Showdown with the Sheriff (Harlequin Intrigue #997) [NOOK Book]


Sheriff Logan Brewer was just a deputy when Rory Matson was abducted and left for dead on Reaper's Point. Before they could say goodbye, she'd run off and hadn't looked back…until the mystery surrounding her father's death brought her home. And reawakened a madman out to finish what he'd started.

Pushing aside the guilt he still harbored for not saving Rory once before, Logan had to capture this elusive killer if he was to lay old demons to rest. After all, the beauty may have ...

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Showdown with the Sheriff (Harlequin Intrigue #997)

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Sheriff Logan Brewer was just a deputy when Rory Matson was abducted and left for dead on Reaper's Point. Before they could say goodbye, she'd run off and hadn't looked back…until the mystery surrounding her father's death brought her home. And reawakened a madman out to finish what he'd started.

Pushing aside the guilt he still harbored for not saving Rory once before, Logan had to capture this elusive killer if he was to lay old demons to rest. After all, the beauty may have survived, but her body and spirit were permanently scarred. This time, he'd right past wrongs and protect her at all costs.

Failure was not an option.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426802386
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 6/1/2007
  • Series: Harlequin Intrigue Series, #997
  • Sold by: HARLEQUIN
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 428,918
  • File size: 579 KB

Meet the Author

Jan Hambright penned her first novel at seventeen, literally, with a pen, but claims it was pure rubbish. However it did open up her love for storytelling. Convinced she wanted to write someday, she put the dream aside when life intruded. Marriage, five children and many years later, she decided, after attending a writers' conference, that the time had come. She caught the writing bug all over again and proved it's never too late to do what you love.

A self-described adrenalin junkie, Jan spent ten years as an EMT in rural Idaho, sprinting out of bed in the middle of the night to meet people on the worse day of their lives. She credits this experience for her ability to write of deep emotions and realistic situations in her books. It doesn't hurt either to know how far she can go to injure her characters and still have them live to save the day.

Jan resides in Idaho with her husband and two of her children who haven't flown the nest yet. Her pets include a three-legged watchdog, a miniature schnauzer named Wilson who keeps her laughing and a spoiled paint horse named Texas, who always has time to listen to her latest story idea while they gallop along.

Jan would love to hear from her readers. She can be contacted at P.O. Box 2537, McCall, ID 83638 or through her web site at

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Read an Excerpt

Aurora Matson shoved a cookbook into the overstuffed box on the kitchen counter and dusted off her hands. Cleaning out her father's cabin didn't feel right. But neither did the fact that he was dead.

A climbing accident, the local sheriff's office had said, but she couldn't get her head around details that were totally uncharacteristic of her dad. he'd always been meticulous when it came to safety.

But even that inconsistency in character couldn't change the fact that he was gone and she was alone. Back in Reaper's Point, the exact place she'd sworn she'd never return to.

She swallowed against the tightness in her throat and sat down on a stool at the counter.

Two weeks. She could do two weeks here.

The arrangements would be taken care of by then, the date set for the memorial, his cabin cleared of personal items. And she'd be free to return to Los Angeles and her job as a forensic–reconstruction artist, building faces where none exist.

The lab had been in the middle of a baffling case when the call about her dad came in. The sooner she returned, the sooner she could help the police catch a sadistic killer who'd murdered two girls.

The last of the evening sun dipped behind a bank of ponderosa pine in a burst of coral and deep purple. She'd loved this mountain once. Soaked it into her soul every chance she'd had. Climbing it had been her passion, its pull greater than anything she'd ever experienced.

Tears stung the back of her eyelids as she thought of her father. he'd become another victim of Reaper's Point. But at least he'd died doing something he'd loved.

The low hum of an engine rumbling down the narrow drivewayinto the cabin site interrupted her tangled thoughts and kept her from collapsing into a heap on the floor.

The decisive tromp of boots against deck board sent a shiver through her.

Glancing out the kitchen window she spotted the police vehicle parked in the drive and relaxed. It was a formality. A minor moment in time when her father's personal effects would be returned to her. A moment when it would all become as real as the fingers on her hands or the ache in her heart.

She strode to the front door, suddenly hungry for the company of another human being. A voice to fill the haunting stillness that surrounded her like thick fog.

Turning the knob, she pulled open the door and stared up at Belle County Sheriff Logan Brewer, his face shielded under the brim of a dove–gray Stetson.

Her nerves tightened as a flood of memories washed over her, rippling a familiar pool of desire inside her body.

"Aurora. Have you got a minute?" Caught between curiosity and dread, she stepped back and let him enter, catching a whiff of his spicy aftershave as it trailed in with him on the early evening air.

"Sure. I assume you're here to return my father's things?"

He paused in the middle of the living room, filling the area with his presence.

She couldn't keep her gaze off the broad expanse of his shoulders inside his uniform or the easy way he took up space as though he owned it. There was no denying he'd grown up and muscled out in all the right places since the summer they'd spent together.

She fought to douse the burst of heat flaming inside her, burning her cheeks. He was the same as he'd been all those years ago. The man whose department had stamped Cold Case on her file—and her life.

He pulled off his hat and turned toward her. Rory's breath caught as she stared into his dark brown eyes, which were intent and focused on her alone. There was a hard set to his square jaw and she instantly wanted to smooth her hand against his face.

"I didn't come to return his things. We found something in his backpack the day we recovered his body."

"And?" She tried to repel the images his admission put into her head.

"I'd like you to take a look."

An ounce of bitterness spilled from inside her and spread, washing away any decorum she had left. "You're kidding, right?"

His body visibly tensed. He curled the brim of the hat he held in his hands. "Look, Rory."

"Please. Call me Aurora." It took every ounce of restraint she had not to come apart.

He nodded, maybe understanding there no longer existed anything between them. "Your dad found something on Reaper's Point. Something that may have contributed to his death."

"I knew it. I knew he wouldn't have made an amateur mistake like neglecting to tie off. He was seasoned. It makes no sense." A mix of relief and horror coursed through her.

"I'd like you to come down to the station. My department's strapped—maybe you'd consider working your magic on the evidence he had in his possession at the time of his death."

"Human remains?" The blood left her face and pooled in her feet.

"A partial skull, wrapped in a towel at the bottom of his pack. There's no way to make an identification without a full reconstruction. The lower jawbone is missing, along with the teeth."

She sucked in a breath and looked away. "There are outside labs. I'm here to bury my father." "I want you. You're the best."

She looked up and saw a brief smile turn his lips before it disappeared back into his rugged features. She wanted to throw his arrogance back at him, but a zing of pride shot through her. "I'll need a kit and software."

"Anything you want, it's yours."

She could live with that, but what she didn't like was her body's primal response to the pleased grin on his mouth. A mouth she'd kissed more times than she could recount and always with the same result. Total annihilation of her senses.

"I'll get my jacket and lock up." The thought of having something to do, of not being in the cabin alone for another evening, was somehow comforting, she thought as she climbed into the Blazer with Logan. But she couldn't shake the uneasy sensation creeping through her.

Reaper's Point rarely gave up its dead—or its secrets—without a fight.

LOGAN WATCHED RORY cradle the human skull in her gloved hands like an adoring lover. He looked away, bothered by the streak of resignation riding over his nerves.

he'd had his chance and he'd made a mess of it.

"Female. I'll need to take precise measurements and feed them into the computer before I'm absolutely sure, but I'd say Caucasian, early to midtwenties. She's been on the mountain for a long time. I'd guess three to four years, judging by the breakdown of the bone and weathering."

"I'm impressed." He was impressed. Impressed with her. The girl he'd fallen for more than six years ago had turned into a woman. From her shoulder–length dark blond hair to the delicious curves of her body, he memorized every aspect.

"Don't be. My father could have told you the same thing, and probably would have if he'd made it off the mountain alive."

"I'm sorry, Rory." This time she didn't scold him, didn't try to remove the nickname from his vocabulary as if the intimacy they'd once shared had never existed. He was grateful for that. His body responded to the memories, but he tamped them down.

"All I want is to know what really happened up there."

"And I'm going to find out. I promise." He moved toward her, but stopped short. he'd promised her things before. Promises he wasn't able to keep.

The air in the room crackled with pent–up energy. Their gazes locked over the desk as she carefully set the skull down.

"It's late. I need to get a call out to my lab. They can overnight supplies. I should be able to give her a face before Dad's memorial service."

"I know this is hard for you." He stepped closer, feeling an invisible barrier go up between them. Hell, he'd thought he was past it, but seeing her again was like pouring gasoline on smoldering embers.

"I'd like you to take a look at the scene." She turned watery green eyes on him, but behind the veiled tears he saw determination.


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