Laura Haley-McNeil

2/21/23, What She Couldn’t Say is LIVE Today!

What She Couldn’t Say is live today! Click the link to download this standalone sweet romance! It’s a great mystery romance for you to grab while you snuggle in and brave the cold, if you’re in my part of the world.

Meet Dr. Eli Merrick

Eli’s day off turns into a desperate attempt to rescue an unconscious mom and her baby when their car plunges off a mountain road. The urgency doesn’t stop there when someone tries to murder the woman.

What She Couldn’t Say is LIVE Today!

Curious about Curious about What She Couldn’t Say? Scroll down and meet Eli and Janet–or is this mystery woman really Aubrey?

Eli knows love wasn’t meant for him. He’s married to his medical career.

What is it about this mystery woman that keeps her at the forefront of his mind?

Meet Eli and Janet

A past she can’t remember. A memory he longs to forget. Will a madman bent on revenge tear them apart or make them strong?

Dr. Eli Merrick’s day off turns into a trauma induced morning that drags him to the emergency room to save an unconscious woman and her baby. Though her identification says she’s Janet Jones, Eli senses that isn’t her name. When a mysterious figure threatens Janet, Eli’s need to protect her and her baby kicks in. He takes her to his home at the Crystal Creek Ranch.

Janet gains consciousness but is puzzled by the people who call her this unfamiliar name. As she struggles through the fog of amnesia, she’s drawn to the powerfully built doctor who shows concern for her and adores her baby. Bit by bit the pieces of her past surge to the surface, but each memory makes her vulnerable to a killer who won’t rest until she’s dead.

Can Eli feel love?

As the attraction between Eli and Janet deepens, will she drop her barriers and learn to trust, or will her doubt allow a killer to lure her into a trap that endangers her and those she loves?

If you like clean slow-burn romance with lots of spine-tingling suspense, you’ll love What She Couldn’t Say by Laura Haley-McNeil.

Buy What She Couldn’t Say and devour this page turner today!

How about a sneak peek?

Chapter One

Dr. Eli Merrick disconnected the call that darkened his mood. On this cool, June morning, he stood on the gravel road that zigzagged its way through the woods to the pinnacle of Crystal Peak. If he hadn’t been on call, he wouldn’t have answered his cell phone.

It was the third call in as many weeks insisting that he leave his job as a part-time emergency department doc at the Crystal Creek Hospital and reopen his plastic surgery practice in Denver’s well-heeled Cherry Creek district.

That was the last thing he wanted to do. Nipping and tucking the fifty-year-old wives of hedge-fund billionaires wasn’t why he went to medical school. He hadn’t found satisfaction in his medical career until he served as an army doc on the front line during the Middle Eastern conflict. Stitching together men and women who sacrificed for their country was the least he could do. If the war hadn’t ended, he’d still be there.

The SUV aims toward him

Tucking his phone into his pocket, he stared at the road edged by towering aspen that quaked in the breeze. He wished his former medical partners would understand he hadn’t pursued medicine to get rich. He wanted to help people.

He’d think about that later. His next shift didn’t start until later that evening. He planned to enjoy the next few hours by taking a hike.

Tank, the Crystal Creek Ranch’s bullmastiff, gave a guttural whine before lifting her dark brown eyes to Eli.

Eli won’t change his plans

“Don’t worry, girl.” Eli scratched her massive head and chuckled softly. Tank may weigh one hundred pounds, but in her mind she was as adorable and as cuddly as a toy poodle. “I’m not going to let those calls interfere with that walk I promised you.” He tipped his head toward the road. He’d been looking forward to the peace and quiet he found whenever he took this hike. It was the escape he needed after a trauma-plagued night in the emergency department.

A squeal of car tires gripping the gravel road pierced the serenity of the Crystal Creek forest.

Eli’s heart picked up speed, the way it had when he tended soldiers on the frontline. Tank went rigid at his side.

The crash of metal against rock echoed down the mountain.

“What the―” Eli burst into a run.

The crash echoes through the mountains

Tank loped at his side. More squealing tires echoed through the forest. A car had crashed. Was more than one car involved? Unusual since few cars traveled the dirt road that miners once used to transport ore from the gold mines.

The squeal came closer. Eli kept up his pace. If people were hurt, he had to help them. Ahead, he caught the flash of white edging around the jagged rock wall. He grabbed Tank’s collar and jumped back from the road.

The luxury SUV accelerated. Eli swallowed hard. One wrong turn and the vehicle would careen over the cliff.

Eli finds the wreckage

The vehicle barreled down the road. Eli held up his phone and recorded a video.

“Slow down,” he shouted to the shadowed figure driving the SUV.

Instead, the vehicle drove faster, kicking up a cloud of dust as it fishtailed past Eli and Tank and down the mountain road.

Tank gave a low growl, her gaze following the vehicle.

Eli pressed his lips into a grim line. Kids always thought they were immortal, though he had to wonder what kid could afford that expensive SUV.

What happened to the other vehicle?

There was no mark on the vehicle. Had another car driven off the road? Had the SUV forced it? Eli had heard two engines.

He sprinted up the hill. Tank ran ahead of him. She disappeared around the hairpin curve. When Eli reached the bend in the road, he caught Tank whining and pacing at the edge of a cliff.

“What is it, girl?” His stomach gripped, and he slowed his pace. His mind worked to prepare his body for the carnage he might see. Blood? Broken bones? Severed body parts? He clenched his teeth and moved next to Tank, who sat and lifted her gaze to his.

The wreckage covers the mountainside

At the bottom of the ravine lay a crunched and battered SUV, its tires spinning lazily as a cloud of emulsified dust rose above a ground cover of wild raspberry bushes, English Astor and Indian paintbrush.

Eli pulled his phone from his pocket and checked the signal. It was weak, but he had to try. He dialed the emergency number.

“Nine-one-one. What’s your emergency?” came a woman’s clear voice.

“Crystal Peak on the Crystal Creek Road―” His phone clicked.

The call dropped.

Eli’s medical expertise kicks in

Eli uttered an oath. He loved living on the Crystal Creek Ranch but not when he needed cell service. Getting away from it all had its trying times.

His body rigid, he sidestepped down the side of the ravine. Tank followed, stepping gracefully over boulders and ripped trees.

Eli would do what he could to help the person trapped in the vehicle until he could flag down help. How long would that be? Few people navigated the narrow road that required quick thinking and four-wheel drive. Why had this person thought himself adept enough to travel a road that claimed at least one life every year?

And why hadn’t the driver in the SUV stopped? Even if he hadn’t seen the car drive over the cliff, he had to have heard it. Eli swallowed hard. He didn’t want to think about the other possibility―the driver who had sped past him had been responsible for the accident.

A baby cries

Most people in Crystal Creek were compassionate and caring, but if war had taught him one thing, not everyone possessed those characteristics.

A soft cry sent a shudder through Eli’s body. When the cry sounded a second time, the lush vegetation carpeting Crystal Peak was ripped away. Eli’s memory whisked him to the makeshift operating room in a Middle Eastern because desert where he pieced together soldiers and Afghan civilians while bombs exploded around him and the surgical team.

Tank whined and stepped past him. When she reached the wreckage, she sniffed the wrinkled metal that had once been the driver’s door. She looked at Eli as if urging him to hurry.

He’d get there. At forty-one years of age, he didn’t move as fast as he used to. He was breathing hard when he reached the SUV and then peered through the driver’s broken window.

A woman slouched against the steering wheel. Masses of brown hair caked with blood covered her face. She didn’t move.

The familiar fear sank talons into Eli’s chest―she hadn’t made it.

Is the woman alive?

He slipped a hand through the broken glass and pressed fingers to the pale skin beneath the delicate curve of her jaw. A pulse fluttered beneath his touch. Air rushed from his lungs―she was alive. He knew he could save her. He’d pulled victims who hadless of a chance than she had from the Grim Reaper’s grasp.

The soft cry sounded again. A frown pressed into the woman’s forehead.

Eli peered through the wreckage to a car seat tipped on its side. His breath caught in his throat.

Beneath a bloody baby blanket that had once been colorful with chubby animals celebrating a birthday, stared an infant’s frightened eyes.

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