I so enjoyed book one of Christy Newton’s Stolen Hearts series, I jumped at the opportunity to learn more about Book Two. I hope you’ll enjoy this excerpt as much as I did.
Murder, jealousy and treasure…
WhenCammie Adams, determined novice PI, gets an urgent call from her ex, she is compelled to take his case. Miles, a luxury hotel owner and an upstanding citizen of Upton Hills, finds one of the maids dead. He turns toCammie for help to keep his beloved hotel from being tarnished. With her partner and boyfriend, Simon, she takes on a case that might just be their last. Her ex’s hotel is an eighty-year-old building that has secrets of its own.Can they catch the murderer to save the hotel and her ex’s reputation or will the case take a turn that will leave them lost forever?
Simon looked at her and brushed the wet hair over that was clinging to her face. His hazel eyes stared deep into hers. “When I thought even for one second that I could lose you, I didn’t like it.”
She smiled at him. “You weren’t even worried about that hunk of gold.”
This brought back the fun loving guy she knew. “Thanks for reminding me that he got away with the gold.” He smirked.
“He won’t get away with this. My father will find us and we’ll get it back,” she said, looking out to the never ending water.
Simon scooped up a handful of sand and let the grains slowly slip out of his fingers, reminding her of an hourglass. “I don’t want to alarm you, but how will your father find us? He’s on his honeymoon and doesn’t even know we’re missing.”
“I have faith.” She wrapped her arms around him and kissed his cheek. “Besides there’s no one I’d rather be missing on a deserted island with.”
He touched the tip of her nose. “I’ve had some experience with living in the wild. We’ll survive.” She knew he was referring to the month he had spent camping out in the South African jungle. If he could survive in a jungle, an island with white sandy beaches and palm trees should be no problem.
Simon looked around. “We need to gather some wood for a fire before dark.”
She followed him along the edge of the trees to help him find some drift wood to burn. They gathered wood, small dried leaves and sticks, then carried it all back to the beach.
“Are your clothes still wet?” Simon asked.
Simon took off his shirt and pants. “We should take off our clothes and lay them in the sun so they can dry before nightfall.”
She stripped down to her bra and panties. At least if she only had one set of underwear they were high quality. She giggled. “I feel like we’re Adam and Eve.”
Simon smiled. “Does that mean you are going to tempt me with your forbidden fruit?”
She laughed and playfully slapped his arm.
“I’ll get a fire started. If you want you can grab as many of those fallen palm branches as you can. We’ll sleep on those tonight.”
“Okay.” She went over and started gathering the branches. By the time she got as many as she could carry, Simon had started a small fire. She was relieved to see the flame. They would be in total darkness as soon as the sun went down.
“I’m going to get more sticks for a bed. See if you can find any sharp shells and shells that could be used to drink out of.”
She walked barefoot on the hot, gritty sand. At least their clothes would be dry soon. The night air would get chilly. Someone had to find them. A couple of days on a deserted island with Simon would not be so bad, like a vacation really. If it turned into weeks or months that terrified her.
There were lots of broken shells. She took what looked to be the strongest and sharpest. Finding some that could be used as a cup was not as easy. Each time she picked up what she thought was a whole shell, once pulled out of the sand, proved to be another broken one. She continued to look, until her back hurt from bending over so much. Finally, she found two that were good enough to use as small cups. If only they had water or even better, sweet tea.
She looked down at a crab crawling along the sand. “Simon, I think I found some food!”
“Seafood, good job.” He picked up the crab and took it over to the fire. As their food cooked, they put on their dry clothes.
“I found some coconut trees. I need to climb up to get some. We need something to drink until we can find fresh water in the morning.”
She was nervous as she watched him scale the tree. She would not know how to help him or survive if he got hurt. He told her to look out, so she moved over. Three coconuts fell to the ground. Simon climbed back down like a monkey. He beat them open with a sharp rock he had found. As the sun set they ate cooked crab and drank coconut milk. Not bad.
Simon had managed to build them a temporary shelter for the night. Some sticks and leaves would at least keep them from sleeping on the ground. She snuggled up to Simon as the cool breeze blew. He protectively wrapped his arms around her. She felt tired and dirty.
“Are you okay, sweetheart?”
“Yes,” she lied.