From The “Back Cover”:
Someone has framed Darci Tucker for embezzlement—and she's pretty sure it's her boss. The real criminal will do anything to make sure she doesn't talk, from breaking into her home to hacking her computer. Her only hope for regaining control, and protecting her young son from danger, is Conner Stevenson. Desperate for answers about his sister's sudden disappearance, Conner is determined to uncover why the bookkeeper was named a target. Now Darci and her son have become pawns in a deadly game, and as Conner races to protect them, he finds he wants more than justice. He may want a family for Christmas after all...if they live that long.
Wrong place. Wrong time. Wrong, creepy boss.
Author Carol J. Post’s cozy holiday yarn, Mistletoe Justice, opens with a single Florida mom making a common, though costly, mistake. Who hasn’t left her cell phone behind at work and been forced to retrieve it for fear she’ll miss an important call or text? That’s all accounting manager Darci Tucker was after when she caught snippets of an incriminating conversation between her supervisor and an unknown male accomplice.
Dumb luck on her part, but clearly none of her business. Not with a special-needs son to support, a paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle to manage, and no prospects to fill the role of Prince Charming on the horizon. So, Darci makes a beeline for her car the minute the coast is clear and vows to put the incident behind her—especially after the boss intimates to his friend that he has “ways of guaranteeing [Darci’s] silence” if she discovers their secret.
Heavy equipment mechanic Conner Stephenson’s made real progress over the past week. He’s finally secured a job at P.T. Aggregates, the concrete operation from which his sister mysteriously disappeared months before. Firmly convinced that someone at the company knows what became of Claire, Conner’s keen to uncover the truth. The angry, hurting seven-year-old son she left behind deserves answers—and justice.
Conner’s just pulling onto the P.T. Aggregates property to complete an after-hours project when he passes two vehicles exiting the area—one of which belongs to his sister’s former boss. Moments later, he startles attractive bookkeeper Darci Tucker as she’s scampering to her car behind the onsite office. The very woman who replaced Claire in her position two weeks after she disappeared. Conner can’t help wondering what Darci knows, what she and the boss have been up to, or why she looks so frightened. But Darci isn’t talking, and his investigation into his sister’s disappearance has only just begun.
Mistletoe Justice is the third story in Carol J. Post’s Cedar Key series for Love Inspired Suspense, and it’s clear from the book’s inception that she’s a gifted storyteller. The author handily establishes the look and feel of the main characters’ surroundings through subtle allusions to color, texture and sound. She weaves just enough of Darci and Conner’s compelling backstory into the early pages of the novel to whet the reader’s appetite for more of what lies ahead. And she gives both protagonists plausible motivations for erecting the emotional boundaries they create for themselves—and undertaking the desperate measures to which they resort—as the bad guys inevitably close in.
The author delivers a gratifying holiday feast in Mistletoe Justice, a story steeped in equal helpings of romance and suspense. Ms. Post keeps the reader guessing throughout the book about the trustworthiness of those who make up the main characters’ small circle of acquaintance. She also manages to throw several unexpected curve balls in the characters’ paths on the road to resolution. But, Ms. Post never permits the reader to forget that Mistletoe Justice is, at its core, about Darci and Conner’s heartwarming journey toward love, family, security and spiritual peace.
Skillful author. Rewarding read. Not to be missed.
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