...deftly balances all the juicy elements - romance, chills, heat, and suspense - into one eloquently orchestrated symphony titled Mortal Deception....Move over Sandra Brown 'cause Liz is the heir apparent to your literary throne!
........ Diane Morasco, Seattle Post
Before the night ends, I’m going to have sex with a total stranger.
Taking a deep breath Dani Perez walked toward the hotel bar, her red stilettos clattering like a Riverdance audition on the black marble floor.
What the hell are you looking at? she wanted to scream when the desk clerk glanced up with a knowing smile. But she knew exactly why he was looking. The stupid dress damn-near showed the cheeks of her ass.
Dani smiled, thinking when she got home, she’d have to make a big deposit in Abby’s pickle jar decorated with commodes. Her daughter called her creation the “potty-mouth jar”. Since Christmas, Dani had to pay up every time she cursed. She and Abby were saving for their dream vacation, and at the rate she was going, Hawaii wasn’t an unrealistic destination. Hell, the F word alone was worth a whopping twenty bucks.
Dani wasn’t proud of the way she talked, but old habits die hard. Five years on the Cimarron Police Force riding with Jerry Spigoretti had added a variety of colorful words to her vocabulary. She’d thought when she left the job last year, she’d clean up her language, but working with Harry Fielding, another hard-nosed ex-cop turned PI, hadn’t helped. On a good day, she was able to keep it under control.
Today isn’t a good day.
She stopped in front of the door, a sudden rush of apprehension overwhelming her as she struggled to keep a falling ringlet of hair out of her eyes. Silently, she cursed her twin. Her usual ponytail would have been so much easier, but Nikki had insisted on pulling her unmanageable hair up and curling it around her face—said it was sexy. How freakin’ sexy would it be if she landed on her barely-covered tush because she couldn’t see?
The huge purse they’d picked out felt like it was full of rocks, but she needed one this size to hold the equipment she would use. She jerked it higher on her shoulder, glancing back to see if the clerk was still watching.
He was. She fought the urge to flip him off.
Breathe, chica. A lot is riding on tonight.
The minute she opened the door, her eyes widened, a reaction to the darkened room, lit only by the neon signs behind the bar and the candles on the ten or so tables strategically placed around the room. Even in this light, she could see the entire bar area, praying he’d be there, petrified he was. She’d counted on him being a creature of habit and doing the exact same thing he’d done every Thursday for the five weeks she’d tailed him.
Dr. Nathan Randall didn’t disappoint her. He was alone as usual, at the far end of the bar, mindlessly twirling a glass on the counter. The lump in her throat threatened to cut off her breathing while she watched him put down the drink and rub his forehead, probably unaware he did that often. She didn’t have to see his searing blue eyes to know they were squinted in deep thought, an image she’d captured on film many times.
She hated what she would have to do to him.
Eyes finally adjusted to the dark, Dani chose a table far enough to be out of sight from where he sat but close enough for observation. She attempted to sit down gracefully without compromising her dignity in the skin tight dress, but it was a losing battle. She reached behind and tugged at the hem of the red jersey number as it rode up her thighs.
She was sure she had given everyone a peek all the way up her legs to the thong panties she was dying to pull out of her butt. She didn’t get the whole thong panties thing. Number one, they’d cost eight dollars on sale. Who pays eight dollars for panties that barely had enough material to qualify as a G-string?
And damn! Who wants to walk around with a constant wedgie?
She plopped the heavy purse on the floor and glanced up to see if anyone had seen her flash. Her eyes connected with a middle-aged man sitting at the corner of the bar, facing her. He lifted his glass and smiled.
She lowered her eyes. The last thing she wanted to do was call any more attention to herself before she was ready. And she needed a whole lot of courage to be ready.
Dani waited until the waitress approached before she looked up again, afraid the guy in the suit might consider any further eye contact an invitation. She’d prided herself on reading people, had actually avoided danger on the job because of that particular skill. Her radar said this guy definitely had the married-but-trolling-for-stray-action look all over his Midwestern face.
“What can I get you?” The flat tone in the waitress’s voice conveyed her disapproval.
Dani didn’t blame her. Hell, she’d disapprove of herself, too in this outfit that screamed I come with a price.
“What’s the latest drinking rage these days?” she asked, knowing the Corona she craved wouldn’t go with her on-the-prowl persona.
Marcia, according to the nametag on her blouse, looked surprised by the question. “Depends on what you like.”
What does someone whose ass is hanging out of a dress usually drink?