Message From The Author
Mercy, Julie Garwood!
Thats what we had to say after reading this abridged excerpt from Ms. Garwoods new release, aptly titled MERCY, of course! Following on the heels of her first contemporary romantic suspense, Heartbreaker, MERCY focuses on Nick Buchanans brother Theo, a Boston attorney. In it, Ms. Garwood brings her own humorous style to romantic suspense. See for yourself in the following scene where Theo meets Ms. Blue Eyes
It was a night to remember.
Michelle Renard had never attended such an extravagant affair before. There were flowers everywhere, beautiful spring flowers in sculptured urns on the marble floors and in crystal vases on all the white linen tablecloths. In the very center of the ballroom, beneath a magnificent crystal chandelier, was a cluster of giant hothouse magnolia trees in full bloom. Their heavenly fragrance filled the air.
Waiters glided smoothly through the crowd carrying silver trays with fluted champagne glasses while others rushed from table to table lighting long, white, tapered candles.
She thought about how much she paid for her dress and decided she would have to wear it at least twenty times to make it cost-effective Michelle self-consciously brushed her hand down the side of the soft fabric. When, in heavens name, was she ever going to have another opportunity to wear this beautiful dress again? Not in Bowen, she thought. Not in a million years
She walked around into the adjacent hallway with the bank of elevators, hoping there was a way to get to the courtyard from the opposite side.
And thats when she noticed him. He was leaning against a pillar, hunched over, tilted protectively to one side. The man was tall, broad-shouldered, well-built, like an athlete, she thought. But there was
a sickly gray pallor to his complexion, and as she walked toward him, she saw him grimace and grab his stomach.
He was obviously in trouble. She touched his arm to get his attention just as the elevator doors opened. He staggered upright and looked down at her. His gray eyes were glazed with pain.
Do you need help?
He answered her by throwing up all over her.
She couldnt get out of the way because hed grabbed hold of her arm. His knees buckled then and she knew he was going to go down. She wrapped her arms around his waist and tried to ease him to the floor, but he lurched forward, taking her with him.
Theo Buchanans head was spinning. He thought he might be dying and he didnt think that would be such a bad thing if death would make the pain go away. It was unbearable now. His stomach rolled again, and another wave of intense agony cut through him.He passed out then, and when he next opened his eyes, he was flat on his back and she was leaning over him.
He tried to bring her face into focus. She had pretty blue eyes, more violet than blue, he thought, and freckles on the bridge of her nose. Then, as suddenly as it had stopped, the fire started burning in his side again, so much worse than before.
The woman was talking to him, but he couldnt understand what she was saying. And what the hell was she doing to him? Was she robbing him? Her hands were everywhere, tugging at his jacket, his tie, his shirt. She was trying to straighten his legs. She was hurting him, damn it.
He felt her open his jacket, knew she could see the gun holstered above his hip. He was crazed with pain now, couldnt seem to think straight. He only knew he couldnt let her take his weapon.
She was a damned talkative mugger. Hed give her that. She looked like one of those J. Crew models. Sweet, he thought. No, she wasnt sweet. She kept hurting him.
Look, lady, you can take my wallet, but youre not getting my gun. Got that? He could barely get the words out through his gritted teeth.
Her hand pressed into his side. He reacted instinctively, knocking her back.
Theo didnt know how long he was out, but when he opened his eyes, the bright lights made him squint. Where the hell was he? He couldnt summon up enough energy to move. He thought he might be on a table. It was hard, cold.
Where am I? His mouth was so dry, he slurred the question.
Youre in Brethren Hospital, Mr. Buchanan. The mans voice came from behind him, but Theo couldnt see him.
Did they catch her?
Hes loopy, came a female voice he didnt recognize.
Theo suddenly realized he wasnt in any pain. He felt good, in fact. Real good. Like he could fly. Odd, though, he didnt have the strength to move his arms. A mask was placed over his mouth and nose. He turned his head to get away from it.
Are you getting sleepy, Mr. Buchanan?
He turned his head again and saw her. Blue Eyes. She looked like an angel, all golden. Wait a minute. What the hell was she doing here? Wait
Mike, are you going to be able to see what youre doing? That eye looks bad.
Howd it happen? the voice behind Theos head asked.
He clipped me.
The patient decked you?
Thats right. She was staring into Theos eyes when she answered. She had a green mask on, but he knew she was smiling.
A womans voice. Where did you find him, Dr. Renard?
At a party.
Another woman leaned over him. Hubba, hubba.
Was it love at first sight?
You decide. He threw up all over me and ruined my new dress.
Someone laughed. Sounds like love to me. Ill bet hes married. All the good-looking men are married.
I hope our patient is sleeping.
Not yet, a male voice said. But he isnt going to remember anything.
Wheres the assist?
There seemed to be a party going on. Theo thought there were at least twenty or thirty people in the room with him. And who was making all the clatter? He was thirsty. His mouth felt like it was full of cotton. Maybe he ought to go get a drink. Yeah, thats what he would do.
So you saw Cooper at the party?
Uh-huh, Blue Eyes answered.
You. Theo struggled to get the word out. Still, hed gotten her attention because when he opened his eyes, she was leaning over him, blocking out the glaring light above him.
Its time for you to go to sleep, Mr. Buchanan.
Hes fighting it.
What Theo began.
What do you want from me?
The man hiding behind him answered. Mike wants your appendix, Mr. Buchanan.
Visit Julies website at www.juliegarwood.com or write her in care of Pocket Books, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020.
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