book does a great job! He got all the emotions right, all the attitude and love, and kept me on my toes into each CD. The story turns really is good. Garon is a great jerk in the middle, cause he thinks he has to be, and Grace eventually learns to hold her own and defend against those who have done her wrong. Garon is humbled when he finally learns to open his heart for the first time in 10 years...and he's thankful it's Grace who has shown him it can be done.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2007

    Lawman

    I started reading her books in July, and so far I have read over 35 of them!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2007

    WONDERFUL

    Another wonderful addition to the Long Tall Texan story line in Jacobsville, Texas. I just cannot get enough of it. I am so ready for the next one. Diana Palmer you are the very best!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2007

    It was good

    The book was great but the characters Leo hart married janie and Tess married Cag that is the only thing that is wrong with this book I enjoyed reading it and I hope you would also like it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2007

    Great

    This was a great book i have read almost all of her books and this one is in the top 10

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    exciting investigative romantic suspense

    San Antonio based FBI agent Garon Grier buys a ranch in nearby Jacobsville. He meets his neighbor the emotionally troubled, but good-natured Grace Carver. They are attracted to one another and make love. However, afterward he knows he made a mistake by thinking with the wrong head and rejects her. --- The townsfolk are irate with Garon¿s mistreatment of Grace. However, Garon has other concerns to deal with than being local public enemy number or the emotional crisis of a reticent female. A serial killer who escaped from prison knows that the only witness still breathing needs to be murdered. Garon, aware that this psychopath is coming for Grace, plans to keep her alive. However, Grace not fully grasping the threat to her life rejects his offer of safety because she fears she will not recover when he breaks her heart again. --- This is an exciting investigative romantic suspense starring two opposites as she is a kind shy person and he is a selfish rat that is until he realizes how much he needs her. The story line is fast-paced with the killer lurking behind every paragraph once he escapes with Grace the target. Although readers will not like the realistic love em and leave em Garon even after his abrupt metamorphosis, THE LAWMAN is a fresh return to Diana Palmer¿s favorite town, Jacobsville. --- Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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