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Chapter One

One day before my eighteenth birthday. My third day of summer vacation—that lazy rite of passage between high school and college. The only one I'd ever have. Ruined. All because of that private investigator showing up at my door. I never should have let him in—although, technically, my aunt invited him inside.

"Are you Emma Winslow, daughter of Franklin and Anne Winslow?"

"Yes." I didn't like the way his dark eyes tried to bore a hole in my head, like I'd done something wrong. Nothing came to mind, anyway. Maybe this was a prank, courtesy of my friend Jenna.

"And you were born in London, England?" He pressed on, despite my aunt hovering now like a chicken with ruffled feathers.

"Yes, she was," Aunt Martha answered when I didn't reply quickly enough. "What's this all about?"

He flashed a smile full of teeth and reached inside his jacket pocket. I admit I flinched, expecting to be kidnapped or shot or something else straight out of a horror movie. Instead, he pulled out a thick envelope and handed it to me.

"Just confirming your identity for my client. Happy birthday." He turned and let himself out, leaving me to stare at the envelope with some fancy solicitor name printed on the front.

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