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Stalker in the Shadows (Sonoma Series Book 3) by [Tang, Camy]
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Stalker in the Shadows (Sonoma Series Book 3) Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Length: 220 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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About the Author

Camy writes Christian contemporary romance and romantic suspense as Camy Tang and Regency romance as USA Today bestselling author Camille Elliot. She lives in San Jose, California, with her engineer husband and rambunctious dog. She is a staff worker for her church youth group and leads one of the Sunday worship teams. Visit her websites at camytang.com/ and camilleelliot.com/ to read free short stories and subscribe to her quarterly newsletter.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Someone was watching her.

Monica Grant glanced around the bustling central plaza in downtown Sonoma, California, and rubbed the back of her neck, but the ugly, prickly feeling wouldn't go away. She remembered the well-worn phrase from her Nancy Drew books—"the hair stood up on the back of her neck"—but she'd never realized how true it was. Until now.

She couldn't actually see anyone looking at her—there were tourists strolling around Sonoma City Hall and the fountain, cars driving slowly around the square, shoppers stepping in and out of the quaint shops. A few locals across the street noticed her looking at them and waved hello. She waved back with a smile, recognizing them as staff from a nearby restaurant. The Grant family's successful day spa, Joy Luck Life, had helped bring even more activity to the small tourist town, and all of her family was acquainted with most of the local business owners and staff.

But as she continued walking along the line of shops and historical buildings, the creepy feeling crawled up her shoulder blades. She whirled around suddenly, but didn't catch anyone in the act of staring at her, or ducking into a shop doorway to escape her notice.

It had been a silly thought, anyway. She wasn't a spy. She was probably imagining things.

She turned to enter Lorianne's Cafe, a popular new restaurant owned by one of her high school classmates, which served California fusion cuisine made exclusively with local produce. She thought the feeling of being watched would go away as soon as she entered the building, but an uncomfortable shaft of prickling shot down her spine. She turned to look out the restaurant's glass front doors, toward the green park area around Sonoma City Hall, but couldn't see anyone except a few tourists walking by.

"Monica Grant, are you stalking me?"

The voice, still betraying the slight Irish lilt of his homeland, made her turn. "Mr. O'Neill! I should say,you're stalking me."

Patrick O'Neill's light blue eyes creased deeply at the corners. "Seeing you at the Zoe International charity banquet last week wasn't enough. I had to get in more of your lovely company." He enfolded her in a hug that made her cheek rasp against his usual Hawaiian-print, button-down shirt. Quite a contrast to the tuxedo he'd worn at the annual dinner that Zoe International, an anti-human-slavery organization, had hosted to thank its donors.

"Are you here in Sonoma just for the day?" Monica asked. "Or are you staying overnight before you head back down to Marin?"

"I'm here for a few days, spending time with my new grandson."

"That's right, I heard about the new baby yesterday from Aunt Becca." At first Monica had been shocked because she'd thought the new baby was Shaun's son, but quickly realized her mistake—it was Brady's son, Shaun's nephew. She hoped Aunt Becca hadn't noticed her initial stunned reaction.

"What have you been up to in the seven whole days since I've seen you?" He tugged at a silver lock of hair on his wide forehead. It brought back an image of Shaun doing the same gesture.

She forced her mind away from his eldest son. "I'm still taking care of Dad since he had his stroke."

"He's doing better? Last week, we were interrupted before I could ask you about him."

"He still needs a live-in nurse, but I'm also taking him to physical therapy several times a week, and he's gaining mobility back. He doesn't need me quite as much, which is good, because my sister Naomi announced her engagement six weeks ago. She's planning her wedding, so sometimes when she has to take off work at the spa, I fill in as manager for her."

"Will she still be manager when she marries?"

"No, she's going to start her own private massage therapy business in the city, closer to her future husband's office. We're trying to hire someone to take over when she leaves, but until then.. " She had to stifle a small sigh. Because she still took care of her dad, filling in for Naomi stole precious free time that she didn't have. The spa needed to hire someone soon.

"From nurse to manager." His blue eyes were more piercing than his son's. "It doesn't sit with you well?"

His insight startled her. "I loved being an Emergency Room nurse," she said, "but I have to admit I don't regret quitting my job at Good Samaritan Hospital when Dad needed me. What I'd really like to do is run a free children's clinic for Sonoma and Napa counties."

Unlike Monica's father, Mr. O'Neill didn't roll his eyes at her. Instead, he nodded gravely. "Then you should do it, my girl. You only have one life to love."

His phrasing touched her on a deeper level, stirred up things she had left collecting on the bottom. She shifted uncomfortably, then changed gears, giving him a teasing look. "So who are you meeting for lunch? Yet another struggling hotel owner whose hotel you're going to buy and then turn into a raging success?"

"No, I'm just here having lunch with my son." He gestured behind him.

Brady, his second eldest son, lived only a few miles from Sonoma in Geyserville. Monica's gaze flickered over Mr. O'Neill's shoulder, past the hostess waiting patiently behind the desk, toward the restaurant's bar…and she froze.

Shaun O'Neill stared right back at her. Her breath stopped in her throat and seemed to hum there. She recognized the strange sensation, something she had only felt twice before in her life—at her first sight of a cherry red Lamborghini, and the very first time she'd met Shaun O'Neill, ten years ago at a Zoe International banquet.

Her heart started racing as he rose from his seat at the bar and walked toward them. His expression was unfathomable. Was he happy to see her? Indifferent? Something about the way he held his eyes made her think he felt the same rush of intensity she did.

No, she had to find a way to smother the electricity zinging through her veins. Shaun was a cop, and she would never, ever date anyone in law enforcement. In the E.R., she had seen what that profession did to the families left behind, had tried to heal the unhealable pain of losing a fine man to a criminal's gunshot. She knew her heart wouldn't be able to handle it.

She also knew she wouldn't be able to handle him.

As he approached, his scent wrapped around her—a thread of well-tooled leather, a hint of pine, a deep note of musk—a combination uniquely Shaun's. "Hi, Shaun." She gave a polite smile that hopefully masked the way he made her feel so…alive.

"Hi, Monica." The deep voice had a slight gravelly edge to it, promising danger and excitement. "It's been a long time."

"I didn't know you were back in Sonoma."

"I quit the border patrol," he said softly.

"What?" Surprised, she looked up at him and immediately drowned in the cerulean blue sea of his straightforward gaze. Shaun had always been aggressive with his stance, with his looks—and he was that way now, standing a little too close to her, staring a little too intently. "I.. " She cleared her throat. "I thought you loved the border patrol. The last time we met, you were so enthusiastic about it."

"I'm back to spend time with my family. I'm thinking of applying for the Sonoma Police Department."

"Not as exciting as the border patrol," she remarked, looking for his reaction.

He shrugged.

How strange. He still had that bad-boy air about him, but there was something that reminded her of a wounded dog. No, a wolf. A wounded wolf. She wanted to reach out to him, to help him if she could.

Wounded wolves still bite. She had to remind herself that he wasn't her type. She had to stop now so she wouldn't go any deeper. She wouldn't submit herself to the kind of pain she'd seen in the Emergency Room. She shook off the memory of a cop's widow's shaking shoulders and forced her mind back to the present.

Then something invisible raking along her spine made her jerk. She turned to look out again through the glass of the restaurant doors but only saw the same view of Sonoma City Hall, made of local quarried stone that looked more flint-gray today under the overcast skies. Different tourists from the last time she'd looked walked around the grounds now.

She was being paranoid. She had to get a hold of herself.

She turned back to Mr. O'Neill. "The last time we talked, you mentioned how you were going to sell the Fontana Hotel in Marin and do consulting work rather than buy another hotel. Do you know when that's going to happen?"

Mr. O'Neill smiled at her. "Does your question have anything to do with the rumors I heard that your father's going to expand the spa and add a hotel?"

Monica grinned. "Guilty as charged. I have a lunch appointment in a few minutes, but do you have time today to talk about possibly consulting for him?"

He gave her a sharp look. "Have you talked to Augustus about this yet?"

Heat like a sunburn crept up her neck. "Uh…Dad mentioned yesterday how he needed help now that he's actually decided to go forward with the hotel."

Mr. O'Neill smiled. "I do have time this afternoon." He turned to Shaun. "Did you want to come with me or pick me up later?"

"I'll come with you." His voice was light, but his blue eyes flickered to Monica.

She had to remind herself that she wanted to speak with his father, not with him. "Great. Thanks, Mr. O'Neill. Three o'clock at our house?"

"Sounds good. Who are you meeting for lunch, by the way?"

"It's a potential investor for my free children's clinic. Phillip Bromley."

Shaun's jaw suddenly tightened and his eyes be...


Product Details

  • File Size: 534 KB
  • Print Length: 220 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0373444753
  • Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense (January 1, 2012)
  • Publication Date: January 1, 2012
  • Sold by: Harlequin Digital Sales Corp.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006847B86
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #565,637 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Megan on January 8, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Stalker in the Shadows is a great suspense novel and while I don't read a lot of that genre I really enjoyed this book. I was never completely sure who the stalker was - as soon as I thought it was one person, the story would make it obvious that it couldn't be that person and then maybe it could be. I think that is what a good suspense book should do.

This is a Love Inspired novel, so the length of the story is on the shorter side, allowing you to read it rather quickly! The only complaint I have is with the book (NOT the story). I have read many Love Inspired books and this is the first time I've ever felt the need to almost break the spine in order to read it - the printing was too close to the binding for comfort. A way to avoid this problem would be to purchase a copy of the e-book instead.

Stalker in the Shadows is the third book in a series. I haven't read the first two books, but I don't feel that by reading this book first I was lacking any of the back story. Unlike other books that are part of a series, I don't think Stalker in the Shadows gave too much information about the previous stories - so I can read them without it being ruined for me.

If you love reading suspense, you should love this book.

***I received a complimentary copy of this book to review. I was asked to give my honest opinion of the book - which I have done.***
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the third book in this series and it doesn't disappoint. The book has all the elements of suspense yet still holds your interest and isn't formulaic. You will be guessing at the ending through most of the story. It's fast-paced yet still offers ample character development so that you feel invested in the outcome of the book because you've become enmeshed with the characters. I'm not a big fan of Love Inspired but I do make an exception for the "Suspense" novels and Camy Tang does a great job with the storyline in this novel. It's a fast read and holds your attention. A good way to spend an evening relaxing is by reading this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Monica Grant is dead-set on starting a free children's clinic in Sonoma, California. She has worked as an Emergency Room nurse but wants to make an even greater impact. She prides herself on her ability to read people. When she starts feeling like someone is watching her, she can't hide the sense that something is wrong. When she starts getting threatening gifts, photos, and letters, she knows that someone is willing to kill her to stop her from opening a free clinic. When the first gift arrives, Shawn O'Neill, a former border patrolman, recognizes the quote from the gift; his sister's stalker must be the same stalker. His sister had planned to open up a free clinic in the LA area but after receiving numerous threats, she had committed suicide. Shawn suspected his sister had been killed by a colleague of his sister's who just happened to be a would-be investor for Monica's free clinic. Who would do this? One of her investors? Can Shawn keep Monica safe from danger without losing his heart? Can Monica keep her dreams alive without risking her friends, family and investors' lives? Can Monica bear to give her heart to Shawn, whose job requires him to dash into the line of fire? Can Monica and Shawn trust the Lord to protect them and trust Him to heal their broken hearts?

Stalker in the Shadows is a great little mystery suspense in itself. I might be biased since I've read all of Camy Tang's books, but I really enjoy them! Since this is a Love Inspired - Suspense book, it's shorter in length but it's perfectly paced. I didn't want to put the book down, and I really didn't have to. I have read the previous books in the series and was happy to see where the other characters were at. I love how Tang's characters have real-life issues and have to deal with them in an authentic way.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you like suspense and romance in a quick-to-read format then this is just the book for you. Stalker in the Shadows packs quite a punch for a short 200 page novel. Camy Tang knows how to pace the novel well for this format so that things move quickly but never too quickly and so that my attention never waned.

I loved Stalker in the Shadows and I will now make sure I go back and read the first two books in this series. Not because I needed to for this book to make sense, but because I liked Ms. Tang's writing and also because I liked the setting and the family. I want to know more about them. Stalker in the Shadows was a nice stand alone with characters from the earlier novels and I think there were mentions of things that happened, but nothing that gave away what happened in the books (except the couple outcomes, but the reader knows those going in anyway).

Monica was a great main character. She was strong, but she had her faults that she needed to work through. It was something I really didn't see coming, but understand fully as I deal with it as well. I think a lot of women will find Monica easy to relate to. She's a great character. I admired her strength. I also enjoyed Shaun who is a bit tortured. He has some things in his past he needs to work through, but in typical human fashion, he thinks he should hang onto that guilt. I liked watching him in the protector role in the book, it suited him. I also liked seeing him start to work through his issues. He was easy to relate to as well, as his issue was guilt and I think we all carry some form of guilt with us. The chemistry between Monica and Shaun was great as well. I was cheering for them through the book and at times wanted to hit both of them over the head, but that was what made the book interesting.
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