SHE CAN RUN#1 Bestselling Romantic Suspense #1 Bestselling Mystery/Thriller 2012 Thriller Award nominee for Best First Book over 150,000 copies sold!
One bad decision turned a single mom into a fugitive.
Ten months ago, Elizabeth Baker uncovered a dangerous secret about her politician husband—a secret that nearly got her killed. Now she and her children are running for their lives. When Beth is hired as the caretaker of a remote Pennsylvania estate, she dares to hope she has found a corner of the world where Congressman Richard Baker can’t find them. But when her new boss dies suddenly and his nephew inherits the estate, Beth is faced with outwitting a former homicide detective who is very smart, very suspicious—and very attractive.
Forced into retirement by an injury and grieving the loss of his uncle, Jack O’Malley is unprepared to share his new home with a strange woman and her two kids. He is even less prepared for the instantaneous attraction he feels whenever Beth enters the room. She is beautiful, intelligent, kind…and obviously terrified of someone or something. As Jack’s investigation uncovers the shocking details of Beth’s past, the rural community is shaken by the murder of a local woman Driven by instinct and desire, Jack is determined to keep Beth and her children safe, even if doing so means putting his heart—and his life —on the line.
ReviewsSHE CAN RUN was nominee for BEST BOOK of 2011 in the action-adventure romantic suspense category! “In her debut romantic suspense, Leigh carefully weaves the subplot of a serial killer with the main plot of an abused wife on the run and successfully ties the threads in a thrilling conclusion… Leigh’s tight, consistent plotting marks her as an author to watch.” ~Publisher’s Weekly REVIEW
“SHE CAN RUN starts with a bang and doesn’t let up. Action packed, sexy, storming with plot twists, this novel reminds of my own early work. I couldn’t put it down!” ~Maggie Shayne, New York Times Bestselling Author of TWILIGHT FULFILLED “… a thrilling read straight through to the last page.” ~4 Stars from RT Book Reviews “… a fantastic story that is fast paced and gripping.” ~Midwest Book Reviews “SHE CAN RUN is a fast-paced, riveting romantic thriller…” ~5 stars from Jersey Girl Book Reviews at The Romance Reviews
“Danger is in the air in this highly entertaining, passionate, engrossing thriller!”~5 Stars from Geri’s Book Reviews
“Leigh hooks readers from page one, creating a well-crafted and intricate suspense plot that will not disappoint.” ~ Romance Novel News
“Riveting and full of passion, SHE CAN RUN, is a fast-paced, multi-layered novel that will grip your heart and leave you on the edge of your seat in suspense. ” ~ LeeAnnabelle
“The plot is FANTASTIC. .. It was one of those books that I did not want to end because it was so good.” ~ Smitten with Reading
“…a good all-around read, and perhaps not one to be started late at night and home alone.” ~ Night Owl Reviews
“Readers of romantic suspense would most certainly enjoy this exciting story.” ~ 4 Stars from Long and Short Reviews
“…a gripping romance/thriller.” ~The Minding Spot
May 2011 – SHE CAN RUN has sold over 100,000 copies and has spent 66 days in the top 100 bestsellers of all Amazon Kindle books.
April, 2011 – SHE CAN RUN hits #8 spot on the Amazon Kindle Bestseller List.
December 4, 2011 – SHE CAN RUN is the #1 Hot New Release in Kindle Romantic Suspense!
November 29, 2011 - SHE CAN RUN makes the Kindle Bestselling Romantic Suspense list one day after release!
November 1, 2011 – SHE CAN RUN is a Fresh Fiction Fresh Thrill
November 1, 2011 - SHE CAN RUN is a Review’s Choice at Midwest Book Review.
November 1, 2011 – SHE CAN RUN is a Must Read from Jennifer Vido of Jen’s Jewels.
October 10, 2011 – Publisher’s Weekly calls Melinda “an author to watch.” Read the entire review here.
June 27, 2011 – SHE CAN RUN is listed with the most-anticipated upcoming releases in RT Book Review’s Forewords – The Books Before The Buzz.
Beth’s hand trembled. Her knuckles hovered an inch from the recessed oak panel. The office door was closed, which meant Richard didn’t want to be disturbed. She glanced at the box in her hand, delivered by messenger just moments before. It must be important. Would Richard be angry if she interrupted him? Or angrier if she didn’t? Her stomach clenched. He’d be angry no matter what she did.
With a hitched breath, she rapped lightly. The latch hadn’t caught properly and the door swung open. Beth froze, paralyzed by the scene before her.
Confusion shifted into comprehension, and fear turned her insides to ice water.
Could she slip out before he noticed her? She eased backward, but Richard sensed her presence. He turned and stared. Their gazes locked for a few seconds, his feral, hers panicked. The lion and the gazelle.
Then he grabbed the crystal letter opener on his desk and lunged.
She couldn’t leave the house. Her children were upstairs. She needed a weapon. Her eyes locked on the kitchen doorway ten feet away.
His Italian loafers scraped the wood floor of the hall behind her as he fought for traction. The rubber soles of her sneakers fared better. She almost outran him. Almost.
At the threshold, he caught her in a flying tackle. She flung her hands out. Pain shot through her wrists and palms as she braced her fall before her face slammed into the tile.
After all this time wondering if he’d eventually kill her, there was now no more doubt. If she didn’t get away, she was dead.
Panting, on all fours, he pulled on her legs. She donkey-kicked backwards, catching him on the side of the face. He grunted. His grip loosened, and she belly-crawled forward a few inches before his hand closed around her calf.
She raised her chin and eyed the knife drawer, an impossible ten feet away on the other side of the room. In a frantic visual sweep, her peripheral vision caught the cordless flashlight plugged into the outlet on her left.
She kicked at his fingers. They jerked open. Pulling a knee under her body, she pushed forward and yanked the flashlight from the wall. Richard crawled closer and slashed at her middle. Her skin registered a flash of agony, then went numb.
Without losing momentum, she turned over and swung the flashlight in an arc toward his head. Metal clanged against bone.
His eyes widened in shock before his body went limp.
Shaking, Beth scrambled out from under his torso. Blood seeped through her silk blouse.
Lungs heaving, she rooted through the odds-and-ends drawer and pulled out a roll of duct tape. She rolled him to his side, forced his wrists behind his back, and taped them together. As an extra precaution, she secured his hands to a heavy table leg, then bound his ankles. She slapped a final piece of tape across his mouth. Richard wasn’t going anywhere until the cook arrived in the morning.
Adrenaline and nausea coursed through Beth as she glanced at the clock. She had exactly ten hours to vanish.