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After Reese Templeton gets revenge against a killer, all she wants is to settle down. Too bad her super-human talents mean she’s full of enough electricity to short out a city block. But the alluring P.I. Griffin Chase, a man she has a history with, is stirring up feelings of need she hasn’t felt since her husband's death. Griffin is determined to help Reese move on by catching her late husband’s killer before she has a chance to exact her revenge. Because leading Reese to jail in handcuffs may just break his heart for the final time.
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Marriage is completely over-rated, especially after Reese Templeton’s quadratic failure. She’d rather settle down to a solitary life of owning a bakery—after she tracks down the man responsible for her husband’s death and making her a human tazer full of enough electricity to short out a city block or send a man into cardiac arrest with just one kiss.
But the alluring P.I. Griffin Chase is stirring up those feelings of need again. Only this time, her desire to be in his arms has nothing to do with her fear of loneliness and everything to do with the current charging through her body every time he looks at her…touches her.
Griffin Chase doesn’t need the spark of Reese’s super-human talents to light up his body, the woman does it with one swipe of her tongue across her bottom lip. But in order to catch her late husband’s killer, he must stay on track and catch the man before she has a chance to exact her revenge. Because leading Reese to jail in handcuffs is the last place he wants her.
"A Kiss of Revenge was an easy read and I did enjoy most of the book especially with the twist and surprises that the author threw us." - Girly Girl Book Reviews
Reese has been having nothing but bad luck, where her family members are concerned. From the death of her mother and father and then now husbands later (yes I said husbands as in more than one), can her life get any worse!! Straight from the beginning my heart went to Reese and everything she has... ...more
Solid 3.5 stars – heavy on the suspense, lighter on the romance
Reese Templeton has not had any luck in the marriage department. She has been widowed twice, then divorced, and her current husband is hospitalized, in an unresponsive condition since the plane he was piloting crashed a year ago – a c... ...more
Ever since Reese's husband Brian's "silent" partner had tried to silence them by sabotaging their plane a year ago leaving Brian in a vegetative state and her with residual side-effects from the plane being struck by lightning as it was going down, she has been on a mission to identify him and se... ...more
It was my pleasure to read this author for the first time and wow boy she packs a good one. Great prologue the kind that says ha ha you are mine now. Revenge is alot of work and time with the determination to back it up and not let it go. Sometimes right reasons to person but not always rational... ...more
Natalie J. Damschroder is an award-winning author of contemporary and paranormal romance—Love with a Shot of Adrenaline. She sold her first book in 1999, and 2016 saw the publication of her 23rd novel. She grew up in Massachusetts and loves the New England Patriots more than anything. (Except her family. And writing and reading. And popcorn.) When she's not writing, revising, proofreading, or promoting her work, she works as a freelance editor and proofreader. She and her husband have two daughters, one of whom is also a novelist. (The other one prefers math. Smart kid. Practical.) You can learn more about her and her books at www.nataliedamschroder.com.
Reese struggled to be heard over the nonstop drone of the small plane’s engine. Normally she found the sound comforting, but today it added another layer of irritation to her argument with Brian—their first real argument in a whole year of marriage.
She twisted in her seat, straining against her seatbelt to get closer to him so he could hear her. Not that he wanted to. His scowl deepened with every word she uttered, his face flushing as if the pressure of his silence built inside him.
“It can’t be legal,” she argued. “Who would make you fly all the way to the Yucatán to pick up a legitimate import?”
“You don’t know what you’re talking about,” Brian said for the fourth time.
“I know what you’re talking about. Or what you’re not talking about. For God’s sake, Brian, this ‘deal’ is going to get us killed!” She stopped, her annoyance building when she realized Brian’s concentration had shifted. But the tension in the cockpit changed, and she knew he wasn’t just tuning her out. “What is it?” she asked.
He studied the instruments. “Something’s off. I need to check the weather.”
She waited silently while he did so, not wanting to distract him, but continued the argument in her head. She’d known about Brian’s secret partner for months. At first, it didn’t mean anything, because she wasn’t directly involved in his work. That was refreshing, a hopeful sign that she really had changed since her previous marriages. But when she’d realized he never said his partner’s name, refused to let her meet him, and got cagier and cagier about what they were doing, the harder she pushed to find out. Being invited on this trip had shocked her, but she’d decided the forced seclusion would be perfect for making him talk.
Then she’d found out the invitation hadn’t been Brian’s idea, but his shadowy partner’s, and that they were flying to Mexico. Fury had turned to fear when she imagined everything that could go wrong on the ground, if they were working for a drug cartel.
She hadn’t even considered something going wrong in the air.
“There’s a storm ahead. I’m going around it.”
A shudder went up her spine. “An unexpected storm?”
“I don’t know.” His jaw tightened again, telling her he knew she wouldn’t like the answer. “Maybe. I was in too much of a hurry and too busy arguing with you to check the weather information the tower gave me.”
Crap. She scanned the instrument panel, her fingers flexing with the urge to help, but she was clueless. Behind the compulsion to act was a seed of panic. “Why were you in a hurry?” Safety had always been his number one priority.
“He changed the pickup date on me.” Brian concentrated on the controls, but Reese let herself get distracted back to the original topic.
“He changed the pickup date? He, who? Your partner? Mr. Shadow? Why?” The fear came out as sarcasm. This argument could be pointless, the way he was frantically flipping switches and turning dials and looking ever more grim. “What aren’t you telling me?”
His jaw clenched, he stared at the wheel in his hands. He looked incredulous, like he didn’t believe what was happening. Finally, he relaxed and looked at her. “I told him I wanted out. I was done. He said one last pickup and told me when and where. Then he moved it up a couple of days and suggested I bring you, like a weekend getaway.” He lifted one hand and cupped her cheek, his face twisted with torment. “Reese, I’m sorry. So, so sorry. I’m so stupid. I should have known—”
She clapped her hand over his, panic blossoming into terror. “Brian, what? What are you saying?” She wrapped her free hand around his forearm, not wanting to let go of him. She couldn’t lose him. Not another one.Please.
“He didn’t want to let me out, but I thought he’d given in. I really did, Reese. Believe me, I didn’t want this to happen to you. I should have known better, but after all these years, I never thought he’d—”
An explosion of noise, water on metal, made her jump. She looked out the windshield, shocked to see torrential rain surrounding them. “I thought you were going around.”
Thunder boomed. She focused her attention on Brian instead of her rising terror. “What do you mean you couldn’t?” But she knew. All of her knew. Brilliant white light flashed all around them. Pain slammed into every part of her body, locking her muscles as the plane fell into a dive. Her vision turned red, then faded to black.
I’m never getting married again.
It was an inane last thought.
One year later
Reese Templeton was all about the muffins.
Well, actually, she was more about justice and retribution. And maybe guilt. And money. But to the good people of Crestview, Massachusetts, she was all about the muffins.
“What’ll it be today, Chief?” She angled her head toward the bakery case, keeping her smile easy and light despite the tension induced by police chief Andrew Laine’s presence. “Blueberry’s freshest.”
“Then blueberry it is. And coffee—”
“Black,” they said in unison. Reese grinned and bent to retrieve the muffin.
“The new movie’s in town,” he said casually. “You free tonight?”
Her stomach flipped. The town’s one-screen movie theater was showing a second-run romantic comedy. Definitely date night material. She turned to wrap the muffin on the rear counter, and the hair began to rise along her arms. As she reached for the coffee pot, a spark of electricity leaped from her hand to the “on” switch. There was a pop and tiny wisp of smoke. Dammit. That was the fourth switch she’d fried in the bakery, all of them Andrew’s fault. Hoping he hadn’t seen it, she quickly poured his coffee and snapped on a lid.
“I’m sorry.” She turned to hand him his drink and the bagged muffin, hoping her smile looked normal. “I have plans.”
“Another time, then.” His gaze was all too keen, and she knew he wasn’t going to get the message. Another time, another place, maybe she wouldn’t have hesitated to say yes. He had as much to offer as any guy. But her life wasn’t normal, and it was never a good idea to date the local chief of police when you spent your evenings breaking into the town’s mansions.
She had a better reason to give him, and she sighed, deciding it was time. There was a lull in business and no one close enough to hear their conversation.
“Andrew, I should have told you this before, but…I’m married.” She watched his gaze drop to check her bare left hand resting on the counter. It was quizzical when he raised it again, empty of judgment.
“I didn’t realize that. We haven’t met him.”
“No.” She smiled a little at the way he naturally represented the whole town. “My husband was badly injured in a plane crash over a year ago. He’s in long-term care and not going to recover. But he’s still my husband.”
His expression softened at her declaration. “I’m sorry, Reese. That’s got to be hard. But it explains a few things.”
She tensed. What if his interest wasn’t actually romantic? What if he was trying to get close to her because he was suspicious? “Like what?”
“You always seem to be waiting for something. And a little sad, I guess. I thought you were a widow.”
Okay, so not a suspect. She relaxed. “I am. Technically.” Way more than technically, but one big admission was enough for a day. She kept it to, “My first husband died.”
He nodded and picked up his coffee and the bag holding his muffin. “Again, please accept my condolences. If you want a friend to go to the movies with, you know where to find me.”
She raised her eyebrows. “But not the romantic comedy.”
He grimaced. “Hell, no.”
She laughed and waved him out the door. He held it for a group of kids coming in. The man who followed them nodded respectfully but watched Andrew several seconds longer than was normal. When she realized who he was, another, very different wave of electricity went up her arms and down her spine. She quickly turned to Kimmie and the kids in front of the ice cream case, who were babbling about which flavors they’d choose today.
“You guys are early,” Reese commented to the young woman, who rolled her eyes.
“I didn’t bring them in yesterday, so they insisted we do it first thing.” Kimmie worked as a nanny for two families, and ice cream cones were a weekly summer ritual.
Reese could tell Kimmie was dying for her to ask about the change. “What happened yesterday?”
Kimmie bounced on the balls of her feet and squeezed her hands together. “I had an audition! In New York!”
Reese’s mouth dropped open. “That’s fantastic! For what?” She began scooping cones while Kimmie told her about the music video she’d auditioned for. Reese had never heard of the band, and the place the young woman described sounded pretty sketchy, but she kept her mouth closed, not willing to burst Kimmie’s bubble when she was so happy.
Once Kimmie had wound down, paid for the ice cream, and escorted the kids to a big table in the corner, Reese turned to the man patiently waiting his turn.
He tilted his head toward Kimmie. “You two could be sisters.”
She shrugged. She hadn’t noticed, but they were of similar height and build, and their blond hair was the same length.
“I didn’t expect to see you today.”
Griff smiled, and her stomach did a whole flippin’ somersault.
“I had meetings at the office in Boston and was headed back to DC. I thought I’d stop in and see how you’re doing.”
She grabbed a towel to wipe off her ice cream–sticky hands. “Crestview is not on the way to DC from Boston.”
He shrugged and pointed at the butter croissants in the display case. “Close enough.”
With a pair of tongs, she selected the biggest croissant and put it on a plate. “Coffee?”
“Of course.” He leaned against the counter and folded his arms. “You have anything for me to check out?”
She shook her head. “Not at the moment.”
“What about him?” He jerked his head toward the sidewalk outside, where Andrew Laine stood talking to the couple who owned the hardware store. “He giving you any trouble?”
“Not anymore. I told him I was married.”
She cursed herself as soon as the words were out of her mouth. Griff’s gray-blue eyes darkened, his rock-solid chin tightening. He’d obviously meant “trouble” because of Reese breaking the law, not because the chief of police had asked her out.
“You’re not thinking—”
“No!” She grabbed the towel again and swept it over the few crumbs and coffee drips on the counter, scrubbing vigorously at one dried spot. “I didn’t want to shove him too far away, that’s all. As long as he had an interest, I could keep track of what he knew.” Even if it kept her on edge and fried her equipment. “Anyway, he knows now. It’s fine. You don’t have to worry.”