Tracy Dixon is an unwitting suspect in a high-profile jewelry theft. The NYPD warns her not to leave town. But Tracy gets word that her beloved brother, Jeff, is barely clinging to life, seriously burned in an automobile accident. Although she had vowed never again to set foot in her hometown, Tracy throws caution to the wind and rushes back to Allerton. Leif Ericson, Allerton’s chief of police, can’t forget that he was lured into a trap by a pretty woman. His bad knee is a constant reminder of his moment of weakness. How can he trust this beautiful stranger who claims to be Jeff Dixon’s sister? The gossips in Allerton warn him about her shady reputation. Tracy faces a tough battle to prove her innocence, earn Leif’s trust, and reclaim her good name.
She opened the kitchen door and skidded to a dead stop. She was staring directly into the muzzle of a gun.
Paralyzed, Tracy could barely draw a breath. The gun was the size of a cannon. She was ready to meet God, but she would prefer to wait until another time. Her eyesight grew blurry as her legs turned to rubber.
And then the rumble of a deep voice penetrated the fog. “Hold it right there.”
She dragged her gaze away from the gun and looked up. She made out the menacing figure of a man in a dark windbreaker and jeans. The room began to spin in dizzying circles. She was going to faint. She clutched at the doorjamb to keep the world from tipping over.
Through the haze, she saw him jam the pistol into its holster. Her knees crumbled, but he caught her before she hit the floor. As though she were a child, he swept her up in his arms. Barely conscious, she tried not to cling to his neck as he carried her back to the living room. Crushed against his broad chest, she was much too aware of the power in those wide shoulders. The muscular arms that gently eased her down onto the sofa could break her into little pieces.
She kept her eyes tightly closed, but sensed him looming over her. Was he trying to decide if he should put her out of her misery? And then she heard heavy footsteps as he strode out of the room.
Too weak and shaky to move, she clenched her fists as the footsteps returned. Suddenly she felt the coolness of a damp cloth across her forehead. The wave of dizziness began to recede.
Clutching at the shredded remnants of her courage, she opened her eyes a crack. He was holding a small leather folder under her nose - a badge attached to an I.D. card. She made out the words “Leif Ericson, Chief of Police.”