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Final Resort

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Final Resort

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Ava Stanton has no need for love or tales of hidden treasure--until her uncle is kidnapped at her family's ski resort. Now she needs help from professional treasure hunter Luca Gage...the man she'd...
Ava Stanton has no need for love or tales of hidden treasure--until her uncle is kidnapped at her family's ski resort. Now she needs help from professional treasure hunter Luca Gage...the man she'd...
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Description-


  • Ava Stanton has no need for love or tales of hidden treasure--until her uncle is kidnapped at her family's ski resort. Now she needs help from professional treasure hunter Luca Gage...the man she'd tried to forget. Signs point to a fortune hidden in the mountain, and Ava and Luca need to find her uncle before his assailant finds them. As their search for treasure draws them closer together, Ava must decide how long she'll run from love. She doesn't have much time, because something is buried under Whisper Mountain--and someone is willing to do anything to get to it.

Excerpts-
  • From the book



    Ava Stanton jumped when a bevy of quail scattered as she got out of the car, snow whisking in tiny puffs under their feet. One shot her a beady-eyed look as if to ask why in the world a woman would be out on the remote mountain road by herself, especially as another wave of winter storms rolled in across the Sierras. Ava wondered the same thing, pulling her knit cap farther down over her short blond hair. The family of quail left a profound silence behind as they moved away. In the distance, she caught the sound of skiers on the slopes of the neighboring Gold Summit Lodge which butted up against Whisper Mountain Resort property.

    Won't be our property much longer.

    The thought sent a wave of despair through her. She shook it off. Too much coffee. Too little sleep. She was fatigued mentally and physically from the extra skiing classes she'd been teaching in Westbow, a town about twenty miles away where she rented a room. A useless effort. Hadn't made a dent in the debt that buried Whisper Mountain.

    The sky was cloudy and ominous. Shadows shifted on the lumps of snow that had collected on the steep slope overlooking an iced-over Melody Lake at the periphery of the Whisper Mountain Resort property.

    She did not know the real name of the lake, only the nickname given to the small body of water by her uncle the day they'd scattered her mother's ashes there, accompanied by the mournful singing of the birds. Melody Lake. How often she'd visited, watching the seasons morph from summer to the white cocoon of winter, the water gradually sealing over like her own grief. Sealed over, but still just as present.

    The delicate cover of ice sparkled at her.

    Thin ice.

    How appropriate. Whatever her uncle Paul was involved in this time, he was no doubt teetering on the edge of another disaster. There was hardly much left to lose. Whisper Mountain was officially defunct, closed at the cusp of the ski season because there was no longer money enough to maintain the slopes and lodge. They'd kept the toboggan run open the past several years, but now there was not even money to keep that going. Thanks in part to Uncle Paul's penchant for disastrous get-rich-quick schemes, the land would have to be sold without further delay. Looking along the graceful peaks adorned with white-crusted fir trees, her heart squeezed painfully. It was still Stanton-owned, at least for a few more months.

    Again she looked toward the distant slopes of Gold Summit, partially owned by the wealthy Gage family. The rumor mill held that Luca, one of the sons, and his sister were visiting. Luca's green eyes and infectious grin twirled in her memory. She'd read that he'd started a treasure hunting business. The perfect job for a guy perpetually in motion. When times were better, her father had frequently hosted marshmallow roasts attended by Wyatt Gage and his then-teen children. Happy days. Long gone.

    She got back into the car to check her phone. She reread Paul's old text, replete with errors.

    Found my purl. Meet me at yer mothers lake. Secret.

    What was it this time? Uncle Paul referred to his "pearl" for as long as she'd known him, a term applied to every treasure in the long list he'd pursued over the years. A new stock market tip? An undiscovered platinum mine that would save their bankrupt Whisper Mountain Resort? His latest woman? During his last phone call, he refused to talk other than to say he'd contact her soon. Not like the jovial Uncle Paul, the trickster, the showman.

    She caught the sound of a set of boots crunching down the road. Uncle Paul appeared, wild black hair threaded with silver curling from...

About the Author-
  • Dana is a 2009 American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year finalist and an award winner in the Pacific Northwest Writers Literary Contest. Her novel, Betrayal in the Badlands, won a 2010 Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award. She has enjoyed writing a mystery series for Barbour Books and more than ten novels to date for Harlequin's Love Inspired Suspense line. Dana loves feedback from her readers. Contact her at www.danamentink.com

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    Steeple Hill
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