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Texas K-9 Unit Christmas: Holiday Hero\Rescuing Christmas (Love Inspired Suspense\Texas K-9 Unit) Mass Market Paperback – November 5, 2013


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Product Details

  • Series: Love Inspired Suspense\Texas K-9 Unit
  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Love Inspired (November 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373445601
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373445608
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 4.1 x 6.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,747,168 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

SHIRLEE McCOY 

began writing her first novel when she was a teenager. A busy mother of five, Shirlee is a homeschooling mom by day and an inspirational author by night. She and her husband and children live in the Pacific Northwest and share their house with a dog, two cats and a bird. You can visit her website, www.shirleemccoy.com, or email her at shirlee@shirleemccoy.com.

Award winning, multipublished author Terri Reed discovered the wonderful world of fiction at an early age and declared she would one day write a book. Now she's fulfilling that dream by writing for Love Inspired. She is a member of both Romance Writers of America and American Christian Fiction Writers. You can visit her online at www.terrireed.com or email her at terrireed@sterling.net or leave comments on http://craftieladiesofromance.blogspot.com/ or www.loveinspiredauthors.com

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

"Deck the halls with boughs of holly. Fa-la-la-la. La-la-la-lalaaaaaa," Emma Fairchild sang as she dipped a roller into a paint pan and swiped it over the walls of her newest project.

Arianna's Diner. Soon to be Mrs. Daphne's Diner. Named for Emma's great-aunt, Bea Daphne.

"'Tis the season to be jolly," she continued even though she wasn't at all jolly.

For Bea's sake, she'd been faking happiness for the past two months. She thought she'd been doing a pretty good job of it. But with Christmas approaching and work on the diner intensifying, she was exhausted, grumpy and desperate to be back in Boston and away from the city she'd always hated.

Sagebrush, Texas. Home of every bad dream she'd ever had, birthplace of every bad memory.

Well, not exactly every one.

Boston hadn't exactly been good to her in the week before she'd left to care for Bea.

She scowled, refusing to think of her breakup as anything other than fortunate. She might not be happy to be in Sagebrush, but she was thrilled to be done with her no good ex-boyfriend, Camden Maxwell.

Sure, you are, her heart whispered.

She ignored it, rolling more paint on the wall and stepping back to view her progress. Not bad. She should have been pleased. Opening a restaurant had always been part of her life plan. The problem was, she'd never ever planned to do it in Sagebrush. That made it a little difficult to be happy about all the sweat equity she was pouring into the place. Not to mention the money.

"Get over yourself, Em," she hissed, as irritated with herself as she was with the situation. It was no one's fault that Bea's health was declining or that her memory was going. She had no kids. No family aside from Emma. She needed someone, and Emma was going to be there for her. Even if that meant living in Sagebrush permanently.

Or until Bea didn't need her any longer.

The doctor had said Emma's great-aunt would probably be around for five or ten more years. Emma was hoping for twenty. She loved Bea more than she'd ever hated Sagebrush. Loved her so much that she was going to open the diner and commit to running it for as long as Bea was around. When she was gone, Emma would sell the place and move on to a new town and a new project.

She sighed and swiped paint on a spot that she'd missed.

God was in control. He had a perfect plan. Unfortunately, it wasn't anything close to what Emma's perfect plan had been. Another couple of years working as sous-chef at one of Boston's premier restaurants, marriage, a house and, finally, a restaurant of her own. She'd made a list. She'd checked it twice. She'd gone over details and facts and figures. She'd shown all of it to Camden because he was the one she was supposed to do everything with.

"I'm such an idiot," she muttered as she carried the paint pan and roller into the kitchen.

She dropped the pan into the deep stainless-steel sink and wrapped the roller in plastic. Tomorrow she'd paint a second coat in the dining area and roll fresh paint onto the kitchen walls. Right now she really needed to get home. She glanced at her watch.

Nearly eleven.

She hadn't realized it was so late. Bea would be worried and probably hungry. She'd been having trouble remembering to eat.

Emma turned off the light in the dining room, plunging the diner into darkness. Wide windows looked out onto a sidewalk and street that bustled with life during the day. Both were silent and empty. A few business owners had hung Christmas lights in the windows of their shops. Others had placed wreaths on doors or Christmas decorations in large display windows.

It should have been cheerful, but it just made Emma feel sad and lonely. Camden had been planning to give her an engagement ring on Christmas Eve. He'd told her that when he'd given her an ultimatum. Either stay in Boston with him or travel to Texas to take care of her aunt. She couldn't have both, because he wasn't the kind of guy who wanted a long-distance relationship.

She'd heard the truth in his words—he just hadn't really wanted her. Not enough to make things work while she took care of Bea.

Jerk.

She grabbed her purse and jacket from the office. A small window looked into the back parking lot. Empty but for her car. One day it would be full of cars and people. She hoped. Prayed.

There was no plan B.

She flicked off the office light and the kitchen light. The entire diner was suddenly dark and silent. Eerie, really.

No. Not eerie. Just exactly the way a restaurant was supposed to feel when it was closed. The problem was, she'd been listening to too many people saying too many things about the murder of the diner's former owner. People seemed to think Ari-anna's death had somehow tainted the building. Ludicrous! That was what Emma thought, but all the talk had kept the building from selling. That had worked out for Emma. She'd purchased the property for well below market value. Hopefully, the notoriety that went with the place would bring in crowds rather than keeping them away.

She opened the back door, fumbling in her purse for the key. A soft rustling sound broke the silence, a whisper of fabric on air, a shift in the darkness to her right. She swung toward it, her heart stuttering as a black figure lunged from the shadows.

She screamed, sprinting toward the car, her purse falling from her hands.

Faster! her mind screamed, but her feet seemed to be moving in slow motion, the air behind her so charged with energy that she knew he was right there. A step away. Ready to….

An arm wrapped around her waist. A palm slapped over her mouth. She couldn't scream. Could barely breathe.

God, help me!

"Where is it?" her captor growled, his hand tightening over her mouth, his grip so hard her teeth ground into her lips. She bucked, slamming her head into his chin.

He cursed, forcing her, one step after another, back into the diner. He shoved her into the kitchen, and she crashed into the center island prep area, pain shooting through her ribs. Then he was on her again. One hand on her throat, the other pressing her harder against the cold metal counter.

"I said, where is it?"

"Where is what?" she gasped, her fear so real, so sharp that she could feel nothing else, think of nothing else. "The money!" he snarled.

She had three dollars in her purse. Maybe another dollar worth of change. She tried to tell him that, but he dragged her around, slapped her so hard she saw stars.

He was going to kill her. Simple as that. But she didn't want to die. She swung her fist, connecting with a hard jaw. She felt a second of victory before he hit her again, this time with enough force to send her flying backward. She landed hard, her head smashing into the floor. Darkness edged in, but she scrambled to her feet, tried to run. He snagged the back of her hair, yanking so hard her eyes teared.

"Stop fighting me! I just want the money. Give it to me, and I'll leave you be."

She wanted to. She really did, but she had no idea what he was talking about. "My purse—"

Someone knocked on the diner's front door.

Emma's attacker froze, his hand still fisted in her hair.

The person knocked again, this time hard enough to rattle the doorframe.

"Who is it?" the man growled at Emma.

"I don't know."

He shoved her violently, and she stumbled forward, her knees hitting the tile floor. She felt no pain, felt nothing but the fear that coursed through her.

Balmy air lapped at her hot cheeks, and she realized she was alone, the back door open.

"Emma!" Someone called her name, and she tried to respond, but the words caught in her throat.

She had to get up, walk through the dining room and open the front door. Every movement hurt as she dragged herself upright and shuffled out of the kitchen.

"Emma!" The front door rattled, and she took a step toward it, dizzy, off balance. She tripped over something, her hands hitting the ground seconds before her head crashed into the tile floor.

* * *

Police Lieutenant Lucas Harwood rounded the corner of Arianna's Diner, his K-9 partner, Henry, padding along beside him. The place had been closed down for eight months, and it had the lonely, empty feel of an abandoned building. It had been an abandoned building.

That had changed, though. Emma Fairchild had bought the property. According to her aunt Bea, she should be there now, working to get the place ready for its grand opening. So far Lucas hadn't seen any sign of her. The lights in the diner were off. No hint of activity inside the building.

It was possible Bea was mistaken. Emma was a grown woman. She might have gone out with friends or gone on a date. He had to be sure, though. He'd taken the report, and it was his job to follow up on it.

He walked through a small alley that separated the diner from the store beside it. Nothing unusual there. No sign of a struggle or trouble. No sign of Emma, either. The musty scent of dirt and garbage hung in the air, the shadowy alley the perfect place for transients to camp out for a night or two.

The alley spilled out into the diner's back parking lot. One car was parked near a burned-out streetlight. No one in sight, but the back door yawned open, something lying on the ground in front of it. He approached cautiously, Henry whining beside him. Trained in apprehension and protection, the three-year-old German shepherd mix could sense trouble a mile away.

"What is it, boy?" Lucas murmured as he bent over a large purse, its contents spilled onto the ground. He lifted a wallet in gloved hands. Three do...

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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It was an easy read.
mother of 3
If you have read any of the books in the Texas K-9 Unit series you'll be jumping up and down over this Christmas release.
Kav
Started out to be very exciting from the start and continued till the end.
Linda Kamola

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Coberly on January 6, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Both story's showed that the Lord is listening. I loved the way the authors moved the story's along and kept you in suspense.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Linda Kamola on January 3, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent book. Started out to be very exciting from the start and continued till the end. I would recommend reading this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Readers Corner on December 31, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I definitely enjoyed revisiting Sagebrush in these Christmas novella's. If you enjoyed the Texas K-9 Unit series from earlier in the year, you will love catching up with old friends(K-9 friends, too), and meeting new folks. I have to say, Terri did stump me on her villian. Nice job!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Catherine Asbell on December 28, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I did not know anything about the K-9 Unit, so this was easy reading as well as educational for me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ashley Wintters on December 26, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I enjoyed these two novellas. Emma came home to Sagebrush to take care of her aunt. She is none to happy about it because she left the town to get away from everyone. When she is attacked, Lucas comes to her rescue. Though they haven't seen each other in years, the two of them are still connected and Lucas will do anything to keep Emma Safe.
I loved all the characters in this one. Emma was stuck on not being happy in Sagebrush, but at the same time it was home. Lucas came home after everything that happened to him. He is happy to be there and never expected to find love again. I really liked Emma's aunt. Though she is going through a lot, and losing her mind, she is a spunky woman! The town was also great in how everyone came together to help. I really wanted this story to be longer because I enjoyed the characters so much!
Lily is trainer of the K-9 partners. Jarrod is coming to get Max trained by the best, Lily. When he finds her in the middle of the road, running from someone, his protective instinct goes into overdrive. Though he doesn't know Lily, he feels he does and the same is true for her. Now they have to determine if it is her past coming back to find her or something different and even more deadly.
I liked Lily and Jarrod. The connection they had, almost instantly was rare. There was some wishy-washy on their feelings that finally got worked out but overall, they were a good match. Jarrod was protective and not going to let anyone get to Lily if he could stop them. Lily trying to keep her past and relationships quiet could have been her undoing.
I rate these a 4/5. They are really good, quick reads.

Thank you to the publisher for the review copy of this book (via netgalley). I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kathy Albom on December 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love Christmas stories and I got two in this book. The Texas K-9 Unit are one of my favorite series, and I am looking forward to reading some more of them. KATHY
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Janet on November 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Texas K-9 Unit Christmas is a pair of romance novellas; Holiday Hero by Shirlee McCoy and Rescuing Christmas by Terri Reed. It is a part of the Texas K-9 series, however both Novellas stood alone well. The series is termed "Christian", and though there were spiritual references, they did not overwhelm the stories nor detract from the overall suspense and romance elements.
Both novellas were well written in what is a very difficult format. The authors did a god job presenting complete characters and strong suspenseful story lines, even as short as they were. This book would offer readers of the series a great addition to their collection. It might also serve to introduce the series to new readers.
*I received my copy from NetGalley.com in exchange fro an honest review.
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By Dan L. McCarty on March 27, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed all the K9 books. I can't wait for more. They are easy to read, no bad language or offensive sex, just enough romance to make it interesting and fun. Plus I love a good mystery.
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