Stonebrook Cottage


When everyone is keeping secrets, it's impossible to know who to trust

To put her life back in perspective, Kara Galway has moved home to Texas after years in New England. The up-and-coming defense attorney intends to concentrate on her career and spend time with her Texas Ranger brother. But fate has something else in store.

While Kara is devastated to learn her former mentor, Connecticut governor Mike Parisi, has died suddenly, she's pleased ...

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Stonebrook Cottage

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When everyone is keeping secrets, it's impossible to know who to trust

To put her life back in perspective, Kara Galway has moved home to Texas after years in New England. The up-and-coming defense attorney intends to concentrate on her career and spend time with her Texas Ranger brother. But fate has something else in store.

While Kara is devastated to learn her former mentor, Connecticut governor Mike Parisi, has died suddenly, she's pleased for her best friend, Allyson Stockwell, the new governor. Then Allyson's children show up at Kara's Texas home. They are terrified—and hiding something. Afraid for themselves and their mother, they are certain the circumstances of Mike's death are suspicious.

Kara must return with the children to Allyson's home, Stonebrook Cottage, to unravel what exactly is going on. Are the children really in danger? What secret is Allyson hiding? And then there's Sam Temple, the Texas Ranger Kara has fallen head over heels in love with. Sam has followed her to Connecticut and has no intention of leaving without her. Kara must uncover the truth if she is going to protect the people she loves.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Neggers'people, places and things are colorfully and expertly rendered in this compelling work of fiction." -RT Book Reviews on Cider Brook

"Cider Brook is easy to sink into and be swept away by vivid imagery and intriguing encounters." -Suspense Magazine

"Neggers' Sharpe & Donovan series has developed a wide following, and her books maintain a potent combination of suspense and romance." -Kirkus Reviews

"Neggers' beautifully flowing and skillfully narrated novel is rich with dialogue that emphasizes the sights, sounds, culture and panoramic views of Ireland."-RT Book Reviews, Top Pick on Declan's Cross

"Heron's Cove gives romantic suspense fans what they want...complex mystery with a bit of romance. Neggers skillfully create[s] a compelling puzzle, refusing to reveal all the pieces until the very end."

-RT Book Reviews, Top Pick

"Saint's Gate is the best book yet from a writer at the absolute top of her craft." -Providence Journal

"Heron's Cove is...gripping and suspenseful....Readers [will be] riveted to the pages from the first ominous late night phone call to the searing climax."-Nashua Sunday Telegraph

"Neggers captures readers' attention with her usual flair and brilliance and gives us a romance, a mystery and a lesson in history."

-Top Pick, RT Book Reviews on Secrets of the Lost Summer

"Only a writer as gifted as Carla Neggers could use so few words to convey so much action and emotional depth."

-Sandra Brown

Publishers Weekly
In the hopes of bringing some balance into her hectic life, high-powered defense attorney Kara Galway moves back to her childhood home in Texas after years of living in New England. But fans of Neggers's characteristically chaotic, breakneck-paced romantic suspense novels know that the heroine's hopes will be quashed even before her mentor and friend, Connecticut governor "Big Mike" Parisi, is murdered in his pool. Not long afterwards, Kara's best friend, new governor Allyson Stockwell, begins receiving sinister crank calls she's concealing, and her two precocious preteens disappear from their Texas summer camp only to reappear, terrified, on Kara's doorstep with a stalker at their heels and a possibly forged note from mom begging Kara to bring them back to the town where they witnessed Mike's death. To do so, Kara illegally, and somewhat illogically, "borrows" her lawman brother's gun and private plane, but readers needn't worry long. Strong, sensitive and seductive Texas Ranger Sam Temple is hot on her trail and ready to come to the rescue. Although Neggers includes a few far-fetched plot turns, her skill at creating colorful characters and deliciously twisted story lines makes this an addictive read. (Aug.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780778316152
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 10/28/2014
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 440,850
  • Product dimensions: 4.19 (w) x 6.63 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

Carla Neggers

Carla Neggers is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 60 novels of contemporary romance and romantic suspense, including her popular Sharpe & Donovan and Swift River Valley series. Her books have been translated into 24 languages and sold in over 30 countries. Carla is always plotting her next adventure—whether in life or for one of her novels. A frequent traveler to Ireland, she lives with her family in New England.

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Read an Excerpt

Stonebrook Cottage

By Carla Neggers

Harlequin Enterprises

Copyright © 2002 Harlequin Enterprises
All right reserved.

ISBN: 1551669234

Chapter One

Big Mike Parisi was the first-term governor of Connecticut and a dead man. He knew it even before he hit the water.

He couldn't swim, an embarrassment not a half-dozen people knew.

His big, tough body belly-flopped into the water of his elegant pool and dropped hard and deep, hitting the blue-painted bottom that so beautifully reflected the summer sky. He managed to push up off the bottom and out of the water and yell for help.

"I can't swim!" No help would come. His voice barely rose above the gurgling fountain halfway down the classic, kidney-shaped pool. His own damn fault. He'd refused to let his state trooper bodyguards out back with him. If I get stung by a bee, I'll yell bloody murder. You'll hear me. What the hell else could happen?

Someone could try to kill him. He'd rented a house for the summer in Bluefield, a picturesque town in northwest Connecticut. Stockwell country. People assumed he wanted to be close to his lieutenant governor, Allyson Lourdes Stockwell, so they could strategize. The truth was, he was worried about her. Allyson had problems. Big problems.

Hadn't occurred to Big Mike to worry about himself.

"Help!" As he splashed and kicked, he saw the bluebird that he'd been trying to save. It was barely alive, soaked in the chlorinated water,slowly being sucked toward the pool filter.

They were both doomed, him and the bluebird. It was a juvenile, its feathers still speckled. It looked as if it had a broken leg. It couldn't have been in the water long.

Clever. His death would look like an accident. Michael Joseph Parisi drowned this afternoon in his swimming pool apparently while trying to rescue an injured bluebird ...

Christ. He'd look like an idiot. Some murdering son of a bitch had dumped the bird in the deep end, knowing he'd bend over and try to scoop it up. Bluebirds were his hobby, his passion since his wife died six years ago. They'd had no children. His desire to help restore the Eastern bluebird population in Connecticut and his personal interest in bluebirds weren't a secret.

Not like not knowing how to swim. That was a secret. Hell, everyone knew how to swim.

His mother had regularly dumped his ass in the lake as a kid, trying to get him to learn. It didn't work. She'd had to get his brother to fish him out.

Was the bastard who'd planted the bluebird watching him flail and yell?

It'd look like a goddamn accident. Rage consumed him, forced him up out of the water, yelling, swearing, pushing for the edge of the pool. It was so damn close. Why couldn't he reach it? What the hell was he doing wrong? He could hear his mother yelling at him. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, Michael, you're such a wienie. Swim, for the love of God.

These days a mother like Marianne Parisi would be arrested for child abuse or put on pills or something. Total nutcase, his mother was, though she meant well. She died of a stroke when Mike was twenty-four, still thinking her second son would never amount to shit.

The pool water filled his nose and mouth, burned his eyes. He coughed, choking, taking in even more water. He couldn't breathe.

There'd be a lot of crocodile tears at his funeral. Allyson would do fine as governor ...

Who the hell was he kidding? Allyson had her head in the sand. He'd tried to help her, and he knew that was why he was drowning now.

Murdered. They'd have to cut him open. They'd find out he hadn't hit his head or had a heart attack or a stroke. He'd drowned. The autopsy wouldn't pick up where he'd been poked in the ass. It'd felt like a stick or a pole or something. The pool was fenced in, but the deep end backed up to the woods. His murderer could have hid there and waited for Mike to come outside, then tossed in the bluebird when he had his back turned.

Easier to shoot him, but that wouldn't have looked like an accident.

He stopped yelling. He stopped flailing. The faces of the living and the dead jumbled together in his head, and he couldn't distinguish which was which, couldn't tell which he was. Thoughts and memories, sounds came at him in a whirl. He could see bluebirds all around him, dozens of them, iridescent in the sunlight.

Ah, Mike, you had it good.... But all of that was done now. He prayed the way he'd learned in catechism class so long ago.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee ... His mother came into the bright light now, shaking her head, not with disgust this time, but with love and bemusement, as if she hadn't expected him so soon. His wife was there, too, smiling as she had on their wedding day thirty years ago.

They held out their hands, and Big Mike laughed and walked toward his wife and his mother, and the bluebirds, into the light.

* * *

Austin was in the grip of its fifteenth consecutive day of ninety-plus-degree weather, a quality of Texas summers Kara Galway had almost forgotten about during her years up north. Even with air-conditioning, she was aware of the blistering temperatures and blamed the heat for her faint nausea. The heat and the seafood tacos she'd had for lunch.

Not Sam Temple. He was another possibility for her queasy stomach, but not one she wanted to consider.

She'd been putting in long hours since Big Mike's death two weeks ago, but memories of their long friendship would sneak up on her no matter how deep she buried herself in her legal work. Kara had met him through her friend Allyson Lourdes Stockwell, now the governor of Connecticut. She and Kara had gone to law school together, before Allyson's husband died of cancer and left her with two toddlers to raise on her own.

Excerpted from Stonebrook Cottage by Carla Neggers Copyright © 2002 by Harlequin Enterprises
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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