Unsanctioned Memories (Harlequin Intrigue #748) [NOOK Book]


FBI agent Sam O'Rourke was on an unsanctioned mission to hunt down his sister's murderer. The steely-eyed lawman's investigation led him to Jessica Taylor—the one victim, in a string of many, who'd escaped with her life and whose missing memories made her a target for a demented madman. Posing as a ranch hand, Sam was determined to gain the fragile woman's trust to solve this crime. However, Sam hadn't counted on this lone witness awakening his deadened heart with her sumptuous beauty and unflinching courage. A ...

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Unsanctioned Memories (Harlequin Intrigue #748)

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FBI agent Sam O'Rourke was on an unsanctioned mission to hunt down his sister's murderer. The steely-eyed lawman's investigation led him to Jessica Taylor—the one victim, in a string of many, who'd escaped with her life and whose missing memories made her a target for a demented madman. Posing as a ranch hand, Sam was determined to gain the fragile woman's trust to solve this crime. However, Sam hadn't counted on this lone witness awakening his deadened heart with her sumptuous beauty and unflinching courage. A case that had begun as an unrelenting thirst for vengeance suddenly roused his every protective instinct. Now Sam had an intensely personal stake in reeling in a killer....

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426867538
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 6/21/2010
  • Series: Taylor Clan Series , #748
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 179,750
  • File size: 302 KB

Meet the Author

Julie attributes her passion for writing romance to all those fairy tales she read growing up, and shyness. Encouragement from her family to write down those feelings she couldn't express became a love for the written word. She gets continued support from her fellow members of the Prairieland Romance Writers, where she serves as the resident "grammar goddess."

This award-winning author and teacher has published several paranormal romances in addition to her beloved romantic suspense. Inspired by the likes of Agatha Christie and Encyclopedia Brown, Julie believes that the only thing better than a good mystery is a good romance.

Born and raised in Missouri, she now lives in Nebraska with her husband, son, and smiling guard dog, Maxie.

Write to Julie at P.O. Box 5162, Grand Island, NE 68802-5162 USA.

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Read an Excerpt

Unsanctioned Memories

By Julie Miller

Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.

Copyright © 2004 Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-373-22748-5

Chapter One

"Hell, O'Rourke. Don't you ever miss?"

With machinelike efficiency, FBI Special Agent Sam O'Rourke reloaded the spent magazine of his Bureau issue Sig Sauer pistol. He adjusted the protective goggles and insulated earphones to tune out the awed skepticism of his partner, Virgil Logan.

Lightly caressing the grip of the pistol between his hands, he took a bead on the image of John Dillinger at the end of the firing range and pictured a faceless man between the sights. Head? Or heart? Did it really matter? He emptied all fifteen rounds into the paper target before acknowledging his partner.

"It's just a matter of steady hands ..." he dumped the spent magazine "... twenty-twenty vision ..." he punched the button to pull the target forward "... and nerves like ice."

Virgil tried to laugh, but the worry lines in his coffee-dark skin had deepened with concern. "Usually a Feeb with sharpshooter status asks for a transfer to a TAC team. But you insisted on staying with drug enforcement."

"That's so I could be close to you, pal."

"Right." Virg was too smart to buy Sam's witty repartee, which lacked the heart that used to back it up. He ripped the target off its mounts and counted the holes inside each of the two circles that would constitute a fatal shot. "Fifteen for fifteen."

Sam released a slowly measured sigh. His grim expertise was about the only thing that gave him comfort and satisfaction anymore.

Each and every one of those bullets had been for Kerry.

His opportunity would come - one day - when he could put away his sister's murderer. One way or another. And he'd be ready.

"I have to practice to stay efficient with my weapon."

"Yeah, well, it's all that practice that has me worried." Virgil stood by as Sam stripped, cleaned and holstered his weapon. "Chief Dixon thinks the strain of your sister's rape and murder is proving too much for you."

A flare of Sam's Irish temper tried to show itself. "He's already stuck me on desk duty."

Virgil put up his hands in surrender, reminding Sam that he was just the messenger. And a concerned, loyal friend. "He wants you to take that bereavement leave. Get your head on straight before you shoot at something you shouldn't. Before you crack."

"Is that what you think, too? That I'm about to crack?"

Virgil shook his head. "I know you need the work to get your mind off things." His partner's mouth thinned into a grim line. When Virgil Logan got serious, Sam paid attention. "I just don't want to see you make a mistake that'll come back and kick you in the chops. I don't want to see you in a second career as a security guard somewhere because you lost your head."

Sam inhaled and exhaled deeply. He leaned forward and rested both fists atop the shooting deck. "I'm not trying to screw up anything, Virg. I only want justice done."

"You know I want that, too. But you gotta give yourself some time to heal. You haven't taken any time off since the funeral."

Sam pushed himself up straight and backed out of the booth. "Seeing that bastard lined up in the crosshairs of my gun is the only thing that'll help me heal."

Virgil followed him out. "That's the kind of talk that worries me. You're a damn good investigator when your head's on straight."

They turned and headed for the locker room. "You think the fact that I'm spending extra time on the shooting range means I can't run an investigation anymore?"

"No. I just don't want to have to break in a new partner. I had a hell of a time training you."

"Training me?" Sam twisted up a towel and flicked Virg in the backside before tossing it around his neck, catching the support beneath the gibe. "I love you, too, pal. I promise I won't be stupid. If I give you my word, will that do?"

They shook hands like men. Then they shook hands in a goofy secret code that only two people who had been friends through the best and worst times of their lives could share.

"That's all I needed to hear." Virgil stopped at his locker and opened it. He pulled out a folded slip of paper, rolling it back and forth between his fingers and frowning as if he wasn't quite sure what to do with it. "Because I got some information you'll be interested in."

Sam ran his tongue around the rim of his lips and tried not to betray the instant anticipation racing through his veins. "I'm the one who's supposed to be pushing the regs, not you."

"I know you've been accessing files you don't have clearance for. Reading hospital records and police reports on rapes that match the MO in Kerry's case."

Sam's jaw shook with the restraint it required to keep from snatching that paper from Virgil's hands. "So far I've matched up four rape-murders with the same binding and strangulation marks, and the souvenir lock of hair cut from the scalp. Kerry here in Boston. One each in Dallas, New York and Miami." He knew his sister's case backward and forward. "The Bureau profiler and my gut tells me they were all victims of the same man. In each case the victim was dark-haired. She was single and successful, but she ended up in a bad part of town. She was kidnapped, tortured and ultimately raped. And then, as if that wasn't enough ..."

Sam closed his eyes in a futile effort to block the image of Kerry's sweet round face bruised and frozen in death. He'd seen dead bodies before. But hers had unnerved him. She was his responsibility. Even as a full-grown woman she'd still been his baby sister. The sassy sweetheart he'd promised his father on his deathbed that he'd protect.

He'd failed.

Oh, God. Sam shook with the force of his emotions. Bile twisted in his gut and tried to poison the good memories he had left of his family. He'd failed. He tilted his head and swallowed hard, forcing down the gag reflex that convulsed throughout his body.

When he was in control of himself once more, he opened his eyes and looked deep into Virgil's cryptic expression. "Did you locate another vic?" he asked.

"It's not much. A rape in Chicago. Dark hair with a chunk of it cut off. That was enough to flag it for me. Listed as a Jane Doe." Virgil handed the paper to Sam. "But there's one key difference between this case and Kerry's."

"What's that?" Sam unfolded the paper with impatient fingers and read the answer for himself. No. His heart thumped hard against the wall of his chest, trying to hope, trying to believe what his eyes were seeing. "Jane Doe survived the attack."

In a flurry of movement, Sam removed his holster, peeled off his shirt and hurried toward the showers. A biting sense of urgency nipped at his heels, making every moment too long, too precious to waste. This was the best lead - the only lead - he'd had since Kerry's murder nearly eight months ago.

An eyewitness.

If it was the same murderous son of a bitch who'd killed Kerry, this vic could ID him. Give him a name, a visual, a voice - anything that he could put in the profile and hunt down.

Virgil followed at a slower pace. "Should I tell the chief that you'll be taking that bereavement leave now?"

"Yeah." He didn't want his partner to get caught in a lie, so he played along. They both knew what he had to do. "Tell Dixon I'm leaving tomorrow. Tonight, if I can get a flight."

One way or another - sooner rather than later - he was going to track down this Miss Jane Doe.


Excerpted from Unsanctioned Memories by Julie Miller Copyright © 2004 by Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2004

    A New book to the Taylor Clan

    Sam O'Rourke is out to solve his sister's murder and to do that he must get more information out of the one surviving victim of this serial killer, Jessica Taylor. Jessica is the only girl of the Taylor clan and she lives up to her family's reputation of courage and strength. If you have read any of Julie Miller's Taylor Clan books, you want to read this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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