Heartbreaker book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Bless me father, for I will sin. In the still shadows of the co. Heartbreaker by Julie Garwood - #1 New York Times bestselling author Julie Garwood proves she is a master storyteller in this classic romantic suspense novel. Let New York Times bestselling author Julie Garwood take you on a thrilling excursion into the soaring heights -- and the darkest impulses -- of the human heart.
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#1 New York Times bestselling author Julie Garwood proves she is a master storyteller in this classic romantic suspense novel featuring FBI agent Nick. Julie Garwood - Buchanan-Renard 01 - Heartbreaker - Free ebook download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read book online for free. Julie Garwood. Home · Julie Garwood Garwood, Julie - Rebellious Desire · Read more Garwood, Julie - Buchanan 01 - Heartbreaker Read more.
It was messy. Anticipate and respond. He had assumed he'd sit face-to-face with his penitent in a room with a couple of windows open for fresh air. They had already canvassed the neighborhood. I got so excited.
His stomach lurched and he forced himself not to gag. My last confession was a year ago. I wasn't given absolution then. Will you absolve me now? Was the stranger simply nervous because it had been such a long time since his last confession, or was he being deliberately irreverent?
I angered the priest. I'll make you angry too. What I have to confess will Then you'll become angry like the other priest. Is that it, Father? Tom stiffened. Are you getting angry yet? Tom was careful to keep his voice neutral when he answered. Surely you realize you can't be given absolution for sins you're contemplating. Forgiveness is for those who have realized their mistakes and are truly contrite. They're willing to make restitution for their sins. How can you deny me absolution?
A year ago I told another priest exactly what I was going to do, but he didn't believe me until it was too late.
Don't make the same mistake. That's how I know. The seal of silence is sacred. Exactly how could this other priest have stopped you? I was It would have been very easy for him to stop me, so it's his fault, not mine. It won't be easy now. Practice what? And what was the sin the priest could have prevented? A nice, old-fashioned name, don't you think? Her friends called her Millie, but I didn't. I much preferred Millicent.
Of course, I wasn't what you would call a friend. Tom's forehead was beaded with perspiration, but he suddenly felt cold.
This wasn't a prankster. He dreaded what he was going to hear, yet he was compelled to ask. It was messy; there was blood everywhere, all over me. I was terribly inexperienced back then. I hadn't perfected my technique. When I went to confession, I hadn't killed her yet. I was still in the planning stage and the priest could have stopped me, but he didn't. I told him what I was going to do. I still killed her. It's a pity, really. She was such a pretty little thing How many others?
He wouldn't give me what I needed. I was denied both. Rage that must have been simmering just below the surface erupted full force as he spewed out in grotesque detail exactly what he had done to the poor innocent Millicent. Tom was overwhelmed and sickened by the horror of it all.
Dear God, what should he do? He had boasted he wouldn't be shocked or angered, but nothing could have prepared him for the atrocities the stranger took such delight in describing. Hate the sin, not the sinner. There were other infatuations, and when they disappointed me, I had to hurt them, but I didn't kill any of them. After I met Millicent, everything changed. I watched her for a long time and everything about her was She thought she could play her little games with other men and I wouldn't notice.
I couldn't let her torment me that way. I wouldn't," he corrected. No one's ever going to find her. There's no going back now.
No, sirree. I had no idea how thrilling the kill was going to be. I made Millicent beg me for mercy, and she did.
By God, she did. I got so excited, more excited than I could ever have imagined was possible, and so I had to make her scream more, didn't I? When I was finished with her, I was bursting with joy. Well, Father, aren't you going to ask me if I'm sorry for my sins? And then, in a serpent's hiss, the voice returned. I only punish those who hurt me. So you see, I'm not culpable. But you think I'm sick, don't you? We're in confession, Father.
You have to tell the truth. I'm just dedicated.
It won't be easy to stop me. I study my clients before I take them on. I know everything about their families and their friends. Yes, it's going to be much harder to stop me now, but this time I've decided to make it more difficult for me.
Do you see? I don't want to sin. I really don't. I want to help you, if you'll only let me. Give me absolution. You have my permission to tell anyone you want to tell.
Do you see how accommodating I can be? The seal of silence must be maintained to protect the integrity of the confessional.
I cannot tell anyone what you have said to me. I won't. In a frantic race to protect her, Tom calls upon his best friend, elite FBI agent Nick Buchanan, to track the predator who is closing in on Laurant. Now, as an electrifying attraction grows between Laurant and Nick, so does the danger -- and one false move will cost both of them everything that matters. Let New York Times bestselling author Julie Garwood take you on a thrilling excursion into the soaring heights -- and the darkest impulses -- of the human heart.
List Chapter or Page Page 1 2. Page 2 3. Page 3 4. Page 4 5. Page 5 6. Page 6 7. Page 7 8. Page 8 9. Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Tommy had learned to deal with his illness. I never had a chance. Like Morganstern. He really was going to try to kick back and relax. She was eight years. Nick was suddenly anxious to see his friend again.
So far. While he was on vacation Nick planned to weigh the pros and cons of the new job. He knew Tommy was worried about him. Nick gathered up his files. Tommy had his own battle to fight. But it was always hovering. Since there was no: Do you? If he could take the pain and suffering away from his friend.
He might even be able to talk him into taking off his priest collar for one night and getting roaring drunk with him the way they used to when they roomed together at Penn State. He was closer to him than he was to his own five brothers.
He was counting on Tommy for help with the decision. As Tommy had said. One of her knee-high socks had fallen down around her ankle. She did look like she had a bit of the devil in her and a zest for life that was going to get her into sure trouble one day. Tommy had tried several times to bring her to America. Sorensky was waiting for him in the galley. He hated everything about flying.
The key to all of his plans was getting back to his home base. Captain James T. It scared the hell out of him. He was also rigid about his own rules. As soon as he entered the Cincinnati airport. As the captain greeted him. He even knew the kind of toothpaste the man preferred. It all boiled down to a question of trust. No one hated flying as much as Nick did.
Nick had never met her. Nick had already unloaded his gun. The captain radiated confidence. In preparation. He knew the drill.
He presented himself. The prissy. He then escorted Nick around the metal detector the other passengers would have to pass through. Sorensky could have been a model for an airline poster with his silver-tipped. Both he and Tommy had laughed when they saw the photo. She had scabby knees and curly long brown hair that drooped down over one of her eyes.
He could feel his stomach tightening as he headed for check-in. The was bound for London with a brief stop in Boston. Laurant had been of age for some time now and had moved to Holy Oaks a year ago to be close to her brother. Sorensky had graduated from the Air Academy at the top of his class and had worked for Delta for eighteen years His record was unblemished.
And saving that child… it made me proud to know you. Now you wear a badge and he wears a cross. When I can drive there. You can hear it in his voice. Downing thinks his lawyers will plea him out before the judge ever picks up his gavel. Is the plane packed today? Downing has the boy shackled and handcuffed. You ought to go introduce yourself to him. What was it he called the twelve of you? He had to give me his weapon. Like you.
I will go say hello. Marshal Downing on board. With a nod. I did what I had to. This one had been around the block more than once and had most likely killed his conscience a long time ago. Then the anxiety would start all over again. His legs were too long to properly stretch out. There were spikes sticking up all over his head. Nick had the most difficult time making up his mind because it meant he would have to give up his control.
None of them did. The prisoner had been cursed with bad judgment and god-awful genes. Someone had done a real hatchet job on his hair. The other passengers were quickly filing on board now. Tall and wiry. He had sat them down. He followed the captain into the cockpit and closed the door behind him. In his present. His face was scarred with acne. Nick put his suit carrier in the overhead compartment.
He was halfway there when he changed his mind. He was in first class today. Captain Sorensky had been on the mark in his evaluation of the prisoner. Mind over matter. It would have been nice if he could have at least tried to get comfortable.
But there was a hardness Nick had seen countless times in the past. In the end. Nick went back to the front of the plane and got settled in his seat. After takeoff he would be able to spread his folders out while he deciphered his notes and fed the information into his laptop.
What did it matter what kind of punk haircut he had? Where he was going he would still have plenty of friends waiting in line for a chance to get to him. At first glance he did look like a kid. Sorensky went back to the cockpit.
After shoving his briefcase under the seat in front of him. Nick thought. He did get a good look at him though. Nick always took the aisle. Downing had one leg stretched out into the aisle. Nick slowly unfastened his seat belt. There was one the shape of a crescent moon on his left shoulder and a smaller scar directly above his right eye. Following on his heels was the young. Nick sprang out of his seat. He nodded in answer. Did the other Apostles have scars?
The plane was moving. His boss had flinched at the word. It was strained with good cheer. When he leaned over the empty seat and looked out the window. Nick assumed they were waiting for their turn to get in line with the other planes for takeoff—Cincinnati was a national hub and was always glutted with traffic—but fifteen minutes passed.
We should be in the air soon. They taxied to the end of the runway and then stopped. His white-knuckle grip on the armrests had to have been a dead giveaway. He was becoming more and more like Theo.
He hesitated for the barest of seconds. In one fluid motion. A young blond woman smiled at him from across the aisle and tried to engage him in conversation by asking him if he was a nervous flyer. The man was tailing the captain so closely he looked like he was holding on to the back of his jacket. The element of surprise was on his side. He noticed that Marshal Downing was shaking his head and frowning.
The magazine was back in the Sig Sauer and the gleaming barrel was pointed at the man before the captain had fully turned around. As soon as this law officer takes care of this little matter.
He pulled into the basement garage of his brick town house. Sorensky raised his hands and called out. Captain Sorensky. A murmur went through the crowd.
Everyone sit back down and relax. She handled like a dream. Nick ignored him and asked the captain to see if Marshal Downing happened to have an extra pair of cuffs he could borrow. He climbed the steps to the main floor. He was too tired. Traffic was a bitch. What did he care if his sisters. The marshal. It all happened so fast. Jordan and Sidney. He was finally home.
As the initial moment of shock wore off. In a voice as smooth as good whiskey. When he opened the door. He sat down at his desk in his soft leather swivel chair. It was located in the back on the first floor. The tension in his shoulders was easing. The twenty-fourth message stopped him cold. Thinking about it made him smile. When he pulled the draperies back and opened the doors to the walled garden with the old cherub fountain and paver-brick patio.
He dropped his briefcase and his sunglasses on the shiny brown granite island. There were also twenty-eight logged calls on his answering machine as well. Call me as soon as you get this message. Then he removed his gun. His father. Some days Nick was sure he was going to die trying. Maybe he can get hold of you. He stood there surveying his peaceful haven for several minutes until the heat began to press in on him and he heard the central air conditioner kick on. The seventh message was from his mother.
Double French doors with a Palladian arch above them were straight ahead. His mahogany desk. According to the judge. Two of the four walls bore shelves slightly bowed from the weight of the heavy texts. In the spring it was lilac first.
The police are here now. Five of the calls were from his brother Zachary. He closed the doors. The walls were a dark walnut that stretched twelve feet up to the ornately carved eighteenth-century moldings bracketing the ceiling. Just call. You know where it is. A ladder rolled back and forth along a brass pole across the bookcase so the volumes on the top shelves could be easily reached.
With a sigh. The room was large and spacious. Sister had cut short her vacation in Des Moines and had made her cousin drive her home when she heard the news. One way or another. Bessie Jean. Daddy was already stiff and as cold as a stone. Shame on him. If there was any evidence around.
Laurant turned out not to be so uppity after all. Not everyone in Holy Oaks was being callous. Bessie Jean told Sister. She was trying to help. The nuns who had raised her at that fancy boarding school in Switzerland had instilled strong values. It was poison all right. Certainly no one else was going to help look for evidence of foul play because no one else cared a hoot. In all her eighty-two years.
Daddy was as fine as could be until he just up and keeled over. That uppity next door neighbor of theirs with her fancy French name. She was still a good girl. The investigation was on her shoulders and hers alone. There had to be. Bessie Jean had been down on her knees. Everyone said it was old age and not poison that had done him in.
Sister reminded her Others living in the valley were being very thoughtful and sensitive They knew how much Daddy meant to Bessie Jean. She came to Holy Oaks from that city of sin and debauchery. She owed it to Daddy to ferret out the criminal and have him arrested. She was still a foreigner. She surely could.
Laurant was every bit as smart as she was pretty. As lovely as Laurant was. She knew her brother was going to be upset with her because she was following him to Kansas City. She took out a sheet of pink. She was young. There had been a mention of the exhibit in the Holy Oaks Gazette. After all. Chapter 4 Contents-Prev Next The wait was making her nuts.
Having made the decision not to fret about Laurant any longer. Once both sisters had decided that Laurant was no longer an outsider. Bessie Jean hoped Laurant remembered to lock her car doors.
Sister got busy cleaning house. Her background was art history. They read the papers and knew there were serial killers out there waiting at all the rest stops to prey on beautiful young women who were foolish enough to stop. Bessie Jean was matters into her own hands. They would have to wait until Monday to bake because that was the day Laurant was expected home. Tommy always called her on Friday evening between seven and nine. Ida and James Perkins. Bessie Jean reminded Sister. Bessie Jean sat down at the dining room table and opened the wooden stationary box her mama had given her when she was a young girl.
This time she was going to address her request to the director himself. Any day now. Laurant found it impossible to be patient. Laurant was sure she knew what that meant. And no. But things were different now. Tommy always had the results of his preliminary blood tests by Friday evening.
The street curved down a gentle slope. Family… he was the only family she had. The alternator light went on just outside the town of Haverton. Tommy had told her that Kansas City was pretty and clean. Not knowing was making her an emotional wreck. They were adults. So much had been lost over the years. Before leaving the next morning.
The filling station was closed. They could make their own choices. She still got lost. The streets were lined with well-manicured lawns and old. She guessed that this was the area the motel clerk had called the Country Club Plaza and she felt a sense of relief. Her brother was undergoing another brutal round of chemotherapy. She missed her exit off of I and ended up too far south on the highway that circled the sprawling city.
It was really quite lovely. The clerk gave her directions to the Fairmont which. Tommy had told her. She followed the street marked State Line and headed back north. It was Sunday. The parkway was divided by wide grassy medians. The monsignor had a kind. A couple of blocks farther and there on the right was the Fairmont. She was so scared inside she was sick. Once she got her bearings. An hour later she was feeling human again. Damn it.
Before she had left Holy Oaks. It was of a dirty brown field. Laurant wondered how old the church was and pictured her all spruced up again. She was in desperate need of repair.
Cracked paint peeled at the top of the pillars and the side of the church. Laurant drove past a fenced-in. Laurant knew she had once been magnificent.
Abandoned buildings with broken window panes and boarded-up doorways lined the streets.
Mercy looked worn out from her duty. As soon as the valet brought her car around the circle. Laurant committed to memory the scene of the little girls playing. Her long hair was still damp at the nape. The poor doorman an elderly man with salt-and-pepper hair.
Laurant retaliated in kind and smiled as the child dissolved into a fit of giggles. Four blocks ahead. The skirt had a slit up the left side. The area she drove into half an hour later was run-down and depressing. Twin pillars. Black graffiti on the walls screamed angry words at passersby.
The painting was called Hope. At the corner of the block were four little girls. One of the little girls stuck her tongue out at Laurant and then waved to her. She put on a pale pink. The girls brought to mind a painting she had once seen during her studies in Paris.
She could be again. She could tell he wanted to argue with her. From the ornate carvings along the roofline and the stonework in front. As she was getting into her car. The mood was dark and bitter. An angry gray sky swirled above. The heat felt like a slap in the face as she stepped outside. But the smile vanished when she re-checked her directions to Our Lady of Mercy church. But would Mercy ever be renovated to her former glory. They were playing jump rope as they chanted a silly rhyme.
In such decay. Then Monsignor McKindry. He was too rugged and earthy for such a label. Laurant assumed this was the rectory and drove through the open gates. Because he was older and because there were just the two of them in the family now.
Tommy tried to shoulder too much on his own. His congregation obviously loved him. Inside the barrier was a large recently tarred parking lot and a whitewashed. Why were the police there? Probably more vandalism. Some of the women were using the church bulletin to fan themselves.
He was tall. Laurant had never met the monsignor. And very. Laurant headed for the church. It was ridiculous. She was halfway across the parking lot when the music stopped.
Laurant moved to the side of the steps in the shade of the building. She had just gotten out and was locking the door when she noticed the police car. From what Tommy had told her about Monsignor. He was followed by a taller. The doors were open. The children adored him too. The man on the porch could never be called pretty.
He had a smile and a kind word for every man and woman who stopped to speak to him. Her brother worried about her worrying about him. Impeccably dressed in a tailored white shirt. She watched as the two shook hands and the policeman headed for his car. The stranger on the porch captured her full attention. Seconds later people came pouring out. She happened to glance over at the rectory just as the front door opened and a policeman with a rather noticeable potbelly came out on the porch.
Her brother tried to shield her from unpleasant news. The priest had shocking white hair and deep creases in his face. Monsignor ate like a lineman and was in the best of health. They surrounded him. Mother Mary Madelyne was probably right about her. She stared at the sharp angle of his jaw.
Both were tall and dark-haired. Tommy and the stranger he was talking to presented a striking picture. She started weaving her way through the crowd. Interesting indeed. Taking the stairs two at a time. He had an adorable dimple—at least she thought it was adorable—in his right cheek. Laurant was overjoyed to see him there.
Thoroughly confused by his behavior. She imagined women flocked to him and that he took only what was freely offered. He was thoroughly occupied watching the crowd disperse around them. Embarrassed at being caught in the act of gawking at him.
The stranger must have sensed her staring at him because he suddenly turned and looked directly at her. Tommy engulfed her in a bear hug. He was something else all right. Unlike her. She let out a little sigh then.