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Reclaiming her life after a devastating riding accident, equestrian Emily Conners’ world shatters again when she discovers her friend and boss laying in a stall with a smashed skull. Now jobless and with a handsome cop underfoot investigating the case, she's torn between wanting the killer found and keeping her own secrets safe.
Detective Justin Butler always gets his killer, but this victim has a stampede of enemies and few leads to go on. Stonewalled by the tight-knit equestrian world, he looks to Emily for help, but she’s strangely reluctant. Is she hiding something, or is she afraid of their growing attraction?
As the search for the murderer heats up, their hearts become entangled and their lives at risk, forcing Emily and Justin to work together to find the killer before they strike again.
Read an Excerpt
“Is that Larry’s trailer?” Lottie asked, sounding annoyed.
“The third one to leave the barn today,” Emily grumbled and studied her ragged fingernails, too afraid to meet Lottie’s gaze. “You still convinced I can do this? Take over her clients, I mean?”
“Kid, I think you can do anything you set your mind to.”
The moment hung there between them, full of potential and fear, until the chirp of Emily’s cell phone rescued her. She glanced at the screen, snorted in disgust, and shoved the device back in her pocket.
“What was that about?” Curiosity outweighed courtesy for Lottie. It was one of her traits Emily both hated and adored.
“It’s the cop who’s investigating Pam’s death. He wants me to introduce him to Ben Sanders.”
Her friend nudged Emily with her knee. “I understand the man is quite handsome.”
“Trust me, he’d be the first to tell you so.”
Lottie raised an eyebrow at her vehement response. “Why not show him around? I can imagine worse ways to spend a day. Or night.”
Blushing at the insinuation, Em stammered, “After last week’s rains? The muddy, pothole-ridden street to Ben’s place will suck the detective’s expensive little hybrid up to its windshield wipers.”
“Take Ellie May.”
“Why should I get my truck dirty? You’re welcome to—”
The obnoxious meep meep of a sports car horn cut Emily short. She glanced over her shoulder and clenched her jaw at the former beauty queen driving an expensive red convertible. Right behind her rolled Emily’s truck, glowing from a wash and fresh coat of wax. Both vehicles parked along the driveway as far from the dust kicked up by the riders in the other rings as possible.
“Oh, crap,” she muttered.
About the Author: Marla White is a story analysis instructor at UCLA and writing coach who lives in Los Angeles. She graduated from the University of Kentucky (go Wildcats!), where she took her first horseback riding lesson. After dabbling in hunters, barrel racing, and weekly trail rides, she fell hopelessly in love with the sport of eventing. She conquered Novice level before taking a break to pursue novel writing but hopes to return to the saddle someday soon. Her first novel, “The Starlight Mint Surprise Murder,” was published in 2021 followed by the first two books in her Keeper Chronicles series. When she’s not writing, she’s out in the garden, hiking, or putting together impossibly difficult puzzles.
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