The Runaway Heiress
Published by: Berkley
Publication date: July 27th 2021
Genres: Romantic Suspense
A brave woman on the run from her vindictive husband faces a dangerous path in the thrilling new romantic suspense novel from Oscar-nominated actress Meg Tilly.
Sarah Patterson has been on the run for more than three years. She’s changed identities yet again in hopes of throwing her violent estranged husband, a police lieutenant, off her trail. Since she’s still legally married to him, and he is willing to bend any laws to get his hands on her inheritance, Sarah is worth far more to him dead than alive.
With a new name and fake ID papers, she lands a job as a personal assistant to none other than Hollywood’s golden boy director Mick Talford. He’s a difficult client but she senses hidden depths to him. Once Mick and Sarah combine forces in a desperate attempt to keep Sarah out of harm’s way, they build a strong bond . . . but with danger trailing them, is it enough to keep them both alive?
“Rachel . . .” The woman at the employment agency glanced down at the form on her clipboard.
Sarah got to her feet. “Yes,” she said. “That would be me.”
“I’m Ellen Davis. This way, please.”
Sarah followed the woman into her office, mouth dry.
Ms. Davis flipped to the next page on her clipboard. Sarah could see over her shoulder that the woman was now reading the fake CV and reference letters Sarah had typed and printed at the public library that morning.
“Have a seat.” Ms. Davis gestured to a chair in front of her desk as she rounded it and sat down.
As Sarah sat, she surreptitiously slid her palms down along her thighs so the black dress pants could erase the slight dampness before clasping her hands in her lap.
The woman flipped to the last page, scanned it, then placed the clipboard on the desk in front of her. “Everything seems in order,” she said. “Your scores on the technical skills test were quite impressive. I don’t foresee a problem getting you placed. What sort of hours are you interested in working?”
“I’m pretty flexible. And it doesn’t have to be office work. Basically, I’ll take whatever job you have available.”
“Nights? Weekends? Long hours okay?”
“Huh . . . Interesting. Actually-” Ms. Davis’s fingers rapped a quick staccato on the desk as if she were playing descending scales on the piano.
“But I’m not interested in stripping or escort work or anything like that,” Sarah hastily added.
This was Hollywood after all. Best to make sure the woman hadn’t gotten the wrong idea.
Ms. Davis didn’t look up, her fingers flying over her keyboard. “Of course. Not to worry. We don’t handle that kind of ‘work placement.'” Then she swiveled slightly in her chair, eyes narrowing as she leaned forward, focused on her computer screen. “Ah! Here we go.” A huff of air that could have been laughter escaped her lips. “Well . . . it’s worth a try,” she murmured.
“Lord knows, he’s burned his way through all my other options.” Her birdlike gaze moved away from the screen to settle on Sarah’s face, taking in the dark-rimmed glasses. Luckily, the woman’s perusal didn’t linger on the mousy brown hair Sarah had re-dyed in the bathroom sink of the motel room last night.
Sarah looked back, keeping her expression a blank, calm canvas, a polite smile on her face, determined not to let her nerves peek through.
“Plain. Practical. No-nonsense. Might be just what the doctor ordered.” Ms. Davis nodded as her gaze traveled down the conservative cream blouse Sarah had steamed in the shower. She took in the black slacks, the sensible black pumps; then her gaze slid back up to Sarah’s face. “This position requires gumption, backbone, plenty of grit. No running for the hills just because the client has a few rough edges.”
“No, ma’am.” Sarah forced her hands to lie still in her lap. “I understand.”
The woman’s fingers rapped on the desk again. “Most of the specifications fit.” Her unblinking eyes narrowed to a laser-like focus. Suddenly she shrugged and then relaxed in her chair. “The job pays twenty-four dollars an hour. It’s live-in. Is that a problem?”
A problem? A heaven-sent gift from God was more like it. Sarah’s mind flashed to handing over her last hundred-dollar bill to pay for the motel last night. The eleven o’clock checkout meant returning to the motel after her visit to the library and packing all her belongings in the trunk of her car. She would have preferred for Charlie to have the run of the motel room, as he was not a fan of car travel. It wasn’t ideal, but she’d had to leave him in the car with the windows cracked open during this interview, yowling in his carrier bag as if he were being murdered. Didn’t have enough to cover another night, $56.95 to her name. “Live-in is fine. Preferable, actually.”
“Wonderful. When can you start?”
Sarah released the breath she’d been holding. “Whenever,” she said, as if she wasn’t in dire financial straits and planning on sleeping in her car tonight. “I could start today if you like?”
“Even better.” Ms. Davis scribbled something on a slip of paper. “Here’s the name and address. Mick Talford. Hopefully, Rachel, you’ll last longer than the previous assistants I’ve sent.”
Rachel? For a split second Sarah’s mind blanked. Oh yes! Rachel.
“I’ll do my best.” Sarah smiled in a reassuring manner even though her heart had skipped a beat.
Ms. Davis stood, rounded the desk, and handed the paper to Sarah. “The client is a talented director. Good luck,” she said, shaking Sarah’s hand. “You’ll need it.”
© Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Meg Tilly may be best known for her acclaimed Golden Globe-winning performance in the movie Agnes of God. Other screen credits include The Big Chill, Valmont, and, more recently, Bomb Girls and the Netflix movie War Machine, starring Brad Pitt. After publishing six standout young adult and literary women’s fiction novels, the award-winning author/actress decided to write the kind of books she loves to read: romance novels. Tilly has three grown children and resides with her husband in the Pacific Northwest. For more information, visit megtillyauthor.com.
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