Read Star Witness Online

Authors: Mallory Kane

Star Witness

BOOK: Star Witness
ads

STORM ON THE HORIZON

Dani Canto has precious few people she can trust. As prosecutor Harte Delancey’s star witness against her grandfather’s murderer, she’s become a prime target—and a courtroom pawn. Protective custody seems to be the only solution, but she’s not expecting Harte Delancey to be her personal bodyguard.

PASSION ON THE RISE

Harte vows to protect Dani himself to ensure her safety and testimony. After all, winning the case will also settle an old family obligation. But earning her trust is key. Now with a raging storm threatening New Orleans and gunmen on their heels, Harte must break down the walls Dani has erected around herself. Once he does, not only does he find unexpected passion, but the certainty that the only safe haven is within each other’s arms….

“Feeling better?” he whispered, the movement of his mouth tickling her lips.

Heat flowed like lava through her entire body. Out to her fingertips and toes and back, swirling through her until it settled in her core. She bit her cheek to keep from moaning with pleasure.

“I feel wonderful,” she answered breathlessly.

He lifted his head slightly. When she raised her gaze, she saw his firm, wide mouth soften. Was he about to kiss her? Really kiss her? Right here in the middle of running from people who were trying to kill them?

She should say something. Should stop this. Because all they were doing was seeking comfort in a dangerous situation.

The men who wanted to kill her were dangerous, but so was Harte. And right now, she wasn’t sure who frightened her most.

Mallory Kane

Star Witness

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mallory has two very good reasons for loving reading and writing. Her mother was a librarian, who taught her to love and respect books as a precious resource. Her father could hold listeners spellbound for hours with his stories. He was always her biggest fan.

She loves romantic suspense with dangerous heroes and dauntless heroines, and enjoys tossing in a bit of her medical knowledge for an extra dose of intrigue. After twenty-five books published, Mallory is still amazed and thrilled that she actually gets to make up stories for a living.

Mallory lives in Tennessee with her computer-genius husband and three exceptionally intelligent cats. She enjoys hearing from readers. You can write her at
[email protected]
or via Harlequin Books.

Books by Mallory Kane

HARLEQUIN INTRIGUE

  738—BODYGUARD/HUSBAND*
  789—BULLETPROOF BILLIONAIRE
  809—A PROTECTED WITNESS*
  863—SEEKING ASYLUM*
  899—LULLABIES AND LIES*
  927—COVERT MAKEOVER
  965—SIX-GUN INVESTIGATION
  992—JUROR NO. 7
1021—A FATHER’S SACRIFICE
1037—SILENT GUARDIAN
1069—THE HEART OF BRODY MCQUADE
1086—SOLVING THE MYSTERIOUS STRANGER
1103—HIGH SCHOOL REUNION
1158—HIS BEST FRIEND’S BABY**
1162—THE SHARPSHOOTER’S SECRET SON**
1168—THE COLONEL’S WIDOW?**
1180—CLASSIFIED COWBOY
1203—HER BODYGUARD
1237—DOUBLE-EDGED DETECTIVE‡‡
1243—THE PEDIATRICIAN’S PERSONAL PROTECTOR‡‡
1275—BABY BOOTCAMP
1300—DETECTIVE DADDY
1351—PRIVATE SECURITY‡‡
1356—DEATH OF A BEAUTY QUEEN‡‡
1416—STAR WITNESS‡‡

*Ultimate Agents
**Black Hills Brotherhood
‡‡The Delancey Dynasty

CAST OF CHARACTERS

Harte Delancey—
This prosecutor finds that battling a deadly enemy and a savage storm to keep his star witness safe is easier than battling his growing feelings for her.

Danielle Canto—
She’s afraid of nothing—except storms. Forced to flee her grandfather’s murderer, she trusts Harte to protect her from the storm and the murderer. But who can protect her heart from him?

Freeman Canto—
The elderly congressman fought against illegal imports and drug-dealing through the Port of New Orleans, until his violent death.

Vinson Akers—
This D.A. has tried for years to put Ernest Yeoman in prison. Now he has an excellent chance, if his prosecutor and their witness survive until trial.

Ernest Yeoman—
The importer and owner of Hasty Mart convenience stores is rumored to have congressmen in his pocket. Did he kill Freeman Canto to keep Port of New Orleans tariffs and security low? Or is he just an innocent businessman?

Myron Stamps—
The senior senator is implicated in Freeman Canto’s death. Is he an innocent patsy or part of Yeoman’s smuggling ring?

Paul Guillame—
Harte’s cousin on his grandmother’s side is Myron Stamps’s political advisor. Paul swears he knows nothing about Canto’s death or Stamps’s involvement.

To Michael, for always.

Contents

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Excerpt

Chapter One

Harte Delancey always felt like such a wimpy kid around his older brothers—probably because that’s how they treated him.

He looked up from the grill where steaks were sizzling. Lucas and Ethan were tossing long spiraling passes to each other in the football-field-sized backyard of their parents’ Chef Voleur home. If Travis were here instead of overseas somewhere, he’d be out there too.

Harte preferred more solitary forms of exercise—running, backpacking and biking. He chuckled wryly and flipped the steaks as Lucas made a spectacular leap and snagged the football out of the air.

“Steaks ready in five,” he called out as his mom brought a big bowl of her famous buttermilk ranch potato salad from the outdoor kitchen to the already laden table. Lucas’s wife, Angela, followed her carrying a massive casserole of baked beans.

“Everything looks great,” Harte said.

“I hope so,” Betty Carole Delancey said in her self-deprecating way. “The tomatoes don’t look very good.”

He eyed the plump, bright red slices with amusement. “If they were any better, the
Times-Picayune
would be on the story. What do you think, Dad?” he asked his father, Robert, who sat in his wheelchair watching Lucas and Ethan.

Harte’s dad turned his head slightly. “Everything good,” he said haltingly. It had been fourteen years since the massive stroke had left him partially paralyzed and unable to speak. With his wife’s help, he’d relearned how to talk.

Lucas and Ethan washed up at the sink, arguing about who had the more accurate throwing arm. Then Lucas kissed Angela on the cheek before sitting down beside her. Ethan grabbed the chair opposite the two of them.

Harte took the last T-bone off the grill and set the platter down in the middle of the table. He sat between Lucas and their mother.

“Want to play a game of three-team touch later, Mr. Prosecutor?” Lucas asked as he tousled Harte’s hair. Harte ducked but not in time. “Or should I call you
Monsieur
Chef?” he mused, stabbing a steak with his fork and holding it up for inspection.

“After you eat all that and can’t move? Sure.” Harte was used to Lucas ribbing him about his choice of career and his cooking.

Lucas was a detective with the New Orleans Police Department, as was Ethan, and Travis, an Army Special Forces operative, was stationed overseas. It was a sore spot with all three of them that their youngest brother had broken tradition and studied law.

As if reading his thoughts, his mom said, “I was hoping we’d hear something from Travis this week.”

“What’s it been—six months since you last spoke with him?” Ethan asked, then washed a bite of steak down with iced tea.

“September,” his dad said.

“That’s right, darling,” his mom said as she cut his steak into bite-sized pieces for her husband. “It’s been seven months.”

Harte saw Lucas and Ethan exchange a glance. He knew what they were thinking. It chafed them that their mother was so solicitous and gentle with her husband. Neither one—especially Lucas—had ever forgiven their dad for his drunken rages and punishing fists. It didn’t matter to them that Robert’s stroke had rendered him a docile wraith of his former self.

At that moment, the patio door opened. It was Cara Lynn, smiling and dressed in a casual floral dress that sported all the pastel colors of spring. Not that the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana ever saw spring...or fall for that matter. The weather was generally either hot and humid or chilly and wet.

Still, the sun seemed to shine brighter when their only sister and Harte’s closest sibling was around.

“What a gorgeous day to have dinner outside,” she said as she rounded the table, giving everyone a quick kiss, then sat.

“Nice of you to grace us with your presence,” Ethan said, cutting into his steak.

Cara Lynn made a face at him. “I’m showing twelve pieces at the New Orleans Fiber Arts Show in just over a month,” she said, “and I’ve got finish work to do on five of them. You probably won’t see me again until after the show.”

Harte’s mother sighed as she set two loaves of French bread on the table. “That’s why I try to have these dinners as often as possible. Everyone’s so busy these days.”

“Speaking of which,” Harte said, “the court date in the Freeman Canto murder case has been moved up. The judge will hear opening arguments on Tuesday.”

“Tuesday?” Lucas said. “Five days from now? That seems sudden. Didn’t you just take over the case a couple of months ago?”

“And they were talking about putting it on the docket for June. But now defense counsel Felix Drury has to have open-heart surgery, and the judge didn’t want to put off the case another three or four months while he recuperates.”

“Maybe you’ll get lucky and Drury will plead his client, or at least try to wrap up the case early,” Ethan said. “I’ve testified in a case or two where
Jury
Drury was defense counsel. He treats the jury like his own personal fan club. Plays to them and draws out his arguments. Plus, doesn’t he love to file motions for acquittal?”

“Yes, he does. The D.A. got the notification about the new trial date around one-thirty today, and before three there were two defense motions on his desk.” Harte speared a bite of steak. “So that means I probably won’t have time to breathe until the trial is over, starting tonight.” Just as he finished speaking, his cell phone rang.

ADS
15.4Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
READ BOOK DOWNLOAD BOOK

Other books

Younger Daughter by Brenna Lyons
Dirty Shots by Marissa Farrar
Wet Ride (Toys-4-Us) by Cayto, Samantha
Fargoer by Hannila, Petteri
The King's Diamond by Will Whitaker
Best Friends For Ever! by Chloe Ryder
The Road of Bones by Anne Fine