Keeping Watch. Jan Hambright

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Keeping Watch - Jan Hambright

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      Her eyes flicked open. She reached out for him.

      “Make them stop, Royce.”

      “What, Adelaide? What do you want me to stop?”

      She didn’t answer as he stroked the nape of her neck, feeling her go pliant in his arms. Streams of heat entered his body and burned in his veins. There it was again, that inexplicable hypnotic edge of desire present every time he touched her.

      “You’ve got to tell me if you want my help.”

      “It’s here.” She motioned to the drawings on the floor with a slight tilt of her head. “They wake me up from a dead sleep and I’m compelled to come down here and draw these…these…”



      His mouth went dry and he released her to pick up the nearest one, trying to conceal the creeping layer of revulsion the sadistic image churned in his gut.

      “I don’t know where they’re coming from.” She turned misty green eyes on him and he couldn’t resist.

      He reached out for her and pulled her against him, feeling the silkiness of her skin under his fingers. Smelling the sweet spicy scent of her hair. He closed his eyes for an instant to absorb the sensations, but the only thing he saw was the image of a disturbing murder.

      Keeping Watch

      Jan Hambright

      MILLS & BOON

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      To the Protectors out there

       who stand in the gap every day. Thank you.

       To my husband,

       who patiently puts up with Jan-on-deadline. I love you.

       To my wonderful editor, Allison,

       who liked this idea enough to buy it.

       Thank you.


      Jan Hambright penned her first novel at seventeen, but claims it was pure rubbish. However, it did open the door on her love for storytelling. Born in Idaho, she resides there with her husband, three of their five children, a three-legged watchdog and a spoiled horse named Texas, who always has time to listen to her next story idea while they gallop along.

      A self-described adrenaline junkie, Jan spent ten years as a volunteer EMT in rural Idaho, and jumped out of an airplane at ten thousand feet attached to a man with a parachute, just to celebrate turning forty. Now she hopes to make your adrenaline level rise along with that of her danger-seeking characters. She would like to hear from her readers and hopes you enjoy the story world she has created for you. Jan can be reached at P.O. Box 2537, McCall, Idaho 83638.


       Royce Beckett —He’s the New Orleans detective assigned to protect the police department’s beautiful sketch artist, Adelaide Charboneau, after an attempted abduction.

       Adelaide Charboneau —She uses her unique abilities to expose evil by sketching composites of criminals for the NOPD. Can she and Royce find answers in time to save her from the fate in her own drawing?

       Detective Hicks —He’s the lead investigator in the case, and one of the good guys. Isn’t he?

       Chief Danbury —He comes off as a hard-nosed cop, but at heart he’s a true believer in Adelaide’s abilities, because she produces results.

       Officer Brooks —He’s bucking for a promotion, but is he willing to do almost anything to get it?

       Professor Charles Bessette —He helped Adelaide understand her gift.

       Miss Marie —She’s the owner of Spells-4-U, Voodoo and More, but will Adelaide and Royce heed her warning?

       Vincent Getty —He’s bad all over.

       Kimberly Beckett —She was abducted as a child. Now she’s a grown woman with the mind of a five-year-old. Could the images locked inside her head help her brother, Royce, find the truth?


      Chapter One

      Chapter Two

      Chapter Three

      Chapter Four

      Chapter Five

      Chapter Six

      Chapter Seven

      Chapter Eight

      Chapter Nine

      Chapter Ten

      Chapter Eleven

      Chapter Twelve

      Chapter Thirteen

      Chapter Fourteen

      Chapter Fifteen


       Chapter One

      A brilliant flash of lightning jolted Adelaide Charboneau awake from a dead sleep.

      She rolled over and stared up at the ceiling, praying this wasn’t the beginning of another bout of insomnia, leading to a late-night drawing session in her art studio downstairs.

      Thunder rumbled close by and vibrated the house, but her attention focused on the mini-blind as it clanked against the open window frame.

      A storm was coming. She could smell it on the air slicing through the two-inch crack at the bottom of the sill. A storm and something more. Something she couldn’t quite grasp.

      Chills skimmed her bare skin and prickled the hairs at her nape.

      She pulled back the covers, climbed out of bed and walked to the window, determined to shut out the uneasy sensation clawing through her, right along with the torrent of rain she knew was coming.

      It was hurricane season on the Gulf Coast. An edgy time for the residents of New Orleans who instinctively turned their attention to the southern horizon, and their TVs to the weather channel.

      She brushed aside the billowing sheers, pulled up the blind and locked it in place.

      The sky lit up again, casting a white-hot glow like a net directly overhead.

      Her focus riveted on movement in a cluster of azaleas near the gazebo.

      The flash fizzled, but the image was burned on her brain. There was a man standing in her backyard.

      Shaken, she closed the window, locked it and stepped back, trying to pick him out in the gloom as her eyes adjusted. Follow-up thunder rumbled, its vibration churning up fear in her mind. What was he doing here?

      The answer came crashing into

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