Soldier's Redemption Online - Alice Sharpe
CAST OF CHARACTERS
Cole Bennett—This ex-soldier is in Kanistan for one reason only: to exact retribution on the man responsible for destroying his family. He’ll do whatever it takes to accomplish this goal, even if it means breaking his own heart.
Skylar Pope—Fiercely loyal to her family, she’s in Kanistan to help her ailing aunt. Meeting a dashing compatriot on one of the worst days of her life is just a happy coincidence, isn’t it?
Luca Futura—Skylar’s uncle is as ruthless in business dealings as he is kind with his family, especially his wife, to whom he hums a lullaby with a familiar tune. So which is he, gentleman or monster? Or is he both?
Eleanor Ables Futura—A strong artist when healthy, her current treatments have left her fragile and vulnerable. Skylar will protect her, no matter what the cost.
Aneta Cazo—This coworker blames her current distraction on a new romance. It’s soon obvious it runs much deeper than that.
Ian Banderas—Futura’s assistant is a greedy man with a huge ego. How far will he go to get what he wants?
Svetlana Dacho—A grieving mother desperate to find her missing daughter. She knows exactly who to target. Or does she?
Irina Churo—Cole knows he’s lucky this policewoman is almost as determined as he is to get to the truth.
Roman—The man from the past, the man suspected of delivering the fatal blow to Cole’s family, the man with the answers, the man no one can find—until now.
Dasha—Who is this striking brunette and what part does she play?
Katerina—A friend of the missing girl, she’s decided to get to the bottom of what happened. Now she’s scrambling to save her own life.
This book is dedicated to my sister,
Mary Louise Shumate,
With undying love
Skylar Pope opened her aunt’s art gallery as she had for most of the past six weeks by unlocking the black wrought-iron gate on the alley-side door and cinching it against the wall. The glass door came next and then the alarm system until at last she was able to enter. The heels of her boots clicked against the polished wood floors as she moved through the workroom into the gallery itself, switching on lights as she strode toward the front of the store.
Once there, she unlocked and opened that door, as well, and stepped out onto the sidewalk of Traterg, carrying with her a sandwich board that advertised the gallery was open for business. She set it up on the sidewalk as usual, shivering as a cold winter wind blew around her legs and teased up the hem of her dress.
Back inside, she returned to the workroom where she took off her coat and deposited that and her shoulder bag in her locker. She took a second to smooth her hair and the dress she’d finished making just the night before, a swirl of lavender and purple with vibrant shots of yellow. The garment was of her own design, one of her better efforts. The fact was she made almost everything she wore with the exception of socks, shoes and underwear. That she hadn’t been told to modify her appearance when asked to help out was just another indication of how ill Aunt Eleanor was.
Skylar opened the vault next and took out a tray of jeweled shells that she tucked into a window display along with several glass sculptures. There were a few other pricey items that she retrieved and set in place, delighting in the sparkle and quality of each.
A pot of coffee, very strong, the way most of the citizens of the small Balkan country of Kanistan preferred it, came next. While it brewed, Skylar opened the square pink box she’d brought along from the bakery down the street and arranged jam-filled cookies on a handblown glass platter infused with replications of the small gold-and-red blossoms that were Kanistan’s national wildflower. Her aunt had made this piece as she had many of the others in the gallery. A flip of a switch filled the air with Verdi.
The store looked and sounded elegant. It was not exactly to Skylar’s taste, which tended to be a little livelier, but it suited her aunt and the mostly kind of stuffy people who came here to purchase art pieces. Skylar thought briefly of getting out her iPod and listening to her own playlist but dismissed the idea. Her job was to greet customers and sell art, not cocoon away behind a sketch pad thinking