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I know I was reading this in 2023 as eBooks, but I can't seem to find it in my reading history. The protagonist is a housewife (husband, at least two kids) who has the bad luck of being at a grocery store when it's held up. A bullet grazes her head, and afterwards, she realizes she can hear the thoughts of people around her. I remember that the realization came about shortly after she answers some questions that the police officer (who she dubs "Officer Dimples" over the physical feature she first noticed about him) was thinking, but hadn't said yet. I believe one person dies from being shot, and it comes out that she saw the shooter's face, so it's feared that he'll try to silence her. Somewhere in the course of events, she winds up accidentally revealing her abilities to an organized crime boss in town, and he essentially blackmails her into working for him. This association also leads to her being assigned a bodyguard with a Spanish name (Rodriguez?) who she feels a strong physical attraction to, although she stays true to her husband.

In the first book, it basically deals with her gaining the abilities, dealing with the organized crime boss (he basically is using her to figure out who in his organization might betray him), dealing with the shooter (I think the bodyguard winds up killing him), dealing with a co-worker who's trying to seduce her husband (who works at a law office, I now remember) who is also the adopted niece of the crime boss (this leads to her starting to call the boss "Uncle", initially because that's how the co-worker calls him and later because she knows it bugs the boss although he secretly starts enjoying it), and finally receiving another head injury that seems to take her gift away. Oh, and she starts helping the police under the guise of being a "psychic" who has visions.

The second book, the mind-reading comes back. I don't remember the exact details, but I think that there's something involving a Mexican cartel that's also partially tied to the crime boss disappearing while on a trip across the border. If it's the one I remember, it eventually comes out that he has a son from a youthful affair, who he's planning to bring back to groom him as a successor. I think she also finally admits her powers to her husband, which leads to various bits of personal drama where he makes it clear that he's unhappy she can read his thoughts (also that he's unhappy that she's working for a criminal). I remember she buys herself a flashlight with a built-in taser, and at one point uses it to rescue herself from some of the cartel operatives.

From there, the details kind of melt together, but I remember one book had her husband involved in a legal case where an assassin manages to kill (or at least heavily wound) a witness on a trial, escaping by disguising themselves as a woman where that killer eventually gets killed by the bodyguard (who walks up and shoots the killer in the head while said killer is threatening the protagonist in a garden outside the court room). One book had her and the bodyguard in Florida, retrieving some microfiche for the crime boss. The bodyguard is originally from that part of Florida, where he ran with a gang, and they get caught up in a mixture of tying up loose ends and dealing with the aftermath of the bodyguard's history, including him finding out that his little brother, who he thought had died in the incident that led him into organized crime, had survived. Oh, and over the course of the books, the protagonist learns to play poker, heavily aided by her mind-reading while everyone else assumes she's just amazingly good and hides it under pretending to be relatively ignorant about the game.

Other than that she keeps getting pulled into organized crime, other issues in her life include that she's become very aware of every negative thought people have about her, including occasionally her husband (who once he knows about her abilities, occasionally broadcasts his unhappiness with her without saying anything) and her kids (who see her as a desperately uncool adult), her attraction to the bodyguard as well as knowing he finds her attractive (although nothing happens), and her trying to find ways to justify knowing what she knows so that she can help people.

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Carrots by Colleen Helme.

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Shelby Nichols is an average woman who is married to the only guy she ever fell for. Her life is organized and predictable, revolving around her husband and two children. All that changes the day she stops at the grocery store for some carrots. As the cashier rings up her purchases, a gunman is busy robbing the bank inside the store. When a customer grabs the robber's mask, he is shot and everyone runs for cover. Everyone except Shelby, who finds herself face to face with the killer. The next thing she knows, she's lying on the floor with a bullet wound to her head. Luckily, the bullet only grazes her scalp, and she doesn't suspect any lasting affects until later, when she suddenly 'hears' what people are thinking. With this uncanny ability, her life takes on a whole new dimension. Her kids think she's bossy and too old to understand them, but that's nothing compared to her husband. He says he loves her, but what is it about the redhead at work that he doesn't want her to know? As if that isn't enough, the gunman knows she can identify him, and he's out to silence her forever. In her fight to stay alive, she is saved from certain death by a handsome hit-man with ties to organized crime. This pulls Shelby even deeper into danger, where knowing someone's thoughts can not only hurt her feelings, but get her killed.

Found by searching for: robbery bullet head thoughts fantasy site:goodreads.com/book/show/

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  • That explains it... Kindle history, I think from when I got KU for free for a few months.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Mar 24 at 17:13
  • Hmm, 17 books in the series.
    – NJohnny
    Mar 24 at 20:13
  • @Njohnny: Oh wow... I only made it through the first 5 or so, I think. I celebrate authors who can be that prolific.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Mar 24 at 20:19

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