After five years of hell with an abusive husband, Natasha Hartford vows never to trust another man. Then she stumbles onto a murder scene and meets sexy, stubborn Homicide Detective Chase Brandon, a take-no-prisoners tough guy who’ll settle for nothing less than the truth. Sparks fly, but Chase’s suspicions and Natasha’s innate distrust block the way to happiness.
The detective struggles with his own troubled past and is determined to find the truth behind the shadows dimming Natasha's eyes. As more murders occur and a possible connection to her ex-husband appears, Chase fears her life is in danger.
Natasha and Chase race to find the killer before he strikes again. Their survival depends on their willingness to overcome their mistrust of one another. Will they overcome their fears and find love again?
The thick carpet muted the tapping of her high heels as she fled through the reception area and down the hall to the elevators. In spite of her cowardly retreat, she wanted to shout in triumph. She’d been terrified of angering the surly detective, but she’d dragged up her courage and told him what she thought. Blood buzzed through her veins, fueled by the adrenaline rush. Damn. It was good to have her old fire back.
She glanced down a short corridor on her left and stumbled to a stop. How had she missed the ropes of yellow police tape blocking the entry to one of the rooms? Her breath hitched in her throat. That must be where the grisly crime had occurred.
The shocking truth struck her like a blow—Jonas Waverley was dead. Murdered in cold blood. She staggered and grabbed onto the wall.
“Ms. Hartford, wait.”
She glanced back.
Detective Brandon strode along the corridor toward her, his long legs eating up the distance, a determined expression on his face.
Her earlier spurt of courage vanished, and she whirled and dashed toward the bank of elevators. Chest heaving, heart pounding, she hit the button for the elevator, jabbing it again and again.
“Look, I’m sorry,” he said, catching up. “I was hard on you, but I’m just doing my job. A man was murdered.” He rubbed the back of his neck. “I have to examine every possible lead, question every person of interest.”
She shuddered and stabbed the down button again. Person of interest? Her? She was a person of interest in a murder investigation?
“Can we go somewhere and talk?”
She shot him a look, making it clear what she thought of his suggestion.
He lifted one shoulder. “Maybe we could grab a coffee? I have a few more questions I’d like to ask.”
The elevator pinged, and the doors opened with a hiss, revealing a middle-aged man and an elderly woman who stared at them with vague interest.
Natasha stumbled toward the elevator.
Detective Brandon grabbed her arm, holding her back. “Ms. Hartford, wait.”
Warmth from his large tanned hand seeped through the thin material of her raincoat and raised goose bumps on her arm. “Let me go.” Her voice was shrill with rising hysteria. She tugged, but he held on, his grip tightening.
“What’s going on here?” the man in the elevator demanded. His dapper, military-style, red mustache bristled, and wisps of carrot-orange thinning hair stood at attention around his narrow face. Two patches of red bloomed on his cheeks. He stepped forward as if to intervene.
“Official business.” Holding her arm with one hand, the detective yanked out his wallet and flashed his badge. “I’m a police officer.”
Her would-be-rescuer shuffled his feet and hesitated, but Detective Brandon glared him down. The redheaded man paled and scurried back to the safety of the elevator.
The female passenger’s lined face flushed red, and she gasped, clutching her oversized purse in front of her as if wielding a shield. She lunged for the control panel and slapped buttons.
The doors swished closed.
In the ensuing silence, Natasha remained frozen in place.