Shadow Woman by Linda Howard - Fiction
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
From Linda Howard comes a thrilling and sensual new novel of romance, suspense, intrigue . . . and memories that can kill.
Lizette Henry wakes up one morning and makes a terrifying discovery: She doesn't recognize the face she sees in the mirror. She remembers what she looks like, but her reflection is someone else's. To add to the shock, two years seem to have disappeared from her life. Someone has gone to great and inexplicable lengths to keep those missing years hidden forever. But the past always finds a way to return.
Strange memories soon begin to surface and, along with them, some unusual skills and talents that Lizette hasn't a clue about acquiring. Sensing that she's being monitored, Lizette suddenly knows how to search for bugs in her house and tracking devices in her car. What's more, she can elude surveillance--like a trained agent.
Enter a mysterious and seductive stranger named Xavier, who claims he wants to help--but who triggers disturbing images of an unspeakable crime of which Lizette may or may not be the perpetrator. With memories returning, she suddenly becomes a target of anonymous assassins. On the run with nowhere to hide, Lizette has no choice but to rely on Xavier, a strong and magnetic man she doesn't trust, with a powerful attraction she cannot resist. As murky waters become clear, Lizette confronts a conspiracy that is treacherous and far-reaching and a truth that, once revealed, may silence her and Xavier once and for all.
BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Linda Howard's Running Wild.
Praise for Shadow Woman
"Dazzling . . . From the opening line, [Shadow Woman] will grab readers and take them on an exhilarating and terrifying adventure!"--RT Book Reviews
"Fast-paced, intricately detailed romantic suspense . . . Readers won't want to put it down until the extraordinary conclusion. . . . Highly recommended."--Fresh Fiction
"An intriguing plot and captivating characters [with] lots of drama, tension, intrigue and suspense."--The Star-Ledger
Not rated (0 Ratings)
Sensuality Rating: Not rated
It was a normal morning. Lizette Henry--once upon a time Zette-the-Jet to her family and childhood friends--rolled out of bed at her usual time of 5:59 a.m., one minute before her alarm was set to go off. In the kitchen, the automatic timer on the coffeemaker would have just started the brewing process. Yawning, Lizette went into her bathroom, turned on the water in the shower, then while the water was heating took a desperately needed pee. By the time she was finished, the water in the shower was just right.
She liked starting her mornings off with a nice, relaxing shower. She didn't sing, she didn't plan her day, she didn't worry about politics or the economy or anything else. While she was in the shower, she simply chilled--or more aptly, warmed.
On this particular July morning, her routine so honed and finely tuned she didn't need to look at a clock to know what time it was at any point, she showered for almost precisely how long it would take the coffeemaker to finish its brewing process, then wrapped a towel around her wet hair and dried herself with a second towel.
Through the open door of the bathroom, the wonderful aroma of the coffee called to her. The bathroom mirror was fogged over with steam, but that would be clear by the time she'd fetched her first cup of the morning. Wrapping herself in her knee-length terry-cloth robe, she padded barefoot into the kitchen and grabbed one of the mugs from the cabinet. She liked her coffee sweet and light, so she added sugar and milk first, then poured the hot coffee into the mixture. It was like having dessert first thing in the morning, which in her book was a nice way to start off any day.
She took the coffee with her into the bathroom, to sip while she blow-dried her hair and put on the small amount of makeup she wore to work.
Setting the cup on the vanity, she unwound the towel from her head and bent forward from the waist, vigorously rubbing her shoulder-length dark brown hair. Then she straightened, tossing her hair back, and turned to the mirror--
--and stared into the face of a stranger.
The damp towel slid from her suddenly nerveless fingers, puddling on the floor at her feet.
Who is that woman?
It wasn't her. Lizette knew what she looked like, and this wasn't her reflection. She whirled wildly around, looking for the woman reflected in the mirror, ready to duck, ready to run, ready to fight for her life, but no one was there. She was alone in the bathroom, alone in the house, alone--
The word whispered through her mind, a ghost of a sound, barely registering. Turning back to the mirror, she fought through confusion and terror, studying this new person as though she were an adversary rather than . . . rather than what? Or, who?
This didn't make sense. Her breathing came in swift, shallow gulps, the sound distant and panicked. What the hell was going on? She didn't have amnesia. She knew who she was, where she was, remembered her childhood, her friend Diana and her other coworkers, what clothes were in her closet and what she'd planned to wear today. She remembered what she'd had for dinner the night before. She remembered everything, it seemed--except that face.
It wasn't hers.
Her own features, what she saw in her mind, were softer, rounder, maybe even prettier, though the face she was looking at was attractive, if more angular. The eyes were the same: blue, the same distance apart, maybe a little deeper-set. How was that possible? How could her eyes have gotten more deep-set?
What else was the same? She leaned closer to the mirror, looking for the faint freckle on the left side of her chin. Yes, there it...
By: Linda Howard