» Trust in Love

Trust in Love cover

Blurb

Description: Frontier schoolmarm, Eliza Scoggins, is willing to give her life to protect her students during an Indian attack. An overly sympathetic angel is so touched by her sacrifice that he removes the arrows from her body and whisks her to a modern hospital in Fort Worth, Texas. Eliza Awakens in a strange new world where she must make a place for herself.

Conscientious police detective, Jeff Palmer, is sent to investigate the stabbing of a woman dressed in period costume and left at the emergency room door. She claims to have amnesia, but he can find no clues to her identity. Even as his feelings for her grow, Jeff suspects the silver-haired beauty is hiding a dark secret from her past.
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Excerpt

A "NO VISITORS" sign hung on the door of room 306. Jeff went to the nurses' station. "Excuse me," he said to a good-looking brunette behind the desk. "I'm Detective Palmer, I've been assigned to investigate the stabbing victim in room 306. Is she able to talk?"

"I'll have to ask Dr. James," she said.

"Is the woman conscious?" he asked more insistently.

"She's--ah--being keep sedated. The surgeon called in another specialist. We're waiting for him."

Jeff glanced at his watch. He hadn't planned to spend the whole afternoon here. "Could you ask the doc--"

"Here they come now."

Looking up, he saw two men walking toward him. The black guy wore green scrubs and a stethoscope, the white one a sports jacket and slacks. It wasn't hard to guess which one was the surgeon. Jeff stepped in front of them and displayed his shield to the guy in green. When he asked if he could speak to the patient, the doctor gave the other man a what-do-you-think look.

"I don't want to do anything to endanger the woman's health," Jeff said, "but a crime has been committed here, and the sooner I talk to the victim the better chance I'll have of catching the assailant."

"The thing is," the surgeon said, "when the patient regained consciousness, she was irrational. I've asked Doctor Ferris to examine her to see if this is a reaction to trauma or medication or a pre-existing condition. Until he can make a determination, it's important not to upset her."

"Say, Bob," the doctor named Ferris said, "why not let the detective ask his questions while I observe? If the patient becomes upset, I'll end the interview."

The two doctors debated back and forth, ignoring Jeff. He jammed a hand into his pocket and rattled his keys impatiently. Finally, the doctors agreed to let him speak with the victim.

"Anything I should or shouldn't do?" Jeff asked.

"Just ask your questions as you normally would, but don't put any pressure on her, and don't challenge any of her answers," Ferris said.

"Has she given her name yet?"

The surgeon gestured toward the nurse behind the desk, and she handed him a patient chart. "Eliza Scoggins," he read from the chart.

Jeff wrote that in his notebook, and then followed the doctors into 306. The room was so dimly lit that he could barely make out the victim. Dr. James pressed a button on the console over the bed and light flooded a pool of silvery blonde hair surrounding a face so pale that it seemed otherworldly. Blue eyes flicked open and looked up at him apprehensively. He felt a strong need to reassure and protect. What kind of scumbag would hurt a woman like this?

"Miss Scoggins," Dr. James gestured toward the other doctor, "this is Dr. Ferris. He's going to be consulting on your case."

The nearly bald shrink smiled and nodded at her in a friendly manner.

Dr. James continued. "And this is Detective Palmer. He's investigating your attack. Can you answer some questions for him?"

Holding his pen and notebook ready, Jeff stepped up to the bedside. “I’ll try to keep this short, Miss Scoggins. Can you tell me who stabbed you?”

"I wasn't stabbed. I was shot with arrows."

Her voice was smooth and soft. It flowed over Jeff like honey—until the meaning of her words dawned on him. He glanced over at Dr. James who gave his head a slight shake. Jeff didn’t know what to do except continue. "Do you know who shot you?"

"They were Comanches, but I didn't actually see which one shot me."

"I see." He toyed with his pen. It had been more than a hundred years since Comanches had raided in Texas. He tried to keep his expression blank. "How many Indians took part in the attack?"

"Three, but I shot one of them with a pistol. The others shot me while I was trying to reload."

"You shot one?" He watched her carefully. She certainly seemed to believe what she was saying. Could she be confused from all the anesthesia and trauma? He had to make sure grains of truth weren’t embedded in her story.

"Yes, I wanted to give the children time to get to the woods."

"Children?"

"The children in my school. I sent them out the trapdoor in the floor, but I stayed behind to keep the Indians from looking for them." She paused and took a deep breath. "I'm really very worried about them. Is there some way I can find out what happened?"

"What's the name of the school?" he asked.

"Western Young County Day School."

This might be a real lead. He jotted it down in his book. "What grade do you teach?"

"All of them."

He stopped writing and stared at her for a moment, she was either nutty as a fruitcake or pulling his chain. "Someone brought you to the hospital. Do you have any idea who that might have been?"

"No--unless it was my father."

The detective looked at Dr. James who shrugged. "Wouldn't your father have stayed here with you?" Jeff asked.

"Yes, I suppose he would." Her forehead wrinkled and she seemed lost in thought.

"Was your father with you when the--ah--Indians attacked?"

"No, he was at home. I wonder if he knows where I am? He'll be terribly upset if he doesn't." Tears suddenly rimmed her eyes.

Hoping to get more information before the doctors chased him out, Jeff quickly said. "I can contact him for you. What's his name?"

"Rufus Scoggins. We live on the Circle S Ranch in Young County. Please try to get word to him." Tears began to seep from her soulful blue eyes and Dr. Ferris made a cutting motion with his hand.

Jeff closed his notebook. "Don't worry, ma'am, I'll get in touch with your father. You rest now. I'll come back to see you soon." As he left the room, he hoped he could find Rufus Scoggins, and the man could explain what had happened to his daughter. It would be a shame if such a beautiful young woman were a mental case! Maybe she was still confused from the anesthesia like his father had been after his surgery. Jeff decided to check on her again tomorrow. Hopefully she’d be thinking straight by then.

Reviews

"The romance between Eliza and Jeff grew at a pace that didn’t seem abnormally fast, yet was evident from the first time they met. The occasional glimpses of the over-protective guardian angel Mortimer were especially enjoyable. The book moves at a good pace, with well-defined characters, believable plot and a love story to envy." ~ RIE, Love Romances

"I was incredibly impressed with the way Sarah Winn made me put myself in Eliza’s positions and see the world of today. We drive too fast, clothe ourselves in very little and have very promiscuous relationships!" ~ Milissa M. Curran, ScribesWorld Reviews.

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