Colonel Rich Martino returns home from overseas to find everything has changed and nothing makes sense. His wife Rita has disappeared. His credit cards are invalid. A stranger is living in his house and he keeps running into people who are convinced he was killed in action months ago. Worst of all, his wealthy father has suffered a stroke.
Psychologist Charlotte Phillips claims to be his comatose father’s legal guardian. Rich is determined to learn what has happened, gain control of his father’s money, and unmask Charlotte as the gold-digging schemer he’s certain she is. He is shocked to find his father’s crusty old attorney has been taken in by her along with everyone else.
Can Rich straighten out the mess his life has become?
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“This is the Safe-N-Sure Security Monitoring Company. We have a confirmed alarm activation at the Richard Martino home. The Alamo Hills Police Department have dispatched a patrol car.”
A confirmed alarm activation? She wished she had asked exactly what that meant before hanging up the phone. In any case, she would need to check Dick’s house right away. Picking up her purse, she walked to her car, praying she wouldn’t arrive before the police.
It was normally a twenty-minute drive from Charlotte’s house to Alamo Hills. Because of pokey drivers and uncooperative traffic signals, it was more than twenty-five minutes before she pulled into Dick’s circular driveway. The huge, majestic home looked perfectly normal, except for the Alamo Hills police car parked in the driveway.
She hurried to the front door and found it slightly ajar. A strange ruckus sounded from a nearby room. A group of men, talking, and could they be laughing?
“...and then you kick him in the nuts,” Charlotte heard a rich baritone voice say as she walked quickly from the foyer into the spacious living room.
A young man in a police uniform sat on the couch, grinning. Another very young officer was lying on the floor, laughing so hard he was gasping for breath. Standing over the policeman on the floor was a tall, ruggedly handsome man, not as young as the others, and not in uniform. Tall, broad-shouldered, deeply tanned and muscular, with short blond hair and sky-blue eyes. Charlotte thought the man looked like an aging California surfer.
The two young policemen looked at Charlotte as if they had been caught smoking in the boys’ bathroom. Then the surfer looked Charlotte in the eye and spat, “Who the hell are you?”
Both police officers were busily standing, straightening their uniforms, smoothing their hair.
“I would never phrase it that way,” Charlotte responded mildly, “but I was about to ask you the same question.”