Spotlight: On His Watch by Susanne Matthews - @jandsmatt
On His Watch
by Susanne Matthews
Romantic Suspense
Published by Crimson Romance

What starts as a quiet evening alone watching football turns into the night from hell for FBI agent Jason Spark, who is covering sheriff duties for his honeymooning brother. He thought the 911 call was a butt dial but instead stepped into a bloodbath, complete with writing on the wall. It’s a scene straight out of a slasher movie—a dead physician, his son, and his wife so badly beaten, it’ll be a miracle if Nikki Hart survives.


When Nikki Hart awakes from a coma, she’s terrified. She doesn’t know her name, recognize her face, or remember anything about herself and her past. She clings to the memory of the angel who comforted her in her darkest moments, but no one in the world she wakes up in resembles the good guy.


Evidence in the case leads Jason to The Butcher, a hired assassin usually contracted by the Sicilian mob, a man who doesn’t quit until the job’s done. News of Nikki’s recovery puts her in the killer’s sights again. Jason will do whatever it takes to protect the woman he’s learning to love. But can he save her from a vicious killer intent on earning his million dollar fee and his employer bent on revenge?


And when the smoke clears, can Nikki ever forgive the secret role he played in her injuries?


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The sound of breaking glass coming from downstairs shattered the stillness. Nikki tensed. Had the sound come from the kitchen? Had she left a window open? She’d shut the bedroom window a few moments ago because the wind had picked up and its whistling sound bothered her. Could it have knocked over the crystal vase of roses Sam had sent her this morning? Perhaps Mrs. Olsen’s tabby had jumped in the window and knocked the vase over. The cat had been a regular visitor when the previous owners had lived here, and he saw no reason to curtail his visits. She’d almost had a heart attack the last time he entered, bringing her a gift—a dead mouse—and Danny had laughed himself silly at “Mommy’s girliness.” Sam, not an animal lover, had threatened to poison the animal if it came into the house again. If the cat had broken the vase, its days were numbered.

 Or what if someone was in the house? She’d noticed a lot of strangers in town, some looking more unkempt than others. There were plenty of family campers, but every now and then, she’d seen so-called gold prospectors combing the Larosa hills. Trudy, Mandy’s best friend Lily’s mother, had said they were harmless but to a girl like Nikki from San Francisco, dirty, half-starved men meant trouble. They could easily be junkies desperately needing a fix.

She took a deep breath. She didn’t hear any other suspicious sounds. As Sam would say, she was letting her imagination run wild. Most likely it was one of Larosa’s minor quakes that had caused a glass to slip off the table. Just a few miles off the San Andreas Fault, the town was constantly trembling. She barely noticed the Earth’s slight shaking anymore.

 Even though she’d convinced herself nothing was amiss, Nikki tiptoed to the guest room, got down on all fours, and peeked under the bed. Mandy was asleep. The child slept like the dead once she was out. Nikki reached for the flashlight, turned it off, and used the bed to leverage her body upright again.

She picked up the cell phone she’d left on the dresser earlier, made sure it was on in case Sam called, and dropped it into the right pocket of her pajama top. Carrying the flashlight, she slipped out of the room, closing the door softly behind her.

Maybe getting a dog’s a good idea. It would keep the damn cat out of the house.

Nikki stood still in the hallway and listened. The only thing she could hear was the sound of the television in the den. Someone was buying a vowel.

She reached Danny’s room and opened the door. When she saw his bed was empty, she relaxed and shook her head in resignation. As much as it annoyed her to admit it, this time Sam was right. Her imagination did tend to look for boogeymen where there weren’t any. Clearly her eight-year-old and his bottomless pit of a stomach had decided to have another bedtime snack. No doubt he was the culprit. She left the room and placed the flashlight on the hall table where it usually sat in case of a power outage.

“What did you break this time?” she called as she headed down the stairs. “I swear, you’re like a bull in a china shop.”

The sound of the garage door opening indicated Sam’s arrival. Although the clinic was nearby, since he carried major opiate drugs back and forth, Sam always took his car to work. He’d enter the house through the garage, leaving his lab coat and shoes out there and washing his hands at the sink he’d had installed for that purpose.

“Let’s get this cleaned up before your father comes in.” She turned the corner into the kitchen and stopped cold.

The fridge door was open, the pitcher of orange juice shattered on the floor beside what was left of her crystal vase full of roses, the red petals vanishing in her son’s blood. So much blood! Danny lay there, his head at an awkward angle, his eyes open, looking into the face of death. A scream froze in her throat as arms grabbed her from behind, and the sting of the knife bit into her upper back.

Reviews for On His Watch:
Georgianna Simpson's review 
Jul 20, 14
5 of 5 stars
bookshelves: must-reads 
Read in July, 2014

Move over Alfred Hitchcock, this wonderful suspense/romance is a must read if you love action and romance all in an incredibly well written bundle! If I could rate this truly…this would be off my scale!
This magnificent story had FBI Special Agent Jason Spark helping out his brother (the sheriff of the little town of Larosa) while he and his new wife were on their honeymoon. Dispatcher and everyone thinking the 911 call was a prank or “butt dial” was normal, his brother had responded to at least a dozen of them that month, and nothing bad ever happens in the sleepy little town of Larosa…. NOT!
He finds a scene of grim murder and so much more…then finds the woman on the floor is not quite dead. I’m not doing spoilers; this is just too magnificent a tale to miss.
Suzanne Matthews has written some really great books, I loved In Plain Sight and Just for the Weekend. Both were wonderful stories, but this a completely different step up in levels. I actually feel this may be better than a Hitchcock …as it has much more romance and an HEA, which, for me, makes it that much better. However, the twists and crimes within crimes of this marvelously written tale is breath taking!
The hero is a compelling and yet very human, real guy. The victim a wonderful woman with so much to face it’s …ahhh. The attraction as he tries to protect her and her daughter from the monsters is the stuff dreams are made of! OOPS…I said no more spoilers!
It took a bit more than my favorite wine this time, something a little stronger to keep me from chewing what’s left of my “after gardening” nails off. You won’t want to put this down so try to have a “no interruption” period. But if you have to…ok, just do yourself a solid and read it!
Enjoy everyone, I certainly did – you won’t be able to help yourself!

About The Author:

Susanne Matthews was born and raised in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada.  She graduated from the local high school with honors and went to Carleton University where she achieved a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in English and History. She later continued her studies with a Bachelor of Education from Queens University.  She worked as an educator for more than 30 years before retiring.

Susanne has always been an avid reader of all types of books, but always with a penchant for happily ever after romances. In her imagination, she travelled to foreign lands, past and present, and soared into the future. Today, she has made her dreams come true. She now gets to spend her time writing, so she can share her adventures with her readers. She loves the ins and outs of romance, and the complex journey it takes to get from the first word to the last period of a novel. As she writes, her characters take on a life of their own, and she shares their fears and agonies on the road to self-discovery and love.

Since April 2013, Susanne has released three novels with Crimson Romance Publisher, Fire Angel, In Plain Sight, which are romantic suspense, Just ForThe Weekend, a contemporary romance set at a sci-fi convention in Las Vegas and Echoes of the Past a /romance/suspense. With a dash of the paranormal in it. As well, Susanne co-writes with another Canadian author under the name Misty Matthews. They have a novella, Grand Slam, released by Sweet Cravings Publishing.

Susanne and her husband of more than 40 years live busy lives. They have three children and five grandchildren. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, chatting on the Internet with her writer friends, and hearing from her readers.

Follow Susanne on her:  Website    Blog    Facebook page    Twitter @jandsmatt
Amazon author page    and    Goodreads author page
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