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Eileen Register - Author
to read about all of the characters and learn a bit more about the diabolical scheme to murder Adrianna.
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Adrianna, a beautiful young heiress, faces many challenges after her billionaire father is
killed in a horrendous
automobile accident that
leaves her paraplegic.
By far her biggest challenge is surviving the machinations of someone who wants her dead before she turns twenty-five.
to read about the characters and gain a bit of insight into the diabolical scheme
to destroy Adrianna.
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A typical morning for Coy and his crew...
Kurt nodded. "Shit, we sound like a couple of old hens gossipin' over our morning coffee. I reckon I'd better roust Tim and Miguel out of their nice warm beds and get a move on. I hear Marsha coming up the stairs now. She sure has proved me wrong, ain't she? I'd a never thought a woman could work so hard or be so good at construction like she is." "Yeh, well, she came highly recommended when I first opened up the business, and I 'm still pattin' myself on the back for not lettin’ her gender get in my way," Coy said with a grin. "She works circles around a lot of the men I've hired in the past couple of years, and she doesn’t allow any of them a bit of slack, either." Marsha burst into the room, grabbed a cup of coffee and joined the men at the table. "Did I hear you talkin' about me, boss man?" she teased. "Yep, ole Coy here was just saying what a fine lookin' woman you'd be if you got yourself all gussied up." Kurt said, cutting his smiling eyes toward Coy. Looking back at Marsha, he grinned. "Why, girlie, I think you're blushin'!" Marsha slugged Kurt on the arm, and he winced as she looked down into the coffee and grinned. "Well, don't be holdin' your breath, guys. I doubt I'd get much work done around here all gussied up." Miguel sauntered into the room and looked at the crew. "Dang, Miss Marsha . . . you sounded like a herd of horses clomping up those stairs. You spoiled my last bit of shut eye!" "'Bout damn time you dragged your sorry butt outa bed anyhow, you lazy youngin'!" Marsha said, a twinkle of mischief in her eyes. "Time's a'wastin' and that deck ain't gonna finish itself, now is it? I swear, Coy, these guys ain't worth a shit in the mornin's." Tim, the other worker who shared the apartment across the hall, rushed into the room, glancing sideways at Marsha. "I reckon I'm too late for coffee, eh?" he asked, stifling a yawn and stretching. Coy laughed. “Geez, you’d think you and Miguel could make it to work on time, Tim, since Coy wrangled you two a free apartment here on the estate!” exclaimed Marsha, a teasing tone overriding her criticism. Tim blushed, kicking the floor like a naughty school boy caught dipping somebody’s pigtails in the inkwell, and his blatantly faked shame caused another round of laughter. "Hey, Marsha, we're out of coffee. How 'bout making another pot?" Kurt asked, grinning as he waited for the explosion he knew would come. "Make it yourself! Who do I look like, your mama?" Marsha replied, laughing along with the men. "Same crap ever' mornin'." Coy stood up from the table and stretched. "Well, guys, it's time to get to work. I'd like to get the side rails and kick board up along that deck before someone takes an unexpected dive into the pool!" Amidst grumbling and groaning, the crew set their mugs in the sink and headed toward the door. "Wash up those mugs, will ya, Marsha?" Kurt joked and ducked out the door before Marsha could throw another bruising punch at him. She put her mug in the sink and followed the men out. "Where's my damn cracker?" a squawky voice yelled as Marsha walked down the hall toward the stairs. She stopped to listen at the door to Reginald the butler's apartment, smiling. "Crazy Americans!" squawked the parrot, and Marsha broke out in a hearty laugh. "Bloody hell - no email today," croaked the parrot, and then he mimicked Marsha's laughter almost perfectly. "Lord have mercy, what does that crazy butler teach his parrot?" she muttered....
Marsha runs into the gardener...
...“Hmm. I wonder. Nah, probably not,” she thought as she reached to open the door to the stairs. She heard a door open behind her. Turning, she smiled, but the man behind her didn't return it. "Hi, Joe," she greeted tentatively. "Hullo," the gardener mumbled, standing there with shoulders slumped and eyes on the floor. He glanced at the door, then back down at the floor, and Marsha understood. Stepping aside, she let the strange, quiet man pass. She watched him as he shuffled slowly down the steps, and then she followed him down. She crossed the short distance to the deck stairs and climbed them, glancing around a couple of times to watch Joe as he shuffled his way across the patio and disappeared behind the hedge that surrounded the swimming pool. “He’s not a bad looking man,” she thought, “if he’d just push those shoulders back and stop shuffling around like an old codger. I wonder what he’d look like all gussied up.” She couldn’t quite put her finger on it, but there was something about Joe that made her nervous. When Marsha reached the deck above the patio, she pulled Kurt aside. "What do you think of that gardener fella, Joe?" she asked quietly. "I don't know; kinda quiet, I guess. I haven't ever really talked to him." Kurt responded. Marsha nodded and shivered in an exaggerated way to show her opinion of the man. "He gives me the Gee willies!" she whispered. Kurt nodded, his eyes following Joe as the man shuffled across the open paddock toward the greenhouse. “I know what you mean, Marsha. He’s too quiet.”
Dr. van Hink and the physical therapist have a 'thing' going on...
Closing the doors to the sunroom quietly, Johanna turned to the doctor. He glanced around, making sure they were alone in the huge living room before he took her in his arms and kissed her passionately and forcefully. "I hate this pretense we have set upon ourselves. My niece? Bah!" he whispered fervently as he clasped the lovely young woman to him. Johanna responded hungrily to the kiss then stepped away. "We both agreed it is necessary, Jacques. Your wife will return from her cruise soon. She believes I am your niece, so the facade is perfect. At least until you get rid of that money hungry witch. When will you divorce her, mijn schat?" "Don't start that now, Johanna mijn kleine tijgerin. You know the difficulties. If I divorce her before I have the evidence of her infidelity, she will 'take me to the cleaners', as they say in America." He cajoled quietly. "Yes, mijn schat, but what if she is planning the same thing for you? What if she knows I’m not your niece?" Johanna inquired. "Don't worry about that, mijn schat. She’s far too busy with her own lovers to worry about me. And, dear Johanna, she can find nothing with which to hurt me. We have yet to become lovers, although it’s been a struggle to keep myself a gentleman," Jacques admitted. Taking Johanna into his arms once more, he kissed her soundly. Catching her breath, Johanna stepped back. "Yes, I suppose you’re right, Jacques," she agreed, a bit shaky from the kiss and wondering how long she could continue making this man she loved keep his gentlemanly senses about him. "And now we must return to our patient." Nodding, the doctor followed Johanna through the sunroom doors.
Reginald, the butler and Lyla, the housekeeper have a delightful love-hate relationship, and Reggie is a nosey ol' fella...
Slowly, the door to the dining room opened, and Reginald stepped across the hall into the living room. "So, he isn't her uncle after all. Just as I suspected. Interesting, very interesting," he thought. Turning back into the dining room, he found himself nose to nose with Lyla. "God's eyes, woman, you startled me near to death!" he scolded, closing the door behind him. "Snoopin' again, are ya, Reggie?" she said, a twinkle of mischief in her eyes. "Well I never!" he sputtered, a guilty look crossing his staid features. Laughing, she shook her finger in his face. "You may be foolin' everyone else, Reginald Smyth-Harris, but you don’t fool me, you sneaky old buzzard!" Drawing himself up to his full height and straightening the front of his vest, he huffed, "You know a lot less than you think, Lyla. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have the silver to polish this morning.” Turning on his heel, he marched to the buffet and totally ignored Lyla as he began to get out the silver polish and soft cloths he used to keep the estate silver sparkling. "Grumpy old fool," Lyla muttered as she went to get her duster, furniture polish, and polishing cloths.
Meet Adrianna's mother - you won't like her any more than Lyla does...
As the car approached the back of the beach house, Coy saw that he was wrong; it wasn't the saucy vixen from next door after all. Coy breathed a sigh of relief then studied the car more closely. "A taxi. Hmmm, I wonder who that could be?" He didn't have to wait long for an answer as the taxi pulled to a stop and an elegant older woman stepped from the back seat. She was an aging beauty with short, smartly styled blond hair and dark blue eyes. Her makeup, artfully contrived to camouflage her age as much as possible, seemed slightly overdone to Coy, Her trim figure, in the obviously expensive navy blue shantung pantsuit, the delicately pleated light pink silk blouse peeking out from under the fitted jacket as she moved, was still one any man would notice. Julia Falstaff rushed toward the house as Coy took the stairs quickly to meet her. "May I help you, M'am?" he inquired politely? "I am Julia Falstaff, and I demand to see my daughter! Where is she? Take me to her immediately!" she ordered, looking Coy over with a touch of disdain. Lyla rushed out of the kitchen door and across the patio to the driveway, coming eye to eye with her former employer. "You have a lot of nerve, Julia, showing up after all these years," she spewed into the woman's face. Stepping between the two women, Coy was slightly puzzled at Lyla's strident tone, so totally alien to her usual nature. Surmising the situation quickly, he turned to Lyla. "It's okay, Lyla, I’ll handle this." "I'll not have that hussy in Miss Lindsey's house!" Lyla exclaimed. "Calm down, now, Lyla. I’m sure Mrs. Falstaff means no harm to her daughter," Coy stated, amazed at the venomous look in Lyla's eyes.
And the intrigue begins...
"Oh dear," Reginald fretted. "Who would do such a dastardly thing?" "My question exactly," answered the sheriff. "I think we’d better get the crime lab out here to check this out more thoroughly." Turning to Coy, he inquired, "Do you know of anyone who might have reason to do this?" "I don't have a clue, John. I think I’d better call Adrianna's attorney, though. He was appointed executor of the estate, and he was a close friend of Adrianna's father. I’m sure he’d want to know about this." Looking over at Reginald, Coy asked, "Do you have Mr. Gerard's phone number, Reggie? It might be best not to mention this to Miss Lindsey yet. She's had a rough day already."...
Adrianna's college friend arrives at a most inopportune time...
As he stepped out the double doors, Reginald spotted a vehicle approaching. "Bloody hell!" he muttered. “I forgot all about Miss Lindsey's friends waiting at the airport. That must be them now." The taxi pulled up, and Melanie jumped out of the back seat, rushing to hug Reginald. "Tsk tsk, Miss Stephens! This hardly seems proper!" he blustered, stepping gingerly away from the young woman. "I shall notify Miss Lindsey of your arrival, Miss," he stated, turning on his heel and marching toward the stairs. Melanie giggled and turned to the men in the garage. "Poor old Reginald. Stuffy as ever!" she exclaimed. Frankie joined her, casually wrapping his arm around her waist as Coy and the sheriff stepped out into the sunshine to meet them. "Hi! I'm Melanie Stephens, Adrianna's college roommate. We've been waiting for hours, simply hours at the airport!" Melanie gave Coy the once over, and, clearing his throat loudly, Frankie pulled her a bit closer to him. "Oh, forgive me. This is my fiancée, Frankie Joplin. And who might you be?" she smiled, looking up at Coy through her thick, dark lashes. Coy started to answer, but Melanie noticed the sheriff's uniform, and her eyes grew wide with concern. "Oh dear! Is there a problem, Sheriff?" Glancing at Coy, John shook his head. "Nope. I just stopped by to say hello to Coy here, on my way home." John stretched out his hand toward Frankie and gave him a firm handshake as he introduced himself. "I'm John Griffin. Nice to meet y’all." Stepping forward, Coy offered his hand and explained who he was. Melanie quickly grabbed Coy's hand and shook it as she stared into his flashing blue eyes. "We are so glad to meet you, Coy, aren't we, Frankie?" She ignored Frankie's arrogant smile, rushing to ask, "Where is darling Adrianna? We simply must see her right away!" John grinned then slapped Coy on the shoulder. "Well, I best be gettin' home. The miss'us will have supper ready soon. I'll call you later about that bowling tournament, Coy." "You do that, John. Good seeing ya, buddy," smiled Coy as the sheriff took his leave. Coy felt slightly uncomfortable at Melanie's obviously flirtatious smile. Turning toward the house, he said, "Come on in. I'm sure Lyla will have some fresh iced tea waiting. You can catch your breath while Reginald lets Miss Lindsey know you’re here."
Is Coy falling for his boss?
Looking at the elegant portrait of father and daughter on the opposite wall, he smiled sadly. Yes, Paul had been a handsome man, very comfortable to look at. The portrait was obviously recent, and the quality of the painting bespoke the love Paul lavished on his daughter. Adrianna, dressed elegantly in a pale blue sheath that matched her eyes, her chestnut hair falling in gentle waves about her face and shoulders, a single strand of pearls at her throat, smiled from the painting. Coy's heart thumped in his broad chest. "Stop it you old goat," Coy scolded himself. "You are much too ancient to think like that. She would never give you a second glance and you know it." At thirty-seven, Coy suddenly felt very old and very tired.
Could Adrianna be interested in Coy, or is she still pining for her ex-fiancée?
Fidgeting with the bed covers, Adrianna tried to meet Coy's deep blue eyes but had to look away. "What is wrong with me tonight?" she wondered. "He is much too old for me, and besides... a man like that wouldn't want a cripple in a wheelchair. No man would...Gregory proved that." A sad little smile crossed her face as she thought of the fiancée who had so recently broken their engagement. His abrupt rejection of her after the accident had enraged her at first, but now she felt only emptiness. "He had a right to leave me. What man would want a paralyzed wife?" she thought, making excuses for the man she had expected to spend her life with. Remembering was painful, and she forced the thoughts out of her mind, quickly regaining her composure. Coy noted the fleeting sadness on Adrianna's features, and he wondered what... or who had caused her such pain. The pain in her eyes seemed very fresh, and he assumed it might have something to do with the young man he had overheard Lyla and Reginald gossiping about a few days before. He wanted to take her into her arms and console her, but he knew better. Her feminine scent reached his senses, and he felt himself hardening.
And the plot thickens, as they say...with people falling in love all over the place, one would think Cupid himself has taken up residency. Romance, however, gives way to murderous intrigue as Adrianna's would-be killer schemes to take away Adrianna's inheritance as well as her life.
On this page are a few excerpts from Adrianna that will give you an idea of the dialogue-rich style I use to make the characters real for the reader. You may also pick up on the plot as well as some of the subplots with which the story is riddled. I hope you enjoy!
Adrianna at Amazon.com
for the Kindle digital book.
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Eileen M. Register unless otherwise stated.
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Akso in paperback