The Texas Ranger

( 42 )

Overview

When Texas Ranger Marc Brannon returns to the line of duty, a high-profile murder mystery pits him against the vibrant—and vulnerable—junior investigator from his past. Years ago, Josette Langley made no secret of the fact that she was desperately in love with the rugged lawman, and despite their differences, the rough-hewn loner became drawn to the innocent young woman. Yet Marc and Josette parted on explosive terms when she made a shocking accusation that shattered both their lives. Now they are back together ...

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The Texas Ranger

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Overview

When Texas Ranger Marc Brannon returns to the line of duty, a high-profile murder mystery pits him against the vibrant—and vulnerable—junior investigator from his past. Years ago, Josette Langley made no secret of the fact that she was desperately in love with the rugged lawman, and despite their differences, the rough-hewn loner became drawn to the innocent young woman. Yet Marc and Josette parted on explosive terms when she made a shocking accusation that shattered both their lives. Now they are back together again.... And this time a lot more is at stake than just their hearts. For the woman Marc cherished is being targeted by a corrupt political figure who will stop at nothing to bury the truth. Can Marc and Josette set aside their stormy discord and see justice served? Or will they both be caught in the cross fire...?

“Diana Palmer provides her myriad of romance fans with a stirring story.”—Midwest Book Review

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
t seemed that every time Josette Langley's heart was breaking, Marc Brannon was involved. It had been Marc's testimony, when he was only a rookie cop, that helped the defense attorney defeat 15-year-old Josette's rape charges. They met again years later and found themselves on the brink of love...until words spoken in anger shattered their newfound trust. Even then, the attraction between them remained, but their romance couldn't survive after Josette accused Marc's best friend of murder. But Fate isn't finished with them yet. Nine years after their heartbreaking first meeting, the case that finally divided them has been reopened -- and both the dedicated Texas Ranger and the rising star of the Attorney General's office have been assigned to work it. Despite their past differences, Josette and Mark respect each other's abilities, integrity, and strength. And, as they sift through the evidence, uncovering a web of danger and betrayal, they can't resist reopening the case of their divided hearts as well.
From The Critics
"Diana Palmer provides her myriad of romance fans with a stirring story."(Midwest Book Preview)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781441883711
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 6/28/2011
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 2.12 (w) x 9.06 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

The prolific author of more than 100 books, Diana Palmer got her start as a newspaper reporter. A multi-New York Times bestselling author and one of the top ten romance writers in America, she has a gift for telling the most sensual tales with charm and humor. Diana lives with her family in Cornelia, Georgia.
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One 

Nothing about a crime scene ever got easier, Marc Brannon thought as he knelt beside the body of the shooting victim. The man was young, probably no more than middle twenties, and he was dressed shabbily. One bare arm bore a tattoo of a raven. There were scars on both wrists and ankles, hinting at a stint in prison. There was a pool of blood around his fair hair and his pale eyes were open, staring blankly at the blue sky. Evidence technicians went over the scene like bloodhounds, looking carefully for trace evidence. One of them had a metal detector and had just found a slug, which they hoped would be from the murder weapon. Another technician was videotaping the crime scene from every angle. 

Brannon's big, lean hand smoothed over the neat khaki of his slacks while his keen, deep-set silver-gray eyes narrowed in thought. Maybe local mob boss Jake Marsh had nothing to do with this, but it was curious that a dead body would be found so close to his nightclub. No doubt Marsh would have an ironclad alibi, he thought irritably. He had dozens of cronies who would give him one whenever he needed it. 

Deep in thought, Brannon watched the tone medical examiner investigator work. She was going very slowly and methodically about securing the body. Well, she should. It could turn out to be a very high-profile case, he reminded himself. 

The homicide detective for the central substation, Bud Garcia waved at Brannon before he spoke to the patrol officers who'd apparently found the body. 

Marc swore under his breath and got to his feet gracefully. It was a hot September day and the silvery metal of his Texas Ranger badge caught the sun and glittered. He took off his off-white Stetson and swept the back of his hand over his sweaty brow. His hair, blond-streaked and thick and wavy, was momentarily visible. Then he stuck the hat back on, slanting it across his eyes. 

He went to join the homicide detective. He found Garcia talking to another plainclothes detective, who had a cell phone and a notepad. 

"Well, that sure fits the description," Garcia was agreeing with a satisfied smile. "Right down to the raven tattoo. It's him, all right. What a lucky break! Thank the warden for me." 

The other officer nodded and spoke into the cell phone again, moving away. 

"Brannon, we've got something," Garcia said. "Wayne Correctional Institute down near Floresville is reporting a missing inmate who fits this man's description exactly. He escaped from a work detail early this morning." 

"Have you got a name?" he asked. 

"Yeah." 

"Well?" Brannon pressed. 

"It's Jennings. Dale Jennings." 

It was a name that Brannon had reason to remember. And now the face that seemed so familiar clicked into place. Jennings, a local hoodlum, had been convicted of murdering a wealthy San Antonio businessman two years before. He was also alleged to have strong ties to Jake Marsh and his underworld. His photograph had been in half the newspapers in the country, not to mention the front page of several tabloids. The trial had been scandalous, as well. Josette Langley, the young woman who had been Jennings's date the night of elderly Henry Garner's murder, insinuated publicly that the person who stood to gain most from the death was Bib Webb, Brannon's best friend — and now Texas lieutenant governor — who had been the old man's business partner. 

Josette was positive Bib Webb was involved. But it was just suspicion, against the ironclad alibis of Bib Webb and his wife, who stated that Jennings had a motive — an argument the day before with Garner over his salary. It turned out that Garner had been paying Jennings to be his combination handyman and chauffeur. It was alleged that Jennings was helping himself to the old man's possessions, as well. They found a very expensive pair of gold cuff links, a diamond tiepin and a lot of cash in his apartment, which added to the sensationalism of the trial. Jake Marsh had been pulled in and questioned repeatedly because of some nebulous work Jennings had done for him. But there was no hard evidence, and Marsh walked away without a blemish, to the dismay and fury of Bexar County prosecutors and Simon Hart, the state attorney general. 

Brannon stuck his hands in the pockets of his khaki slacks, his heart full of regret. Josette's life had been a hard one. But it wounded him that the woman he'd cared for so deeply could have accused Bib Webb, his best friend, of something as heinous as murdering a helpless old man for money when it was so obvious that Dale Jennings had done it. Jennings even had the murder weapon in his car, blatantly in sight on the front passenger seat, still bearing minute traces of blood and tissue, and hair, from poor old Garner's head. The medical examiner had positively identified the blackjack as the weapon used to stun the old man before he was pushed into the water. 

Returning to the present case, Brannon turned his eyes back to the body on the ground. "This does look like a professional hit," Brannon said, studying Dale Jennings's body, with its hands bagged and its white, still face vanishing under the zip of the dark body bag. "One downward-angled gunshot to the back of the head at point-blank range. His knees were covered in red mud just like this." He moved the dirt caked on the pavement with the toe of his boot. "He was probably kneeling at the time." 

"That was my first thought, too. And it's a pretty big coincidence that Marsh's nightclub is only two doors that way," the detective agreed. 

"If Marsh is involved here, I'll find a way to prove it," Brannon said bitingly. "He's walked away from murder and attempted murder, drug dealing, prostitution and illegal betting on sports for years. It's time we made him pay for the misery he's caused." 

Talking about misery couldn't help but remind Marc of the state of his own life. He hadn't seen Josette Langley in two years, but he could still see her in his mind — blond and sassy and full of dry wit. Despite the hardships of her life, she'd been the brightest, most delightful person he'd ever known. He missed her terribly. She didn't miss him, of course. And why should she? 

He'd shattered her heart . . . .  

Copyright © 2001 Diana Palmer

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 42 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 43 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    interesting romantic suspense

    Texas Ranger Sergeant Marc Brannon replaces fellow agent Judd Dunn on the investigation with potential mob ties. However, his emphasis changes when the murder of Dale Jennings, a person sent to jail for a homicide two years ago and just recently released, occurs. Worse for Marc is that the only woman he ever loved, investigator Josette Langley, believes senatorial candidate Bib Webb is involved just as he was on the Jennings homicide conviction two years ago. <P>Though it is uncomfortable for both parties a reluctant Marc and Josette work closely together on the Jennings murder case even as their love flares up threatening the city of San Antonio with its intensity. However, she never forgave him for destroying her credibility as a witness two years ago and he never forgave her for her efforts to unjustly hang a friend. Still, love is all around and between them if they can forgive the past and survive the present they may find a future. <P>THE TEXAS RANGER is an interesting romantic suspense novel that provides the audience with an exhilarating investigation starring two people in love and hate with one another. The story line is fun though Marc¿s obstinacy seems inappropriate for a clever detective with his glittering record. Still he is a hunk and Josette is a powerful female lead. Diana Palmer provides her myriad of romance fans with a stirring story that readers of police procedurals will also appreciate. <P>Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2012

    Caved

    Bought it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2001

    Interesting romantic suspense

    In a twist of fate, Texas Ranger Marc Brannon meets up with Josette Langley, the woman he has spent the past two years trying to forget. As an investigator in the Texas Attorney General¿s Office in Austin, Josette is assigned to work on a possible mob hit case involving multiple jurisdictions. Much to her dismay, she has to go to San Antonio, and her partner in the investigation is Brannon. <br><br> Marc is unable to forget that the last time they met, there was a courtroom between them, and Josie was insinuating that Marc¿s best friend and lieutenant governor, Bib Webb, had a motive for murder. Not to mention the fact that on their last date, Marc walked out on Josie in a huff over issues surrounding their intimacy. <br><br> As their investigation brings them into greater danger and closer to the murderer, walls of the past come crumbling down. But will this be enough to give them a chance for the future? <br><br> Though the story line has a nice flow, and the dialogue between the main characters is more than adequate, the plot seems to fall a little flat. The hero is constantly described in the most complementary of terms, while he constantly berates the heroine for her frumpy clothing. Most disappointing, though,is Brannon¿s constant return to the subject of sex in almost every discussion that he has with Josette. While not Diana Palmer¿s best, THE TEXAS RANGER will not dishearten Palmer¿s true fans.

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