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Romancing the Gold

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Adventurous Megan McKinley finds searching for gold more exciting after meeting hunky, bearded photographer, Joseph Logan, with a secret agenda.
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Author: Carolyn Rae
Description

Romancing the Gold

by Carolyn Rae

Genre  Romantic Suspense

Tags  Romance, romantic suspense, jungle trek, handsome photographer, love in the jungle, smuggling, digging for gold, Peru, archaeology, golden treasures, Punchao, Machu Picchu, ICE agent, undercover agent,

Imprint MuseItUp

Release September 26, 2014

Content Editor V.L. Murray

Line Editor  Nancy Bell

Cover Designer  Celairen

Words 63983

Pages 224

ISBN 978-1-77127-580-4

Price $5.95


Back Cover

Watch for Romancing the Doctor, the latest romance from Carolyn Rae. Megan and Josh (Romancing the Gold) are now married and have enjoyed traveling for photo shoots in South Africa and the Congo during summers off while Josh earned his doctorate at Georgetown University.

When he accepts a professorship at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Megan leaves her job at the Smithsonian to work at the city’s New Municipal Museum.

Returning with presents from a trip to Kenya, newly pregnant Megan shows up on Heather’s doorstep to find her sister is in trouble again. Recently divorced, Heather has adopted a puppy, is being pestered by her ex and courted by brilliant CDC doctor, Daniel Whistler. But Heather’s also a reporter and is about to be thrown into the middle of the biggest nightmare of the century. Someone is spreading a mutated virus in big U.S. cities, a cruise ship and elsewhere. It causes death, miscarriages and sterility.

Will they be able to find and stop the perpetrator before Megan, Heather, and the rest of the world are threatened by this dangerous virus? Watch for Romancing The Doctor to find out!

 


Excerpt

Megan McKinley basked in the warm sun. Here she was, sitting beside her friend, Paula, on a hard wooden board, on her way to Cuzco, Peru, in a donkey cart of all things. She took a deep breath of the clear, fresh air. She’d waited all year to take part in this archaeological expedition, and she’d already made a great find.

Noise from behind made her look back. A red car was creeping along beside them. A hulking man stepped out of the car.

“Hand over your purses,” he barked.

Megan’s stomach lurched. She couldn’t hand him her bag. Her debit card would allow access to the money she’d scrimped and saved to finish her master’s degree. Why the hell hadn’t she put it in her money belt? Now, she wished they hadn’t missed the archaeology camp’s van leaving for town. Her degree and this expedition were supposed to cinch that job at the Smithsonian. Ever since her parents took her to the museum as a child, Megan wanted to spend days and days there. She’d hoped she might soon have that chance, but now….

The driver cracked his whip and gave a command. The donkey brayed as the cart jerked forward. Every bump jarred her, while overworked muscles complained with twinges and aches from digging for artifacts.

The man with the bulging biceps continued to walk beside them.

“Stop!” he commanded, but their teenaged driver refused to comply.

Cropped, curly hair framed the stocky man’s brown-skinned face as he puffed on a cigarette. The acrid smoke set her nostrils quivering. The gun in his hand, although only palm-size, made her tremble. The dark-skinned car-driver, leaner, but just as mean looking, continued to keep pace with the donkey cart.

The man on foot pointed the gun directly at Megan. “Give me your purses,” he bellowed and motioned with his free hand.

Eagles collided in Megan’s stomach. A bead of sweat trickled down her neck. Her fingers tensed and her insides twisted even tighter. Staring at the barrel of the gun, she caught her breath. Dust from the dirt road swirled around, making it hard to breathe.

She tightened her hands into fists. Wish I could tell him to go to hell, but I don’t dare. Damn. Can’t hide. Can’t kick the gun away. My heart’s beating so fast it could flop inside my chest after I died.

If she jumped off the other side, he could still shoot her. Death loomed, perhaps only seconds away. She swallowed. She didn’t want to die.

Paula held out her purse. “Damn, I just bought this.”

The man snatched it and tossed it into the back seat of the car, and then stepped closer to the cart, waving the gun at Megan.

Ahora,” he barked.

“He means ‘now’,” Paula insisted, her voice laced with urgency. “Hand it over.”

Megan’s arm trembled as she held out her red leather bag. Would he kill her anyway? The heavy-set man nearly wrenched her arm from its socket. She wanted to slap him and grab her bag back. At least he hadn’t seen her backpack with the golden plate inside. Thankfully, she had wedged it behind the burlap sacks of potatoes and vegetables.

Paula nudged her arm. “Help’s on the way. Our van’s coming back.”

The camp’s vehicle stopped in the middle of the road, blocking the way. Joseph Logan, the dig’s handsome new photographer, rushed out with a much bigger gun.

The stocky robber still held Megan’s bag.

With his impressive muscular shoulders, toned biceps, and bushy, chestnut beard, Logan looked intimidating. “Give the purse back, or I’ll shoot.” Joseph fingered the trigger.

The man tossed the purse in the dirt and jumped into the car. The driver backed up and made a U-turn, and the car sped away, spewing dirt in its wake.

After climbing down from the cart, she grabbed her red bag and brushed it off. Her debit card and money were still inside. Thank goodness. She patted the bulge from the money belt hidden beneath her white blouse and let out a sigh of relief, and then glanced up at Joseph.

“Thanks for rescuing us and getting my money back.” She’d have been in bigger trouble if they’d taken her backpack with its precious cargo.

Paula’s breath came in short gasps. “Damn. Those bastards got all my cash! At least I’ve still got my credit card and passport.”

“Oh no! I’m so sorry.” It was her fault they’d been late. “I’ll be glad to lend you some money, and next time I’ll make sure we don’t miss the van.” Megan collected her backpack and hugged it to her chest, confident the plate she’d dug up that afternoon was from Emperor Pachacuti’s reign in the 1400s. A rumor of artifacts disappearing from this particular dig had kept her from shouting about her find to the others back in the camp.

“I’m sorry you missed the van,” Joseph said.

“I found something exciting, and I wanted to get it uncovered. By the time I finished, you guys had already left.”

“You’re lucky we stopped to fix a flat tire.” Tall and broad-shouldered, Joseph was definitely more interesting than the first dig photographer. Joseph’s wavy brown hair hung to his shoulders, and his bushy beard looked rather attractively unkempt. With his big smile, he seemed to make everyone feel comfortable while he snapped pictures.

”You’re luckier still that I happened to glance back. Why not ride with us now?”

“Thanks. I’d feel much safer.” Megan handed some money to the boy driving the cart. Her legs trembled as she walked to the van. Joseph’s voice seemed so familiar, and he looked like the history teacher she’d had a crush on six years before. When she’d asked, he’d insisted his name was Joseph Logan and denied he’d ever taught school in Texas. If he would just take the wrap-around sunglasses off so she could see those memorable brown eyes, she’d know whether he was lying or not.


 

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