Anna’s journey to the tiny European monarchy of Lerasia will be more dangerous than she could have ever predicted when she accidently uncovers a plot to kill a prince. Protecting him might lead to a crown on her head for the rest of her life.
She could not be late for her train. Dr. Anna Brown checked her watch for the fifth time in five minutes, swore under her breath, and lengthened her stride. If she was late, she’d lose her hotel reservation and her appointment with the genealogy librarian at the main library in Cime, the capital of the tiny European monarchy of Lerasia.
Her grandmother had left her with a mystery to solve and a treasure hunt to accomplish, and Anna didn’t plan on letting her down.
Nestled in the Northern Alps between Switzerland and Germany, entering the country was easiest to do by train. She’d looked into flights, but she wanted to see Europe, not bounce through it.
The train station in Lyon, France, was bigger than she expected, but if she hurried, she could still make it to the correct platform. Luckily, she traveled light, with just one backpack, and wore hiking boots that were comfortable enough to run in should she need to. Weighing her options, she checked the time again, then broke out in a trot.
She approached a cluster of five men dressed in nearly identical dark suits. Fit, handsome, and with expensive haircuts, they were standing in a loose circle talking. Their stiff postures reflected some serious topic.
Had they broken out of a modeling agency office? She smiled then tried to hide it, but one of them was facing in her direction. His gaze hit hers…and stayed.
Heat swept across her face as his eyes—the color of steel blue—studied her. He gave her a half-smile.
A slow burn ignited her blood and sent champagne bubbles through her belly.
Holy cow, he was hot.
One of the other men turned to see what the hot dude was looking at and caught sight of her. He frowned.
She let her gaze slide away and caught the movement of the hot dude’s shoulders. His suit jacket tightened briefly to reveal a lump under his left arm.
Was that…a shoulder holster? She reconsidered the suits and the men wearing them. Maybe they were the French version of secret service agents?
When she glanced at the group again, no one was looking at her. Instead, they were looking at something on the tablet one of them held.
Just as well. she didn’t have time to flirt, no matter how cute the officer was.
Anna hurried a little faster toward the platform.
Five steps later, an invisible heavy force picked her up then smacked her to the highly polished granite floor of the train station. For a long moment, the world went silent and dark.
She blinked and found herself on her side, ears ringing, nose full of acrid smoke, and the large space oddly still of movement.
Alarm bells clanged, and she shook off the shock, got one hand underneath herself, and levered up to see what was going on. Flames flickered where the train she’d been moving toward had been. Flames, twisted metal, and a smothering blanket of smoke.
An explosion? The ends of her fingers, toes, and nose went cold then numb. Her stomach tumbled around inside her belly, and she had to breathe through her mouth to prevent herself from throwing up. That train had to be full of people. She’d have been on it if the explosion had happened only five minutes later.
The number of injured would be high, and the dead…
Author Bio:Julie Rowe's first career as a medical lab technologist in Canada took her to the North West Territories and northern Alberta, where she still resides. She loves to include medical details in her romance novels, but admits she'll never be able to write about all her medical experiences because, "No one would believe them!" A double Golden Heart finalist 2006, Julie's writing has appeared in several magazines such as Today's Parent, Reader's Digest (Canada), and Canadian Living. She currently facilitates communication workshops for her local city college. Julie enjoys hearing from her readers. You can reach her at www.julieroweauthor.com or on Twitter @julieroweauthor.