When nineteen-year-old Maggie flies to Rome on a surprise visit to help her big brother, Paul, she leaves some wreckage behind. She and her mother are estranged, and Maggie even broke up with her boyfriend right before she boarded the plane. But she’s determined to rescue her usually-independent and tough brother, who has no idea what to do now that his pregnant Italian girlfriend has left him.
If Paul is surprised to see his sister arrive unannounced, his buddy and fellow Marine, Luke, is even more so. The only place Maggie can stay is with Luke and his wife, and he—polite but secretive—hadn’t expected guests.
But the biggest problem is that security-expert Luke wants to keep an eye on Maggie as she sets out to find Paul’s girlfriend.
It all seems so innocent at first—meet Paul’s ex, Eleana, and explain the baby’s importance to the family and how much they want to know the child—but things shift quickly: Eleana’s new boyfriend has possible Mafia ties, Luke’s past is riddled with ghosts, Maggie’s own past and loss cloud her judgment, and she also finds herself drawn more and more to Luke, ring on his finger or not.
Only when terrible violence erupts and her mother and ex-boyfriend arrive does Maggie understand what new wreckage she has created, and only then do the real rescues begin.
In this suspenseful debut with a firecracker romance, Michelle Gilliam introduces a sassy, naïve heroine who leads with her heart—but who just might manage to save them all.
The lake reminded me of the time my dad took me to the
Bahamas. We had snorkels in our mouths when we saw it, a black eye
against reflecting mirrored scales. I almost missed the row of white
teeth before Daddy pushed me behind him. I knew to swim as fast as I
could to shore. Twenty feet away, I stood in ankle-deep water and
watched. The barracuda's shadow spanned longer than my dad's body.
I stood there watching them stare each other down, neither of them
moved. Its mouth could take my dad's arm in one bite. He had saved
me, but I was powerless to save him.
My dad backed up to shore without taking his eyes off the
barracuda. I saw the shadow leave, and my dad stood in knee-deep
water and walked over to me.
"Did you see that? He couldn't take his eyes off my watch.
Probably thought I was a fish, but then decided I wasn't and left."
I grabbed him and held him tight. I couldn't survive, I thought,
if something happened to him.
When I did lose him at nine years old, I thought for a long time
life was over. But, another day came, even though I asked it not to. My
stomach growled, even though I told it to shut up. I woke, went to
school, met new people, and time changed me.
Purchase sites are:
MICHELLE GILLIAM is a Registered Nurse. She began writing poetry, flash fiction, and short stories in 2003, but it was the gargantuan task of a novel that thrilled her the most. She has three sons and spends her time with biological and church families, watching her sons’ college football games, traveling, and not least, reading and writing. ROMAN RESCUE is her first novel. Michelle lives in Knoxville, Tennessee.