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A tragic accident or something more sinister? A woman�s buried memories put her life at risk in a novel of shattering psychological suspense.

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Secrets Unraveled, Nations Entwined: The Cold War's Hidden Chronicles

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Love and Danger Collide: A Heart-Pounding Race Against Time to Save a Woman from the Shadows of the Past.

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Would you risk nature's wrath to save a friend's life?

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Duty to his country keeps him from the arms of the woman he craves with every breath�his bride.

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Excerpt of Marrying the Marshal by Laura Marie Altom


Harlequin American Romance 1099
January 2006
Featuring: Allie Hayworth; Caleb Logue
ISBN: 0373751036
Add to Wish List

Romance Series

Also by Laura Marie Altom:

A Cowboy Comes Home, January 2022
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book (reprint)
Twins for Christmas, November 2021
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
Suddenly a Father, July 2021
The Cowboy SEAL?s Jingle Bell Baby, December 2016
Paperback / e-Book
The SEAL's Second Chance Baby, June 2016
Paperback / e-Book
Wet 'n Wild Navy SEALs, June 2016
Stepping Over the Line, June 2016
The Baby and the Cowboy SEAL, January 2016
Paperback / e-Book
The SEAL's Miracle Baby, June 2015
Paperback / e-Book
Swept Through Time, February 2015
Possess, January 2015
Rodeo Man Under the Christmas Tree, November 2014
The Cowboy SEAL, October 2014
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
Control, October 2014
A Navy Seal's Surprise Baby, September 2013
Paperback / e-Book
The SEAL'S Valentine, January 2013
Paperback / e-Book
The Seal's Stolen Child, December 2012
Paperback / e-Book
A Seal's Secret Baby, August 2012
Paperback / e-Book
The Ultimate Texas Bachelor & Blind Luck Bride, February 2011
Paperback / e-Book
The Baby Twins, May 2010
Mass Market Paperback
A Wedding For Baby, September 2009
Mass Market Paperback
The Marine's Babies, May 2009
Mass Market Paperback
A Daddy For Christmas, November 2008
Mass Market Paperback
Three Boys And A Baby, May 2008
Snowbound, January 2008
Dancing With Dalton, September 2007
Summer Lovin', June 2007
Mass Market Paperback
The Right Twin, April 2007
Her Military Man, January 2007
Daddy Daycare, September 2006
To Catch a Husband, July 2006
Paperback (reprint)
His Baby Bonus, April 2006
Marrying the Marshal, January 2006
Temporary Dad, July 2005
Santa Baby, November 2004
Sleep Tight, September 2004
Babies and Badges, July 2004
Kissing Frogs, January 2004

Excerpt of Marrying the Marshal by Laura Marie Altom

"Sorry, sir, but no can do." Portland-based Deputy U.S. Marshal Caleb Logue handed the fax with his next assignment back to his boss. Granted, Franks knew his job and was the presidentially appointed U.S. Marshal for all of Oregon, but surely even he'd understand that this —

"Scuse me?" Franks's wooly-worm eyebrows raised and his thick neck turned red. Even at fifty, the guy still bench- pressed two-eighty.

"Sir…" Caleb gulped, but held his ground. "I know this judge. We went out for a while in college. I really think it'd be best if someone else was assigned to —"

"Ordinarily," his boss said, "I'd agree. But with Mason and Wolcheck in Texas, Villetti in Michigan, and Smith in New Orleans, I got no one else to give this to. As is, you're going to have to pull in a whole new team from other offices. Feel free to appoint someone else as our lady judge's primary sidekick, but make no mistake, you will be a key player. Capiche?"

Elbows on his cluttered desk, Caleb cradled his forehead in his hands.

No way this was happening.

No freakin' way. "Glad you're on board, Logue. Get together a twelve-man team — I want six on her and four on her son at all times, two off — then haul ass down to Calumet City. This has to be in place by the end of the day. And I'm talking end of the business day — not midnight."

"Yes, sir."

ALLIE HAYWORTH looked up from her organized desk, wishing her life could be as tidy. "Watcha' doin?" she asked her eight-year-old son, Cal.

"Playin' Legos."

"I can see that," she said, rising to cross to the far side of her office where he sat on the floor. By U.S. District Court Judge standards, the space wasn't all that attractive. The burgundy leather sofa had a tear she'd duct-taped, then covered with a throw pillow. The white drapes, carpet and ceiling had a faint yellow hue and smoky smell from the judge who'd served before her — an avid cigar smoker. In a dream world where she had plenty of free time, she'd love to paint the space some vibrant, exciting color. Cobalt-blue or jungle-green. Still, floor- to-ceiling mahogany bookshelves added warmth to the overall feel, as did the fresh flowers she collected from her cutting garden at least once a week in the spring through early fall.

Her current bouquet had seen better days. The snapdragons looked tired. For this year, the growing season had ended. Would she be around for next year?

Squelching the macabre line of thought, she forced a smile, saying to her son, "Guess I should've asked what you're making."

"What do you think?"

"I dunno." Glad she'd worn slacks, she plunked down beside him. "A boat? Upside-down skyscraper?"


"What?" she asked, ruffling his short dark hair.

"Don't you know anything?" With dusky-green eyes that reminded her of dried sage, he gave her the look. The one that said despite the fact she was one of the state's youngest federal judges — not to mention, a female — that he was and would always be wa-aa-aay smarter than her!

"Yep," she said with a heavy sigh. "You must be right. Guess I don't know anything. So? Help me out. What are you building?"

"It's a gun." He picked up the monolithic mix of colorful blocks only to pop to his feet, then run to the window and start shooting. "Pow, pow!"

Allie cringed. "Caleb, get away from the windows."

"How come? The cops are right outside. No one can get us up here."

If only that were true.

Allie scrambled to her feet and drew him back, safely out of view, before closing the drapes on the low-hanging clouds and persistent rain. "I, um, appreciate you looking out for us, but why don't you leave the shooting to police."

"What're they gonna do? They've been protecting us a whole two days and still haven't caught the bad guys."

"I know, baby, but they will. Real soon."

"This is boring," Cal said, slamming his gun hard into the plastic Lego tub. His creation shattered. "I wanna go to school. Henry's bringing his dad for show and tell. He makes donuts for his job and we were gonna get free ones and everything."

"I'm sorry," she said, drawing him into a hug. "But remember how we talked about this? And decided it would be safer if you just hung out with me?"

"Yeah, but —"

A knock sounded at the door.

Allie jumped, then felt silly when her elderly secretary poked her head in. Guess being used for target practice set a girl on edge.

"Allie, hon, there's a gentleman here to see you from Portland. He's with the U.S. Marshals. Shall I send him in?"

"Of course," Allie said, releasing her son to smooth her hair and straighten her aqua silk blouse. At first she'd been opposed to having the big dogs called in, especially on the off chance her and Cal's father's paths should cross. But after this morning's latest attempt on her life, she was relieved help had arrived.

Usually, federal courthouses had marshals' offices right inside. Hers was no different, except the marshals were actually local policemen who'd been deputized into service. Not that they didn't do a fine job — after all, she was still alive. But seeing how their usually peaceful district had never had something this serious happen, they were rusty on evasive maneuvers.

Apparently the members of the white supremacist organization intent on taking her life were not.

"Baby," she said to her son. "Could you please make me an airplane while I talk to this man? A great, big one with maybe a swimming pool in first class, and —"


She looked to the door and her pulse went haywire. Caleb?

Of all the luck….

It'd been nine years since she'd last seen him. For nine years she'd told herself she hated him. Never wanted to see him again. She'd told herself every morning and night that what she'd done, what she'd kept from him, had been for good reason.

She made the mistake of meeting his direct stare. The exact shade of dried sage….

Her gig was up.

Caleb locked eyes with his son. Took a half step back, as if the air had been kicked from his lungs. But then his initial composure returned. Sort of. If you didn't count the tightening of his jaw or the way his eyes narrowed with instantaneous rage. He'd just found out the baby she'd told him she'd lost was alive and well and making an airplane out of Legos.

"This is — no." The man Allie had loved with a sometimes frightening intensity gave her a hard look, then shook his head. "We're not going to do this now. Not here. In front of…" Those gorgeous, all-too-familiar eyes of his welled with tears. "How could you, Allie?" He pressed the heel of his right hand against one eye, then the other, and cleared his throat. "Your honor, my name is Caleb Logue. I'll be heading your security team."

"Oh, Caleb," she said, fighting past her own wall of tears. "I didn't mean for this to —"

"As soon as you and your boy are ready to head home, I'll accompany you."

"Please, let me…explain." Too late. He was already out the door.

"Who was that?" her son asked. Your father.


"Dang, Logue," his old pal from the Seattle office, Owen Richards, said. "You look like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man — only whiter."

"Thanks." Caleb brushed past him toward the group of guys still out in the hall, who were feeling up a snack machine.

"Damned thing stole my quarter," his younger brother, Adam, complained.

"Stow it," Caleb said. "Everyone ready to rock?"

"Not without my quarter." Adam gave the machine another thump, then switched tactics by sticking his hand up the lady's metal skirt. "What bug crawled up your behind?"

What bug? Caleb snorted.

The one that came with finding out the woman he'd thought he loved was a lying, conniving wench who's still as freakin' gorgeous as ever and had bore him a damned good- looking son she didn't even have the decency to tell him existed! "THANKS FOR THE GRUB," Adam said.

"You're welcome." Allie stood at her black granite kitchen counter, wiping grease splatters from the burgers she'd fried for dinner.

Burgers, boxed macaroni and cheese, and frozen peas.

Her mother would report her to some government agency for cooking such a lackluster meal. But then her mother had been a stay-at-home mom. She also had never received death threats. She had, however, had a policeman husband killed in the line of duty. Meaning that though she wished Allie had told Caleb about his son, she'd always been sympathetic to her daughter's rationale for keeping Cal's paternity a closely guarded secret.

Allie's dad had been shot when she was just twelve. For years, she'd bitterly wished she'd never even known him, rather than to have loved him so fiercely only to lose him in such a useless, tragic way. Wanting to protect her son from suffering the same kind of loss, she'd done Cal a favor by never letting him get attached to his adrenaline- junkie father.

Adam asked, "Got any idea what Caleb's so PO'd about?"

"None at all." Allie scrubbed harder, thankful for the fact that while she'd always liked Adam, he'd never been that big on personal observations.

"Got any ice cream?"

"Cookie dough and cotton candy." He winced. "Guess those'll do."

She shot him a look. "You always this professional?"

"Give me a break. It's not like I don't know you. And anyway, Caleb's loaded for bear. Trust me, ain't no one gettin' through him."

"So he's out there, then?" she asked, grabbing a bowl and the ice-cream spade on her way to the freezer.

"Yup. Right outside. Along with four other marshals."

"That's nice."

"Nice?" He laughed. "Between them, they've got the firepower of a small country. Ain't nothin' nice about 'em."

"Sorry," she said, licking a sweet smudge of ice cream from her pinkie. "Didn't mean to insult your arms supply."


She handed him the bowl and a spoon. "So, is um, Caleb going to be inside at all?"

"Outlook doubtful — mmm, this is better than I'd expected. Thanks."

"Sure. So, is there any time I might talk with him?"

"I guess."

Was Adam really this dense? Couldn't he see how much she needed to speak with his brother? While she didn't for a minute believe she'd done the wrong thing in shielding her son from the certain disaster that was part of Caleb's job description, she'd always felt wretched about her decision.

If only she could explain. To Caleb. To herself. "Okay," she said, hands on her hips, taking a deep breath. Time for a more direct approach. "Might it be possible for you to ask Caleb to come inside right now?"

Excerpt from Marrying the Marshal by Laura Marie Altom
All rights reserved by publisher and author

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