Had her brand-new husband been involved in something shady? Before Caroline Hampton could confront him, he was killed in a car crash...or so it was claimed. Unsettling incidents--escalating in danger--warned her he could be very much alive. And so Caroline fled for the safety of her sisters' Amish country inn. But someone who suspected her--handsome police chief Zachary Burkhalter--was waiting for Caroline. Waiting for her to slip up. And watching her every move. Daring her to trust him with all of the truth.
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1 . Will keep you guessing
Posted June 17, 2010 by michelle , OKloved it. Perry's Three Sister's Inn novels are well-written, quick reads.
December 03, 2007
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Excerpt from Buried Sins by Marta Perry
The scent of pine evoked memories of better times, times before...
The doors of the bus swooshed closed. The hulking vehicle rambled away, leaving Faith Delange in a wake of acrid exhaust.
Stifling a cough, she set her bags on the ground and tugged her wool coat tighter against the December chill. Though nothing could ever guard her against the isolation and fear of being found.
A "Help Wanted" sign hanging in the window of a little diner caught her attention and her stomach growled, spurring her onward. Her leather-soled shoes slipped slightly on patches of ice and sloshed in the dirty snow.
A clear, blue sky made a perfect backdrop for tall evergreens and the rustic little town nestled amid the snow-dusted greenery. In the distance, majestic mountains rose above the trees as if stretching toward heaven. Her gaze took in the town, which looked to be a refurbished antique of the old west decorated with holiday cheer. A sense of well-being swirled around her. A spark of hope leaped to life deep within her soul.
Faith liked what she saw. Here, she could be anybody. Here, she could be safe, if only long enough to rest and eat.
Maybe here, God might answer her prayers. The beginnings of a smile tugged at the corners of her mouth.
With the side of her hip, she pushed open the door of the restaurant and walked into a replica of an old dining car. Over the striped wallpaper hung festive cutouts. A small Christmas tree sat on the counter near the cash register. A bright yellow box with the word "toys" blazoned across the front sat overflowing with wrapped presents to the right of the door. Booths upholstered in red vinyl lined the walls. In the corner, a jukebox played a slow country melody, the words of love and loss bringing a pang to Faith's heart.
A frazzled, gray-haired waitress smiled from across the room. "Come on in, honey." The waitress wiped a hand across the skirt of her apron, adding another greasy stain to the front. "Sit where you'd like."
Every head in the diner swiveled in Faith's direction. She dropped her gaze to the floor and wished people would go back to what they were doing. She just wanted to blend in, be another faceless body.
Who was she kidding? Not only was she a stranger in this small community, but she looked awful, having worn the same clothes for the last three days.
The smell of bacon drifted past her nose, reminding her of her goal. Food and a job. But the last open booth seemed a mile away from where she stood.
She tightened her grip on her tattered suitcases and started forward just as an older, grizzled man in a plaid shirt vacated a spot at the counter. Moving quickly, Faith claimed the stool and set her suitcases on the floor at her feet.
In her peripheral vision she noticed the man to her right and his openly curious stare. She tilted her head away and picked up the menu.
The waitress wiped down the counter. "What can I get for you, dear?"
Her mouth watering and her stomach cramping with hunger, Faith succumbed to the temptation to order a full meal. "I'll have the eggs Benedict, please." She set down the menu. "And coffee."
"Ethel, here, brews the best coffee in the whole state," the man stated.
Faith nodded her acknowledgement but kept her gaze forward. She didn't talk to strangers. Especially men.
Ethel beamed. "You're a charmer, L.C. Your order will be right up, dear." The waitress moved away with a spring in her step.
The warmth of the diner seeped into Faith's skin and her coat became too much. She shrugged it down her shoulders and released her left arm from the sleeve. Gingerly, she tried to push the right sleeve down without having to raise her arm.
"Here, let me," the man, L.C., offered as he reached for her coat.
Faith jerked back at the unexpected move. She stared at him. He had close-cropped dark hair and a ruggedly handsome face with a strong jawline. The slight bump along the ridge of his nose gave his face character, and she wondered how he'd acquired the break. His clean-shaven cheeks barely hinted at the dark shadow she guessed would appear by the end of the day. Dark eyebrows slashed over the bluest eyes she'd ever seen.
Just because he was handsome didn't mean she could trust him. She knew better than most what evil could lurk behind a beautiful facade.
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to startle you," he said, holding up calloused hands.
"May I?" he asked and nodded his head toward her arm.
Not wanting to draw more attention, she slowly nodded. One of his big hands caught the end of her sleeve, his fingers lightly brushing against the back of her hand, setting off a maelstrom of tingles up her arm. His other hand grasped the collar of her coat. In a smooth motion he slipped the coat down her arm. Faith winced slightly as her shoulder moved.
"Did I hurt you?" L.C.'s rich, mellow voice held a note of concern.
She swallowed and tried to find her voice. "Old injury."