The Comeback Girl [NOOK Book]


Kristin Sullivan has come home to set things right. She needs to reconnect with her family and she needs to introduce her son to his father. But coming back to Gold Creek means facing another man. Deputy Donnie Grimaldo. Their history is not a happy one.

The last thing she expects is a marriage proposal from Donnie, the high-school sweetheart she betrayed…but never stopped loving.

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The Comeback Girl

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Kristin Sullivan has come home to set things right. She needs to reconnect with her family and she needs to introduce her son to his father. But coming back to Gold Creek means facing another man. Deputy Donnie Grimaldo. Their history is not a happy one.

The last thing she expects is a marriage proposal from Donnie, the high-school sweetheart she betrayed…but never stopped loving.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781459236271
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 3/15/2012
  • Series: Those Sullivan Sisters, #1110
  • Sold by: HARLEQUIN
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 772,592
  • File size: 629 KB

Read an Excerpt

The Comeback Girl

By Debra Salonen

Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 2003 Debra Salonen
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0373711107

Chapter One

August 21, 2002, Wednesday

Fresno, CA, Fresno/Yosemite International Airport

Kristin Sullivan hated airports.

"Where is he?" she asked, scanning the phalanx of travelers headed toward the baggage area. No lanky preteen with white-blond hair in the crowd.

"He'll be here," her sister Andi said. "I spoke with Moira this morning. She said he boarded the plane in Chicago without a problem."

Kristin had debated the wisdom of sending her son to spend a month with her cousin in the Midwest, but Zach had begged to go. And it seemed a good idea not to have him around while she packed their belongings in Ashland, Oregon, and unpacked them in Gold Creek, California. He'd been adamantly opposed to the move.

"Let me keep him all summer," Moira had suggested. "He can go to camp in northern Minnesota with my boys. You know we love Zach to pieces, and you've got your hands full with the move and getting reacquainted with your family."

The move. After a decade-plus "on the lam" - as some people in town so snidely put it - Kristin Sullivan had returned home three weeks ago. To Gold Creek, an historic gold rush town in California's Central Sierras where she'd spent her first eighteen years.

"They probably stuck him in the last row," a second voice said.

Both of Kristin's sisters had insisted on accompanying her to the airport. Andi - Andrea Sullivan Newhall - sat on a low bench backed by greenery. Jenny Sullivan O'Neal - the oldest of the triplets - stood nearby, absently pushing a stroller containing her twins, Lara and Tucker, back and forth. The babies had fallen asleep on the hour-and-a-half ride from the mountains to this sprawling metropolis in the Central Valley.

Kristin squinted toward the security gate that led to the airplanes. A young man toting a backpack strolled toward them. He wasn't Zach.

"The plane stopped in L.A. What if he got off and didn't bother getting back on?" she asked, her nervousness escalating.

The relationship between Kris and her son had been strained for the four months prior to his departure. Ever since she'd broken the news to him about his father and her family, Zach had distanced himself from her. Normally a straight-A student - so bright he'd skipped a grade - Zach had let his schoolwork fall off to the point where he'd needed to spend six weeks in a summer tutorial in order to pass into seventh grade. This had necessitated postponing their move from Oregon, which - her sisters agreed - was his intention.

Jenny knelt to wipe a river of drool from Tucker's chin. The twins would turn one year old next week and had several new teeth to prove it.

"There he is," Andi said, hopping to her feet. Although five months pregnant, Andi still ran several miles a day.

She pointed at the second wave of travelers moving toward them.

Kristin's heart did a double-take. "Oh my gosh. He's grown a foot." So tall, so handsome. So belligerent. Even from a distance she could tell that a month away from his mother hadn't improved her son's disposition.

He'd made his feelings clear from that day in March when she'd introduced him to her family. Since then, they'd been back a few times to participate in family get-togethers and to visit Ida Jane - Kristin's eighty-three-year-old great-aunt who had suffered a stroke. Ida Jane was the one person in the family Zach seemed to like.

By the time he reached them, Kris's heart was beating so fast she couldn't feel her extremities. She couldn't work up the spit to speak.

"Nice nose ring," Andi said, breaking the ice.

"Got a bull to go with it?"

Zach acknowledged the teasing remark with a droll sneer, then he glanced briefly at the twins before looking at his mother.

"So. I'm here. Now what?"

Kristin wished she had an answer, but like so many times in her life, she'd leaped without looking ahead. She'd returned home to Gold Creek prepared to face the mistakes she'd made in the past, to try to heal some old wounds and to help care for Ida Jane, the only mother the triplets had ever known. She'd taken them in when they'd been orphaned immediately after their birth and had made them the primary focus of her life. Now Kris planned to be at Ida's side for as long as her aunt needed her. How Zach would adjust to the move remained to be seen.

Donnie Grimaldo reread the opening line of the official-looking letter. "'The associate administrator for civil aviation security is pleased to inform you that your application for employment with the Federal Aviation Administration's Federal Air Marshal Program has been approved."'

It was official. He'd made the cut. He'd read somewhere that after September 11, more than one hundred thousand people had applied to the Federal Air Marshal Program. Obviously, he wasn't the only patriot looking for a way to contribute to his country.

"Donnie," a voice hollered across the open, mostly messy common room of the Gold Creek Sheriff's Department. "Where's the dang paper for the dang copier? When I find the person who moved it -"

Housed in a building that made a Quonset hut look stylish, the office supported six full-time deputies, the sheriff and three part-time dispatchers/clerks. Bethany Murdock, the person grumbling at him, was the department's student intern - a position Donnie had held a dozen or so years earlier, while in high school. Serious to the point of glum, Beth was the kind of person who would rearrange the world if someone gave her permission.

"I think we're out, Beth," Donnie said, rising. After tucking his letter under a stack of reports, he fished the key to the storage room from his pocket.

"I meant to grab another ream on my way past this morning. Slipped my mind."

She advanced on him with a look that reminded him of his ex-wife. Sandy carried a grudge like most women carried a purse. Donnie tossed the key ring in the air - partly to test Beth's reflexes and partly to keep her from getting too close. She wore a fragrance he associated with Kristin Sullivan - his first love. Kris had returned to Gold Creek amid a flurry of gossip and speculation, and he'd been trying his best to avoid her. He didn't need his olfactory memories complicating the issue.


Excerpted from The Comeback Girl by Debra Salonen Copyright © 2003 by Debra Salonen
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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