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Authors: Karen Robards

Tags: #Suspense, #Mystery, #Romance

Paradise County

BOOK: Paradise County
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Paradise County
Robards, Karen
Atria Books (2001)
Acclaim for KAREN ROBARDS and her bestselling fiction
“One of the most popular voices in women’s fiction.” —
Newsweek
“Not to be missed.” —
The Philadelphia Inquirer
“It is Robards’ singular skill of combining intrigue with ecstasy that gives her romances their edge.” —
Lexington Herald-Leader
(KY)
B
estselling author Karen Robards delivers an unforgettable tale of romantic suspense, as she uncovers the long-buried secrets and dangerous passions of
Paradise
County
The rolling fields of Shelby County are home to some of the finest horseflesh and bluest blood in Kentucky. With its rural beauty and tranquil lifestyle, it is easy to see why the locals call it Paradise County. But beneath the serene exterior lies a dark underside, and an evil that threatens everyone who touches it.
Alexandra Haywood and her younger sister, Neely, have always loved Whistledown, the family’s magnificent Shelby County horse farm. After their billionaire father’s sudden and tragic death, the devastated Alex returns to Whistledown to try to make peace with her memories—and to oversee the selling of their gorgeous home. For the family fortune is now a shambles and, like almost everything else the Haywoods own, Whistledown has to go. But Joe Welch, the sexy, handsome farm manager, refuses to cooperate. When Alex fires him, he tells her he has an unbreakable contract and can’t be let go.
For years Joe has worked to make Whistledown’s stables flourish while he struggled to keep his own dreams alive, and no rich rhymes-with-witch is going to threaten his livelihood—or his family life. Ever since his wife betrayed him years ago, Joe has raised his three kids alone and did it damn well. Now, his always dependable sixteen-year-old son Eli has become hopelessly infatuated with teenage wild child Neely. Joe refuses to let his boy get caught up with Neely—a nose stud and penchant for illegal substances among her less desirable traits—and he tells Alex in no uncertain terms.
Sparks of rage give way to a fiery attraction when Joe and Alex meet head-on. But just as a volatile passion begins flaring between them, the discovery of a shocking murder with ties to the past rocks the county—and cuts frighteningly close to home when Neely and Eli disappear.
Alex and Joe have only each other to rely on as they search frantically for their loved ones. What they don’t know is that they are racing against time, too. Because the evil that lurks beneath the bucolic surface of Paradise County has once again raised its gruesome head—and now Alex is targeted as the next victim.
KAREN ROBARDS is the national bestselling author of more than twenty novels, including
Ghost Moon
and
The Midnight Hour.
She lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with her husband, Doug, and their three sons.
A Literary Guild Selection
A Doubleday Book Club Selection
A Rhapsody Book Club Selection
Also Available from Simon & Schuster Audio
Author photo by Brian Velenchenko
Copyright © 2000 Pocket Books

Paradise
County

Other titles by Karen Robards

Ghost Moon

The Midnight Hour

The Senator’s Wife

Walking After Midnight

Heartbreaker

Hunter’s Moon

Dark of the Moon

This Side of Heaven

Maggy’s Child

One Summer

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This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

POCKET BOOKS, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020

www.SimonandSchuster.com

Copyright © 2000 by Karen Robards

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever. For information address Pocket Books, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020

ISBN: 0-671-78645-8

eBook ISBN: 978-0-7434-2455-4

First Pocket Books hardcover printing November 2000

POCKET and colophon are registered trademarks of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

This book is dedicated with love to my husband Doug, and our three boys, Peter, Christopher, and Jack.

It is also dedicated to Caroline Tolley and her new son, John Andrew Malabre, Jr.; Lauren McKenna, who was patient; and Steve Axelrod and Damaris Rowland, who believed.

Contents

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Five

Chapter Twenty-Six

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Chapter Thirty

Chapter Thirty-One

Chapter Thirty-Two

Chapter Thirty-Three

Chapter Thirty-Four

Chapter Thirty-Five

Chapter Thirty-Six

Chapter Thirty-Seven

Chapter Thirty-Eight

Chapter Thirty-Nine

Chapter Forty

Chapter Forty-One

Chapter Forty-Two

Chapter Forty-Three

Chapter Forty-Four

Chapter Forty-Five

Chapter Forty-Six

Chapter Forty-Seven

Chapter Forty-Eight

Chapter Forty-Nine

Chapter Fifty

Chapter Fifty-One

Chapter Fifty-Two

Chapter Fifty-Three

Chapter Fifty-Four

Chapter Fifty-Five

Chapter Fifty-Six

Chapter Fifty-Seven

Chapter Fifty-Eight

Chapter Fifty-Nine

Epilogue

Paradise
County

One

BOOK: Paradise County
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