Tuesday, September 3, 2013

She Can Scream by Melinda Leigh - Best in Series...So Far!

See More on Leigh's Website!
Coopersfield Community Center.

"This was my roommate, Karen." Brooke tapped the touchpad on her laptop and forwarded to the next slide in her PowerPoint presentation. She paused for a minute and stared at the picture. A young woman with clear blue eyes and long, shining brown hair laughed at the camera. Brooke had given this speech hundreds of times over the year, but the image never failed to squeeze her hearty. She blinked a tear away...

Brooke told Karen's story to each group of girls she taught. It was the most effective means of punctuating her lecture on safe behavior. It was also her way of making sure Karen's death had meaning and that Brooke never forgot her friend...

"Ok. We've been talking about staying safe and practicing basic self-defense for the last hour. When was the last time you heard about a group of girls being abducted?"

"A tall brunette, Natalie, raised her hand. "Um, never?" On her left, her identical twin sister, Gabrielle, nodded.
"Exactly." Brooke let her safety-in-numbers point sink in for a few seconds...
"That's it for tonight. Thank you all for coming. Wednesday night is the last class in this unit. There'll be a padded attacker for you to practice the techniques on. You don't want to miss it. Stay together, and stay safe."

She Can Scream
By Melinda Leigh

She had just finished teacher her class and was loading her equipment in her car when she heard it...

A distant scream cut through her thoughts. Its raw tone and the way it cut off mid-wail disturbed the hair on Brooke's nape. 
She listened a second more, but was unwilling to just ignore it. Fortunately, a guard was still in the building, grabbed flashlights and followed. A fresh scream, quickly cut off came and then they could hear the attacker. Brooke dialed 911, ended the call and ran. Brooke interrupted the attack but the man only stood and stared at her. Then he quickly took off but Brooke fell over a limb while following. Then she quickly called 911 again and gave them an update on where he was heading, along with a description.

He got away that day, but Brooke had saved a young girl named Maddie! And now the media wanted her to become the known hero...Not!
"I'd really like you to keep an eye on
"The moisture evaporated from Luke's
throat as if he'd swallowed a mouthful
of sand. Responsibility for a woman's
life was his personal nightmare.
"I know my sister. She's not going to
let it go."
"Because of what happened to her
"Brooke never got over it...
"Ironic. The situation did the opposite
for Luke. After all, the last woman
who'd been his responsibility had
ended up dead..."

"Maddie stood on the uneven sidewalk for a few
seconds, inserting her earbuds, selecting music
on her iPod, and stretching her calves. Then she
jogged off toward the footpath that led to her
favorite trail. Her brown ponytail swished in
rhythm with her toned thighs. Those bright
sneakers arcing like beacons in the darkness.
"His Maddie was routine oriented. He loved that
about her.
"There was no need to follow her. He knew exactly
where she was going...For the next thirty minutes
she would jog on the rough trail that looped its
perimeter. He glanced at his watch. Soon she
would run through the wooded portion of her
route, the location he'd chosen as their
rendezvous point.
"All he needed was the next quarter of an
hour to proceed as usual..."

Especially since the police did not catch the assailant!

Brooke was a divorcee with two children, Chris, 14 and Haley, 15. Wade, her younger brother was the only adult she could call to come get her, but he was already scheduled to leave for a tour in Afghanistan... 

That's how Brooke came to be the responsibility of Luke, a friend of Wade's...

Of course, that was not what Brooke wanted!

Brooke and Luke had one thing in common--good and bad. They both felt responsible for the death of a friend that had happened years ago. Neither could get rid of the guilt...

But after all this is romantic suspense so you'll enjoy watching these two as they skirt a budding relationship...

The important thing, though, is that Brooke really did need Luke's protection--because she had kicked off a rage in the killer that could no longer be stopped. Previously, he had limited his actions to once a year. But now he wanted not only Maddie but also the woman that had stopped him from having her!

But Maddie would learn later that she was also at fault for the assault. She was a creature of habit and always ran the same route. Worse, she was a networker, updating her status about everything! At 6:10 p.m., she had said "Off 4 My run!"
All he had to do was read the display on his phone, thinking to himself that stalking was so easy these days!

Please, please take note of this! Please don't share your daily life activities on social networks! And don't share so much personal information that you make it easy for those who commit crimes!

Luke had been staying with his Grandmother for a visit, but when he'd accepted responsibility for helping keep Brooke safe, he soon was spending more time with them. Brooke realized that Chris, in particular, appreciated his help, since he did not have to feel like he was "the man of the house..." Still when Ian, Brooke's ex wanted to take the kids back to his home for safety, Chris and Haley both expressed concern, especially Haley who had been scheduled for her first date for a Halloween dance...

Maddie was not doing well, even though her bruises were healing. She continued to be afraid because her attacker had not been caught. Maddie had thought she was going to die and that was something nobody could get over quickly... By then, the investigation had picked up another rape, but wasn't sure it was the same man.

And in the meantime, that man was thinking about abducting two women at once--maybe Maddie and Brooke!

The ending was a climatic surprise--not a good one! Brooke had no choice, she broke the major rule she taught in her safety class... She got into the car with him...

Leigh has given readers a look into taking personal safety classes. The night Luke acted as the attacker was fun for him and made him realize how much the training was needed. At the same time, the investigation look carefully at the use of social networking in providing too much information. Hopefully, readers will retain the information for their own use and share with their family and friends. The suspense is high; the climax thrilling. Highly recommended.


About the Author

Melinda Leigh abandoned her career in banking to raise her kids and never looked back. She started writing as a hobby and became addicted to creating characters and stories. Since then, she has won numerous writing awards for her romantic suspense fiction. Nominated for an International Thriller Award for Best First Novel, her debut book, She Can Run, sold over 100,000 copies within six months and was the number one bestseller in both Kindle Romantic Suspense and Mystery/Thriller. She is also the author of Midnight Exposure, She Can Tell and Midnight Sacrifice. When she isn’t writing, Melinda is an avid martial artist: she holds a second-degree black belt in Kenpo karate and teaches women’s self-defense. She lives in a messy house with her husband, two teenagers, a couple of dogs, and two rescue cats.

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