Sneak Peek Wednesday: Reunited In Runes by Nikki Duncan

Reunited In Runes
by Nikki Duncan
Publisher: Self-published
Publication date: July 25, 2017
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Relic hunter Eden Maverick specializes in all things Biblical. Her faith gives her strength to search for her missing partner and keep living while coping with gut-wrenching loss. Then she receives a cryptic phone call that suggests answers are near.

Andrew Corrigan, former Marine turned treasure hunter, used to crave adventure, until being held captive for two years. Now, finally free, he craves two things: Eden and revenge. Contacting Eden may put her in danger, but it’s a risk he’d rather manage by her side that away.

Their passion reignites in an instant, but their only chance of thwarting life-endangering plans of terrorists is to combine their hunting specialties and work through past darkness.

Spurred into action by escalating terrorist threats, he reaches out to her in hopes that her expertise in ancient artifacts will help him locate the lost Chalice of Light and Life, believed to have belonged to King Solomon, and stop a terrorist group bent on destroying the United States.

Will they be forced to choose between the security of their country and personal loyalties? Will their love for one another be strong enough to overcome tragedy and the possibility of her sister being a terrorist?





Trapped, by need and desperation and inescapable yearning, Eden Maverick fought the sea of emotional blindness. The Bistro, her favorite Miami restaurant, was normally a haven. Potted palms provided shade. Fragrant flora edged the sidewalk. Couples and students from the nearby university sat at patio tables. The familiarity failed to settle her.

Today, for the first time in two years, she expected to see Andrew. She’d prayed every day for two years of learning Andrew was alive. She’d dreamed of him every night. Now, with the hope of answers near, she grew nervous.

Job has nothing on you. Meet me at nine. Our spot.

Eden again read the note that had been left on her desk during her birthday party the night before. Andrew had often compared her to Job and he’d always called The Bistro their spot. Neither comment was a secret, but she hadn’t heard those words since he vanished.


Anticipation squeezed her stomach and stretched across her ribs. The sensation began the moment she’d found the note. It had grown every time she replayed it.
An itch started between her shoulder blades as she reached for the door handle. She breathed low and slow. The itch grew. Her grip slipped off the handle of the ornate, glass door. So much for control.

Taking a tighter hold, she opened the door and stepped into the light and airy restaurant. The comforting aroma of fresh baked bread blended with the savory scent of sinful desserts. It wasn’t comforting. The atmosphere, in fact, was less soothing than ever. She teetered on the brink of finding hope or reliving her worst miseries.

“Eden! Good morning.” With boyish glee bouncing in his voice, the head waiter lumbered through the tables. Sawyer was an awkward kind of sweet. He was working his way through college and she couldn’t help like him. He normally cheered her up, but she wasn’t in the mood to be cheered.

She pasted on a public and practiced smile. “Sawyer.”

He pointed toward the patio. “Your usual table is waiting.”

“You say that like you knew I was coming.”

“Since when does The Bistro take reservations?”

“Just timing.” He led her to the patio, bumping into a few chairs on the way. “Been on any exotic trips?”

“Of course.” She drama-flared her eyes, feigning fun. She hadn’t been anyplace fun or exotic. She had, yet again, been looking for answers into what had happened to Andrew. “Life’s too short for less than the fantastic.”

“You’ll have to tell me all about it.”

“Later. Today I’m meeting someone.”

Sawyer straightened. “You never have company.”

His reminder of her habitual solitude aroused her barely suppressed nerves. She sat, forcing herself not to fidget. There was a chance she was walking into a trap. It wouldn’t be the first time she was targeted, but no one knew what she’d been working on. Most people who knew her just assumed she was obsessed with finding Andrew, which suited her.

“I’ve heard change is good.” She sounded braver that she felt in the eye of an emotional hurricane.

“So have I. What can I get you?”

“Water and the hummus plate.”

“Some things don’t change.” Sawyer paused by the chair with his lead foot pointed toward the restaurant. “Eden…”

Angling her chair away from the table, always aware and ready for a quick escape, she looked to the top of Sawyer’s towering height and met his gaze. “Yeah?”

He glanced around the patio and then back to her. His shoulders were back instead of slightly rolled forward. He was on edge. Sawyer was never edgy.

“I’ll get your order.” Sliding along their underbelly was an unspoken seriousness she’d never seen in Sawyer.

Her heart kicked and the itch between her shoulder blades spread. She’d wondered if the message from Andrew, or who she hoped would be Andrew, was a trap. Sawyer’s awareness increased her suspicion.

Shaking her head, her smile was slightly less practiced than before. “Thanks.”

After Andrew’s disappearance she’d taken to living in the shadows, searching for him. She wouldn’t stop until she knew what had happened. Moving on was impossible.

Sawyer went inside.

Eden clenched her jaw to keep from rotating it. Lacing her fingers in her lap stopped her from reaching up to rub feeling into her cheeks. Fidgets showed weakness when what she needed most at the moment was strength.

Her mind drifted again to Andrew, not that it ever strayed far from him. A heartbeat later the memory of their first meeting returned.

She’d been in Rome, heading into a bar for a celebratory drink after finding several Biblical coins of Antigonus. Andrew dropped into the middle of her world. Literally.
Raised voices in the bar’s balcony grabbed her attention seconds before Andrew fell over the rail and landed at her feet.

His gray eyes met and held hers as he rose to his feet. Her heart rate sped and her neck grew warm beneath the power of his gaze. Then he’d grinned, LED bright, and she’d barely held back a sigh at the sight.

He rotated his jaw. “Sorry.”

“For what?”

“For almost squashing you.”

She’d flirted. She never flirted. “You’re not the first man to fall at my feet.”

He set that high wattage smile loose again. “Can I buy you a drink?”

“Sure.” By the time she’d finished her glass of wine she’d teetered on the edge of love. An expert in U.S. History with a reputation for acquiring historical artifacts for museums and private collectors, she’d felt an instant kinship. She wasn’t sure if his looks, his charm or his profession had won her heart, but she’d quickly grown to adore him. He’d relocated to Florida to be with her. They’d worked together, faced fellow treasure hunters together and had barely parted for longer than a week or two. Until his disappearance.

Sawyer returned with her order and pulled her from the memory. Eden pasted pleasantness on her face, but couldn’t muster a full smile. “Thanks.”

He nodded before moving to another table of patrons. He’d relaxed, though not quite to his normal lumbering ease.

She studied the other patrons. Most were college students with their laptops open and ear buds in. There were a few business people. Only one man stood out with his tattoos and watchful eyes. He wasn’t a regular, or the kind of person she’d expect to see. He gave off a vibe she could only call anticipation. Like he was waiting for something. Someone?

She’d beaten several hunters to relics over the years, and while it wasn’t uncommon for them to attempt retaliation, they were more obvious in their methods. More often than not they’d break into her hotel rooms or her car or they’d try to hurt her. She’d been doing some research, but she’d bumped up against Andrew’s expertise. Going farther without felt wrong, so she’d stopped. Whatever she was stepping into, it was bigger than a rival hunter.

Checking her watch, Eden again stopped herself from fidgeting or reaching for the itchy spot between her shoulders. She had ten minutes. Ten minutes before Andrew was scheduled to show. Ten minutes to sit and pretend nothing was out of the ordinary. Ten minutes to agonize over the possibilities of what may have been if he hadn’t vanished. Ten minutes to fantasize about what may happen if he was back.



Meet the author…

Heart stopping puppy chases, childhood melodrama and the aborted hangings of innocent toys are all in a day’s work for Nikki Duncan. This athletic equestrian turned reluctant homemaker turned daring author, is drawn to the siren song of a fresh storyline.

Nikki plots murder and mayhem over breakfast, scandalous exposes at lunch and the sensual turn of phrase after dinner. Nevertheless, it is the pleasurable excitement and anticipation of unraveling her character’s motivation that drives her to write long past the witching hour.

The only anxiety and apprehension haunting this author comes from pondering the mysterious outcome of her latest twist.



10 Thoughts on “Sneak Peek Wednesday: Reunited In Runes by Nikki Duncan

  1. New one for me, thank you for the heads up 😀

  2. Nice! Thanks for the excerpt!

  3. New to me 🙂
    nice sneak peak

  4. Love the excerpt. Thanks for sharing.

  5. This is totally new to me. I like the Miami setting 🙂

  6. Hmmm… Not sure what to make of this one.

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