Missing [NOOK Book]

Overview


Wes Holden has witnessed the ravages of war firsthand as an army special ops, but nothing could have prepared him for the senseless deaths of his own wife and son—or the private nightmare that follows. An empty shell of a man, he is unable to do anything but survive. Until the day he walks into Ally Monroe's yard.

Born and raised in the isolated beauty of the mountains of West Virginia, Ally faces a bleak future spent caring for her stern widower father and two brothers. With ...

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Missing

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Overview


Wes Holden has witnessed the ravages of war firsthand as an army special ops, but nothing could have prepared him for the senseless deaths of his own wife and son—or the private nightmare that follows. An empty shell of a man, he is unable to do anything but survive. Until the day he walks into Ally Monroe's yard.

Born and raised in the isolated beauty of the mountains of West Virginia, Ally faces a bleak future spent caring for her stern widower father and two brothers. With few job skills, she knows her wish for something more is hopelessly naive. But that doesn't stop her from dreaming that a stranger might walk into her backyard and transform her lonely life.

Something in Wes's fathomless eyes tells Ally all she needs to know. And when he settles into the abandoned cabin nearby, a special bond begins to form between them. But as Wes slowly emerges from his haze of pain, his soldier's instincts soon kick in. He knows there's danger hidden in the mountains, a place carefully chosen to hide a thriving business in illegal drugs. Worse, it's a threat closing in on Ally….


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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
By the end of the first chapter of Sala's overwrought romance, Wes Holden, a former POW in Afghanistan who suffers from PTSD, has seen a Muslim terrorist kill his wife and son. Meanwhile, in rural West Virginia, Ally Monroe cares for a selfish father and two fully grown brothers. Her father urges her to marry a local widower, but Ally, who gave up on love long ago (what with being born with a game leg), dreams of a man walking out of the woods to save her from her drudgery-which is exactly what happens. The grief-stricken Wes, having regained his senses and realized that his slimy stepbrother wants to get his hands on his army benefits, escapes to Blue Creek, W.Va., where he meets Ally. But there's a mysterious farmer up on the mountain, and extremely unsettling things happen when Ally's brothers begin to help him harvest his crop. Though the two well-realized leads fall in love in a credible fashion, their story is lost amid the overwriting. The palpable aura of sadness surrounding Wes and Ally eventually grows to overwhelming proportions, because most of the other characters are incredibly selfish, greedy, evil or mad. To top it off, the book takes a gruesome, violent turn toward the end that makes it, and its Perils of Pauline plot, even more absurd. Agent, Meredith Bernstein Literary Agency. (Nov.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781460308370
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 11/15/2012
  • Sold by: HARLEQUIN
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 69,752
  • File size: 609 KB

Meet the Author


Sharon Sala is a native of Oklahoma and a member of Romance Writers of America.  She is a NYT, USA Today, Publisher's Weekly, WaldenBooks mass market, Bestselling author of 85 plus books written as Sharon Sala and Dinah McCall.  She's a 7 time RITA finalist, Janet Dailey Award winner, 5 time National Reader's Choice Award winner, 4 time Career Achievement Award from RT Magazine, 4 time winner of Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence.


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Read an Excerpt

Missing


By Sharon Sala

Harlequin Enterprises Limited

ISBN: 0-7783-2084-7


Chapter One

That inner part of a soldier that tells him when he's being watched was going off big-time in Wes Holden's head. His face was hidden beneath a layer of menthol-scented shaving cream, which gave him a false sense of anonymity, yet, despite his disguise, they'd found him again.

As he looked up, his eyes narrowed to slits, staring first at his own reflection in the bathroom mirror, then into the room behind him. When his gaze centered on the woman standing in the shadows, he stifled a groan.

He should have known.

It was Margie.

The fear on her face was palpable. He knew he'd caused it, but unless he changed what he did and ignored who he was, he didn't know how to help her. He'd known her since childhood, had loved her since high school - and, for the last fifteen years, had called her his wife.

He started to acknowledge her presence but changed his mind. There was tension between them that had nothing to do with his most recent tour, which had sent him first to Afghanistan, in search of Osama bin Laden, then, after the president had declared war, into Iraq.

Like every soldier's wife, Margie knew that he served his country at the risk of his own life. But this time it had been different. This time they were at war. Every day she'd watched the news on CNN in silent desperation, partly hoping to see his face, partly praying, if the filming was in the midst of conflict, that he was nowhere around.

The day she'd answered the door to find two army officers and an army chaplain standing on her doorstep, she'd started to scream. It had taken valuable minutes of their visit to calm her down long enough to explain that her husband, Colonel John Wesley Holden, wasn't confirmed dead - only missing.

Missing in action.

Three words that had almost brought sanity to an end.

The next month of her life had been a blur of fear and numbness. She admitted to Wes later that, if not for the presence of their son, Michael, she would have gone mad.

At that point Wes quit thinking about the weeks he'd spent as a POW, not certain he would ever see his family again, and shifted his focus from her face to his own.

There were still whiskers that had to come off before his meeting with a base psychiatrist at 0900 hours, and while the pace of life might be slow and easy in Georgia, it was a different story at Fort Benning.

Before he could resume shaving, he heard the sound of running feet. Moments later, he heard Margie cautioning their son not to run in the house; then Mikey burst into the bathroom, landing with a none-too-gentle flop on the closed lid of the commode.

"Easy, buddy," Wes said. "You almost missed the landing pad."

Five-year-old Michael John Holden giggled, then shoved the hair out of his eyes as he gazed longingly at his father.

"Daddy?"

Wes pulled the razor through a patch of shaving cream and whiskers, twisting his chin to accommodate the blade.

"What?"

"Someday will I have whiskers like you?"

Wes hid a grin as he sluiced the razor beneath a steady flow of hot water.

"Yeah... someday, but not anytime soon. You have to grow up some more before you get whiskers."

"Is it as long as Christmas?" Michael asked.

Pain wrapped itself around Wes's heart as he looked down at the earnest expression on his little boy's face.

"Yeah, Mikey, it's at least as long as Christmas."

Satisfied with the answer, Michael settled back for his front-row seat for the ritual they shared, where Daddy shaved and Mikey watched, interspersing the moment with a constant barrage of comments and questions that soon had Wes laughing.

Mikey was so enthralled with the process that Wes finally caved in, took the blade out of an extra razor, handed it to his son as he stood him up on the lid of the toilet seat, then put some shaving cream on Mikey's face.

"This is just for practice, okay, son?"

"Okay," Mikey said, then took the razor with all the ceremony due a first shave and peered at himself in the mirror. "Look, Daddy, I'm 'most big as you."

"Yeah, buddy, you sure are," Wes said gently, then watched his son scraping the shaving cream off his face with the empty razor, twisting his chin as Wes did, and grimacing with great élan. A few minutes later, he pronounced himself done and settled back down on the toilet seat with a wet washcloth to his face while Wes finished his own shave.

Wes's thoughts wandered, trying to come to terms with the fact that when he'd left for Afghanistan, Michael had been barely four and his biggest interest was watching Bob the Builder. Now he'd come back to find him only months away from his sixth birthday and concerned about growing whiskers.

It was enough to stagger a normal man. For Wes, it enhanced his guilt about leaving his family, and reinforced his concern about the nightmares and flashbacks he'd been having.

Post-traumatic stress disorder.

PTSD.

A nice four-letter acronym for a bitch of a problem.

Fancy words for trying not to go crazy from the hell of war.

He'd accepted the diagnosis with little emotion. It was his opinion that army doctors, like all doctors, preferred to categorize their patients' health issues. It was easier to treat them if their symptoms fell within certain parameters, so they gave everything a name. Wes would like to give the name back, but he had yet to figure out how to shake it.

It should have been simple.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Missing by Sharon Sala 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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 23 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 21, 2012

    This book grabs you right from the start with plenty of action a

    This book grabs you right from the start with plenty of action and suspense. It is about dealing with pain and anguish of life's trials whether physical disabilities or emotional ones. The characters are well developed, strong and likable (or not). The villain is pure evil in his designs to make a buck and eradicate a group of people he deemed unworthy to live.
    I was disappointed that the first ½ of chapter 18 is a detailed sex scene. It is does not add to the story and is unneeded and easily skipped. The relationship is well established before this point without this scene. I loved everything else in the book. I wanted to recommend it to everyone until this chapter.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted March 30, 2014

    Best book ever

    I finished this book i 2 days i didn't want to put it down the book the first day i wanted to stop but sleep tock it's toll so i had to but the next day came amd i started to read right away i love this book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2012

    Interesting!

    A really touching and exciting story.

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  • Posted November 4, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Jennifer Wardrip - Personal Read

    For Colonel John Wesley Holden, a soldier in the Special Operations division of the Army, risking his life fighting terrorism in a desert thousands of miles away is part of his job. In the back of his mind, however, he's always wondered how safe he and his family are back in the United States. His wife, Margie, and his son, Mikey, are the only things that kept him sane during his months spent as a prisoner of war. When a man manages to infiltrate an Army base commissary and blows it to bits, causing the death of the only two people he's been able to love, Wes knows the truth-the enemy has followed him home. <BR/><BR/>Wes becomes lost in a near-comatose state; visions of past wars flicker constantly through his mind, his hold on reality is fragile at best, and is slipping away fast. It will take more than a miracle for this man to become anything like who he was in the past. It's not a miracle that forces him out of the hospital on a medical discharge, but it's nothing short of one, when he wanders aimlessly into Ally Monroe's backyard. <BR/><BR/>Ally is a late-twenties woman in a mid-forties body. She's tired, lonely, and fed-up with spending every minute of her day taking care of her widowed father and two middle-aged brothers. She dreams of a handsome, mysterious stranger walking out of the woods behind her house-he'd ask her for a drink of water, they'd fall madly in love, and her Prince Charming would rescue her from a life of catering to others. <BR/><BR/>When Wes Holden stumbles into her yard, asking for that drink of water, Ally is scared to death. How can this be? And how is it that the man she thought would rescue her seems to be the one needing rescuing? With an old woman giving her psychic cryptic messages, Wes ensconced in her dead dwarf uncle's cabin, and her brothers becoming odder and odder after working in the fields of a neighbor, life as Ally knows it is suddenly anything but ordinary. <BR/><BR/>MISSING is Ms. Sala's romantic suspense at its best. Strong emotions, vivid characters, and the underlying sense that all is not right make this a great book. I highly recommend it to all lovers of the genre.

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

    Posted October 23, 2007

    A reviewer

    For Colonel John Wesley Holden, a soldier in the Special Operations division of the Army, risking his life fighting terrorism in a desert thousands of miles away is part of his job. In the back of his mind, however, he's always wondered how safe he and his family are back in the United States. His wife, Margie, and his son, Mikey, are the only things that kept him sane during his months spent as a prisoner of war. When a man manages to infiltrate an Army base commissary and blows it to bits, causing the death of the only two people he's been able to love, Wes knows the truth-the enemy has followed him home. Wes becomes lost in a near-comatose state visions of past wars flicker constantly through his mind, his hold on reality is fragile at best, and is slipping away fast. It will take more than a miracle for this man to become anything like who he was in the past. It's not a miracle that forces him out of the hospital on a medical discharge, but it's nothing short of one, when he wanders aimlessly into Ally Monroe's backyard. Ally is a late-twenties woman in a mid-forties body. She's tired, lonely, and fed-up with spending every minute of her day taking care of her widowed father and two middle-aged brothers. She dreams of a handsome, mysterious stranger walking out of the woods behind her house-he'd ask her for a drink of water, they'd fall madly in love, and her Prince Charming would rescue her from a life of catering to others. When Wes Holden stumbles into her yard, asking for that drink of water, Ally is scared to death. How can this be? And how is it that the man she thought would rescue her seems to be the one needing rescuing? With an old woman giving her psychic cryptic messages, Wes ensconced in her dead dwarf uncle's cabin, and her brothers becoming odder and odder after working in the fields of a neighbor, life as Ally knows it is suddenly anything but ordinary. MISSING is Ms. Sala's romantic suspense at its best. Strong emotions, vivid characters, and the underlying sense that all is not right make this a great book. I highly recommend it to all lovers of the genre.

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

    Posted October 7, 2005

    By Far One of the BEST

    This book is by far one of the best books you will ever read. It isn't one of your everyone and everything is perfect book and it will shock you, but isn't that what we want. I was crying in the first chapter (so did my mom). You must read this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2005

    Very dark and depressing

    I love Sharon Sala as a writer but this book was a huge disappointment. It starts out extremely disturbing and never stops. There are some glimmers of hope but they really can't save this book. All in all both main characters lives are very depressing and you wonder how they could possibly find love, especially in such a short time

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2004

    Must Read1

    This book will make you cry but by the end will make you stand up and cheer. Sharon Sala does an excellent job with making you feel you know the characters. Look forward to reading more of her novels

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2004

    Good read

    I enjoyed this book. When I first started reading it I wasn't sure if I would like it but I quickly got caught up into it and I read it in two days. This novel was suspenseful and emotional. This is the third book I have read by Sharon Sala and her books are very emotional but very interesting and it captures you. The only criticism is that I would have liked more romance. I like a even mixture of romance and suspense.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2004

    You are not missing much.

    This book was disappointing compared to her Out of the Dark and Dark Water. It was very slow and not suspenseful. It is difficult to see how the two main charaters fall in love. There was not enough romance and at the end of the book, I was just glad I finished it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2004

    Missing.

    He survived Iraq, but a disaster at home is enough to send Wes Holden into a living death. When he begins to see the light at the end of his catatonic state, Wes hides that fact, which enables him to escape from a living Hades forced upon him by his so called family. His route takes him to the backwoods, a rustic world that seems to have changed little in the last century. There he will meet a young woman of great courage. Ally Monroe is bright and beautiful, despite having her childhood stolen to take care of her father and brothers and despite being club footed. No man has ever wanted her before, and she's not been interested. However, as her father tries to marry her off to a misogynistic hick, Wes catches her eye. Even as the two lost souls begin to find each other, something sinister is at work, bringing the threat of bioterrorism to West Virginia and forcing Wes to call upon his military skills to save the woman he loves. ................ *** Sharon Sala always captures readers' empathy in her heroes and heroines who turn their scars to stars with the magic of love. Even though at first blush, the situations seem unreal, before long the realism of her story will become apparent. ***

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    An engaging tale

    Special Ops Officer Wes Harden is spending time with his wife and son after an extended tour in a Middle East hot spot until a bomb explodes at the Fort Benning commissary, killing his family members. Wes breaks down suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. His stepbrother Aaron Clancy sees a chance to use Wes¿ military entitlement so he takes him back to Miami with him. After a few days, Wes leaves ending up in Blue Creek, West Virginia where Ally Monroe provides him food and shelter................... Abby¿s father worries that he done his daughter wrong by having her become the family matriarch for him and her two brothers when her mom died. He tries to hook up with a widower with three young children, but Abby refuses. As she brings Wes out of his shell, her brothers work for a chemist developing a new addictive illegal drug who wants the newcomer dead. Wes, feeling guilty for falling in love with Abby, refuses to allow harm to come to her, but the enemy is nasty and clever............................... This is an engaging tale in which readers will feel the heartbreak and guilt that Wes endures after the deaths of his loved ones especially as he was saving his country at the cost of quality time with them (do not procrastinate when it comes to love). His guilt accentuates when he falls in love again. Ally is a terrific lead female who has no hope for her future until Wes arrives. The drug confrontation adds unneeded suspense though that helps Wes return to the living, but what moves MISSING is a character driven story in which love is the fabulous real healer.............................. Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews

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