Aftershock by Lynn Michaels
Originally published by Harlequin Temptation
Kindle Edition November 2010 by Lynn Michaels
Back Cover Blurb
Rockie Wexler's father has created a device that predicts earthquakes. Unfortunately it can also cause them, and now both Dr. Wexler and the TAQ box have disappeared. Gutsy and brilliant Rockie knows she needs help to rescue her father from the bad guys.
Help arrives in the form of Dr. Leslie Sheridan. The hard-edged, self-described pain in the butt turns her world upside down. And Sheridan has his own reasons for hating anyone with the name of Wexler.
Sequel to The Patriot
Finalist for the RWA RITA award in the Short Contemporary Category
"I see Addison hasn't lost his love for gadgets," said the shadow. "It's nice to know some things never change."
Along with her gift for chemistry, Rockie had an ear for voices. Brief as her conversation with Nevin Maxwell had been, she was pretty sure she recognized his chilly baritone. On the phone it had given her the willies. In person it gave her the creeps.
Cautiously, she raised just her eyes to look at him, blinking in the dazzling sunlight bouncing off his mirror-lens sunglasses and the muzzle of the gun in his right hand. His dark hair, where it stuck out around his ears beneath the royal blue Chicago Cubs baseball cap, gleamed with red highlights. His khaki shirt and faded jeans were streaked with dust and sweat.
Nothing with any sense moved on the Mojave at this time of day. Still as it was, Rockie had no trouble hearing the chopper rotors begin their slow spin and wind up for takeoff.
"Whatever that thing does, I suggest you use it," Maxwell said, nodding at the remote in her hand. "Unless you want to go with your father and Conan."
Hell, no, she didn't. But she wasn't sure she wanted to stay with this gun-toting stranger, either, despite the message her father had left on her answering machine: "You can trust Maxwell. He's a cold-hearted SOB, but he'll help you. He won't want to, because of me, but he will."
It wasn't much of a character reference -- for her father or Nevin Maxwell -- but there wasn't time to ask to see his resume. The warm-up whine of the Apaches had evened out into a throaty, ready-for lift-off purr.
"Is Conan his real name?" she asked, pushing the left-hand switch on the remote as she scrambled to her feet.
"A nickname. Nobody knows his real name. Not even Interpol." Maxwell glanced toward the truck-size slab of wind-eroded and sand-pocked hillside slowly sliding open, then back at Rockie. "Very clever. Let's go."
Tucking his gun in a kidney holster, he turned and made quickly for the passenger side of the Jeep. Rockie started after him, then paused and took a last backward look at the lab. The Apaches were lifting slowly off the ground, dust devils swirling around their landing gear.
"Hang on, Dad. Wexlers never quit," she murmured, then hurried after Maxwell.