In Just a Memory:
When the door crashed open and slammed against the wall, her scream stayed imprisoned in her throat, unable to escape. In a move she regretted later, she let the paring knife in her hand slip into the stainless steel sink with a clatter, but she held on to the too hot boiled potato sheOd been peeling. Her body froze with fright.
"Don't move, lady, or you'll regret it."
I have to run, she told herself, but she couldn't move. Those black eyes were real. But those eyes--she'd seen them before. "You! You're the horrid man who was looking for directions a couple of weeks ago."
His gaze was still locked on hers as he shut the kitchen door and stepped toward her. He reeked of cheap cigars. His gun looked even bigger now that she could see it up close, but it wasn't like Mac's. And this one was here in her own kitchen and pointing at her.
She stared at the gun. It was happening just like Mac said it happened...every day, somewhere, somehow. The real world was filled with bad men and women with real guns. The real world had just smashed into her kitchen in safe little Seneca.
Dear God, she started to pray, but got no further.
"You're not gonna try nothin' stupid, are ya, lady?" He covered the few feet remaining between them and grabbed her raised hand, squeezing the hot potato out between her fingers. She cried out in pain and he laughed.
Tears triggered by her burned hand rolled down her cheeks. She tried to open her burning fingers, but only managed to get a couple away from under his hand still holding them against the steaming heat. She watched as he pulled her hand to his mouth and licked at the potato chunks sticking there to the reddened flesh. She swallowed against the bile that rose to her throat. He laughed again.
He shifted all his weight to one foot and raised his hands to his hips. "Well? Don't you have anything to say?" he asked in an annoyed tone, goading her to speak. But Cynthia couldn't move. She couldn't speak.
Trying to pull her hand free, she stepped backwards. He jerked hard on her arm, spinning her around so her back was up against the counter by the sink. He shoved her body against the sharp edge. His pelvis pressed hard against hers to keep her there. The gun jabbed into her ribs under her breast.
"On second thought, it might be kinda fun if ya did."
"This is one of those tales that can keep you on the edge of your seat from suspense while enjoying the people and dialogue! Five stars.
Reviewed by Dee Dailey for TRS.
"It was highly suspenseful and most definitely a page turner." Four stars.
Reviewed by Kathy Boswell, Romantic Times Magazine
"Just a Memory is a well-developed and suspenseful story with an exciting climax and a satisfying ending." Four and a half stars.
Reviewed by Janet Lane Walters - Scribes World Reviews
"This is truly a romantic suspense. Ms. Carroll has given us a story and two characters that will not be forgotten. "
Reviewed by Hattie Boyd for Sharpwriter
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