the moment she inherits a priceless diamond and emerald necklace,
trouble follows Caroline Dupris. Toby, her husband, is murdered. Now,
another murder, perhaps a case of mistaken identity, appears linked to
Toby’s death. When Rob Tyler, Caroline’s one-time love interest,
suddenly reappears in her life, she is wary. Is Rob her savior or a man
after the royal cross?
life in jeopardy, Caroline escapes from Richmond, Virginia and heads to
a house she owns in South Carolina that is the secret hiding place for
the royal cross necklace. But danger follows her home and so does Rob.
When he appears, the necklace disappears making Caroline suspect Rob.
Still, with no one else to turn to, she must trust him. Is that trust a
mistake? Together, can they retrieve her precious family heirloom? Can
Caroline escape the stalker who has followed her to South Carolina?
Caroline paused by the door and reached for the side table where memory
told her a candle stood in place in a holder. Her fingers closed around
a tall wax taper. Relieved, she took a match from the attached packet
and struck it. Then, moments later, she held the flickering light in her
For a moment, Caroline leaned against the door and stared at the
furniture shrouded in irregular shadows. Little had changed since she
was last here. The same comfortable sofa stretched wide beneath the
double windows; the big chair with striped slipcover sat angled across
the far corner, near the sprawling brick hearth.
As Caroline gazed at the familiar scene that glimmered, dimly visible
in the moonlit room, a lump gathered in her throat. She tried without
success to swallow it back.
Four years. It had been almost four years since Caroline last entered
the house. After Toby's death, she never went back, never faced the
memories—good ones from the first year, unhappy ones after that.
But now she had no choice. She had to find the necklace she had hidden away for safe keeping.
More and more, she worried someone would break into the house and uncover the secret crevice.
She held the candle high and climbed the wide curving stairs that led to the second floor. At the doorway to the bedroom, their
bedroom—hers and Toby's from long ago, Caroline paused. She drew a deep
breath, then slipped inside and set the flickering candle with its
holder on the bedside table.
She had been homesick their first night in the farmhouse together, she
remembered. All night long, Toby cuddled her in his strong embrace,
telling her he would always love her. That was his first lie. He had
Dragging her gaze from the antique brass bed, Caroline turned toward
the closet, opened the door. Everything looked the same. Even the
outdated clothing that hung on wooden hangers. She swallowed hard.
Toby's shirts and jacket were where he had left them.
Caroline knelt beneath the clothing, and then ran her fingers along the
wall until she encountered the familiar wooden knob a few inches above
the floor. When she foud it, she twisted hard until a small section of
closet flooring rose beneath her hand.
Caroline’s heart hammered. Was the necklace still there?
She was almost afraid to look. She had not opened the crevice for many years.
What if it were gone?