A cop, a criminal’s twin and a cabin where anything can happen.
Carolyn Trufant has only recently discovered she has a twin. When Jasmine calls for help, she goes immediately, not willing to lose this new-found bond. Once in Atlanta, she finds herself in a succession of whirlwind events that result in a handsome cop taking her to a secure location in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. But she’s not her targeted sister. And so the secret begins.
Declan McBride is the Atlanta PD cop assigned to protect Jasmine Hoyer, a woman who drives him crazy with all her escaping and disregard for the law. After he decides to put her somewhere safe that she can’t escape from him, he finds that he’s strangely starting to like this new Jasmine.
They grow closer and endure a lot together. But what if Declan discovers she’s not quite who she says she is? And how will Carolyn cope when she finds herself having to take her new identity to a dangerous, life-threatening level?
General Release Date: 14th March 2014
“I need your help, Carolyn!”
Carolyn Trufant nearly dropped the crystal vase she was filling in the sink. “What’s wrong, Jasmine?”
Cars honked. People yelled. The sounds of a busy metropolis’s downtown reverberated through the phone line. Where is she?
“Help me, please!”
She set the vase down, struggling to hear and decipher the rest of what Jasmine was saying. “I can’t hear you.”
“…meet me, please.”
“Jasmine?” Her voice rose a few notches. “Where do you want me to meet you?”
“Come down to Atlanta, please. Meet me where I told you I first visited when I got here. At ten p.m. please, tomorrow. I’m…really scared.” The call went dead.
Shit. Carolyn’s hands shook like leaves in a stiff breeze. She hung her head and tried to control her racing, out of control emotions.
What could she do? What should she do would be a better question.
I have to help her. There’s no way I am going to lose her after just finding her.
Caro stroked a finger along the silken petals of the flowers she’d received moments before her sister had called. She loved the variety in the mixture of flowers. Of course I have to go.
Allowing herself one more inhalation of the fragrant floral blooms, she swept her gaze around the room, ensuring all items resided in their proper place. Then she went to her office and booked herself a flight to Atlanta.
That evening, once supper had been eaten and cleaned up after, she curled up on one end of her sofa, tucked her feet beneath her and stared through the window of her Madison, Wisconsin, apartment.
She closed her eyes and her thoughts drifted to Jasmine. Her sister. More than that. Her twin. A woman she’d met a month and a half ago. Separated at birth and adopted by other families who didn’t know about each other. In fact, even the paperwork stated she had no other known siblings.
To say it had been a shock when Jasmine had first contacted her would be the understatement of the year. Caro had been suspicious, hard not to be when she’d received such a call. She’d asked her parents before about siblings and they’d given her the paperwork, which had denied such things. Still, regardless of her doubts, she’d gone and met her in Saint Louis.
There had been no denying it the moment she’d laid eyes on Jasmine. They’d spent the weekend catching up and learning about one another. Since then they’d exchanged some calls and had discussed having another ‘sister’ weekend soon. But never a call for help.
She walked to the large window and stared over the twinkling lights of her city. “Never a call with someone sounding so scared either.” Caro rested her head against the glass and sighed.
Concerned, she made her way and packed her carry-on. She didn’t expect to stay all that long but could take a bit of time off if needed since she had plenty of accumulated days. Lifting the receiver to her landline, she sat on the edge of her bed. She sucked on her lip as she dialled a memorised number. Yes, it was programmed but she did it this way to give herself a bit more time. Not much, true, but anything would be accepted.
The gentle voice on the other end had her smiling. “Hi, Mama.”
“Caro. How are you doing, baby?”
“Fine, Mama. I just wanted to let you and Daddy know I’m taking a short trip.” She cleared her throat. “Out of town.”
“Hmm. Where to?”
“Down south.” She winced, hating the lie she was about to tell. “I have a two week vacation I’m spending in a timeshare.”
“Really? You didn’t say anything earlier.”
Because I didn’t know the twin—my twin sister you know nothing about—was going to call me asking for help. “Came up out of the blue. You remember my roommate, Jen? She was going to go but couldn’t.” She scrunched her eyes and pinched the bridge of her nose. “Just got off the phone with her. I have the time so I figured… Why not?”
More noncommittal noises. “Where down south?”
“Atlanta. I don’t have the info yet since she hasn’t texted it to me.”
“You’re leaving when?”
She could see her mother standing there with her head cocked to the side. “Early tomorrow.” Late tonight technically but what was one more lie in the grand scheme of things? She was already going to hell.
Her mom, silent for a moment, then made a delicate throat clearing sound. “Have fun and be safe.”
“Thanks, Mama.” The flush of deceit spread across her neck and face. She despised lying to her parents. “Tell Daddy I say hi. Love to both.”
Caro hung up and whimpered.
I feel terrible about this.
Her parents were an amazing couple who’d adopted her and raised her alongside the youngest of their naturally born children. A well-respected couple, they had raised her to understand hard work. When she’d come to Madison for college she hadn’t left, and now she worked for the same institution that had supplied her degree. Her boss had been on her case constantly about taking some time off, so she placed a call and left a message on his phone.
Her final call was to her friend who also rented in the same building, Terri Mosse.
“Hey, Terri. I need a favour.”
“Sure thing, babe. What can I do for you?” The blaring music softened. “Everything okay?”
“I’m heading to Atlanta tonight for no more than a couple of weeks.”
She whistled low. “Jasmine?”
“Yes.” Why did she feel horrible that Terri knew but not her parents?
“You are stressed. What happened?”
“I don’t know. She’s frightened out of her mind. Asked me to help her.” She rubbed the back of her neck. “I can’t ignore her. She’s my twin.”
“I’m not judging, babe. You need to go, go. I will take care of your place. When should I expect you back?”
She pursed her lips. “Not sure. I’m giving myself two weeks if she needs help getting back on her feet. No more than that I wouldn’t imagine.”
“Your plans change, you let me know.”
“Yes, Terri?” She carried her bag to the door.
“Be careful, yeah?”
“I will.” They hung up and she pocketed her phone.