Miranda Raines believes she’s found a safe haven in Oxford, England, until Scotland Yard’s DCI David French knocks on her door with terrifying news: her ex-husband, a convicted murderer, has escaped from prison and he’s coming for her. For years, Miranda has harbored a secret passion for the driven Chief Inspector. With no other choice, she has to trust him. She just hopes she can guard her heart, at least as well as he guards her.
After thwarting her ex’s first attack, David spirits Miranda and her young son out of England, and the three of them end up on the run across Europe. David has no intention of falling in love again, but with each passing day Miranda awakens emotions he thought long dead.
Could this be their forever love? With a killer on their trail, they may not live long enough to find out.
**This is a previously published title and is revised.
LOVE ON THE RUN
A David and Miranda French Mystery
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Cover Art Marie-Nicole Ryan
Published 2007, Samhain Publishing
Re-released 2014, Ryandale Publishing
Print ISBN: 9781505381580
5 Angels “fun to travel along with them and see them fight the growing attraction they both felt.” Reviewer: Kim N at Fallen Angel Reviews
5 Blue Ribbons! “…everything you could want and more in a romantic suspense.” Reviewer: Jenn L at Romance Junkies
5/5 Stars! “Ryan grabs you from the first sentence and never lets go!” Reviewer: Nicole at Manic Readers
4 Nymphs! “…the characters are strong and the treachery realistic. The author also provides some nice touches of humor, making the reader truly care about her characters.” Reviewer: Sphinx Minx at Literary Nymphs (Link no longer active)
©2002 Marie-Nicole Ryan
All rights reserved, Ryandale Publishing
Small Pensione in San Remo, Italy.
BACKGROUND: DCI David French has taken Miranda (Randi) Raines and her son Jamie on a dangerous hop-scotch across Europe. They’re on the run from her ex, a murderous arms dealer, who has escaped from a British prison and vowed revenge toward her and the chief inspector. Their enforced proximity has brought Randi and David closer, but tonight there’s one small problem. ☺
David unlocked the door and walked into their room. To his surprise, Miranda had taken up residence in the armchair. “I thought you’d be asleep.”
“No, you take the bed. You haven’t had a decent night’s sleep in nearly a week. I had a long nap this afternoon.”
He shook his head. “I can’t sleep in the bed and know you’re trying to sleep in a chair.”
“It was good enough for you last night. It’s good enough for me tonight. Women’s Lib, you know.”
“Sorry, I just can’t.”
She unwound from her cramped position and walked toward him, a guarded expression in her eyes.
“There is only one other solution,” he suggested.
“If we sleep like spoons, we’ll all fit. And it’s only for a few hours.”
Like spoons? The very thought of her spooned in his arms did wonders for his heart rate. How in blazes would he ever think he would be able to sleep like that?
“S-spoons?” Slowly she slid into the middle portion of the bed, scooping a sleeping Jamie up in her arms, then patted the portion of the bed behind her. “Like this? You’re insane. I can’t sleep that close to you.”
“Sure you can. Pretend like I’m your brother and we’re on a camping trip.”
“You don’t look like any of my brothers and my imagination doesn’t stretch that far.”
“Come on. It won’t be that bad. That way we can both get some rest.”
Lord, how he wanted to lie next to her. And her eagerness certainly was baffling and encouraging at the same time. How would he ever manage to not embarrass the two of them? Perhaps, if he kept his clothes on, it would help. He sat down on the side of the bed and kicked off his shoes.
“There’s plenty of room,” she said with a shy smile.
“Compared to what? A coffin?”
The woman had the temerity to snigger.
“I wasn’t joking,” he protested.
“Of course, you weren’t.”
“Grr.” He turned around and into position directly behind her, who, for some unknown reason, decided to wriggle into his portion of the bed. “You’re taking some of my space.”
“No, just getting comfortable,” she replied, giving a wiggle of her hips which connected with his groin.
He swore under his breath as his groin responded without his permission, straining against the confinement of his jeans. Lord, how he wanted her. She was actually teasing him. Why? Surely she had to know the effect she had on him.
He groaned. “Good night, Miranda.”
His erection hardened further. Surely she had to be aware.
The sound of her breathing quickened. She was aware.
“Sorry,” he muttered, his own heart beat hammering in his chest. Could she feel that too?
She twisted a bit and looked at him over her shoulder. “It’s not your fault. The bed’s so small and we’re just so c-close. I’ll go back to the chair.” She tried to rise, but he restrained her.
“No,” he rasped. “Stay, please. I want to feel your body next to mine. Wanting you is driving me crazy.” He levered up on his elbow, leaned forward and touched her neck softly with his lips.
A sharp intake of breath.
“I won’t hurt you. I would never—”
“I know.” Her breath came in ragged gasps. “But we can’t. Jamie.”
“Come with me.”
Randi eased from the bed, dazed by the heat of her body’s response to David’s. She placed her hand in his and followed him into the bathroom and shut the door behind them.
“Now,” David said, lowering his lips to hers, and a blaze of desire ripped through her body weakening her knees. She backed away and gazed up into his eyes. The night light she’d thought to include for Jamie gave off just enough light for her to see the look of surprise on his face.
“Am I moving too fast?” David groaned. “We don’t have to do anything, but I’m dying of wanting you.”
“I need to catch my breath.” She clung to his body, her legs still limp as worn out fiddle strings. She trusted him, was already in love with him. Could she—should she—give into a single night of lust?
“I won’t hurt you. I’m not Stefan.”
“I know.” She buried her face in his chest and inhaled his male scent. His erection was rigid and pressed firmly against her belly.
“I won’t do anything you don’t want me to do. You can go back to bed—I’ll die—but you can.”
She giggled. “No pressure?” She gazed up at him and smiled. “I wouldn’t want to be responsible for your death.” Her heart banged against her chest wall like a cymbalist gone mad. Was she dreaming? Was she really about to make love with David?