The Green-Eyed Doll
… A woman running from her past. A Sheriff who hates secrets.
Catherine McCoy has been on the move for a year. Hiding the secret and guilt in her heart, she expects her stay in small-town Texas to be brief. Her plan changes after she meets Sheriff Matt Ballard, who ignites a flame of passion she thought lost forever.
Matt has scars of his own. He left the big city after an undercover operation went bad. Now, he hunts for a serial killer who paints his victims like porcelain dolls. Catherine becomes a safe haven for him. Two tortured souls finding comfort in each other’s arms—until he uncovers her secret, and their bond of trust is broken.
When Catherine disappears, Matt races to find her, fearing the murderer has found his next green-eyed doll. But the killer has a surprise coming. Catherine will fight to the death before she’ll be a victim. Will her determination be enough?
Read the Excerpt
Catherine’s engine groaned. Turned over once, then nothing. She tried again. Again, nothing. She rested her head on the steering wheel to indulge in a minute of self-pity. Her car door opened, scaring the crap out of her.
“Something wrong?” The sheriff crouched and put his hand on her arm.
“No. Everything’s fine.” His touch was surprisingly gentle for a man with such a large hand. Warmth rolled under her skin and across her chest. Confused, she pulled away from him.
His head tilted as if to get a better view. “You were collapsed across the steering wheel.”
“It’s nothing.” Damn, she wasn’t weak or needy. Yet every time he showed up, she needed help. “Sheriff, I’m fine.”
He removed his hat and rubbed his forehead. “Think you could call me Matt?”
“Matt,” she said his name softly, letting it rest on her tongue for a second. “I’m Catherine.”
The tension in the air eased when both their stomachs growled in harmony.
“Look, we got off to a rocky start. How about I buy you a late supper?”
She hesitated. Making friends with the sheriff went against her good judgment.
“You’ll be safe with me. Off duty or on, I’m one of the good guys. I promise.”
His full smile transformed his handsome face to beautiful. Catherine couldn’t remember the last time she’d eaten a meal sitting across from a member of the opposite sex. His offer made her want to forget the crisis of the hour. A car that wouldn’t start.
He stood and extended his hand. “We’ll grab a bite, and I’ll bring you right back.”
Defying all logic, she laid her palm against his. “I haven’t eaten since morning.” His grip was strong and warm. Before she had time to rethink her decision, he’d tucked her in his car and was buckling up his seat belt.
“Nothing’s open this time of night except the truck stop, but the food is good.”
“Truck drivers always know where to eat.” She looked around inside the cruiser and remembered a past and unpleasant ride in one. “What happens if you get a call, and I’m in the car with you?”
“If there’s a shootout at the OK Corral, I’ll leave you somewhere safe and come back later.” He tossed her a smile. “The chances of that happening are slim.”
So he had a sense of humor. How would he handle a more serious question? “Marty and some of the customers were talking about a missing woman. That sort of thing doesn’t happen a lot, does it?”
“No. And we’re doing everything we can to find her.”
His words sounded thick with concern, and his sharp jaw was set with determination. For some reason, she believed the statement came from his heart.
“Is that why you’re out late?”
“No. I live close by, and none of my deputies were in the area.”
“I get it. You can’t talk about the case.”
“I can tell you every available resource is working the case. And she’s never far from my mind. Will that do?”
“Now you sound like you’re reading a press release.”
He laughed a hollow sound. “That did sound rehearsed. But it’s the truth.”
His mood had shifted. The tone of his voice was solid yet warm with worry when he spoke of the missing woman.
A slight musky, woodsy scent filled the car and her senses. Her stomach fluttered. Not butterfly wings, Mallard ducks. She couldn’t remember the last time a man had made her nervous.
“Hello?” His voice pulled her attention back. “You drifted off. Keep that up, and you’ll give me an inferiority complex.”
“Sorry.” Her cheeks heated, making her grateful for the darkness. She’d forgotten how to make small talk with a man.
“THE GREEN-EYED DOLL is a gritty, thrilling can’t put it down romantic suspense. The villain is suitably menacing and difficult to identify, I was left guessing until the very end. Catherine and Matt are complex characters with their own secrets to reveal and wounds to overcome as they work towards loving and trusting each other. Ms. Alexander is definitely an author fans of romantic suspense should keep an eye on.”
– Fresh Fiction