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Spotlight: Silent Sentry by Theresa Rizzo

About the Book

Award-winning author Theresa Rizzo delivers a thrilling crime novel packed with suspense, romance, and redemption.

The Scarfilis and Donnatellis love deeply and protect fiercely. “Family takes care of family” is the code they live by.

So when a hacker threatens Gianna Donnatelli’s life, Dr. Joe Scarfili is determined to keep her safe, only he has no police or tech experience, and Gianna’s penchant for aiding Detroit’s underprivileged is the same kind of altruism that got his wife killed. Gianna protects Joe with the same unyielding resolve. 

Gianna pushes all his insecurity buttons. Joe tries her patience like no other. But together they’ll fight to save each other and their love… Or die trying.


Setup--Joe apologizes for pushing Gianna away after her father died and by way of apology, brings her supplies and tries to convince Gianna to let him work at the clinic—like she always wanted him to.

“Why?” she challenged. “You hate the neighborhood and these people. You don’t believe in any of this, so why’re you here?”

“Hate’s a bit strong.” He objected to buy himself some time. Damn. She was going to make him say it. “For you. I’m here for you. You’re right, I don’t believe you can save all the druggies, prostitutes, gang bangers, and destitute locals. I don’t even believe that all of them want to be saved. But I believe in you.” Joe watched her carefully. “I believe in you. And you believe; so it must have some merit I’m missing.”

Gianna appeared to consider his answer. “No, thanks. We don’t need you looking down your nose at our patients.”

She turned him down? That was pride and pain talking. Gianna wanted him and she needed him; she was simply afraid he’d hurt her again. He probably would screw up again, but not in the same way. He was in this for the long haul because she was. Helping people was in her DNA, the same as it was in his.

He’d find a way to conquer his fear for her safety, but first he had to get through that pride and earn her trust. They’d make a great team. He just needed a little time to convince her. And working with her, here at the inner-city clinic, would be a huge first step.

“Yes, you do. You

“I’m not going to sit here and argue these issues with you because we’d probably never agree, and we don’t need to.  It’s okay for us to disagree in theory.  Bottom line is getting these people help, right? Isn’t that what’s most important? I can help. I’m willing to help. And I’m professional enough to keep my prejudices to myself.”

Gianna’s steady look made him want to squirm. “Why should I trust you?”

“Because I’m asking.” He took her hand in his. “Please. Give me another chance.”

“I don’t know, Joe.” She sighed loudly and looked away. “I’m angry. Angry at you, angry at the jerk who killed my dad. Just. Plain. Angry. You know, I actually wanted to go out and buy a gun?” She turned to look back at him, as if to see if she’d shocked him.  

It’d take a lot more than that to shock him.

“I thought about buying a gun, learning how to use it, and then living in my father’s house, waiting for that bastard to come after me so I could blow him to kingdom come.” She stared at him. “I wanted to kill him and end this nightmare. I wanted to kill him to avenge my father’s death. I’m

Joe wanted to pull Gianna close and tell her it’d be all right, but that wasn’t what she needed. After what she’d been through, she needed to hang onto her anger. She needed to work it out for herself. “Understandable.”

“But that makes me no better than him. I was willing to kill.”

“But you didn’t.”

“Only because I’m a coward. I couldn’t bring myself to spend a night in that house again.”

“Gianna, wanting revenge is totally understandable. It’s human. And Pat will catch the guy. You’ll have justice. Just be patient. In the meantime, why don’t you concentrate on something you

She wilted. “But you don’t believe.”

He took her hand in his. “I believe in you; that’s a start.”

About the Author

Theresa Rizzo is an award-winning author who writes romantic crime fiction and emotional stories that explore the complexity of relationships and families through real-life trials. Born and raised in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, she currently lives outside of Boulder, Colorado with her husband of thirty-three years. After attaining a BS in Nursing, Theresa retired to raise four wonderful children and write.

Find Theresa on the web at, or connect with her on Facebooktwitter or and Goodreads

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