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Authors: Barbara Freethy

Tags: #Romance

Summer Rain (Lightning Strikes Book 3)

BOOK: Summer Rain (Lightning Strikes Book 3)
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SUMMER RAIN

Lightning Strikes #3

 

 

 

Barbara Freethy

 

Also Available

Lightning Strikes Series

Beautiful Storm
(#1)

Lightning Lingers
(#2)

Summer Rain
(#3)

 

The Callaway Series

On A Night Like This
(#1)

So This Is Love
(#2)

Falling For A Stranger
(#3)

Between Now and Forever
(#4)

Nobody But You
(A Callaway Wedding Novella)

All A Heart Needs
(#5)

That Summer Night
(#6)

When Shadows Fall
(#7)

Somewhere Only We Know
(#8)

If I Didn’t Know Better
(#9)

Tender Is The Night
(#10)

Take Me Home (A Callaway Novella)
Coming Soon!

Closer To You
(#11)
Coming Soon!

 

Bachelors & Bridesmaids

Kiss Me Forever
(#1)

Steal My Heart
(#2)

All Your Loving
(#3)

Before I Do
(#4)

Falling Into You
(#5)

Forever Starts Tonight
(#6)
,
Coming Soon!

SUMMER RAIN

 

From #1 NYT Bestselling Author Barbara Freethy comes the third and final book in the Lightning Strikes Romantic Suspense Trilogy. Action, suspense, romance, and family secrets lead to an explosive conclusion!

 

Danielle Monroe is determined to use her new job in DC as a stepping-stone to a high-powered political career. But the secrets surrounding her father's death continue to overshadow her goals. Her family thinks she holds the final piece of the puzzle, but she doesn't even know what the puzzle is…until an attractive and possibly dangerous stranger shows up in her life.

 

Patrick Kane is searching for answers about his own dark tragedy, not realizing that the beautiful Danielle may not just hold the key to his mystery but also his heart. They have to stay alive long enough to find out.

Summer Rain

Lightning Strikes Trilogy #3

© Copyright 2016 Barbara Freethy

All Rights Reserved (V1)

ISBN: 9781943781072

 

No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

 

For information
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Prologue

She hit the water hard, a relentless force dragging her deep into the sea. She fought with all her strength to get back to the surface, but she wasn't sure she would make it. Her lungs were bursting. Her head was spinning. She could barely think. She needed air desperately.

Kicking and pulling at the water, she finally began to come up. When she burst through the surface, she gasped, sucking in air as quickly as she could. She was yards away from the flaming remnants of the boat, which had been completely shattered by the explosion. How quickly things had changed.

Thunder crashed over her head; lightning flashed across the sky. She swam through the darkness, using the lightning strikes to find her way. She'd never believed in the power of lightning, but now she could feel the electricity charging the air and the water around her.

You will find the last piece of the puzzle. You will know the truth.
Her great-grandmother's words rang through her head.

Dani hadn't understood the prophecy.

She hadn't believed her sister when Alicia had said the lightning would show her what she needed to see.

And she'd been doubtful that her brother Jake had actually seen a vision of their dead father right before his plane crashed in the Mexican jungle.

For months, she'd maintained they were all a little crazy, that there was no conspiracy, no mystery to solve.

Now she was a believer. But had she taken too long to see the truth?

The lightning vanished. Darkness surrounded her. The rain poured down on her head, a steamy shower on a hot summer night.

She couldn't see a foot in front of her. But she had to keep going. Lives were at stake, including her own.

She swam harder, then she bumped into something hard and heavy—a body.

Her heart stopped.

Terror ran through her.

Oh, God! Was she too late?

One

Eight days earlier

 

The storm clouds had been moving through the Texas sky all afternoon, getting darker and thicker by the minute. Dani Monroe had grown up in the southern Texas city of Corpus Christi, and she was used to summer storms, but she'd hoped that today would be dry, that the wedding of her younger sister would be filled only with sunshine and happiness.

Not that Alicia would care that a storm was coming
, she thought, as she stared out the window of the childhood bedroom she'd once shared with Alicia. Her sister had been chasing lightning for years, taking award-winning photographs of dramatic electrical storms, hoping always to find a clue to their father's disappearance in the flashes of light.

Lightning was Alicia's gateway to the truth, or so she believed. Dani was not convinced, but she had to admit the events of the past six months were difficult to explain and rationalize away. And it wasn't just Alicia who had started to believe in the lightning legends of their ancestors; it was also her brother Jake. Right before he'd crashed his plane into the Mexican jungle, he'd told her that he'd seen their father in a burst of light. It had happened again days later when he'd been fighting to save the life of the woman he loved.

Both Alicia and Jake were convinced that there was a mystery surrounding their father's death in a stormy plane crash ten years ago. They'd found some clues to support their theory in the last year, but still had no definitive proof, which left them all in what felt like an even worse limbo than they'd been in before.

She wanted it all to go away. She felt almost desperate with that desire. But she couldn't seem to escape the past, no matter how much she wanted to.

She let out a sigh. Damn the storm clouds for making her think about lightning again. Today was supposed to be happy and joyous. She didn't want to feel sad. But it wasn't just the weather making her nostalgic and wistful. Her father's absence on this day was pronounced.

Wyatt Monroe wasn't going to walk Alicia down the aisle for her wedding. He wouldn't be there to give Alicia’s groom Michael Cordero a slap on the back and tell him to take care of his little girl. He wouldn't argue with his wife Joanna or stand next to his oldest son Jake in the wedding photos.

And he wouldn't be there to tell her, his middle child, not to worry about being left behind, not to feel bad that both Jake and Alicia had found love before she did. Her father, more than her mother, had always seen the insecurity she tried to hide, a result of middle child syndrome. She wasn't the oldest or the youngest, so she had to be the best. The need still drove her, and she tried to embrace that part of herself, because it did make her try harder, work more, strive for greatness.

On the other hand, she didn't need her dad to tell her anything. She wasn't looking for love. She had a career in Washington DC, working as a legislative assistant for the United States senator from Texas, Ray Dillon. It was a lifelong dream that had finally come true.

She'd started out in Dillon's Corpus Christi office seven years ago, and now she was working at the Capitol with legislators and lobbyists for one of the most important men in the Senate, someone tagged for a presidential run in the not-so-distant future. Her life was crazy but good, and tomorrow she'd be heading back to that life, thoughts of her Texas past forgotten.

The bedroom door opened behind her, and she turned around as Alicia entered the room. Her sister wore a short pink floral bathrobe. Her long, dark hair had been pulled back in a stylish but loose bun at her neck, and her wedding makeup enhanced her thick black lashes, dark eyes, and glowing olive complexion. Alicia took after their father's side of the family with her Latin looks, while Dani had inherited their mother's fair skin, green eyes and dark-blonde hair.

They looked like night and day and their personalities were just as different, but there was still a strong bond of sisterly love between them.

"You look beautiful, Alicia." She felt a knot of emotion come into her throat. "And you don't even have your wedding dress on yet."

"Thanks. I could say the same for you. What do you think of your bridesmaid's dress?"

She glanced in the full-length mirror on the closet door as Alicia walked over next to her. "I like the dress. I might actually wear it again." The silky teal-colored, spaghetti-strapped dress fit her like a glove, and the mini-length made it feel more like a cocktail dress than a bridesmaid's gown.

"I had to fight Mom on it," Alicia said. "She wanted a more traditional gown. You owe me, Dani."

She grinned. "Fine. When I get married, I'll let you pick out your own dress, too." She turned to face her younger sister. "I thought Katherine would be here by now," she added, referring to Jake's girlfriend and the other member of the small bridal party.

"She's downstairs. She'll be up in a second. Mom says the limo will be here in thirty minutes to take us to the church. She wants everything to go according to schedule."

"I'm sure it will," Dani said with a smile, seeing the stress in Alicia's eyes. "Today will be perfect."

"I hope so. It feels like it's been a lot of work so far."

"Now starts the fun part."

Alicia nodded. "I'm definitely looking forward to the honeymoon."

"Are Jake and Katherine making wedding plans yet?" she asked.

"Not that I've heard. While they're officially engaged and living together, they don't seem to be in a big hurry to set a date. They're just lucky Mom has been consumed with my wedding. As soon as it's over, she'll be pushing them to pick a church and a reception location. I heard Katherine say something about next spring, but we'll see. She's settling into her job at the hospital, and it took her so many years of study to become a doctor that I think she wants to make her career a priority for a while."

"That makes sense."

Alicia wandered over to the window and gazed out at the gray sky. "It looks like rain is coming."

"I think it will hold off until after you tie the knot, but I'm glad you didn't choose to get married outside."

"Me, too. I thought about it, but if it weren't raining, we'd probably all be sweltering in the heat. Summer in Texas is never cool."

"Very true. I just wish it was a sunny day for all the photos." She paused. "But maybe this kind of weather is perfect for my little lightning chaser."

Alicia laughed as she turned back around. "I'd actually prefer to skip the lightning today. It usually brings chaos and change with it."

"Is that the lightning or you?" she teased.

"Maybe both." Alicia paused, her expression turning serious. “I'm so glad you came, Dani. I know you're super busy at work."

"Not too busy for your wedding. I would never miss your special day. But to be completely honest, I am mixing in a little work this weekend. Senator Dillon needs me to represent him at an event in town tomorrow. It's a ribbon-cutting at a new park in honor of a congresswoman who died awhile back in a plane crash."

"I remember that," Alicia said with a nod. "It happened about two years after Dad died, and the circumstances reminded me of that horrible night that we all had to live through. Every time I hear about another crash, I feel the panic and uncertainty of those first few days when we thought a miracle might happen, but the miracle never came."

"I know." She was sorry she'd brought it up. "Let's not talk about any of that today. And I don't want you to worry about me running off before the wedding reception is over. The park event is not until four o'clock tomorrow afternoon. You and Michael will be on your honeymoon by then."

BOOK: Summer Rain (Lightning Strikes Book 3)
6.65Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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