Full Circle

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Sample Chapter

Jaded by too many close calls in her professional life, Josie Raintree returns to her roots with dreams of a simpler, less complicated life.

Before long, she accepts the position of acting sheriff, but only until the mayor can find a replacement – something he doesn’t try very hard to do. Ten months later, she is still the sheriff, but the quiet little town is shattered by a gruesome discovery!

Jack Rawlings grew up in Rawlings, Oklahoma, a community named for one of his distant ancestors. He’d known Josie when they were children, although she was eight years younger than he was, and he had often found himself the target of her many hair-brained pranks. Now he is back, retiring from a military career and looking for something – he isn’t even sure what. When he meets up again with Josie Raintree, he is dazed, for she has grown into a stunning, capable, determined woman – one he wants to possess and protect. He’d even put up with the smart-mouthed twelve-year-old she’s determined to adopt, if it could mean a future with her by his side.

As the body count increases, Josie makes a startling observation about the victims, and Jack has his work cut out for him if he’s to be successful in keeping her safe long enough to marry her.
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Sample Chapter

Prologue

Josie Raintree had an epiphany on her eighth birthday. She didn’t know what that was at the time, but that was the day she realized that she wasn’t like the other children in her third-grade class. She wasn’t going to have a birthday party.

She realized this during recess because she was so excited that she snuck back into her classroom expecting to see her teacher setting up for her party. All the children in her class were given a party on their birthday, right after recess. But Mrs. Thompson wasn’t putting up the streamers or setting out paper cups or plates. Her teacher looked up and noticed her and smiled.

"May I help you, Josie?" Mrs. Thompson asked.

"Am I going to have a party?" Josie asked.

Mrs. Thompson looked startled. "Oh, honey, I didn’t realize. Is it your birthday?"

Josie nodded.

"I’m sorry, Josie, if I had known, I would have brought you a cake."

"Don’t you give everyone a party?" Josie asked.

Mrs. Thompson shook her head. "No, honey, the parents bring in the cakes and the cupcakes and the party favors. I’ll tell you what, I’ll go out at lunchtime and pick up some cupcakes, and we’ll have a party this afternoon."

That’s when Josie realized that it wasn’t her teacher that made sure the kids in her class felt special on their birthdays; it was their parents. She didn’t have any parents, and she would never be special. She shook her head, backed out of the classroom and ran.

Her teacher ran after her, calling to her, but she ran. She left the playground, ran home, and she locked herself in her room.

Josie cried. She cried until she couldn’t cry anymore. She cried because she didn’t have a Momma or a Daddy. She cried because she would never get a pretty, ruffled dress for her birthday or get to wear the sparkly crown of a birthday child. She cried because no one cared that it was her birthday?except her.

After Josie was cried out, she wiped away her tears. She crawled into the little hidey-hole closet under the eaves of the house, and she pushed the door closed. No one would find her there, and no one would know that she was a forgotten child. Josie looked around her hidey-hole where she hid her prize possessions. She would like to be a superhero, like in her comic books, but she knew that wasn’t real.

She pushed aside her boxes of broken Barbies and play clothes. She didn’t want to be a girl anymore. She wanted to be more like a boy. Boys were tough; boys didn’t cry. She found her box of plastic cowboys and Indians and decided that’s what she would be?a cowboy. There were lots of cowboys in town; they showed up for the parades and the rodeos down at the fairground.

She would be a cowboy. Josie was a determined little girl, and set about getting what she wanted. She hacked off her long black braids with a pair of scissors. She found a set of cowboy guns and holsters and a pair of too big, used cowboy boots in the rummage sale room at the Church of God. It took her several weeks of swapping and sometimes swiping, to get her cowboy gear together. At last she had everything she needed: cowboy hat, guns, boots, and even spurs. All she needed was a horse, and she knew where she could get one. There was a slight problem?the horse didn’t belong to her. Jack Rawlings owned the horse she wanted, and he caught her dead to rights stealing his horse?three times.

Sixteen-year-old Jack Rawlings was considerably aggravated after chasing down his horse for the third time. He hauled Josie down off the back of his horse and delivered a light dose of discipline to her backside. He took the little hellion home and told her uncle, Mason Raintree, that he didn’t have the time to keep running after a hardheaded, smart-mouthed little kid, and to keep her off his daddy’s property.

Uncle Mason yelled at her and told her to get out of his sight. While Josie hid in her little hidey-hole, her uncle went back to drinking from that smelly bottle as he did every day. The next morning, all four of Jack’s truck tires were flat because someone had let the air out of them. Jack couldn’t prove Josie did it, but he knew, and so did she.

Josie Raintree watched Jack Rawlings grow up and mature into a young man through the eyes of a little girl eight years younger. Josie liked to keep a safe distance between them because every time Jack was near, she got into trouble. It was Jack who caught her stealing a little bottle of nail polish from the general store, marched her into the storeroom, stuck her nose in a corner and wouldn’t let her out for a whole hour. He told her the punishment for stealing could be a lot worse if he called the sheriff.

Jack was the one who caught her at the top of the town water tower in the middle of the night. He climbed all the way up and carried her back down, her skinny ten-year-old arms wrapped tightly around his neck. He sat her down on the grass and talked to her a long time about behaving and accepting the consequences for her misbehavior. He scolded her about getting into so much trouble?trouble that could get her seriously injured?and he took her by the hand and walked her home. When she was fourteen, it was Jack who pulled her out of a parked car, away from the boy in it, and put the fear of God into her horny male companion.

It was always Jack’s eyes that she remembered. They were a reflection of disappointment, hurt, and a lot of the time, temper. All told, Josie lost count of how many times Jack interceded to keep a little girl in desperate need of boundaries and stability, out of trouble. For seven years, she carefully plotted out her revenge plans but she rarely dared to enact them. Sometimes she tried to get him back, and that’s why she knew that revenge against Jack Rawlings was not a good idea. He always knew who was behind the mischief, and he would come looking for her. That was why when Josie saw him coming in her direction, she took off in the opposite direction.

Jack Rawlings continued to keep an eagle eye on Josie until she was fifteen, and then he did an awful thing. He left town and he never came back.

Jack went off to college, but before he graduated, he joined the Navy. Later, Josie heard he was a member of one of the elite SEAL teams. Most folks in town figured Jack would never come back because he didn’t get along with his family. Even when his father, Big Cal, died, Jack didn’t come home for the funeral. Some folks thought it was wrong, and shook their heads saying it was shameful. By that time, Josie was a senior in high school, so she did some research and discovered that Jack’s unit had deployed to the Middle East. She sent him a letter, but she never knew if he received it or not.

Eventually, Josie stopped thinking about Jack Rawlings. He’d been gone a long time, and he was part of her past. She grew up. Now, she wore a Stetson, a holstered gun, cowboy boots and a badge. But by no means was this merely the fulfillment of a childhood ambition. Josie Raintree was, in fact, the Sheriff of Rawlings, Oklahoma.

Chapter 1

Sheriff Raintree was on routine traffic patrol today along with Deputy Clay Tucker. She parked on one side of town while her deputy was on the other side. Both of their stations were near the schools, as those were the only places in town besides Main Street that they cared if anyone was speeding or not. It was usually easy duty in a small town of slightly over eighteen hundred people, which included some of the surrounding smaller towns that still carried their names, but had pretty much dried up and disappeared over time.

Rawlings was a small town. It had one main street that was slightly less than three-tenths of a mile long. Their town had the prerequisite number of businesses necessary to keep a small town going: grocery store, pharmacy, hardware store, feed store, pizza joint and sub-shop. There were other businesses. Some of the businesses had been there for decades handed down through the generations, others were new and time would tell if they lasted. Most of them still struggled in hard times, profited in better times, but they hung on. That’s what country people did; they coped and they struggled, but they didn’t give up. That simple fact was one of the many reasons Josie had returned to her hometown.

The irony was she had spent years working her butt off to get out of Rawlings. As the orphaned niece of the town drunk, she was the girl that no one expected to do anything worthwhile with her life. She spent years working at waitressing, data entry, and night janitorial work in office buildings. She had taken any extra jobs that had evening or grave-shift hours. She’d taken any hours that didn’t conflict with her classes. Weekends, she worked in the trades on home-renovation projects with tradesmen who earned extra money working their days off.

Josie began her quest to get out of Rawlings in high school and earned her way into an advanced placement program that paid for her first two years of college at a small Baptist University. She had transferred those credits to the University of Oklahoma where she received a specialty degree in criminal justice and investigation. After being accepted to and excelling at the state police academy, she had worked in Oklahoma City with the highway patrol for several years. Realizing she wanted more, Josie applied to a federal agency where after nearly a year of vetting, she was hired. She’d spent another year in training, and another eight years in service before handing in her badge and heading home.

Home, it turned out, was Rawlings after all. Josie had not come home to be Sheriff. She had come home for some peace.

The driver of a Jeep Wrangler pulled out of Clearwater Street, did a quick tap on the brake, but failed to come to a complete stop at the stop sign. Josie knew the vehicle was speeding. She pulled out and trailed the vehicle for four blocks before pointing her speed gun at it, and hitting her lights and siren.

The Jeep pulled over. She got out of the patrol car and walked up to the window, judging the situation as she approached. There was a big guy inside, but he wasn’t reaching for anything or making any quick moves. Josie tapped on the window. It buzzed down, and she looked straight into the chocolate velvet eyes of Jack Rawlings.

"Josie?" Jack questioned after a long stare at her before recognition kicked in. He had seen her picture on the town website, but it was a really bad picture and did not do her justice. He gave her a thorough all-male appraisal. Even decked out in the masculine uniform of a Sheriff, Josie Raintree was pure woman?an exceptionally beautiful woman. She had the heart-shaped face of her youth and the high cheekbones and jet-black hair that spoke of some distant Native American heritage. The slim nose, arched brows and naturally rose-hued lips were set into a dusky tanned complexion. She had a trim body, a confident stance, and, in spite of the uniform, he could see she had developed some curves. Her long hair hung down her back in a single neat braid.

"Jack, I didn’t know you were back," Josie said, removing her sunglasses and revealing smoky gray eyes. "You failed to stop at the stop sign at Clearwater and West Street, and you were going fifty miles per hour in a twenty-five zone. On top of that, you whizzed right through a school-crossing zone that was flashing yellow, which means the speed limit was fifteen. License, registration and proof of insurance, please."

Jack cranked his head around and looked down the street. Yep, yellow flashers were still going. He looked over to a new elementary school across from the flashers, and back to Josie. "You wouldn’t give a guy a break, would you? That wasn’t here the last time I was in town, and I wasn’t paying attention."

"It’s been a long time since you were in town, and some things do change even in Rawlings," Josie said. "This is a school zone, if it were anywhere else I might be more forgiving, but not in a school zone. As for admitting you weren’t paying attention?that’s a pretty lame excuse to give an officer of the law. May I have your documents, please?"

Jack produced the three required documents and handed them to her.

"Wait here, please," Josie said and returned to her car. Five minutes later, she handed him a ticket and recited the legalities about signing the ticket or being subject to arrest.

Jack took the pen automatically to sign, and saw the amount listed on the ticket. "Are you nuts? I’m not paying that!"

Josie didn’t look surprised or bothered by his statement. "The normal fine for speeding is doubled in a school zone, and when the yellow flashers are on, the fine is tripled. If you don’t know, the flashers mean children are either going to or leaving from the school premises. If you recall, we have many children in Rawlings who walk to and from school. We take the safety of those children seriously. If you refuse to sign the ticket, I will have to arrest and book you. This type of ticket is subject to six months in jail if you have to appear before the magistrate’s bench. You will appear before Justice Harris Montgomery."

"Harris Montgomery is still alive?" Jack questioned.

Josie’s lips twitched and almost formed a smile. "Yes, he’s still alive and I believe he recently celebrated his 75th birthday. He’s still as sharp as a tack, but he is getting crankier by the day. If I have to drag you in front of him, he will miss his favorite afternoon game shows on TV, and he won’t be pleased. It’s your choice."

"Welcome home to me," Jack quipped as he gave her a look of exasperation and signed the ticket.

"Drive more carefully, and don’t forget to stop by the courthouse to pay the ticket," Josie said as she ripped off his part of the ticket and handed it to him. She gave him a tip of her hat.

Jack leaned out the window as she walked back to her patrol car. "Josie?"

"What?"

"Anybody spanked your ass, lately?"

Josie stopped, turned and gave him a long assessing stare. "Not since you left, why?"

"I’m guessing you could use a good one," Jack said, grinning. "No telling how much trouble you’ve been in since I left."

"It’s been a long time, Jack," Josie said, tipping her sunglasses down and looking over the top of them. "I grew up, and if you were to try it now? well, all I can say is it would be a real shame that you survived all those years as a Navy SEAL unscathed, only to come home and get your gonads shot off."

* * *

Jack Rawlings parked his Jeep and walked the town where he had grown up. The town of Rawlings was named after a grandsire of his?five, six, maybe more generations back. He never could keep it straight because he never cared one way or the other. At six foot four, he was an imposing figure of hard, toned muscle. He worked hard to maintain his body as he needed to stay in shape for his job. Nineteen years was a long time, yet some people still recognized him. People who did remember asked if he was home for good. He couldn’t give them an answer. He didn’t know the answer himself. He hadn’t survived unscathed after all his years of service. He’d spent much of his time in dangerous combat zones and special missions, which was why he was here, now?on medical leave. They should have called it mental leave. He doubted any Navy psychiatrist was going to release him back to full-duty OIC (Officer in Charge) of a SEAL team. He had doubts they would release him back into his unit at all. If he couldn’t do the job, it was time to move on or get out. With only six months left to fulfill the requirements on a twenty-year retirement benefit package, he couldn’t see himself walking out now. He couldn’t see himself staying in, either.

Jack walked over to the courthouse to pay his ticket, and he had to deal with Wilma Sims. She was older than sin and still as uptight and pinched-mouthed as when he had sat in her sixth-grade classroom. She filled out the paperwork, scolding him the entire time as if he were still twelve years old. Having done his duty, he walked back outside and headed to his family property.

He was vaguely aware that the estate executor, Mr. Gilders, his father’s attorney, had made sure the taxes were paid, and that the land was leased out to other ranchers. Nineteen years was a long time to leave a property abandoned, and Jack had not been back since the day he had walked into the recruiter’s office. He was surprised when he drove in. The damage was not as bad as he had expected.

Someone had nailed plywood over the windows of the house, and there were padlocks on the front and side doors. The yard had been mown, and someone had kept it from becoming a wasteland of weeds. There was a pile of fallen limbs and brush in the field beside the house, accumulated for burning later. The fences looked the worse for wear, but they were still standing?mostly.

A Sheriff’s Department vehicle pulled up and parked behind his Jeep. Josie Raintree got out, walking to the front porch.

"I figured you might be heading out here and would need a key," she said, handing it to him. "The horse in your barn is mine, his name is Ozzie. I figured boarding him here was an even trade for keeping the vagrants and the vermin out, and keeping the place from falling apart. I patched the roof on the barn a year ago, but it needs a new one."

"You’ve been taking care of the place all these years?" Jack said.

Josie shook her head. "I left Rawlings two years after you did, but I, at least, came back occasionally. Uncle Mason was still here, so I tried to keep an eye on him. County services put him into a facility about ten years back to dry him out. He didn’t last long in there. Still, when I did manage to get back, I’d come out, pound in a few nails where needed, and crank up a mower.

"Sheriff Bowles was a good friend of your father’s and he kept an eye on this place, and later mine, when I moved out of state. He was the one that had it boarded up and kept watch over it. If you recall, he was not one to allow vandalism or thieving in his town. He ran this town with an iron fist and God help anyone who dared cross his path and break the law. When the County put Uncle Mason in that home and I left, the Sheriff did the same for my place. I put Denny Mosser on a yearly retainer to mow here and at my Uncle’s place in town and to keep a general eye on both places for needed repairs. When I took over for Sheriff Bowles a year ago, I also took on the job of watching out for this place and a few others. I opened it up and cleaned out a bunch of mice. Other than that, it didn’t look like anyone had vandalized or stolen anything. Not that I would have been able to tell, since I’d never been inside. But there didn’t seem to be any gaping holes where furniture should have been. I did toss anything and everything that mice could use for nesting material. I’m sorry, but it had to be done. There aren’t any couches, chairs, mattresses, drapes or the like in there anymore. People in town knew I was taking an interest in both places. Being a Fed put a scare into anyone who might have thought about breaking in."

"You were a Fed?" Jack asked, surprised.

"Yeah, was," Josie said with a half laugh, but she shifted her gaze from him to fields. "Well, if you’re home to stay, I’ll find somewhere to board Ozzie. A friend runs a riding and boarding place about four miles up the road. I’ll talk to her. Can you give me a few days to make the arrangements?"

"Leave him here," Jack said. "I don’t know how long I’m staying, but you’re welcome to use the barn. Thanks for looking out for the place."

"No problem," Josie said. "Welcome back, Jack."

* * *

Jack worked steadily at his place for the next three days. He tore the plywood off most of the windows and had the electricity turned on. He got the water pump working?the plumbing was loud, but water ran through the pipes. The old appliances kicked on, but he brought in a bar-sized refrigerator because he didn’t trust the old one. The place was surprising clean. There was an overall neatness to it despite a coat of dust over everything. There was no trash lying about; the cabinets were empty, and bottles of cleaning liquids were under the kitchen sink. Ancient linens and towels were clean and sealed in plastic tubs.

There were also dozens and dozens of disposable mouse and bug glue traps laid out everywhere, in cabinets and under the edges of old furniture. It seemed like every time he took a step?he was stepping in a glue trap. Josie! He grumbled and swore each time he had to peel one off and got sticky gunk on the soles of his shoes. He noticed several cats hanging around the barns and crumbling outbuildings. He also realized they must have been neutered and spayed because there weren’t any younger ones running around, and the one good barn wasn’t overrun with vermin.

He had not seen Josie again. Her horse was being cared for, but he hadn’t caught her out there. It was almost as if she were avoiding him.

Although Jack spent those three days reacquainting himself with his home and hometown, he had never felt more alone in his life. Solitude had never bothered him before. He was used to it and usually liked it, but that was before, when he didn’t have something eating away at his gut. Now, three days of solitude were more than enough for him, although to be honest, he had been talking to some of the old-timers he knew in town.

He went to the grocery and hardware stores, and haunted Cherilynn’s Caf?, thinking it was a logical place for the town sheriff to show up. He also spent some time at the local watering hole, Riley’s Tavern. Riley Connors owned it now. They had gone to high school together, and even run into each other occasionally in the Navy. However, as most transient men did, they’d eventually lost contact with each other. Kids he had gone to school with?now young men?hung out at the tavern. Some lounged around and complained about the lack of jobs and work. Others stopped in for a drink after they had finished their day’s work.

He had looked up a few select friends he actually remembered, Riley being one of them. Some women from his high school days had stopped by and put out some feelers. Some of the women at the bar had made some blatant passes. Jack had never had a problem attracting women, but he wasn’t interested at the moment with one exception. The woman who had peaked his attention seemed to be MIA.

Sick of his own company, Jack headed for town. He took a roundabout way and drove by the old Raintree house. The house was a quirky structure built about the same time as his parents’ house in the late l890s. It was a big place, nearly as big as his parents’ place, but didn’t have any of the ostentatious features of his old Victorian-style mansion, which had always been oddly out of place on the ranch.

The Raintree house looked almost whimsical; a combination of Queen Anne and Southern Plantation, with touches of Gothic Revival and even some Craftsman features added into the mix probably during a remodel at some point in its history. The house had towers and eyebrow windows, elaborate double porches on the front, balconies on the back, and lots of stained-glass windows. The clapboard siding was decorated with rows and rows of patterned shingles, and there was gingerbread millwork everywhere. The roofline was elaborate peaks and gables and detailed with slate designs that replicated the shingle designs. It was an architect’s nightmare, but it had always been one of his favorite places. Someone had picked all their favorite parts of different styles, stirred them up and built a house. It should have been an eyesore but somehow it worked in a quirky way.

As Jack approached the Raintree property, he slowed down and steered off onto the dirt shoulder. The entire house was surrounded by ladders and scaffolding, and it was being painted. Someone was renovating and breathing life back into the old Raintree house, which had been a unique, but mostly dilapidated house, when he had lived in Rawlings. Josie stood outside the house talking to a tall, lanky man and pointing out something. He got out of his Jeep and joined them.

"Hi." Josie’s smile was pure delight, her smoky gray eyes bright with excitement. "Jack, do you remember Jimmy Richards?"

The man she introduced laughed. He was a good-looking man with a tanned face and eyes surrounded by laugh lines from spending a lot of time outdoors squinting into the sun. He was beginning to get that bit of a paunch around his middle that men gained in their mid-thirties if they didn’t work hard at not gaining it. "If you don’t remember me, I sure remember you. You about scared me to death, and I was barely sixteen!"

Jack nodded realizing that this was the boy he’d caught groping Josie when she had been much too young to be going out with boys. "I remember," he said with a scowl.

Jimmy held up both his hands, but he was still smiling. "She’s been safe from me ever since, Scout’s Honor."

"Stop it," Josie said, laughing. "Jack, this is Jimmy Richards. Jimmy owns the general contracting company that is helping me put this place back together, and he’s been acting as a personal consultant when I need other tradesmen from the area."

The two men nodded to each other.

"I like to see these old places resurrected instead of torn down," Jimmy admitted. "It’s going to be a beauty when you’re done with it."

"How long is it going to take to finish the exterior painting?" Josie asked.

"We’ll be finished with the primary color today. That light greenish gray is a good color-match to the original," Jimmy promised. "There’s a lot of trim and decorations, so painting all that is going to take extra time since you want us to match the original colors as best we can except for that God-awful purple that was in the mix. That’s labor-intensive. We’ll paint as much of the trim as we can from the scaffolding. After we take that down, we’ll bring in cherry pickers for the fish-scale details and the trim pieces up by the gables. Three, maybe four more days and we should be done."

"The neighbors will be glad," Josie said. "I keep getting complaints. They can’t go through me, so they’ve been calling the mayor."

"What are they complaining about?" Jack asked. "This place was an eyesore when I lived here. Are people actually complaining because you’re fixing it up?"

Josie nodded. "You’d be surprised what people will complain about. This place has been going downhill for the last fifty years or more. Nevertheless, complain they do. We’re making too much noise. The construction is making the place an eyesore. Do we have the right permits? Mrs. Jenkins next door complained about the industrial-sized dumpsters I brought in while clearing out the place. I asked her if she would rather have fifty years of booze bottles in the backyard and a hoarder’s garbage in the neighborhood. I wanted to tell them to shut their traps and mind their own business, but I didn’t" She wrinkled her nose and rolled her eyes. "As the Sheriff, I have to be polite."

"Which takes some considerable effort on your part," Jimmy agreed, shaking his head with a laugh.

"I made some fresh coffee. Would you like some?" Josie asked the contractor.

"No. It’s time for me to cut off coffee for the day," he answered. "Mary Anne says if I drink too much caffeine, I snore at night. She’s got me on that decaf stuff. I’ve got to go. The crew knows what they’re doing. I’ll be back in the morning to check on the work before they get started again."

"Thanks, Jimmy," Josie said.

"I wouldn’t mind that coffee," Jack said. "Providing the coffee is caffeinated."

Josie gave him a look and a nod. "That’s the only kind I drink. Follow me through the maze. It’s a little tricky to get through the scaffolding."

Jack followed Josie, ducking under a lot of metal tubing and ladders to weave his way to the back door. He watched the curvy ass filling tight jeans swaying in front of him and felt his jeans getting tight. "Are you seeing Jimmy, again," he asked.

Josie laughed. "Jimmy has been married since he was eighteen years old and straight out of high school. He has five boys." She measured out marks indicating heights with her hand?"two, four, five, seven and ten. They’re like stair steps and as cute as can be. Jimmy married Mary Anne Shearer. Her parents moved here when she was in her first year of high school. She was in the class below mine. You had left town by the time her family moved here. Jimmy and Mary Anne have been busy. The rumor grapevine says she’s pregnant again, but they haven’t made it official. Both of them wanted a big family, and they’re certainly going for it." Josie stepped on a piece of rug at the back door, carefully wiped her boots and took them off. "Rule of the house," she said bluntly. "At least until the construction and outside painting is completed. I don’t want that mess tracked inside."

Jack complied and followed her across a sc

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26 reviews for Full Circle

  1. SH

    I absolutely adored everything about this book! I am so excited every time a new book is released by this author because her books are so well written, they always have a very detailed plot and they always have some length to them. The characters have a ton of back story so it makes them believable and you easily become invested. There is literally something for everyone in this book, so quit reading this, buy it and enjoy the read. When you finish this one I would recommend you read her others as well, you will be very glad you did!

  2. SH

    I absolutely adored everything about this book! I am so excited every time a new book is released by this author because her books are so well written, they always have a very detailed plot and they always have some length to them. The characters have a ton of back story so it makes them believable and you easily become invested. There is literally something for everyone in this book, so quit reading this, buy it and enjoy the read. When you finish this one I would recommend you read her others as well, you will be very glad you did!

  3. SL

    4 ½- 5 stars
    This was a keeper. Josie was a child that had a sad childhood. Jack was a man that always tried to steer Josie in the right direction. They are all grown up now and returned to their old home town. Both had baggage that could destroy them. But it was a nice love story. Jack, of course is a dominant and he will not take any gruff from Josie. Josie is the sheriff and has become a tough woman having been undercover for the Government. She is not used to taking direction.

    What I loved about this story is that it was a mystery, an FBI thriller, and a spanking novel all in one. The story could stand on its own. It was detailed and it led you (with a few red herrings) trying to find out where the serial killer was and who it was. Josie was a strong woman trying to raise a foster child. Jack had his own problems, but he truly loved Josie. I wish they had gotten into Jack more deeply, but I really enjoyed this one. It had a happy ending and it kept you on the edge of your seat.

  4. SL

    4 ?_- 5 stars
    This was a keeper. Josie was a child that had a sad childhood. Jack was a man that always tried to steer Josie in the right direction. They are all grown up now and returned to their old home town. Both had baggage that could destroy them. But it was a nice love story. Jack, of course is a dominant and he will not take any gruff from Josie. Josie is the sheriff and has become a tough woman having been undercover for the Government. She is not used to taking direction.

    What I loved about this story is that it was a mystery, an FBI thriller, and a spanking novel all in one. The story could stand on its own. It was detailed and it led you (with a few red herrings) trying to find out where the serial killer was and who it was. Josie was a strong woman trying to raise a foster child. Jack had his own problems, but he truly loved Josie. I wish they had gotten into Jack more deeply, but I really enjoyed this one. It had a happy ending and it kept you on the edge of your seat.

  5. Jill

    First I must admit I am a fan of Mariella Starr I have her on my must buy author list. This book is a actual story Josie is a wonderfully strong woman who has overcome a rough childhood to be a successful law enforcement officer in several different positions in this story she is acting sheriff not happily but is doing the job. She is also a foster mom who is trying to adopt her foster son. Jack is a alpha male who was hurt on his last tour of duty and facing some ghosts from his own past. Josie and Jack knew each other as preteen and teenager before he left for college. This a wonderful love story with spankings both discipline and erotic and adult love scenes. I highly recommend this book and this author you get so much for your money it is a well written full length with lots of depth story

  6. Jill

    First I must admit I am a fan of Mariella Starr I have her on my must buy author list. This book is a actual story Josie is a wonderfully strong woman who has overcome a rough childhood to be a successful law enforcement officer in several different positions in this story she is acting sheriff not happily but is doing the job. She is also a foster mom who is trying to adopt her foster son. Jack is a alpha male who was hurt on his last tour of duty and facing some ghosts from his own past. Josie and Jack knew each other as preteen and teenager before he left for college. This a wonderful love story with spankings both discipline and erotic and adult love scenes. I highly recommend this book and this author you get so much for your money it is a well written full length with lots of depth story

  7. Marybeth

    I absolutely loved this story. First of all, it is a much longer book than we normally see for a spanking story. Second, it’s written by Mariella Starr. She writes wonderful stories with a plot. I love it. Josie is a strong young woman with a very heartbreaking childhood. But, she overcomes that childhood to become a law enforcement official. She was in the FBI, but she retired because she knew that if she stayed much longer, she would be dead. Jack is a young man with a seemingly great childhood. Of course, we learn that not everything was a great as it was portrayed. Jack and Josie knew each other from when they were young. When Jack moves back to the town, they meet again and they feel the old attraction. But, there is a mystery to solve and Jack and Josie want to help. Jack does not want Josie helping and he gives her bb spankings to help convince her. Josie is not thrilled about the punishment, but she realizes that she wants a relationship with Jack and you have to take the bad with the good. You don’t find a lot of stories with such a strong woman. I really enjoyed this story. I heartily recommend it. I give this story 5 stars.

  8. Marybeth

    I absolutely loved this story. First of all, it is a much longer book than we normally see for a spanking story. Second, it??s written by Mariella Starr. She writes wonderful stories with a plot. I love it. Josie is a strong young woman with a very heartbreaking childhood. But, she overcomes that childhood to become a law enforcement official. She was in the FBI, but she retired because she knew that if she stayed much longer, she would be dead. Jack is a young man with a seemingly great childhood. Of course, we learn that not everything was a great as it was portrayed. Jack and Josie knew each other from when they were young. When Jack moves back to the town, they meet again and they feel the old attraction. But, there is a mystery to solve and Jack and Josie want to help. Jack does not want Josie helping and he gives her bb spankings to help convince her. Josie is not thrilled about the punishment, but she realizes that she wants a relationship with Jack and you have to take the bad with the good. You don??t find a lot of stories with such a strong woman. I really enjoyed this story. I heartily recommend it. I give this story 5 stars.

  9. Jaycee

    Mariella Starr is one of my go-to authors. She writes long, detailed stories that pull you in from the beginning. Full Circle was a wonderful story – I was pulled in from the beginning, reading about Josie\’s background. The mystery had me at the edge of my seat, guessing who was the murderer! I loved Josie – she was strong, independent, and very capable. Because of that though, I had a hard time believing that she would accept physical discipline from Jack. He really had no right to punish her on several occasions, but especially when he returned from his mission and she gave him attitude. He left her in the dark and she was suitably angry. I also didn\’t feel as strong a connection between Josie and Jack as I have other characters in Starr\’s books. Several scenes felt full of dialogue and narrative, with little feeling on either character\’s parts. Overall, a fantastic story, but not really a believable domestic discipline one.

  10. Jaycee

    Mariella Starr is one of my go-to authors. She writes long, detailed stories that pull you in from the beginning. Full Circle was a wonderful story – I was pulled in from the beginning, reading about Josie’s background. The mystery had me at the edge of my seat, guessing who was the murderer! I loved Josie – she was strong, independent, and very capable. Because of that though, I had a hard time believing that she would accept physical discipline from Jack. He really had no right to punish her on several occasions, but especially when he returned from his mission and she gave him attitude. He left her in the dark and she was suitably angry. I also didn’t feel as strong a connection between Josie and Jack as I have other characters in Starr’s books. Several scenes felt full of dialogue and narrative, with little feeling on either character’s parts. Overall, a fantastic story, but not really a believable domestic discipline one.

  11. Katy Beth McKee

    Jack had helped to keep the child Josie in check but they went their separate ways. But fate seems to have reconnected them. Both of these characters are strong people and more than capable in their own rights. Josie is a caring a loving person. But Jack seems to meet a need in Josie and is looking forward to being a full part of her family. They must face some touch stuff and there is a mystery to solve but together they will be able to face the world.

  12. Katy Beth McKee

    Jack had helped to keep the child Josie in check but they went their separate ways. But fate seems to have reconnected them. Both of these characters are strong people and more than capable in their own rights. Josie is a caring a loving person. But Jack seems to meet a need in Josie and is looking forward to being a full part of her family. They must face some touch stuff and there is a mystery to solve but together they will be able to face the world.

  13. Margaret Corcoran

    A wonderful long adventure story with murder intrigue spankings and lots of love. The main characters are well rounded and Ms Starr brings the reader on a journey as they grow to love and trust each other. It as well written as an Agatha Christy or Colin Dexter murder story. I would have no hesitation in recommending this book

  14. Margaret Corcoran

    A wonderful long adventure story with murder intrigue spankings and lots of love. The main characters are well rounded and Ms Starr brings the reader on a journey as they grow to love and trust each other. It as well written as an Agatha Christy or Colin Dexter murder story. I would have no hesitation in recommending this book

  15. madpuss

    A well-written, realistic, modern day romance around two strong independent resilient types who love each other. It’s not an easy task for Jack to be HOH with Josie being so strong and capable but he manages it. I think it helped that Josie was attracted to his alpha ways as a young girl when Jack as a teenager looked out for her when no one else did. I loved the addition of her father and Alex with Alex slowly growing on Jack as time goes on and the care and love they have for each other as a family is great. Jack’s commitment is so strong he is happy to do what it takes to be a good foster parent to Alex as well. It was a good mystery/suspense story with lots happening. I enjoyed it very much.

  16. madpuss

    A well-written, realistic, modern day romance around two strong independent resilient types who love each other. It’s not an easy task for Jack to be HOH with Josie being so strong and capable but he manages it. I think it helped that Josie was attracted to his alpha ways as a young girl when Jack as a teenager looked out for her when no one else did. I loved the addition of her father and Alex with Alex slowly growing on Jack as time goes on and the care and love they have for each other as a family is great. Jack’s commitment is so strong he is happy to do what it takes to be a good foster parent to Alex as well. It was a good mystery/suspense story with lots happening. I enjoyed it very much.

  17. K Tyler

    Josie and Jack are childhood friends who reunite after years apart. They both have had a colorful past. This love story was worth the read. Josie should be use to Jack who simply does what he did when they were younger try and guide her in the right way. Josie as the sheriff is no wilting flower she does what must be done without thought of her personal safety. This is a romantic thriller. Jack proves to be just what Josie needs.

  18. K Tyler

    Josie and Jack are childhood friends who reunite after years apart. They both have had a colorful past. This love story was worth the read. Josie should be use to Jack who simply does what he did when they were younger try and guide her in the right way. Josie as the sheriff is no wilting flower she does what must be done without thought of her personal safety. This is a romantic thriller. Jack proves to be just what Josie needs.

  19. Redrabbitt

    Can I say, I LOVED THIS STORY! It was a real page turner with a fantastically told story. This is a Must Read! We have a murder mystery, suspense, lost love found after twenty years, forgiveness and redemption. People are not always as they appear to be and sometimes it takes being forced into a position to make someone step up to the plate. Even small towns can have evil, and until the villain was revealed, I was still unsure. Josie overcomes a horrible childhood to become a strong, confident woman. Jack returns to find that Josie is in town now, all grown up and there are strong feelings for each other. Buck doesn\’t give up on Josie even though she doesn\’t want to give him a chance, he has to prove the poison that he abandoned her what not necessarily true, he was also a victim. Alex finds love and stability in Josie, and someone who fights for him. I loved the characters of this town of Rawlings, OK. The relationship of Jack and Josie does include hot explicit sex scenes and over the knee spankings.

  20. Redrabbitt

    Can I say, I LOVED THIS STORY! It was a real page turner with a fantastically told story. This is a Must Read! We have a murder mystery, suspense, lost love found after twenty years, forgiveness and redemption. People are not always as they appear to be and sometimes it takes being forced into a position to make someone step up to the plate. Even small towns can have evil, and until the villain was revealed, I was still unsure. Josie overcomes a horrible childhood to become a strong, confident woman. Jack returns to find that Josie is in town now, all grown up and there are strong feelings for each other. Buck doesn’t give up on Josie even though she doesn’t want to give him a chance, he has to prove the poison that he abandoned her what not necessarily true, he was also a victim. Alex finds love and stability in Josie, and someone who fights for him. I loved the characters of this town of Rawlings, OK. The relationship of Jack and Josie does include hot explicit sex scenes and over the knee spankings.

  21. Caroline

    This was a GRAND read, and having read books in the genre for a long time, Ms. Starr is bringing some really good full length books to the site. The characters are fully defined and as a reader you become invested in their lives and in their feelings. I like all the intermingled sub-story lines within the main story. Anytime a reader has a hard time putting a book down, it’s worth the time and I was up until 3 am because I was so sure I knew who was the killer. But after this twist and that turn, I was doubting my conclusions, and I didn’t know for sure until the very end. Excellent plotting! This story has it all, a great story to tell, wonderful characters, with human goodness and human faults. A strong woman, and a strong man that isn’t threatened by her strengths or accomplishments. A power struggle that is met head-on with clashes, understanding, humor, love and some DD tossed in to make things interesting. Some hot love scenes too. This was one was really good read.

  22. Caroline

    This was a GRAND read, and having read books in the genre for a long time, Ms. Starr is bringing some really good full length books to the site. The characters are fully defined and as a reader you become invested in their lives and in their feelings. I like all the intermingled sub-story lines within the main story. Anytime a reader has a hard time putting a book down, it??s worth the time and I was up until 3 am because I was so sure I knew who was the killer. But after this twist and that turn, I was doubting my conclusions, and I didn??t know for sure until the very end. Excellent plotting! This story has it all, a great story to tell, wonderful characters, with human goodness and human faults. A strong woman, and a strong man that isn??t threatened by her strengths or accomplishments. A power struggle that is met head-on with clashes, understanding, humor, love and some DD tossed in to make things interesting. Some hot love scenes too. This was one was really good read.

  23. Jennifer (verified owner)

    I really liked this story. I thought it was cute that the hero and heroine knew each other when they were both young. The heroine was very confident and self assured, and I loved that she was a foster mom. The hero coming back to town after years away and dealing with his past was well done. And on top of that they\’re working together to solve a murder case. A really enjoyable book.

  24. Jennifer (verified owner)

    I really liked this story. I thought it was cute that the hero and heroine knew each other when they were both young. The heroine was very confident and self assured, and I loved that she was a foster mom. The hero coming back to town after years away and dealing with his past was well done. And on top of that they’re working together to solve a murder case. A really enjoyable book.

  25. Joanie M

    This book is amazing. The plot is multi-layered and engaging with enough detail to make it real. There are so many things happening, each drawing out different emotions. The story was heartwarming, funny, sensual, maddening, and suspenseful all at the same time, or so it seemed. I was lost in the book completely and the characters became real people. I had to keep reading as I had many unanswered questions and nothing was predictable. The mystery of the identity of the villain left me unsure until the end, which wrapped up everything very nicely. This one is definitely in the must read category.

  26. Joanie M

    This book is amazing. The plot is multi-layered and engaging with enough detail to make it real. There are so many things happening, each drawing out different emotions. The story was heartwarming, funny, sensual, maddening, and suspenseful all at the same time, or so it seemed. I was lost in the book completely and the characters became real people. I had to keep reading as I had many unanswered questions and nothing was predictable. The mystery of the identity of the villain left me unsure until the end, which wrapped up everything very nicely. This one is definitely in the must read category.

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