Michael Rannigan sees the writing on the wall.
And he’s determined to find redemption.
He knows he’s spent his life keeping everyone at arm’s length. He’s burned bridges and destroyed friendships, leaving a path of destruction in his wake. But he thinks he’s found a way to make things right. At least for the one person who’s never given up on him.
Maggie Flynn’s life is changing quickly. Just when she’s decided make work her focus and to be content with being single, she has a new man in her life. Thanks to Michael and his interference, anyway.
Bobby is almost too good to be true, with his tall good looks, his sexy Cajun accent, and his irresistible lop-sided smile. He’s head over heels for Maggie. She knows she’s found the real thing.
Together, can they face the biggest challenge they’ve ever endured.
RANSOMING REDEMPTION is the third and final book of fan-favorite 5-Star reviewed Rannigan’s Redemption trilogy.
Here’s a teaser.
Michael sat back in his chair at the large oak conference table and relished the feeling of being in control. It had been too long since he’d done real casework. He’d forgotten how it felt, the rush of knowing that he held all the right cards. His charcoal grey suit hung a little loose due to the weight he’d lost, but he still knew how to project a confident presence. Figuring it would negatively impact his intimidation factor, he’d left his oxygen in the rental car.
Bobby sat quietly beside him, tension radiating from his body. Michael had thoroughly prepped him. “Don’t say anything. If they speak to you, look at me. Above all, don’t let them bait you.”
Across the table, Deanna in her white blouse and navy blue knee-length skirt with her honey blonde hair pulled back into a ponytail, looked more the sad abandoned single mother than the scheming opportunistic gold-digger that she was. Her gaze flitted nervously between Michael and Bobby. Beside her sat her attorney, a stocky middle-aged man with a sad brown comb-over who tried and failed to stare down Michael.
Oh, you poor uninformed little man. I used to eat guys like you for breakfast. Michael slid his benign poker face into place.
On the other side of Deanna sat Gary Olsen, formerly a Rangers outfielder, now headed to Seattle. He wore an aqua polo shirt with jeans, and he radiated anger as he absently cracked his knuckles, his eyes drilling into Bobby with unconcealed hostility.
“Well,” said Michael, “Mr. Beaulieu and I have come an awfully long way to just sit here and look at each other. Let’s get down to business.” He let his gaze drift across the three seated on the other side of the table. “I know we can settle this thing today, without some prolonged trial. Here’s the deal; we don’t want full custody just for now, just until you change your mind.”
He spoke directly to Deanna as he slid her a set of documents. “If you walk away now, it’s for good. My client is ready to give you a very generous settlement in exchange for your giving up full parental rights in perpetuity. You’ll also be required to sign a nondisclosure agreement, obviously.”
The other attorney cleared his throat. “I’m not sure that’s what Mrs. Beaulieu has in mind.”
Deanna shook her head, her ponytail swinging at odds with her head. “No way. We want to go to court. He owes me more money than that.”
Michael smiled coldly. “I’m reasonably certain that Mrs. Beaulieu would prefer to avoid a prolonged trial. I’ve done a little research.” He removed a file from his briefcase.
“You know a Mrs. Silvia Avelar, right? Isn’t she your housekeeper? We have a sworn affidavit by Mrs. Avelar stating that on more than one occasion she heard you and Mr. Olsen arguing about Savannah. According to Mrs. Avelar, you both referred to the child as…” he pretended to scan the document, “a brat.” He looked back up at Deanna. “And this was in the presence of the child.”
“What I said was,” interjected Gary, “I’m not going to be suckered into raising this fucker’s brat offspring.” He pointed at Bobby emphatically.
Michael saw Bobby look down at the table, his jaw shifting tightly. The other lawyer cautioned Gary to be quiet. Michael turned his gaze back to Deanna.
“I have another sworn statement by Gloria Stevenson who says that you once arranged for her to babysit Savannah for the evening and that you failed to return home that night, instead calling her the next day from Mexico?” He allowed an amused twinkle in his eyes. “Wow. That’s not exactly responsible parenting, is it?”
Michael started to put the paper down but immediately picked it up again. “Oh, and it was Mrs. Stevenson who came to pick up Savannah when you were arrested under suspicion of DUI and the little girl was in the car with you.”
Bobby’s head jerked up and he looked from Deanna to Michael and back again. Michael chewed his lip to keep from smiling. Sam Mainor had discovered a wealth of information that even Bobby didn’t know. His priceless reaction helped shepherd Deanna where they needed her to go.
“We’re not here to beat up on Mrs. Beaulieu. She just wants to make sure that she’s not cheated in this process,” the other lawyer said.
Michael smirked. Finally this guy jumps in.
“Unbelievable,” Bobby muttered, his gaze returning to the grain of the table.
“Really? You’re going to judge me?” Her face twisted with anger. “Let me tell you something. I thought if I married you, I’d be happy, and we’d have a fabulous life. I wasn’t ready to be a mother. I got pregnant on purpose because I didn’t think there was any other way.”
Bobby slowly raised his eyes and spoke softly. “I always knew that. I didn’t care. I loved you and I love my child. I won’t stand for you to mistreat her. Walk away, Deanna.”
“Now, you have our terms, which I think you’ll find are more than generous,” Michael said. “Understand, it’s a limited time offer. If you refuse to sign today, the offer is off the table, and we take it to court.”
He smiled sympathetically. “In court, I present all this testimony, plus some more I didn’t bother with today. You lose Savannah, and you lose the settlement we’re offering. Hell, you’ll end up paying my client child support.”
At the airport, Michael and Bobby were greeted by a few photographers snapping their pictures and shouting questions. “Beau! Why do you want sole custody of your daughter?”
Mirrored aviators in place, Bobby kept his head down and followed Michael to the first-class lounge. There they found a quiet corner and sank gratefully into a pair of large leather chairs. Casually, Michael turned on his small oxygen tank and placed the cannula in his nose, inhaling deeply.
“How did those reporters know to be at the airport?” Bobby asked, his voice resigned.
Michael shrugged slightly. “Somebody always talks. I doubt it was Deanna. She has too much to lose.” He glanced up at Bobby. “Listen, you may want to take Maggie and Savannah away for a few days until people lose interest.”
Bobby looked grim. “Maybe you’re right. We could go sailing around the Keys for the rest of the week. God knows I could use a vacation after all this.”
Michael nodded. “Call Mags. Get her to meet you at the airport. I’ll make some arrangements for you while you do that.”
Taking his phone from the pocket of his jacket, Bobby called Maggie. “It’s over. She signed the papers.” He sounded tired.
“Good,” Maggie said. “I’m glad it’s done. How are you doing?”
He sighed. All he could think of was being in Maggie’s arms. “I just want to be where you are. I need you.”
“I’m here for you, babe. Come on home.”
“There’s a change of plans. I want you to pack enough things for a few days and bring Savannah to the airport.”
“What? Why?” she asked.
“Because even though we had Deanna sign a nondisclosure, somehow the word has gotten out. There were reporters here at the airport.”
Maggie blew out a long breath. He could hear her anxiety. “I suppose Rance will understand. What about your work?”
“They’ll get it. They don’t need this publicity any more than I do. When we get back I’ll just have to make it up to the people who cover for me.”
“Okay, then. We’ll see you at the airport.”
“I can’t wait. And Maggie,” he added, “pack tropical.”RANSOMING REDEMPTION by Pandora Spocks