The Missing Twin

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Overview

Detective Caleb Walker had taken on some tough cases for Guardian Angel Investigations, but when Madelyn Andrews came to him, claiming that her five-year-old daughter was able to "communicate" with her twin sister who'd never made it home from the hospital, Caleb was skeptical. One glimpse at the beautiful single mother, though, and he couldn't walk away. Now, as he looked into what had really happened when Madelyn went into labor, suspicious details were uncovered. Details that prompted Madelyn to cling to him ...

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The Missing Twin

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Overview

Detective Caleb Walker had taken on some tough cases for Guardian Angel Investigations, but when Madelyn Andrews came to him, claiming that her five-year-old daughter was able to "communicate" with her twin sister who'd never made it home from the hospital, Caleb was skeptical. One glimpse at the beautiful single mother, though, and he couldn't walk away. Now, as he looked into what had really happened when Madelyn went into labor, suspicious details were uncovered. Details that prompted Madelyn to cling to him as pain consumed her. And the deeper he dug, the more invested Caleb became in their tiny family, in their safety when danger penetrated their lives—and in their salvation when he promised to bring a little girl home….

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Five-year-old Sara Andrews has always had a mental link to her identical twin, Cissy. Now Cissy is in danger, but can the terrified Sara convince their mother that Cissy, who supposedly died at birth, is still alive? Sara's mother, Madelyn, and psychic GAI operative Caleb Walker race against time to put the pieces together and find the missing girl while being faced with a totally unexpected problem—a powerful mutual attraction. VERDICT Emotionally gripping, quickly paced, and littered with bodies, this latest addition to Herron's "Guardian Angel Investigations" series features a complex plot, a cast of likable characters—including a pint-sized charmer—a fragrant hint of the South, and a heartwarming sense of family. A satisfying hair-raiser with a gentle psychic touch. Herron (Brandishing a Crown) lives in Georgia.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780373695515
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 6/7/2011
  • Series: Intrigue Series , #1284
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.46 (w) x 4.26 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Joanna began her professional writing career in 1994. Now, almost forty published books later, Joanna has made a name for herself as being on the cutting edge of romantic suspense. She currently resides in a small community forty miles north of Houston, Texas. Joanna loves hearing from readers and you can email her at joannawayne@hotmail.com or write her at PO Box 852, Montgomery, TX 77356.

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Read an Excerpt

Fear clogged five-year-old Sara Andrews's throat. She could see her twin sister running from the old wooden house, stumbling down the porch steps, crying as she raced toward the woods.

Help me, Cissy cried. He's gonna hurt Mommy!

The wind whistled, shaking the trees. Leaves swirled and rained down. A dog howled in the distance.

Then thunder boomed.

No, not thunder.

It was the big, hulking man storming down the steps. Cissy! the monster bellowed. Come back here.

He slapped at the branches with his beefy fists, moving so fast he was nearly on top of her. Then he lunged for her.

Cissy screamed and darted to the right, running, running, running into the darkness…

The monster reached a pawlike hand toward her and snatched her jacket. Cissy screamed again, stumbled and fell to the ground. But her jacket slid off in the man's hands, and he cursed.

Sweat slid down Sara's temple. Her heart was pounding so loud she could hear it beating in her ears. Get up, Sara whispered. Get up and run, Cissy.

As if Cissy heard her, she took a deep breath, grabbed a fistful of dirt and hurled it at the man.

The dust sprayed his eyes and he cursed, then swung one fist toward Cissy. Cissy dodged the blow, pushed herself to her hands and knees and stood. Tree branches cracked. The wind screeched.

The monster roared and dove for her.

No! Sara cried. Run, Cissy, run.

Tears streamed down her sister's cheeks as Cissy tried to run, but the monster yanked her by the hair and dragged her back toward the house.

Help me! Cissy cried. Please, help me! No! Sara screamed. Let her go….

Madelyn Andrews raced toward her daughter's bedroom, her lungs tightening at the sound of her daughter's terrified sobs. Outside, the wind roared off the mountain and sleet pelted the window, reminding her that a late winter storm raged around the small town of Sanctuary, North Carolina.

Shivering with the cold, she threw open the door, flipped on the sunflower lamp Sara had begged for and crossed the distance to her little girl's bed. Sara was thrashing around, tangled in the bright green comforter, sobbing and shaking.

No, don't hurt her, don't hurt Cissy…

Madelyn's heart broke, worry throbbing inside her as she eased herself onto the mattress and gently shook Sara.

Honey, wake up. It's just a nightmare, she whispered. Although Sara would insist that it was real.

Sara sobbed harder, swinging out her hands as if fighting off an invisible monster, and Madelyn pulled her into her arms. Tears blurred her own eyes as she rocked her back and forth. Shh, honey, Mommy's here. It's all right.

Gonna hurt Mommy… Sara wailed. Help Cissy. We have to help Cissy!

Shh, baby. Madelyn stroked Sara's fine, blond hair. No one is going to hurt Mommy. I'm right here.

Sara jerked her eyes open, her pupils distorted, her lower lip quivering. For a moment, she stared at Madelyn as if she didn't recognize her.

But Cissy's mommy is hurt, Sara said in a shaky voice. The bad man chased Cissy into the woods and he catched her.

It was a dream. Madelyn cupped Sara's face between her hands, imploring her to believe her. A really bad dream, sweetheart, but it was just a nightmare.

No, Sara choked out. It was real. Cissy's in trouble and we gots to help her or he's gonna hurt her.

Oh, honey, Madelyn said softly.

Sara gulped. It was real, Mommy. I saw Cissy. Tears rolled down her face. And she saw me. She begged me to help her. I tolded her to get up and run, but he caught her and dragged her back to the house…

Shaken by the horror in Sara's voice, Madelyn took a deep breath, desperately trying to calm the anxiety bleeding through her.

She dried Sara's tears with her fingers. Sara, I told you that we lost Cissy a long time ago.

No, Sara said with a firm shake of her head. She lives with that other mommy. But if we don't helps her, that mean man's gonna kill 'em both.

Madelyn hugged Sara to her, lost in turmoil.

Something was very wrong with her little girl. She'd been having these nightmares for the past two months, ever since they'd moved back to Sanctuary, and nothing Madelyn had done or said had helped. Not her long talks with her about Cissy, Sara's twin who they'd lost at birth, or the therapists Madelyn had consulted for assistance.

Please, Mommy, Sara cried. We gots to do some thing.

A tear slid down Madelyn's cheek. The day the twins had been born was the happiest and saddest day of her life. She'd gotten Sara but lost her sister.

She'd heard that twins had a special connection, but why was Sara still dreaming that Cissy had survived?

Knowing neither she nor Sara would sleep well the rest of the night, she carried Sara to her bed, then snuggled beside her. Sara lay on her side, sniffling for another hour, then finally drifted into an exhausted sleep.

Madelyn's heart wrenched, and she lay and watched her daughter, unable to sleep. Just as dawn streaked the sky, her telephone jangled.

Who could be calling at this hour? She checked the caller ID. Her mother.

She grabbed the handset, then slid from the bed, walked to the window and connected the call.

Mom? What's wrong? Are you all right? Yes, honey, I'm fine. Have you seen the news?

No, why? What's going on?

A big story aired about a doctor in Sanctuary who stole babies and sold them. His name was Dr. Emery. Isn't that the doctor who delivered the twins?

Yes. Oh, my god. What else did the story say?

This lady named Nina Nash thought her baby died in that big, hospital fire eight years ago but discovered her child was alive. She hired these detectives at an agency called Guardian Angel Investigations there in Sanctuary. These men are all dedicated to finding missing children and they found her little girl.

A cold chill swept up Madelyn's spine. She glanced back at the bed where Sara was sleeping.

Dear God.

Was it possible that Cissy could have survived?

Caleb Walker entered the offices of GAI, his neck knotted with nerves. He hadn't liked the sound of his boss's voice when he called. The urgency had him postponing his visit to the cemetery to visit his wife's grave this morning, and that pissed him off. He'd wanted to go by first thing, to pay his respects, leave Mara's flowers, talk to her and beg her forgiveness one more time…

Gage's voice rose from his office, breaking into his thoughts, and Caleb forced himself to focus. There would be time for seeing Mara later. Time to drown his sorrows and guilt.

He climbed the steps to Gage's office, his mind racing. Had another child gone missing?

Or was there another case related to Sanctuary Hospital? Ever since the news had broken about the recovery of Nina Nash's daughter and Dr. Emery's arrest for selling babies, the phones had gone crazy.

People from all over were demanding to know if their adoptions were legal. GAI had been plagued by crank calls, as well, two from distraught women whose accusations of baby kidnapping had turned out to be false. The women had been so desperate for a child they'd tried to use the illegal adoptions to claim one for themselves.

Caleb twisted the hand-carved arrowhead around his neck to calm himself as he knocked on his boss's office door.

Come in.

Caleb opened the door and Gage stood.

I'm glad you're here, Gage said without preamble. We have a new client. One I'd like for you to handle.

Caleb narrowed his eyes. Why me?

Gage's eyes darkened. You'll know after you meet her and her five-year-old daughter, Sara. Sara insists she sees her twin in her nightmares, that her sister is in trouble.

I don't understand, Caleb said. Sounds like a child having bad dreams, not a missing person case.

It gets even more interesting. Gage flicked his gaze to the conference room across the hall. The mother claims the twin died at birth, but Sara insists she's alive.

Damn. Gage requested him because of his so-called sixth sense. He wished to hell he'd never divulged that detail.

But Gage had caught him in a weak moment.

Gage motioned for him to follow. Come on, they're waiting. Caleb rolled his hands into fists, then forced himself to flex them again, struggling to control his emotions. Emotions had no place in business. And business was his life now.

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