Learn more about Leslie’s books, Hijacked, Unholy Bonds, Opal’s Jubilee, and holiday novellas Christmas Hope and Christmas Grace:
Hijacked (Romance Writers of America® 2013 Golden Heart® Finalist)
Pilot Lannis Parker’s carefully constructed, sterile life is upended when her small plane is hijacked before dawn on a wintry Louisville morning. Her captor does more than force her to fly him to the Appalachian wilderness, though. He resurrects memories she’s tried to bury, memories of a brutal attack she’d survived four years earlier, an attack she didn’t report and tries to pretend didn’t happen.
Wounded, and losing strength by the minute, Ben Martin knows he has no choice but to commandeer a plane before he’s set upon by a ruthless band of drug dealers intent on wiping him out, along with the information he’s acquired. He’s horrified to discover the pilot is a woman—but once his plan is launched, there’s no turning back.
During a week in the wilderness, Lannis learns her hijacker is fair and honorable, compassionate and insightful—strange attributes for a criminal. And when he discovers her secret, he vows to be the friend she desperately needs but refuses to accept.
Will she come to terms with her past? And will he be part of her future?
Pilot Lannis Parker has triumphed over her past—or so she thinks. She faces her rapist, then dredges up the courage to bring him to trial, and is relieved to see Robert Davis imprisoned. But the closure she’d sought is elusive. Resurrected memories invade her life and threaten to splinter her relationship with those she loves most. Newly married, Lannis discovers she’s as much a prisoner as Davis, shackled by fear and inextricably bound to him through his crime. Frustrated at her descent into the past, Ben tries to understand, but fails.
Cracks appear in their fledgling marriage, and Lannis becomes desperate to repair the underlying cause. She gradually realizes that healing will come only when she acknowledges Davis’s humanity—not a popular notion, but one she increasingly understands as essential. In a bold move, Lannis meets with Davis in prison—and challenges him to recognize her humanity.
Will Lannis’s gamble free her from that unholy bond and open a path to peace? Can she save her marriage? Or will she lose everything in the process?
Fresh out of prison after twelve years, Opal McBride must find a job in order to meet parole requirements. Failure means she’ll serve out the remainder of her sentence behind bars. The system has seen fit to drop her in Louisville, Kentucky, a far cry from her hometown of Jubilee in the Appalachian hollows. Scrambling to adapt, Opal finds more than a potential job in May Boone’s quilt shop; she finds acceptance and perhaps even friendship.
That is, until May’s son recognizes her. A detective, Josh Boone is not about to let a felon work for his soft-hearted mother. Though Opal’s crime was against a sheriff’s deputy, his innate sense of decency prods him to break ranks and defend her from the disdain of his fellow officers. Then he finds she may have light to shed on a cold case—and discovers there is more to Opal’s story than it seems.
Josh risks his professional reputation (and his heart) as he digs into Opal’s past. When secrets are exposed, will justice prevail? Will Opal and Josh find redemption—and maybe even love—where they least expect it?
Sam Bledsoe prefers his reclusive existence. A one-man landscape business keeps a roof over his head and food on the table—and keeps his badly scarred face away from curious eyes. But when a woman faints on her way from neighbor Maggie Ross’s house, he doesn’t hesitate. He rushes to help while grappling with memories of the incident that burned him so badly.
Free spirit Becca Sweet is pregnant—and down on her luck. The father of her unborn baby showed his true colors when he showed her the door. The apartment she has lined up isn’t available until the first of the year, and with Christmas and a storm on the way, living in her car is no longer an option. Becca appeals to her no-nonsense sister for help, but Maggie, unaware of Becca’s pregnancy, chooses that moment to dish out some tough love.
When Sam comes to Becca’s rescue, their battered hearts collide. In a moment of holiday magic, they discover that Christmas hope applies to all—even to them. And will hope lead to love, the most precious Christmas gift of all?
No one wants to celebrate Christmas this year. Not Ella McKendrick, who, on the cusp of success as a potter, is tasked with her husband’s company party on too-short notice. She gives up her first pottery sale to pitch in, but the joy of the season is diminished.
Not Gertie Wycliffe, Ella’s mom, a new widow who is doing everything she can to avoid her first Christmas alone. No one understands the grief and terror she feels – maybe because the craziness of a seventy-four-year-old woman signing up for skydiving lessons is all she lets them see.
Not Natalie Shaw, Ella’s pregnant daughter. Natalie’s husband is deployed halfway around the world, and she believes that ignoring the holiday might blunt her loneliness.
Then disaster strikes, not once but twice. Three generations, three untenable situations. Three women who come together for each other and remember what’s most important about Christmas.