The Rebel's Redemption
by Jacquie Biggar
Series: Wounded Hearts, #2
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: February 2, 2015
Annie Campbell's predictable and cozy life gets turned on its side when her son's prodigal father returns to town. Then an old enemy shows up and the outcome will not only place her in danger, but their son as well.
Jared Martin left Tidal Falls a hotheaded youth, and has seen his share of violence in the eight years he’s served Uncle Sam. Floundering, he returns to his hometown to regain his bearings, bitter and disillusioned.
Then he finds out he’s a father.
When an old enemy follows and causes mayhem in the small town, can Jared overcome the odds to protect the woman he’s always loved and the child he never knew, or will it be too late?
“Talk to me, Martin. So help me God, if you don’t answer…”
“They’re gone, Chief.” Jared hated even putting voice to the words. “That dirty mother-fucker took them and I couldn’t stop him.” Defeat and self-loathing turned his stomach inside out. He swiped a shaky hand down his face and smacked his thigh. “What am I going to do?”
“First, tell me what the hell is going on. Then call the local PD and tell them what you told me, understand?”
The impact of what had just happened hit him. He sunk to his knees, right there in the middle of the empty street. Lights had blinked on in the nearby homes. He could see families sitting down together for dinner, smiling, chatting, without a worry in the world.
“Did I tell you I have a son, Frank?” Jared kept his gaze focused on those happy families and slowly the ache in his chest turned to rage and retribution. “I have a son. That bastard Sergei Barnikov just signed his own death warrant. I gotta go, Chief.” He slammed the phone shut, jumped to his feet, turned toward the cop shop, and froze.
Annie faced him, fist pressed against her mouth. Her eyes shone with despair while tears streamed down her face. She stared at him with denial.
The fist lowered, reached for him. His feet unglued, and he hurried the last few steps to her side, grasping her cold hand. “Annie, I’m so sorry. I tried to stop him. I really did.”
“We were on our way to have some ice cream. I told the kids to put their bikes around back and meet me at Grace’s,” she whispered, all but shrinking before him. Jared gently pulled her into his arms and just held on. She resisted at first, then gave in. Her head nestled against his heart seeking solace as she leaned into him. “Why didn’t I follow them, Jared? I should have followed them.” She began to cry in earnest, big racking sobs that shook her whole body and soaked his shirt.
Helpless, Jared ran his hands up and down her spine. When the tears slowed somewhat he cradled her head and tipped it back so she’d look at him. Tears ravaged her face, bathed with light from the streetlamps. It broke his heart. He placed a gentle kiss upon her forehead. “Honey, it’s not your fault. Please, Annie, none of this is your fault, okay? Don’t blame yourself. If you want to hate someone, I’m the one who brought that pig to town, hate me.”
“Who is he, Jared? What does he want? Why did he take my babies?” Her voice rose with each question as panic set in. “How are we going to find them? God, what if he hurts them?”
He wished he had a positive answer to give her. He didn’t. Truth was, he had no idea what the Russian had planned. Best-case scenario would be ransom, or a swap. His worthless hide for the children’s. But he just didn’t know.
“C’mon honey, let’s head over to the police station. Maybe your friend Jack can help.” Right now Jared would take anyone’s offer of assistance.
Annie pulled away and rubbed her face on her sleeve before straightening her clothes. They moved quietly down the street for a few moments. “You know, don’t you?” she asked with a brief sideways glance, before turning her gaze back to the path they were taking.
Her words caused the last of his doubts to fade along with the anger and betrayal. “Yeah, I know.” He halted their progress and waited until she faced him. “He’s a beautiful little boy, Annie. We need to talk about this. Soon. But for right now, let’s just worry about getting them back safe and sound, okay?”
Annie sniffled and continued down the street, but not before she closed the distance between them and slid her fingers around his. Jared’s heart squeezed back.
Book 1: Tidal Falls
Jacquie grew up, got married, raised a family and left her writing urges to simmer in the background unattended.
She owned and operated a successful diner in her hometown for a number of wonderful years before deciding to live her dream of becoming an author.
Jacquie's first book, Tidal Falls, a romantic suspense novel about second chances, released September of 2014.