Autumn Countdown Blitz with @lovingthebook
Day 3 – An Agent for Jessica Julia Ridgmont (pen name for Laura Walker) #Lovingthebook #giveaway
Julia Ridgmont grew up in the American West, but that doesn’t necessarily mean she knows how to ride a horse. What it does mean, however, is that she loves to weave the country’s rich history into riveting tales full of romance and intrigue.
When she’s not writing, Julia enjoys cooking, sewing costumes for her children, spending time with her husband, and watching her children perform in sports or plays—or, if she’s really bored or stuck on a plot twist, cleaning the house. She also writes contemporary inspirational romance under her real name, Laura L. Walker.
Follow Julia as she unveils heroes whose strength and courage are only surpassed by their tenderness, and heroines who hide their lonely hearts with a cover of steel. It will take overcoming insurmountable odds and an iron will for them to find a love that lasts forever. Luckily, they have Julia to help them along.
Pinkerton detective Chas Bryant’s last job for the agency is supposed to be easy—deliver a cache of stolen items back to Mount Vernon after recovering them from profiteers. Soon, however, Chas discovers that nothing in this case is simple. When he’s called upon to search for a little girl gone missing after her parents are murdered, there’s only one woman who can help him . . . but he’ll need to make her his wife in order to complete the investigation.
Jessica Flanders is only trying to rescue her younger sister from a fate bleaker than death. How can the powers that be possibly think that separating them from each other is a good idea? Jessica made a dying promise to her parents. Now she needs Chas’s help to get her sister back, but when they dig deeper into the matter, they discover another little girl with an even greater need for being rescued.
Soon it becomes clear that someone else is searching for the missing girl, too. Can they keep her safe until the case is solved and the murderers are caught? If so, Chas and Jessica will need to forge a bond that is stronger than the evil forces surrounding them, and in the process, a love that will never be lost.
Read each of the Pinkerton Matchmaker stories in any order. These agents give the phrase “married to your work” a whole new meaning!
“Hold on!” Chas put his palm out to stop her verbal attack. “The girls are safe where they are. No one else knows Sarah is there, remember? Mark hasn’t told anyone except me.”
“You’re taking him at his word.”
Chas nodded. “Yes. I’m a Pinkerton agent. I’ve learned to read people quite accurately. I know when they’re telling the truth and when they’re lying.”
“Some people happen to be pretty good liars,” she insisted. “You can’t always know the truth just by looking at them.”
He tilted his head and said, “That’s an interesting statement. Care to elaborate?”
Jessica hesitated before plunging on. “My father owned a trading business here in Alexandria. Every week, he carted a load of goods up north into Pennsylvania, sometimes even into New York. Once in a while he even went south to make what he was really doing appear legitimate.”
“Transporting people. I never once suspected it. He was very good at keeping it a secret. He even told me to my face one time that he was merely a man of trade.”
“He wasn’t lying,” Chas pointed out.
Caught up as she was in her passionate speech, Jessica said vehemently, “Oh, strictly speaking, the phrasing was accurate. But he knew full well that I didn’t know what he was really talking about. That, to me, is lying. Telling someone something with the intent to deceive.”
His jaw tightened, and she knew she’d hit a nerve. As a Pinkerton agent, he probably had to do his fair share of lying. It was part of the job. A job that brought people to justice, she recalled with chagrin. “I’m sorry. I realize there is a good reason to lie occasionally. I just wonder about this boy, if he’s really telling the truth.”
Chas leaned back in his seat, his eyes becoming shuttered. “He is an orphan himself. His growing up years took place in that orphanage. He knew it was a safe place to take her. Also, he said the house went up in flames in two minutes flat. That tells me an accelerant of some kind was used on the property. There was literally nothing that could save the house or the people inside.”
“Kerosene, perhaps?” Jessica whispered as the enormity of his description engulfed her. It sounded like murder, plain and simple. Except nothing was simple about this case. It sounded very complicated. Oh, what had she gotten herself and Amy into?