[BookStrand Romantic Suspense]
Homicide Detective Danny Mardullo is brutally murdered, and when it comes to finding his killer, no one seems to be more capable or more determined than his own daughter. Taking the matter into her own hands, Victoria, an investigative reporter, will do anything to solve the case.
Work undercover for the DEA and FBI? No problem. Date the man suspected of murdering her father? She can do it. Victoria is determined, and she's willing to give up her life and lie to her own family. After all, she just lost her father, and she's already lost her one true love, Steven, to the war in Iraq when he was listed as MIA.
She’s got nothing to lose until her one true love shows up very much alive and intent on starting up things exactly where the two of them left off. But she has a role to play, and she's willing to risk it all for justice.
Note: This book was previously published by a different publisher.
A BookStrand Mainstream Romance
4 NYMPHS: "Victoria Mardullo comes from a close knit family and she has been called to a family meeting with the men only. She knows that means trouble for her, if she’s not able to keep her composure with them. The men in the family are known to try and boss around the women to the men’s way of seeing/handling life. It was the same with Steven Mallory, her former boyfriend, who chose the military over her, and it seems he is either dead or missing in action. Ever since Victoria’s father, Homicide Detective Danny Mardullo is killed, she is not satisfied with the work of the officers in charge of the case. So Victoria decides to do her own investigating and she makes some serious discoveries that could cost her life if she’s not careful. Next thing she knows, she’s working undercover for the DEA and FBI, and a missing in action ex-boyfriend, who is now back in her life, just complicates matters even worse. Victoria is the first book in a series called Cop’s Daughter series. I have read a lot of books over the years that are on my reread list, but I’m totally hooked on this particular book. This story had me at the beginning, and Victoria is a big factor that made it more believable for me. She showed everyone a whole other side of herself and she even begin to believe in the role she is acting out. Each person really added so much and that goes for the villains also. Victoria and Steven have a bond of unconditional commitment and, regardless of the years apart, their love held true. She turned out to be quite a tough investigator, as well as other situations that arose for her. Steven really went through a lot while away, and Victoria’s love is what held him together along with a few other people closest to him during his time away. They both proved to be stronger people, who are able to overcome obstacles not to their liking. Ms. Marie’s storytelling proved very creative with a suspenseful murders, villains, and courageous heroines, who prove to be able to handle each crisis that came up. She kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next, and I was not disappointed. This is my first read with Ms. Marie, and I am looking forward to reading more from her in the future." -- Goddess Minx, Literary Nymphs Reviews
The music blared, and everyone was having a good time.
Victoria had remained outside in the parking lot for a good fifteen minutes until someone recognized her. Her brother’s friend Jerry, a police officer, walked her inside from the parking lot. There was no turning back now.
It was obvious everyone recognized her immediately when she entered through the front door. She smiled politely, but her heart pounded out of control. Her body shook, and she scanned the room for Steven. Their gazes met simultaneously, and both of them froze where they were. Her hand instinctively covered her mouth in shock, and the tears burned her eyes. The strength she got from her pep talk earlier just disintegrated in one “poof”—it was gone.
He was more handsome than she recalled, taller, sexier, and in exquisite physical condition. She could feel herself blush, her heart race, her mouth became dry. Damn it, she never loved anyone more.
Swallowing hard, she stood in one place, unable to move any further. Steven closed the distance between them.
* * * *
Steven watched her as she entered the room and his heart paused a moment, then the pounding started again, just like yesterday when he saw her outside her office. She was gorgeous, and he noticed the way others stopped to check her out as he made his way to her. He had been through a war for Christ’s sake, and yet nothing compared to the trepidation, the anxiety, he feared at this moment. It was powerful, emotional, and he hoped not disastrous. She couldn’t be in love with that pompous politician. She belonged to him, and he wasn’t giving Victoria up without a fight.
He couldn’t help himself as his gaze traveled over her body. His body instantly and naturally responded. Missing her, he needed to feel her body against his own. He needed to touch her, to feel her, and love her once again.
She wore a fitted pair of capri pants, light beige, that accentuated her curvy figure and an expensive-looking blouse that hid a tight-fitted tank top, beaded along the trim. His gaze roamed over the slight cleavage, then toward the gold heart locket around her neck. It was from her father for her sixteenth birthday.
Pausing in front of her, all he wanted to do was embrace her, kiss her breathless, and be completely alone with the woman he never stopped loving. But twisted within those emotions was a feeling of unfamiliarity. Had time made them strangers?
* * * *
It seemed like forever, and when he stood so tall and amazingly irresistible in front of her, the electricity between them was enormous. She couldn’t force herself to hate him. Victoria couldn’t breathe just from the sight of him. He was real. He was alive. She swallowed hard.
She begged her mind and body to stick to the plan, to hate him, to resist him with all her might.
Her plan failed as he reached for her. The feel of each solid hand against her body punctured through the material of her blouse directly to her skin. His arms drew her into an embrace, and she lost it.
All she could do was hold him and cry…just hold him and cry.
She didn’t know how long they embraced, just that she’d missed him and had felt dead inside until this very moment. She sobbed uncontrollably, releasing all the fear, anxiety, and heartache that had filled every inch of her body, heart, mind, and soul. In one embrace, it was all released. She felt it move through her body right down to her toes and out.
This man had the power to heal her, to touch her in ways no other human being, action, or miracle could ever touch her. He would always possess her heart.
Steven caressed her hair, holding her compressed against his body. It seemed like they merged together as one.
“Tory, sweetheart, I’ve missed you so much. You’re so beautiful. My God, you’re gorgeous.” He looked down into her eyes, then embraced her again.