He's an overworked police chief, and she's a disgraced cop. Can he rescue her from her own depths of hell without losing his heart to her in the process?
Someone is kidnapping newborn infants and selling them to the highest bidder. Police Chief Patrick Carter has his hands full investigating the case. To complicate matters, he's short on staff.
Jade Harlowe has secrets, ones that she vowed no one would ever know. She used to be a police officer, but when a tragedy occurred—one that everyone held her responsible for—she resigned and moved to another state to start over, accepting a job as a dispatcher for the police, fire, and ambulance departments.
When Patrick discovers Jade's past police experience he offers her a job on the force. He needs help working the kidnapping cases, and Jade previously solved a similar case, so she could be a valuable asset. But will they be able to fight the attraction that's sizzling between them? Something that could be very distracting if they can't control it.
The clock is ticking. They have to find those babies and prevent more from being taken. But a very nosy news reporter may compromise everything if she digs deep enough to uncover Jade's past.
Neither Patrick nor Jade thought they had room for each other in their lives, but working so closely together makes it impossible to deny the chemistry. Can Patrick break through the wall Jade has built up around her, or will her past finally catch up with her and she loses everything once again?
Content Warning: contains sexual content
"Jade, in my office. I need to talk to you," Patrick said.
"Okay." She didn't report to him, so why did he want to see her? She entered his office.
"Close the door," he commanded, his voice terse.
She closed the door and sat in the chair in front of his desk.
"There was another kidnapping last night. Here's the file on both kidnappings and files from other known cases to cross-reference. I need you to investigate the cases and try to get these babies back and prevent another one from being taken. I want you to go out into the street, ask questions, get in people's faces, and help solve this crime."
"Um, not an officer, Patrick."
"You are now. If you'll stand, I'll swear you in." He opened the desk drawer to get the book out.
"You can't make me an officer just like that."
"Yes, I can. I know you were an officer in Oklahoma City, and I know your credentials are up-to-date. You are certified and ready to be an officer. All I need to do is swear you in."
"You checked up on me?" Jade asked, her voice faltering.
"No, at first I called the Oklahoma City Police to find out about the kidnapping case you mentioned. In the course of my discussion with the chief, I asked if he knew you, which he said he did."
"Then you know what happened there."
"No, they couldn't tell me due to your non-disclosure stipulation."
"Then you shouldn't hire me."
"I'm giving you an opportunity here. This is your chance to prove yourself. You are given full range to investigate the cases. You'll report back to me every day as part of your training. I will guide you to where and how to solve this crime and many others. Now, are you up to it and ready to start?"
"But…Patrick…um…Chief. This is so sudden. I…" She was speechless, she didn't want to do an investigation into a possible kidnapping. She didn't want to handle cases that involved children. How could she get out of this? Did she really want to get out of this?
"Say yes so we can get started."
"You sure about this?" She wasn't, but she couldn't tell him no. This was the kind of once-in-a-lifetime opportunity you didn't turn down. It felt strange though; he never talked this fast, and he wanted her decision now.
"Yes, I'm sure. So, what do you say?"
"Chief, I'm not sure this is a good idea."
What could she tell him? "I've been away from police work a long time, and I've never been a detective. I was only in training to be one."
"Your previous employer said that you were showing signs of being a good detective. Jade, I need a detective. I need fresh eyes, someone quick to analyze the situation and get to the bottom of this. I'm offering you a chance to prove you are the right person to do the job. Anyone else would jump at the opportunity. Why are you hesitating?"
"I…um…" She couldn't tell him she didn't want to work baby or children cases. You couldn't be selective when you were a detective. You took all cases, no matter how difficult or painful they were. "Have you talked to the fire chief? Does he know?"
"Yes. I talked to him this morning. He's going to hire someone to replace you."
"What about the police commissioners?"
"I'll deal with them."
She stared at Patrick and swallowed a big lump in the back of her throat. A detective? Her heart hammered hard in her chest. Could she do it? If he knew her past, why would he even consider her for the job? Talk about a bombshell dropping. Couldn't she have time to consider it?
But a little glimmer of hope sparked in her heart. So there was a chance for her to redeem herself? She'd be stupid to turn down the opportunity. "Okay. I'll do the best I can."