DESCRIPTION:She’d brought him his greatest joy.
Now he must save her life…
Rancher Kara Holland’s hot on the trail of a murderer who’s been killing surrogates—like she was for her ill sister. But when Kara’s trap goes terribly wrong, she’s thrust headlong into the killer’s crosshairs…along with her sister’s widower, Deputy Daniel Logan. And as she and Daniel stay one frantic step ahead of a deadly foe, the sparks igniting between them rival the danger they face.
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Author: Delores Fossen
Series: Mercy Ridge Lawman #2
Publisher: Harlequin Intrigue
Publisher: Harlequin Intrigue
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Format: Kindle ARC
No. of Pages: 171
Date of Publication: June 29, 2021
My Rating: 4 Stars
Kara Holland is determined to find out what is happening to surrogates. In fact, two surrogate mothers have recently been murdered. Kara has a sensitive relationship with her brother-in-law Deputy Daniel Logan. Kara had become a surrogate for Daniel and her sister Maryanne. Kara and Daniel lost Maryanne after her battle with breast cancer. Sadly, Maryanne's situation was just terrible, and she died four months before Kara gave birth to Sadie. Maryanne desperately wanted to be a mother, but she never got the chance.
Kara has no doubt that the recent murders had something to do with a local fertility clinic, and that is the very clinic she used so that she could carry Daniel and Maryanne's baby. Kara wants answers. Daniel wants her to drop it. However, she refuses and before long Daniel is right beside Kara while she searches for the truth about what happened to the two women.
Kara is most certainly onto something. In fact, she has attracted the attention of a dangerous killer. Not only does Kara wants answers, her father Eldon Stroud hasn't accepted Maryanne's death. Another person to consider, and that is Kara's ex-boyfriend, Sean Maynard. His growing jealousy over the time Kara and Daniel are suddenly spending together is more than apparent. Then there is a rancher who is tied to a militia group. Could one of these three men be responsible for the murders and for the danger facing Kara and Daniel?
The deeper Kara and Daniel dig, the more they unearth. Meanwhile, they both have to contend with growing feelings, something that never would have happened if Maryanne hadn't passed away. Then there is the fact that Kara loves baby Sadie with every fiber of her being. If they can survive the unending threats, is there a chance that Kara, Daniel and Sadie could become a family? What about the surrogacy program? Can that thrive despite the current dangers?
Safeguarding the Surrogate might be a quick read, but it is full of action, danger and romance. For a quick one-sitting read, certain to capture the attention of any lover of romantic suspense, then this is the book to read. Although it is the second book in the Mercy Ridge Lawmen series, it would do quite well as a stand-alone. However, for an equally enjoyable story, I definitely recommend the first book in the series, Her Child To Protect.
Many thanks to Harlequin Intrigue and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
Please enjoy the following excerpt:
Safeguarding the Surrogate – Excerpt
Kara Holland stood in the darkness and waited for the killer.
With her heartbeat throbbing in her ears and her back pressed to the barn wall, she tried to listen for any sound to alert her that he was coming. Nothing. Not yet. But she’d done everything she could to lure him out and make him come after her.
And she was ready.
She had the Glock gripped in her hand, and thanks to the hours of firearms training, she knew how to use it. If that failed, if he somehow got the jump on her, she’d fall back on the hand-to-hand moves she’d also learned. Of course, those things didn’t guarantee that she would stop him, but she had to try. She was tired of living with this smothering weight of fear.
Finally, she heard something. The sound of a car engine. Then a door closing. He had finally come for her.
The next thing she heard were the footsteps, slow and cautious. They were coming straight toward her barn.
She’d purposely turned off all but the single light in the tack room, and Kara had left the door cracked just enough for a thin beam to pierce the darkness. She stayed in the shadows by a stack of hay bales, but when the killer came in the barn, she’d be able to see him.
Kara could certainly hear him.
Along with the footsteps, the hinges creaked on the barn door, and she pinpointed every bit of her focus while she lifted the Glock. And she took aim.
“Kara?” the man called out.
She groaned, mixing it with some muttered profanity, because she instantly recognized that voice. Not a killer. But Deputy Daniel Logan.
“What are you doing here?” she snapped once she could manage to speak.
“Checking on you,” Daniel snapped right back.
When he stepped into that beam of light from the tack room, she had no trouble seeing the riled expression on his face. Or the rest of him for that matter. He was wearing his usual jeans and work shirt on his tall rangy body. His Mercy Ridge deputy’s badge was clipped to his belt.
“I’m fine,” Kara assured him. Of course, that wasn’t true, and he could clearly see that. After all, she was waiting in her dark barn while holding a gun. “You can go.”
“No, I won’t.” Daniel sounded “all cop” with that one-word response. And he didn’t budge, either. In fact, he came closer, meeting her eye to eye.
“You shouldn’t have come,” Kara insisted.
“I wanted to have a look around and see for myself if the rumors were true. They are,” he added in a snarl. “What the hell are you thinking?”
“You know what I’m thinking,” she fired back.
That only caused him to release a long hard breath. No doubt one of frustration. Well, she was frustrated, too. And scared. Especially scared. Something that she’d hoped to end tonight.
“Two surrogates are dead,” Kara reminded him. Not that a reminder was necessary. Daniel knew because she’d already told him. She’d taken the news articles to him right away when she had learned about the dead women. “Both used the Willingham Fertility Clinic in San Antonio.”
Just as Kara had done. Again, no reminder was necessary for Daniel since the reason she had used the clinic and become a surrogate was to carry a baby for Daniel and his wife, Maryanne. Maryanne had also been Kara’s sister.
As it always did, just remembering Maryanne made her feel as if someone had clamped a vise around her heart. It was almost certainly even worse for Daniel. It’d been nearly two years since Maryanne had lost her battle with breast cancer, but sometimes it felt as fresh as if it’d just happened.
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