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Lightning Lingers

Lightning Lingers

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"Barbara has a way of keeping you enthralled with the storyline so you don't want to put it down. Her plots are easy to follow and can be intense. Her characters are complex and well developed. You have a sense that they could be your next-door neighbors. I can't wait for Summer Rain, Danielle's story!" Pam – Goodreads


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Suspense, adventure, romance, and mystery all wrapped up in one delicious tale!" Nicole - Goodreads

Katherine Barrett, a dedicated young doctor, receives a terrified phone call from her brother, TJ. He is running away to Mexico to save himself and their family from an unnamed killer. He warns her not to come after him and not to go to the police, as there is no one she can trust. But Katherine realizes there might be someone she can trust…

She turns to her former high school sweetheart Jake Monroe—the man whose heart she broke a decade earlier. Katherine asks Jake to fly her into a remote and dangerous part of Mexico where no one else dares to go. 

Jake had always thought that one day Katherine would realize she needed him, but he didn't expect it to go down this way. Still, he can't resist the beautiful blonde he has never been able to forget. 

They set off on an adventure that will take them into the past, unravel a decade of secrets, and lead them into the heart of a lightning storm that will change the way they look at their families, the world, and each other…

What the Readers Are Saying...

"Lightning Lingers has great characters, a good plot, and a bit of mysticism. Loved it." Pamela – Goodreads

"If you enjoy ROMANCE, SUSPENCE & MYSTERY you will love this book!! –Doni – Goodreads on Lightning Lingers


She didn't like storms, especially not on Halloween. But the shiver that ran down Katherine Barrett's spine as she stepped onto the roof of Houston's St. John's Hospital at eleven o'clock at night had as much to do with painful memories of the past as it did with the storm clouds gathering overhead.  

There was nothing to be afraid of tonight, and her sense of foreboding was misplaced, she told herself forcefully. Even the ER had been quiet; only a sprained ankle, a broken arm, and a stomachache from too much candy. No one had gotten hurt. 

No one had died. 

Her stomach twisted painfully at the memory of another Halloween a very long time ago. In her head, she could still feel herself tripping over the long skirt of her costume as she ran through the streets with her friends. They'd gone farther than they were supposed to that night. She'd known it then, but she hadn't stopped. She'd never imagined anything bad could happen.

Shaking her head, she told herself to stop going back in time, focus on the present and not the past. 

Today was a celebration, an end of one very long chapter in her life and the beginning of a new one. Eleven years of medical training had come to a finish with her last shift as a medical resident. She was twenty-nine years old and more than ready to start her career as a doctor. She'd thought medical school was difficult, but the past three years as a resident had been brutal. She'd worked eighty-hour weeks, and sometimes she'd been so tired she couldn't remember what day it was. Through it all, she was supposed to be at the top of her game, and for the most part she had been at the top, because she'd given up everything else in her life—friends, family, hobbies—in pursuit of her goal. She'd climbed a mountain, she'd made it, but the hollow in her heart reminded her that she was alone.

Had it been worth it?

Frowning, she couldn't believe she was even contemplating the fact that all the time and dedication hadn't been worth it. She was just exhausted. Tomorrow, she'd feel the exhilaration that she couldn't quite seem to find at this moment. Tomorrow, Halloween would be over, and she'd be done with that painful memory, too. 

She reached for the locket she'd put on for her last shift. She didn't usually wear it on duty, but tonight it had felt appropriate. She unclasped the necklace and opened the locket to look at the smiling face of Hailey Peters, a beautiful, freckled redhead with a big smile—her face forever captured at twelve years old. 

"I did it, Hailey," she murmured. "I'm a doctor."

For a moment, she thought she could hear Hailey's voice saying I knew you could. She smiled at the foolish thought, but silently offered up a thank you, knowing that Hailey's voice had gotten her through a lot of tough moments in her life. 

However, it was another voice that drew her head around. Josie Holt, a fellow resident, walked over to join her. Josie was a gregarious brunette who seemed able to maintain her happy nature no matter the circumstances. She'd also just finished her last day of residency. 

Katherine slipped the locket into her pocket as Josie handed her a beer. 

"This should be champagne, but we're not making real doctor money yet, so I settled for beer," Josie said with a grin.

"It's perfect."

Josie raised her bottle. "Here's to us, to a new beginning."

"To us," Katherine echoed, as they clinked their bottles together. 

"Can you believe we actually made it?" Josie added, taking a swig of beer. "No more eighteen-hour shifts, no more working every holiday and every weekend, no more taking orders from Dr. Horrible."

Katherine smiled. Dr. Horrible was a nickname for Dr. Mark Hutchinson, the brilliant but rigid physician who had terrorized them for the past year. "Would it sound traitorous if I said I think he might have made us better doctors?"

Josie made a face at her. "He might have taught us a few things, but he didn't have to be such an asshole about it. He hated all of us. Actually, he tolerated you, because you're so damn good. In fact, you're the most single-minded, determined person I've ever met. If you don't know something, you make it your mission in life to figure it out. I've learned a lot from you, Katherine."

"We've learned a lot from each other," she said, not completely comfortable with the compliment. Her single-minded focus might have been good for her career, but it had distanced her from everything and everyone else in her life. She'd left a lot of people behind on her way to this moment. 

"So, have you decided which job offer to take?" Josie asked. "Are you going to stay here in Houston, go back to Corpus Christi, or will New York or Los Angeles be lucky enough to get you?" 

"I haven't decided yet. What about you?"

"I'm going home to Connecticut to join my uncle's practice. He has a well-established and mostly insured patient base. With all my debt, how can I say no?"

Katherine shrugged. "Do you want to say no?"  

"It's not as exciting as hospital work, but it will be nice to get to know my patients, not just meet someone in the middle of a health crisis, not just think of them as whatever part of them is broken or diseased."

Katherine nodded, but she didn't feel the same way Josie did. For her, it was easier to think of the problem than the patient. Emotions only got in the way. 

"I'm going to miss this view." Josie waved her hand toward the downtown Houston skyline. "Texas has gotten into my heart."

The city was beautiful at night; the collection of lit-up architecturally magnificent skyscrapers had always been a nice distraction from the chaos of the ER. Katherine had come to this roof many a night when she needed a minute to breathe—not that she ever got much more than a minute—but the view had always calmed and inspired her. 

But for her, the real Texas was wide-open spaces, empty highways that went on for miles, spectacular storms, and home in Corpus Christi.

"One thing I won't miss is rain and hail the size of baseballs," Josie added, putting out her hand as drops of rain began to fall. "Looks like another storm is on the way. Thank goodness it cleared up for the trick-or-treating. Fewer sopping wet children on Halloween means fewer kids coming in next week with colds and the flu. Not that we'll be here to deal with it."

"It's weird to think that we won't be." She wrapped her arms around her waist as the wind made her shiver again. "Maybe it's the storm making me feel so edgy." The words slipped past her lips before she could stop them. She didn't normally share her emotions or her mood with coworkers simply because it didn't matter how she felt, only how she performed at her job. 

"Is that how you feel—edgy?" Josie tilted her head to the side, giving her a thoughtful look. "What's going on, Katherine? You should be happy. Today is the day of victory. We climbed Mount Everest, or at least our version of it, but you don't look very excited or relieved."

"I am happy. I'm just too tired to celebrate, and I can't quite believe it's over. It hasn't really sunk in yet. I can't imagine what I'm going to do tomorrow when I wake up."

"Well, sleep in for one. Then come join me for a much-needed massage at the Serenity Spa."

"That is tempting."

"Then let yourself be tempted for once in your life. You don't always have to be responsible. We can talk about it over better drinks. David is meeting us at Harry's Bar in a half hour. You should come. He's going to buy us champagne."

"I don't want to be the third wheel on your date. Plus, it's Halloween. It will be crazy busy." 

"So what? As you just said, you don't have anything to do tomorrow. David has a bunch of guy friends coming. You'll have fun, I promise."

Out of habit, she hesitated and then thought, why not? She'd turned down hundreds of invitations over the years. "All right. I'll meet you there. I'm just going to finish my beer and enjoy one last night on the roof."

"Really? You're going to get wet."

"It's barely drizzling." She'd spent so many hours of her life inside the hospital that she'd almost forgotten what it was like to be outside, to feel cold, to be out in the world.

"Well, don't take too long."

"I won't." 

After Josie left, Katherine took a sip of her beer and then pulled her phone out of her pocket as it started to vibrate. 

She frowned as she looked at her screen. The area code wasn't one she recognized, and it was late for a telemarketer. Hopefully, it wasn't one of her mom's caregivers on the phone. "Hello?"


"TJ?" Her brother's voice was muffled and scratchy. "What's wrong? Is it Mom?"

"No, it's me. I'm in trouble, Katherine."

"What's happened?" 

"They're all dead. I didn't understand how they were all connected, but now I think I do."

"Who's dead?" she asked in alarm.

"Everyone. Jerry. Professor Bryer. Connie. They're all dead," he said forcefully. "And I'm going to be next. They already tried to get me once. I can't wait for them to try again." 

"You're not making sense, TJ." The only name she'd recognized was Professor Bryer, the man TJ had worked under at the university, but he'd been murdered a year earlier, and she didn't think that had had anything to do with TJ. "What on earth is going on?"

"I don't have time to explain. There's so much you don't know. It's too late to bring you into it. You can't help me, but you can help Mom. It's on you now, Katherine. She can't stay alone anymore. She's gotten much worse the past few weeks. I've set up round-the-clock caregivers to take care of her for the next two weeks, then it's your job to figure something out."

"Wait," she said, suddenly panicked that he was about to hang up. "Let me help you, TJ. Whatever is wrong, we can go to the police. If you're in danger, they can protect you."

"No one can protect me. They're too powerful, Katherine. And there's no one I can trust. Hell, I don't even know if I can trust you."

Another shiver ran down her spine and the sense of foreboding she'd felt earlier returned. "Of course you can trust me; I'm your sister. Tell me where you are. I'll come to you."

"I won't be here after I throw this phone away. And you can't come after me. They'll be watching you. If you book a flight to Mexico, they'll know I spoke to you. You'll be in danger."

"Mexico?" she echoed in surprise. "What the hell are you doing in Mexico?"

"I was asking myself that question until a few minutes ago. The less you know the better. I'll call you again—if I can. But if you don't hear from me, take care of Mom—"

"Stop," she said, cutting him off. "Tell me where you're headed now."

"I'm not entirely sure."

"You must have some idea."

"I need to disappear. The cities are too dangerous. I'm going to see if I can find the village where the world is stuck in time, where people linger in a civilization that died hundreds of years ago."

His words ignited an old memory in her mind. "Are you talking about where Jake's great-grandmother lives?"

"Maybe if I can turn back time, I can find my way back to who I'm supposed to be."

She'd always thought her brother was a little on the dramatic side, but she could hear the fear in his voice. "TJ, please, tell me where you are right now. I'll meet you. I can fix this."

"Not even you can fix this, Katherine. Just take care of Mom and if she's lucid, tell her I love her. Good-bye, Katherine."

Her stomach churned. "This isn't good-bye, TJ. We're going to see each other again."

"I hope so. Don't tell anyone I called, Katherine. Promise me."


"Just promise."

"I promise." She'd barely gotten the words out when the dial tone buzzed in her ear. 

Her hand shook as she stared down at the phone. She hit redial, but the call didn't go through. 

What should she do? 

She wanted to start making calls, but he'd just told her not to tell anyone. Was she really going to do the one thing he'd made her promise not to do?

But she couldn't do nothing

Her father was dead. Her mother was suffering from dementia. TJ was all she had left of her once vibrant family, and she was the only one who could help him. 

But how?

No immediate answer came to mind, but one thing was clear; she couldn't solve the problem from Houston. She needed to go home, see her mom, and then figure out how to find her brother. 

* * *

After stopping at home to pack an overnight bag and fill a thermos with coffee, Katherine made the four-hour drive from Houston to Corpus Christi. She'd been wondering what she would do with her first day off in years, and it definitely hadn't been this. She had planned to go home, of course, but in a few days—when she'd had time to sleep and consider her job opportunities. 

Guilt ran through her at the selfishness of that thought. She'd let TJ carry the burden of her mom's illness since her father had died a year ago. She'd told herself she'd make it up to him and to her mom when she was done with her residency, when she had more time and more money to help make their lives easier. They'd both told her they understood, but that didn't necessarily make it right. 

Well, she couldn't change the past, but she could start being a better daughter and sister today. 

It was seven a.m. when she arrived in the modest neighborhood of single-family homes, where she'd lived from age thirteen to eighteen. They'd moved to Corpus Christi when her father, Ron Barrett, had become an English professor at Texas A&M. It had been a good move for him and for her, Katherine thought. After Hailey's death, it had been horribly painful to walk by her best friend's house every day on her way to school. 

She pulled into the driveway and turned off the car. As she looked at the house, she felt a mix of emotions. This house had once been the centerpiece of her happy family. Her dad had been a gregarious man who'd always welcomed his colleagues and grad students into his home. Her mother, Debbie, had been a stay-at-home mom, and she'd been involved in everything her children did from soccer to horseback riding and science fairs. Katherine had taken it all for granted. She'd always expected her parents to be here in this house when she came home. 

Unfortunately, her father had suffered a fatal heart attack a year ago and without warning he was gone. Shortly thereafter, her mother had had a mini-stroke, the beginning of what had been a mental slide into dementia. Her father was too young to be deceased, and her mother was too young to be losing her mind, but as Katherine had learned the past few years, illness and injury could strike anyone at any time. 

Grabbing her overnight bag, she got out of the car and walked across the lawn. When she stepped onto the porch, she was assailed with more memories from the past. The porch swing with its now-faded cushions and rusty iron chains had been her favorite place to read, and she'd always been a big reader. How could she not be with a father who was an English teacher?

Her gaze moved to the boxed planters that had always held a colorful array of flowers but were now nothing more than boxes of dirt. The house needed a new coat of paint and the porch light was holding on by one thin wire. Looking up at that light, she remembered its brightness. Her dad had made sure the porch was well lit, especially when his daughter was coming home with her boyfriend. 

Jake had complained that he felt like he was kissing her under a spotlight. Not that that had slowed him down. She sucked in a breath, not surprised that Jake would find his way into her memories. He was one of the reasons she didn't come home as often as she probably should. 

She inserted her key into the lock and opened the front door, knowing there would be more memories inside, but not as many of Jake. 

When she walked into the living room, the clutter shocked her. TJ had told her that their mother lost track of every project she began, leaving chaos behind her every step. 

Katherine had thought he'd exaggerated, but clearly he hadn't. What had once been a neat and tidy living room was now a disorganized mess of books, magazines, knitting projects, and half-drunk coffee mugs and water bottles. The coffee table was overflowing with sales catalogs, and the couch and chairs held numerous articles of clothing from jackets to sweaters to shirts and jeans. 

"Mom?" she called. 

There was no answer despite the fact that every light in the living room was on, but she did hear the sound of the television coming from the combination kitchen/family room, so she headed down the hall. 

Her mother, Debbie Barrett, was snoozing on the couch in her nightgown and robe. She was half-sitting, half-lying against the cushions while the television blared an infomercial on some new miracle skin care cream. 

As Katherine moved closer, she could see how thin her mother had gotten. She must have shed at least fifteen pounds in the past year. Her once thick and beautiful blonde hair had grayed, and her skin had a sallow tone to it. As she dozed in front of the television, small snores escaped from her slightly droopy open mouth. 

This woman barely resembled her once vibrant mother. Debbie was only sixty-five years old, but she appeared closer to eighty now. 

Had TJ told her things were this bad, or had her mother gone suddenly downhill? She certainly hadn't looked this bad when Katherine had last been home, but that was three months ago. She really should have come back sooner.

Glancing around the room, her gaze caught on the window. A middle-aged woman wearing gray slacks and a white blouse stood on the back deck. She was on the telephone and seemed completely oblivious of Katherine's presence. That must be the caregiver. 

Turning back to her mother, Katherine sat down on the couch next to her. "Mom," she said quietly. 

Debbie Barrett jerked at the word, her eyes flying open. She looked dazed and scared as she blinked rapidly and then sat up straight. "What?" 

"It's me, Katherine," she said soothingly. 

"Katherine?" her mom echoed, her gaze still bemused, but the fear slowly leaving her eyes. "Katherine," she repeated, more fully cognizant now as her eyes found their focus. "What are you doing here?"

"I came to visit you," she said, relieved that her mother recognized her. "How are you feeling?"

"I'm so tired I can barely keep my eyes open. I don't know where all my energy has gone."  

"It's early in the morning. I shouldn't have woken you."

"What time is it?"

"About seven."

Debbie pulled her robe more tightly around her body. "When did you get here?"

"A few minutes ago."

"I don't understand. Did you tell me you were coming? Did I forget?" Her mother's brows knit together in puzzlement.

"No, it was a spur-of-the-moment decision." She debated what else she wanted to say. She didn't want to worry her mom, but it was possible her mother knew something about TJ's situation. According to her brother, there were times when Debbie was lucid, when she and TJ had coherent conversations. Whether she could remember any of those discussions was another matter. "I got a call from TJ last night," she continued. "He seemed upset. Do you know where he is?"

Debbie's gaze narrowed, and she frowned. "I think he told me. I can't remember."

"That's okay. Don't stress out," she said, seeing the frustration in her mother's eyes.

"The hats—they wear the hats." Her mom grabbed her arm. "And they take a nap in the middle of the day. What is that called?"

"A siesta?" she guessed.

"Yes," she said, clarity coming into her eyes. "Mexico. He went to Mexico for work."

That corresponded to what TJ had told her, not that she understood what her brother would be doing down there. "What kind of work would TJ do in Mexico?" she asked.

"I don't know—maybe a conference? TJ is a genius, but I don't understand what he actually does every day." 

Her brother was an engineer for Mission Defense Technology, otherwise known as MDT, a huge corporate defense contractor in Corpus Christi, but Katherine didn't really know what he did on a day-to-day basis, either. 

"Your hair is getting so long," Debbie murmured, tucking a stray strand of Katherine's hair behind her ear. "It reminds me of when you were a teenager."

And her mother's gentle touch, the love in her eyes, reminded Katherine of those days, too. She savored the moment, wondering how many more like this they would have. 

But as much as she wanted to just spend time with her mother, TJ's desperate voice rang through her head. 

"When did you last speak to TJ, Mom?"

"Last night or maybe the day before. He's always so busy. You and TJ are changing the world. I never did anything more important than change the sheets and keep the house clean. How did I get such brilliant children?"

"You did more than that, Mom. Don't sell yourself short."

"Something is wrong," her mother said abruptly. "You don't come home unless something is wrong. What is it? Is it TJ? Is that why you're asking about him?"

Considering her promise to her brother, she didn't know how to answer that question. She settled for a half-truth. "TJ told me that he's going to be out of town for a while. I came home to make sure you have enough help here. Do you like the women who are staying with you?"

"Who do you mean?" her mom asked in confusion.

Katherine tipped her head toward the window. "That woman in the yard is one of your caregivers, right?" 

Debbie blinked a few times. "She looks familiar. Oh, yes, that's Margot. She's always trying to feed me." As her mother finished speaking, the woman they'd been talking about entered the room, giving Katherine a surprised look when she saw her.

"Who are you?" Margot asked abruptly. 

"I'm Katherine Barrett, Debbie's daughter."

"Oh, of course, you're the doctor," the woman said, relief filling her eyes. "Sorry, you gave me a start. It's so early in the morning, and I didn't know you were coming."

"I didn't know myself until a few hours ago." She paused. "What's your name?"

"Margot Waxman. I was just about to make your mother breakfast. Would you like some?" 

"That would be great," she said, her stomach rumbling at the mention of food. "But don't go to any trouble."

"It's part of the job. Are scrambled eggs all right?"

"That would be perfect. Will you be here all day, Margot?"

"No, I cover the nights. Lillian gets here at nine. We both work for the Living Angels Agency."

Katherine got up from the couch and followed Margot into the kitchen while her mother drifted off to sleep again. "Is she always so out of it?" she asked as Margot started taking ingredients out of the refrigerator.

"She's mostly asleep when I'm with her, or dozing off and on. You should ask Lillian. She's here during the day when Debbie is more alert." Margot set a carton of eggs on the counter. "I'm only here for another two weeks. Your brother said you might want to keep us on."

"I'll have to let you know after I speak to my brother." 

"I hope you'll do that soon. Our schedules book up quickly, and I do like taking care of your mother," Margot said, as she put a frying pan on the stove. 

"Are you a nurse, Margot?"

"No, I'm just here to help her get dressed, eat, and not burn the house down."

"Well, we appreciate your help very much."

Margot gave her a smile. "Your mother is well taken care of. Now, how do you like your eggs? Runny or well done?"

"Well done. I'm going to wash up."

"Take your time. I'll cut up some fruit before I put the eggs on."

On her way to the stairs, Katherine was surprised to hear the doorbell ring. "I'll get it," she said to Margot and then made her way to the door. 

A slender, pretty, dark-eyed brunette stood on the porch. She looked surprised when Katherine opened the door.

"Oh," she said. "I'm looking for Debbie Barrett."

"That's my mother. I'm Katherine. She's sleeping right now. It's very early." 

"I know. I'm sorry. I'm on my way to work. I saw the lights on, and I know Debbie doesn't sleep that well at night anymore. I thought I might catch her awake," the woman said. "I'm Jasmine Portillo." She glanced over her shoulder. "Could I speak to you for a moment?"

"Of course. Come in."

"TJ told me you live in Houston," Jasmine said, as she stepped into the house.

"I do. I came home for a visit. How do you know my brother?"

"I work with him at MDT." She drew in a breath and let it out. "Actually, we have a personal relationship, too. I don't know if he told you…"

"We haven't spoken recently."

"Well, it's kind of new. He was supposed to get back on Thursday from a trip to Mexico, and I haven't heard from him. One of his coworkers told me that they thought he missed the plane. He's not answering his cell phone. I'm worried about him. I thought your mom might have heard from him."

"She told me he was in Mexico," Katherine said carefully. "Should I be concerned?"

"I'm sure he just stayed a day longer or took a sightseeing trip. He was pretty excited about going to Cancun. He said he'd never been to Mexico but had always wanted to go."

"I think it was on his wish list," she admitted.

"TJ is usually really good about calling me back, and we were supposed to get together last night, so I thought it was strange that I didn't hear from him. I probably shouldn't have come over here. Now I've worried you, too."

"It's fine. I'm glad someone is looking out for him." She wished she could tell Jasmine that TJ was all right, but she'd promised her brother not to speak to anyone about his situation, especially not someone who worked at his company. Jasmine seemed genuinely worried, and maybe she was right to be worried, because Katherine hadn't heard from her brother in almost twelve hours. Who knew where he was now or what condition he was in. 

"There have been some weird things going on at the company," Jasmine added. "I guess we're all still a little on edge when something out of the ordinary happens."

She thought back to what TJ said about the people in his department who had died the past year. "He mentioned to me there had been some problems."

"The problems are supposedly over, but you never know." She paused and put on a brighter smile. "Anyway, I hope the bell didn't wake up Mrs. Barrett."

"I doubt it bothered her at all."

"How's your mother?" Jasmine asked. 

"She's doing well this morning."

"That's good to hear. TJ told me her condition has been getting worse. I went through Alzheimer's with my grandmother so I know a bit about how bad it is."

"It is difficult," she said. 

"I won't keep you. If you hear from TJ, could you tell him to call me?"

"I will. It was nice to meet you."

"You, too. TJ talks a lot about you, Katherine. He's really proud of you, just in case you didn't know that. I know how brothers can be."

"I'm proud of him, too," she said, relieved that Jasmine had only heard good things about her from her brother. 

After Jasmine left, Katherine went upstairs to use the bathroom, then went into her mother's bedroom to see what condition it was in. Sadly, it was as messy as the rest of the house. There were dozens of clothes on the bed, as if her mom had tried on several different outfits the night before. 

There was a pill bottle on the nightstand that disturbed her. Her mother definitely should not have access to medication, since she might get confused about what she'd taken and when she'd taken it. 

The prescription was for a medication she wasn't familiar with, but what bothered her more was that the prescribing doctor was not her mother's physician. That was odd. Maybe Dr. Benner had gone out of town and his associate had filled the prescription. She'd have to ask TJ when he got back, or maybe one of the caregivers would know. 

Slipping the bottle into the pocket of her jacket, she moved down the hall to TJ's room. He'd always been a nerd, and despite the fact that he was now twenty-seven years old, his bedroom still looked like a teenager lived here. He had Star Wars posters on the wall, and his desk was filled with textbooks. 

How had he gone from this geeky innocence to dangerous trouble in Mexico, of all places? 

She walked across the room and spun the standing globe by his bed. As the world went around, she thought about her brother's words. He was going to a place where people lived in a lost civilization. Her nerves tingled and her body tensed as her fingers trailed across southern Mexico. 

Her high school boyfriend Jake Monroe had wanted to take her to the Yucatan one day. He'd wanted to introduce her to his great-grandmother, who lived in a small village untouched by technology. 

Jake had told her and TJ stories about the Mayan legends of his ancestors, the underground caves, hidden sacred pools, and massive ruins left by one of the most advanced civilizations of all time. 

TJ had loved listening to Jake's tales. Was it possible he'd decided to hide somewhere in the Yucatan? It made sense if he had to stay in Mexico that he'd go somewhere he'd at least heard about. But what she didn't understand was why he wasn't making his way back to Texas. 

Unfortunately, she had no way of reaching him, so until he contacted her, she was going to have to guess where he might be going. And then she would have to find him.

She blew out a sigh. He'd told her to stay away, to not get on a commercial flight, to not tell anyone she'd spoken to him. Was his paranoia warranted? 

Until she knew what he was involved in, she couldn't say it wasn't. 

So she had to be careful. She had to get to Mexico without anyone knowing. That meant private transportation—a small plane—and she knew just the pilot who could probably help her…Jake Monroe. 

Anxiety swept through her at the thought of reaching out to Jake. It had been years since they'd spoken, and she was fairly certain he hated her. She was also fairly certain that she deserved his hate. But her brother's life could be on the line, and Jake was in a position to help her. She had no choice. She had to ask. She was just really afraid to hear his answer.

Lightning leads to danger...leads to love in this exciting, page-turning romantic suspense trilogy.

The Monroe siblings lost their father in a plane crash caused by a lightning strike. A decade later, they begin to unravel clues revealed by another flash of lightning. Along the way, they encounter life-threatening danger, devastating secrets, and an unexpected love.

A legend about lightning threads its way through these complex, twisting, romantic mysteries to add an unusual and interesting dimension to the trilogy.

The series includes:

  • Beautiful Storm
  • Lightning Lingers
  • Summer Rain
  • Lightning Strikes Box Set