By: Patricia Rosemoor
Releasing January 6th, 2015
Fans of Linda Howard will love Dangerous, the story of a driven female cop who teams up with an irresistible ex-con to bring a killer to justice—and discovers that breaking the rules is hotter on the wrong side of the law.
Chicago homicide detective Camille Martell will stop at nothing to track down “Angel,” a sexual predator who has already butchered two young victims—even after her off-the-books investigation leads to her suspension. But when her relentless attempts to contact Angel online puts her teenage neighbor in mortal danger, Camille’s worst fears are realized. Panicked and overwhelmed with guilt, Camille needs help—even if it comes from the one man she swore she’d do anything to forget.
After serving time for a trumped-up charge, private investigator Drago Nance doesn’t trust cops. Nothing will change that, not even the steamy weekend with Camille that burned itself into his memory. But with an innocent girl’s life at stake, Drago can’t ignore the need in Camille’s eyes, or the heated promise in her touch. He agrees to help—if she’s willing to play by his rules. He just never suspected that seducing his partner could be just as thrilling as chasing a madman.
With 90 novels and more than seven million books in print, Patricia Rosemoor is fascinated with "dangerous love" – combining romance with danger. She has written various forms of romantic and paranormal romantic thrillers, even romantic horror, bringing a different mix of thrills and chills to her stories.
Patricia has won a Golden Heart from Romance Writers of America and two Reviewers Choice and two Career Achievement Awards from RT BOOKreviews, and in her other life, she teaches Popular Fiction and Suspense-Thriller Writing, credit courses at Columbia College Chicago. Three of her Columbia grad students and two students from other venues are now published in novel-length fiction
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But what made her hold her breath was the IM block at the bottom of the screen. Angel had tried contacting her—rather Morrigan. Sandy must have been checking her email when the IM came in.
Camille focused on the last exchange. Sandy asking where Angel wanted to meet her . . . Angel saying the coffee stand at the new Riverfront Shopping Center at five thirty . . . Sandy saying she would be there.
What the hell!
Camille sat stunned for a moment, not believing her eyes. Her heart drummed so fast the beat filled her ears.
She should have been the one who’d seen the instant message from Angel, not Sandy. And Sandy was fourteen years old—what was she doing agreeing to meet a man she didn’t know?
Rather Morrigan, her own alter ego, had accepted.
Angel thought he was meeting her . . .
And Sandy would have known that!
Horrified, Camille flew from the chair and grabbed her keys. No time to call the kid’s mom. She raced to the door. Max beat her there.
She ruffled his fur and blocked him from going outside as she turned and left. It was nearly five thirty now.
Camille pulled away from the curb turning on her flashing headlights and siren so other drivers would pull their vehicles to the side. Her gut clenched and her throat closed. She had to get there on time. Had to! Her hands were trembling uncontrollably, so she gripped the steering wheel tighter, slowing only at intersections long enough to make sure they were clear.
Throughout the drive, Camille tried not to panic. She could feel the adrenaline rushing through her—her breathing was erratic. All she could think about was that a girl’s life was at stake.
Her fault . . . all her fault . . .
Panic would render her useless, and Sandy would suffer for it. Why hadn’t she locked her computer so the girl couldn’t access it? Had Sandy used her computer before and Camille just hadn’t realized it? Lord knows what else she may have seen. Camille often sent herself notes from the office about her cases so she could review them as needed.
She should have talked to the girl, gotten to know her better, but getting close to people was something Camille avoided. In her world, she skirted personal relationships and focused on understanding criminals and how they worked so she could track them down, arrest them, and get them off the street. Relationships were for other people. Camille was her job.
Arriving at the shopping center in record time, she parked curbside and raced to the upper-level entrance where she’d have the best view. Once in the center of the mall, she ran to the rail and scanned the lower level. Chest tight now and barely breathing, she searched for a familiar blond ponytail around the coffee stand. No Sandy.
Her fault . . . all her fault . . .
Swallowing hard, she raced to the down escalator, her gaze skipping from one part of the mall to the next. No Sandy. No man who appeared to be a predator, though how would she know? They came in all shapes and sizes. She could be staring straight at him now and not recognize him.
At the coffee stand, she pulled out her star and flashed it at the wiry teenager behind the counter. “Detective Camille Martell. How long have you been working this afternoon?”
“Um, I didn’t do nothin’ wrong.”
“I’m not accusing you. I’m just looking for someone who might be in trouble . . .” She glanced at his name tag. “. . . Keshawn. How long?”
“A-after school. Four.”
The kid could be a witness, then. Angel’s message had instructed her to be here at five-thirty. It was now a little before six.
“Do you remember serving a girl with long blond hair?” She was looking around again, hopeful that she could still spot Sandy. “Always wears it in a ponytail. A fresh-faced fourteen-year-old.”
“Lotsa kids hang out here.”
Indeed, three girls occupied a nearby table.
She stared hard into the kid’s deep brown eyes filled with suspicion, no doubt because she was a cop. “Think hard, Keshawn. This is really important. Pretty. Blue eyes. Blond ponytail. Maybe a half hour ago. She was probably alone to start, but she was meeting someone. Not a boy. A man.”
His dark face pulled into a frown. “A man? Yeah, maybe I saw her. I thought it was kind of weird, ’cause the guy was way old for her, but she got all blushy and giggly. She was sittin’ with her coffee over there . . .” He pointed to an empty table. “Then the man got up from where he’d been over there . . .” He pointed in the other direction. “. . . and joined her.”
“What did he look like?”
“Longish blond hair. Kinda curly. Okay lookin’, I guess, for a white guy. He was tall and kinda built, like he works out.”
Her stomach knotted. “How long ago did they leave?”
“Five . . . ten minutes, maybe.” He indicated the closest exit, making Camille’s stomach free fall. “Looked like they were goin’ to the parking lot, but I got busy with a customer.”
“I’m calling this in.” She pulled out her cell phone and walked backward toward that parking lot. “You don’t leave, Keshawn. Another officer will be here shortly to talk to you. You may just have saved a girl’s life. Thank you.”
With that, she whipped around and connected to Dispatch and gave them her ID. “We may have another victim in the Chat Room Predator Case. The suspect may have taken a fourteen-year-old girl out of the Riverfront Shopping Center. I need uniforms and crime scene investigators here as soon as possible to follow up.”
Someone official needed to talk to Keshawn and to get prints from that table. Too much to hope for DNA.
Heading out the door, she quickly scanned the parking lot. No Sandy. What had she expected? Certainly not for a levelheaded girl to leave with a man she’d just met.
The thought slammed her with a memory she would rather forget. How she’d instantly fallen for Drago Nance. How she’d left the bar with him after one drink.