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At Hidden Falls (Angel's Bay Book 4) Kindle Edition
Isabella’s drive to Angel’s Bay would have ended in tragedy when her car slid off a cliff if she hadn’t been rescued by Nick Hartley. As he helps her to safety, she realizes he is the man who has haunted her dreams. Nick, however, is committed to reconnecting with his estranged teenage daughter, refusing to respond to his powerful attraction to Isabella. And Isabella’s police chief brother has his hands full with a missing mother, an abandoned baby, and an unknown father. What is Isabella’s role in the mysteries—both past and present—that swirl around the town?
When she starts helping at the Hartley family theater, all the pieces begin to link together. Loves found and lost, heartbreak and happiness, courage and betrayal are all part of the patchwork quilt of the community—and of life. Isabella’s gift is seeing the patterns.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Dark clouds blotted out the glow of the sun setting over the ocean, and the threatening storm sent a chill down Isabella Silveira’s spine. Her hands tightened on the steering wheel as the Pacific Coast Highway took another terrifying twist along a steep cliff that dropped abruptly into the wild, crashing waves below. She’d always been a spontaneous person, but this trip was giving her plenty of second thoughts.
She was exhausted, haunted by a series of tormenting dreams for the last two weeks. They’d begun shortly after she’d received a birthday present from her brother Joe, an antique turquoise and gold pendant that he’d found in the house he’d inherited from their uncle Carlos in Angel’s Bay. He’d told her that the turquoise reminded him of her unusual eyes. All of her other siblings had brown eyes, but somehow in the Irish-Hispanic mix of her parents, she’d ended up with dark hair, olive skin, and deep blue eyes.
Her eyes were part of her special gift, her grandmother Elena had told her—the gift of insight imparted by their Mayan ancestors and shared by only a few women in the family. Her teasing siblings had told her that her “gift” was a story their grandmother had made up to make her feel special. But that didn’t explain why touching certain items belonging to people she cared about triggered dreams and visions of the future. Unfortunately, those flashes of insight were rarely helpful. Even when she tried to warn someone, she often wound up getting somewhere just in time to pick up the pieces.
After several troubling incidents, she’d learned to shy away from deeply emotional relationships, because they often brought on the disturbing flashes. It was easier to skate along the surface, never settling too long in one place or with one person. She could have fun, have friends, have sex—but love was another thing entirely. Love could make her crazy.
For months her brain had been quiet, until she’d put on the necklace. That night, she’d dreamed of Angel’s Bay.
She’d never been to the town where Joe had taken over as police chief almost a year earlier. But the images haunting her had included this highway and the Angel’s Bay sign she’d passed three miles back, as well as shadows and silhouettes swirling around landmarks and people that seemed meaningful in some unfathomable way. Just when she came to the brink of discovery, she woke up sweating and shaking, with a certainty that she was supposed to do something, save someone—but she didn’t know what to do or whom to save.
She’d taken to exercise, running, spinning, kickboxing, anything that would leave her too exhausted to dream. She’d lost five pounds, but the dreams had continued to come. Finally, she’d stopped fighting. The pendant had come from Joe. What if he was in trouble and she did nothing? She’d never forgive herself.
Fortunately, she was between movie projects. She worked as a freelance costume designer, and the start date of her next film had been pushed back until January, leaving her at loose ends for the next two months. While she normally helped out at her sister’s clothing boutique between design jobs, she’d decided to go to Angel’s Bay instead. Even if she couldn’t figure out her dreams, at least she’d get to see Joe. And she was more than a little curious about Angel’s Bay. Joe seemed to be in love with the town—so much so that he’d agreed to divorce his wife rather than move back to L.A.
As raindrops splashed across her windshield, she turned on her wipers and her headlights. The road had widened, the hills on her right side falling back to vast open meadows, closed-up fruit stands on the edge of farmland, and an occasional rural road heading inland toward the mountains. There weren’t many cars and very few lights. She felt isolated, alone, and inexplicably tense.
A crack of thunder jolted her. She’d heard that sound in her dreams. But she wasn’t dreaming, she reminded herself as goose bumps ran along her arms. This was reality.
She hit the defrost button as her window began to fog, telling herself everything was fine. A few more miles, and she’d be in Angel’s Bay.
As she drove around another turn, a flash of light blinded her, high beams from an oncoming car that wove recklessly across the highway. She hit the brakes as the car suddenly turned in front of her, skidding onto a dirt road heading toward the mountains.
Her brakes couldn’t grip the rain-soaked highway, and her car began to skid. She hung on to the wheel, fighting for control, but she was heading straight toward the cliff on the ocean side of the road. She jammed the brakes to the floor, but there was no way to stop.
Her car ripped through the guard rail, plunging down the rocky hillside in a wild, jolting ride. The front of the car hit something, and the windshield shattered. She threw up her hands as her airbag deployed and stars exploded before her eyes.
Minutes or hours later, she heard someone yelling, tugging the car door open. Rain hit her face, and she blinked in bewilderment. The front window had splintered, and smoke was coming off the hood of her car.
“Are you all right?” a man demanded.
She stared at him in confusion. His clothes were drenched, his hair soaked, his eyes dark and worried.
“You’ve been in an accident,” he said. “Are you hurt?”
She put a hand to her forehead and winced as she saw the blood on her fingers.
“The cut on your head doesn’t look too bad,” he told her. “Can you move? I want to get you out of here. There’s no telling how long the rocks will hold.”
He’d barely finished speaking when the car slid a few inches forward. Isabella grabbed his arm in panic. “Don’t let me go.”
His jaw tightened in determination. “I won’t. I’m getting you out of here right now.”
His voice held so much confidence, she felt marginally reassured, but the car was pitched at a precariously steep angle. The man reached across to undo her seatbelt, and she tried to get out, but her left foot was pinned where the side of her car had smashed against the rocks. “My foot is stuck!” A wave of terror ran through her as she tried to pull her leg free.
“Hold on. Let me see if I can figure out what’s pinning you down.”
He squatted next to the car, his hand running down her leg. She could feel his fingers against her ankle as he pushed down on the metal. He grimaced with the effort, but she was finally able to yank her foot out, sending the car sliding forward another few inches. The wall of rocks holding the car back from the sea began to break apart.
The man grabbed her arm and pulled her out of the car just as the vehicle lurched forward. He rolled on top of her, digging his feet into the soil as the vehicle slid down the mountain. She watched in shocked horror as it plummeted over the edge of the bluff in a shower of rocks, the roar of the waves swallowing its splash.
She’d almost been inside. She’d almost died.
Her breath stalled in her chest. She tightened her arms around the man who had her pinned to the ground, terrified that they would slide down the hill just as the car had done.
“You’re okay,” he told her soothingly. “You’re safe.”
Safe? She was lying on a slippery hillside, yards away from the edge of a cliff, but the weight of his body reassured her. She wasn’t going to fall. He wouldn’t let her. She didn’t know how she knew that—but she did.
“I’m going to sit up,” he said slowly, his gaze on hers. “And you’re going to loosen your grip on me just a little bit.”
She swallowed hard and shook her head. “I don’t think I can let you go.”
“You’re not letting go. We’re just going to move toward those rocks, where the ground is more stable.” He gave her a small smile as if what he was asking her to do was no big deal. “It will be fine.”
Something about the certainty in his eyes made her trust him. Slowly, she loosened her hold on him, digging her hands and feet into the dirt as he moved off of her. He didn’t let go of her entirely, keeping a strong hand on her arm. Sitting up, he scooted backward, pulling her with him, until they reached flatter ground and another outcropping of rocks.
Letting out a breath, she was finally able to sit up without feeling as if she was going to slide down the hill.
The steady rain had stopped, a slice of moonlight breaking through the clouds, and she took a better look at her rescuer. He was wearing a suit and tie, not exactly superhero attire. How had he made it down the cliff in leather shoes? As her gaze traveled back to his face, a shock of awareness ran through her. She’d seen his face in her dreams.
“It’s you,” she muttered in amazement.
He gave her an uncertain look. “Have we met?”
“I dreamed about you.” The words came out before she could stop them. “I just didn’t know it was you.”
By the frown on his face, he had no idea what she was talking about, and she wasn’t completely sure herself. While his face was familiar, her dreams had never put her on the side of a cliff in the middle of a rainstorm.
“All right, take it easy. Help is on the way,” he said.
She lifted her head at the distant sound of sirens.
“I called nine-one-one as soon as I saw your car go off the road,” he said. “What happened?”
“A car turned right in front of me onto a side road. I braked, but the road was too wet, and I had no traction. I turned the wheel, but the car skidded toward the side.” She shivered and pulled her knees to her chest, wrapping her arms around them as a horrified chill ran through her...--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
About the Author
- ASIN : B004INH9O0
- Publisher : Pocket Books (January 25, 2011)
- Publication date : January 25, 2011
- Language : English
- File size : 4568 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 402 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1501129945
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #66,151 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from other countries
23 % in wow now what is going be discovered
Once again I was so engrossed I stopped writing
60% in hilarious
67% I have big wondering hmm
Then a big revelation 70%
80% my wondering was wrong
90 % wow wow wow
A fab fab ending now to start book 5 the final one in the series