The boy stamped his feet into his boots and ran out into the hallway, tucking his nightshirt into his pants as he went. He collided with his younger brother, who had just bolted from his own room. They heard an explosion of gunfire downstairs, inside the house. The boys automatically ducked to the side. Their mother, Elena, bolted from the bedroom she shared with their father. Raw terror was in her voice as she called out to her husband, who was downstairs. She stared at her sons, then grabbed them to her.
Stay here, she commanded. At thirteen the boy was already taller than his mother. She seized his arm. I order you to. Take care of your brother. Promise me! I can take care of myself. Her younger son thrust out his jaw. He was as fierce as his brother. She stared at him for a second, trailing her hand down his face. They had never disobeyed a direct order from their mother. The booming sound of pistol shots and the crack of rifle fire vibrated through the big house.
There were shouts and curses from below, footsteps running, glass shattering. Then a scream splintered through the noise. It rose to a shriek, then fractured into a raw, deep wail. It was their mother. The older boy bolted for the staircase, but an abrupt sense of caution kept him from hurtling down the steps. He threw himself to the floor, and eased his head around the railing so he could see what was going on.
A man lay sprawled in the entrance foyer, only the top part of his body visible from where the boy lay. Even though half the face was gone, the boy could tell it was his father. An icy feeling of disbelief began spreading through his body. As he did so, the lamplight fell across his face. The boy froze. Get the kids, too. Elena shrieked and threw herself at him, her nails scoring his face.
McLain cursed, then drew back his fist and hit her on the side of the head, knocking her to the floor. Get the boys, he said again, and bent to the woman. The house was their home; they knew every inch of it. Knowing that their rooms would be the first places searched, they went instead to the corner back bedroom, the guest room, which had a small balcony over the inner courtyard.
He gripped the black iron railing and eased down until he was hanging above the ground, then let go. It was only about a six-foot drop, one they had made many times in their rowdy games. He landed as lightly as a cat and immediately blended into the dark cover of the shrubbery that grew close against the walls. There was a quiet thump, and his brother joined him.
There was still sporadic gunfire, as people loyal to Duncan Sarratt and the Peralta family tried to fight. The boys crept around the wall, staying in the shadows. Their rifles were in the study, where they put them each day after carefully cleaning them. They had to get them. The inner ice was still spreading through the older boy; he kept seeing his father sprawled on the dark floor, with half of his face missing. They crawled in through the kitchen door. She was still in the foyer, and they could hear thickly muttered curses, too.
The boy knew, and he went even colder. He was thirteen, and he knew. He rose to his feet, moving as silently as a young panther. He saw a gleam of steel on the kitchen table, and his hand automatically closed on the long-bladed kitchen knife. Still perfect after all this time. I've reread this book more than I could count and it never fails to make me laugh, cry and swoon. This book is what made me a fan of Linda Howard's writing.
This was Linda Howard at her peak writing form; It's hard to really say what I think about this story. It starts out so beautiful, showing Milla with her beautiful new baby, and then her life becomes a living hell. Milla is a character that evolves so much over the course of this book. She really is a person who has to rebuild herself from the This is an old category romance that I read way back when.
Share for friends:. Linda Howard. Your rating. Books : 36 Review : 0 Avg rating : 3. Book The Complete Mackenzies Collection I read this book and put the reviews on each book on the book's page.
Book White Lies Book Kill and Tell I'm a big fan of LH's earlier romantic suspense novels, but her latest releases have failed to catch my interest. Book Tears of the Renegade Hunh??? Trade Paperback. About The Book. About The Author. Photo Credit:. Linda Howard.
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For example, they let us know which features and sections are most popular. This information helps us design a better experience for all users. But she doesn't realize that a deranged stalker is luring her into an elaborate trap.
For Sarah soon finds herself at the mercy of a man who will tend to her every whim, smother her with affection, and crush her in his all-consuming embrace. In a nonstop roller-coaster ride of unrelenting suspense, Linda Howard has written her most chilling novel yet. Dying to Please is a breathless thriller of desire and obsession. From the Hardcover edition. Blair Mallory has already survived one murder attempt. Now, while planning her wedding and dealing with holiday-season madness, Blair once again dodges a bullet.
Or more precisely, a Buick. Or are they? All of which makes Blair wonder if her close call was simply a mishap. But the wondering stops when she narrowly cheats death again in another seemingly innocent accident. And the only thing more frightening is that Wyatt still doubts her. Blake Remington lives life to the fullest. So when a terrible accident robs him of his ability to walk, it also takes away all of his desire to live.
Dione Kelly, a physical therapist, takes on his case and begins to heal this broken man and help him realize there is so much more to gain from living.
While forcing Blake to face his inner demons, Dione begins to face her own fears. Blair Mallory lives the good life. But in the shadow of success, a troubled member of the club develops a strange fixation on Blair, imitating her style and dress. Matters take a darker turn when the look-alike is shot dead—and Blair witnesses the horror. As the media speculates on the tawdry details of the homicide and pushes Blair into the harsh spotlight, she locks horns with police lieutenant Wyatt Bloodsworth.