Title: Renewed Faith
Author: Heather Mullins
Series: The Baldoni Files #1.5
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Release Date: Coming Soon
Cover Design: Freya Barker
Angelo Baldoni doesn’t do relationships—he does flings and one-night stands. But it wasn’t always that way. See, Angelo was supposed to have the happily ever after with his childhood sweetheart, Isabella. But that future was lost in an instant and his world crumbled when the love of his life was viciously murdered. Now beaten and broken, his faith lost, he goes through the motions of everyday life.
Mia Bailey is an outspoken, headstrong woman with a heart of gold. But having been hurt herself more than once in her life, she has walls up, refusing to let anyone in. Being the newbie of the crime lab, she’s heard all kinds of things about the detectives of the Detroit Police department, but it’s Angelo that calls to her.
When these two are put on a case together, both feel something they want to deny but can’t. With his faith shattered and her protective walls up, will they be able to let their feelings intervene and have renewed faith or will their haunting pasts get the better of them?
Do you believe in love at first sight? Neither do I. Well, at least I didn’t. I can pinpoint the exact day that all my thoughts on the matter changed. When the ideology of ‘true love’ became more of a reality than a myth. When love at first sight became a name.
Angelo Baldoni. Detective Angelo Baldoni to be exact. Hot shot detective for the Detroit Homicide division. He embodies everything I don’t want to find in a man, but it calls to me like a lighthouse in a storm. I’ve heard the name—the myth, the man, the legend—from my colleague, Nate Brennan. Nate often comes into the office, spouting the tales of him and his best friends, Angelo and Bobby. It only fuels the infatuation I’ve started to develop for Angelo.
I secretly yearn for a chance to work with Angelo, but as luck would have it, those chances are nearly non-existent. With me being a rookie and him being a seasoned detective, it doesn’t happen often. Until, that is, I was finally assigned a case. I knew it would most likely be menial tasks; tagging bodies, cataloging evidence, getting coffee for everyone else, but it’s my shot to see the man in action. I jumped on the case and went into it with gusto.
Working in the crime lab, the job itself isn’t very rewarding. Having to mostly rely on the strengths of the entire team, while constantly worrying about screwing up one minor detail, it’s more stressful than anything.
When I was younger, I discovered that I had an ability that not many possess. It might sound silly, and a lot of people think I’m just flat out nuts when I tell them, but I’m able to see the dead. Well, maybe not see the dead, per se, but sense them. Their energy presents itself to me, casting a shadow sometimes, but more often than not it’s just the feeling that they’re with me. For the longest time, I tried my hardest to ignore my ability, but the older I get, the more I embrace this sixth sense.
So, when I walk into the crime scene, an abandoned house, the heaviness of a lost soul’s energy nearly brought me to my knees. It was almost too much. It wasn’t the first time I’d been given a case to work on, but it would be my first time with Detective Baldoni, and I found myself wishing, like I had when I was younger, for the energy to go away so I could focus on my job and nothing else.
Taking a few deep breathes, I climb the staircase and the moment my feet hit the landing, the feelings I’d desperately been trying to shake washed over me like a tidal wave. Glancing around, I have to choke back tears, my heart breaking for the loss of life, and in such a horrific manner. Nobody deserved to die like this; brutally murdered and left behind in such deplorable conditions.
I’m on my knees, deep in trash when someone almost trips over me. Standing up pissed off, I’m face to face with the most handsome man I’ve ever seen. Dark chocolate brown eyes stare into mine and I’m stunned by the pain I see in them. It’s not just the dead’s energy I can feel, this man is hurting. I literally have to take a step back so that I can catch my breath and focus.
“Shit, sorry, you okay?” Grabbing my arms to steady me, an electrical charge runs through us both, my skin searing from his touch…Angelo Baldoni’s touch.
“I’m fine, sorry, Sir.” I’m still staring into his eyes and quickly look down to avoid his gaze. He releases my arms and I can’t help but feel a little empty. As Angelo walks away I take in the rest of him. The pictures in Nate’s office doesn’t do him justice, his black almost blue hair and tan Italian features set my girlie parts on fire. Thinking about why I’m here, I pull myself together and focus on the task at hand.
I work until I see Nate, Angelo and Bobby walk out with the victim on a gurney. The heaviness in the hallway increases with all sadness and dread coming off of everyone and it becomes unbearable for me so I hurry downstairs ahead of them. It eases up once I get to the van and I’m able to breathe again.
As I’m putting the evidence I collected in the van, Cody the head CSI from Lansing, walks up behind me. He’s a little too close for comfort and he has been giving off little hints of interest any time we work together. Cody Anderson reminds me of a surfer, the blonde shaggy hair, ocean blue eyes and cute little dimples when he smiles.
“Hey Cody, all set?” I shift over so that he has more room to put his stuff in the back.
“Sure am, how about you?” His smile gets to me a little, it’s sexy.
“Yeah, just finished. I’m going to head back and log in what I’m keeping. It’s pretty late, are you and your team heading back tonight?” It’s snowing so I’m hoping they decide to stay over, the roads are getting bad.
“Is that an invitation sweetheart?” He winks letting me know his is joking…I hope.
“Ha! You wish, it may be safer to crash at a hotel. I’d be happy to lock everything up at the lab for you.”
“That’s very nice Mia, thank you. Can I get you coffee in the morning to show my appreciation?”
“I don’t drink coffee but you can bring me a medium hot chocolate.”
“You don’t drink coffee?” He says with a surprised chuckle. Cody’s a good guy that I hope never gets hurt. His eyes tell me he’s a happy go lucky guy, total opposite of what I saw in Angelo’s.
“I hate coffee, I drink tea or cocoa…don’t judge.” I joke.
Raising his hands in surrender, “alright, one hot chocolate for the lady. Thanks for locking everything up. I’ll go let the guys know we are crashing in the city tonight. This isn’t going to be fun, see you in morning.” He walks away with a little bounce in his step…a little too much for the circumstances, but that’s Cody.
After dropping everything off at the lab and getting things in their proper places, I make it home around two in the morning. I honestly thought about just staying there and if I had extra clothes in my locker I probably would have, but that house was too funky for a lab shower.
The hot water feels amazing as I let it run down body. When the water turns cold I sigh in defeat and get out. The feeling of death will linger, it always does. This woman was taken violently, her energy’s very heavy. Feeling as clean as I’ll get, I set my alarm to four hours from now and fall asleep with Angelo in my head.
In Dreams #1
Working in the homicide division of the Detroit Police Department, has made Angelo Baldoni, a third generation officer, pretty much immune to the depths of depravity seen in his years on the force. When a young woman is brutally murdered, the case of Hope Cooper can change the course of his life.
Hope, an outgoing young woman with everything going for her, lost it all the night that she was faced with the vicious eyes of a murderer. Stuck in limbo, Hope is confused and scared, trying to right the wrong done to her. Able to visit people in their dreams, Hope latches onto Angelo in hopes he can catch her killer.
Angelo was raised with a strong belief in the afterlife and the dreams of Hope don’t go unnoticed. With the help of his partner, Bobby, he aims to catch the killer before he strikes again. However, a cold case causes Angelo's past to merge with Hope’s case.
Will he keep his feelings at bay to find the murderer? Or will it be too late?
Heather Mullins has always loved to read and has been writing poems and stories since childhood. She truly enjoys doing so much with other indie authors and fully supports this outstanding community. She uses her outgoing opinionated personality to help write and run multiple blogs.
Heather is a full time student working to get her Bachelors in Human services specializing in substance abuse counseling. She’s an Air Force Veteran and enjoyed fighting for her country. Heather supports many different groups that help out other veterans.
She is a mother of 3 wonderfully crazy kids and has been married for 13 years. When she isn’t playing taxi she is living vicariously through the lives of characters in any number of books.
In Dreams #1