2 Bodies for the Price of 1 (Body Movers Series #2)

( 54 )

Overview

With fugitive parents, a brother dodging loan sharks, a hunky cop who's made her outlaw family his business, and her ex-fianc? back in the picture, Carlotta Wren thought her life couldn't get any more complicated. And then?

Her fugitive parents phone home.

Her identity is stolen by a look-alike.

Her look-alike is found, well?dead.

Under suspicion for murder, Carlotta ...

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Overview

With fugitive parents, a brother dodging loan sharks, a hunky cop who's made her outlaw family his business, and her ex-fiancé back in the picture, Carlotta Wren thought her life couldn't get any more complicated. And then…

Her fugitive parents phone home.

Her identity is stolen by a look-alike.

Her look-alike is found, well…dead.

Under suspicion for murder, Carlotta discovers that her devious double might have been bumped off accidentally—and that she could be the real target! Throw in dealing with her motley crew of family, friends and wannabe lovers, and Carlotta begins to think that jail isn't such a bad alternative after all….

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Bond's charming new Carlotta Wren mystery (after 2006's Body Movers) has all the ingredients for a chic sleuth-a-thon, from identity theft and designer clothes to dead bodies and poker. Rich girl-turned-Neiman's shop girl Carlotta was left at 18 to raise her 10-year-old brother, Wesley, after their parents, Randolph and Valerie, skipped town to avoid investment fraud charges. Ten years later, snarky Atlanta DA Kelvin Lucas has reopened the case. Grouchy love interest Det. Jack Terry wants information that Carlotta's afraid to divulge. Randolph makes a mysterious call to Carlotta and also gets in touch with Peter Ashford, her attentive ex-fiancé. Wesley, an oddly likable slacker and compulsive gambler, believes in their dad's innocence, but Carlotta's not so sure. When a woman with Carlotta's car and I.D. apparently kills herself, Lucas requests a fake funeral to lure her parents back. Bond keeps the pace frantic, the plot tight and the laughs light, and supplies a cliffhanger ending that's a bargain at twice the price. (Aug.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780778324843
  • Publisher: Mira
  • Publication date: 8/1/2007
  • Series: Body Movers Series , #2
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 710,677
  • Product dimensions: 5.13 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephanie Bond grew up in eastern Kentucky, but traveled to distant lands through Harlequin romance novels. Years later, the writing bug bit her, and once again she turned to romance. Her writing has allowed her to travel in person to distant lands to teach workshops and promote her novels. She’s written more than forty projects for Harlequin, including a romantic mystery series called Body Movers. To learn more about Stephanie Bond and her novels, visit www.stephaniebond.com.

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Read an Excerpt

"Sweetheart, it's me…Daddy."

Carlotta Wren stepped off the up escalator in the Atlanta Neiman Marcus department store where she worked, so shocked by the sound of the voice on the other end that she dropped her cell phone.It landed on the shiny,waxed floor with a smack, bounced and skidded away. With her heart in her stomach, she frantically scrambled after the fleeing phone, the baritone of her long-lost fugitive father ringing in her ears.

Was it really him calling after ten years of silence? Ten years during which she'd put her life on hold to finish raising herself and her younger brother Wesley after her parents had skipped bail—and town—on investment fraud charges. Ten years of feeling alone and abandoned after her friends and even her fiancé had withdrawn their affection in light of the scandal.

The tiny phone spun away like a mouse scurrying for cover. Carlotta gulped air as she clambered after it, brushing the shoulders of people in her path, darting between racks of clothing. The foot of a striding customer struck the phone and sent it spinning in another direction. Carlotta hurtled after it, feeling her father slip farther from her grasp with every agonizing second that passed. She was practically hyperventilating when she fell to her knees, curled her fingers around the elusive phone and jammed it to her ear."Hello? Daddy?"

Dead air. If it had been Randolph Wren on the other end of the line, he was gone.

A sob welled up in her chest."Daddy, can you hear me?" She couldn't bring herself to hang up, unwilling to sever the only connection she'd had with her father in over a decade. Then she realized that he might be trying to call her back and stabbed the disconnect button. Sitting under a rack of beaded bathing-suit sarongs,Carlotta stared at the phone,willing it to ring again, thinking how ridiculous she would seem to an onlooker—an almost thirty-year-old woman sitting on the floor waiting for a call back from her long-lost daddy.

Somewhere between her nonexistent career goals, her brother's legal problems, their hulking debt to loan sharks and her confused love life, she'd made the transition from pitiful to pathetic.

Suddenly she remembered the callback feature and realized with a surge of excitement that she'd at least be able to see what number he'd called from. She stabbed at buttons on the phone,but was rewarded with a rather sick-sounding tone and noticed with dismay that the display was interrupted by a hairshattered family. Carlotta felt less forgiving, esher mother Valerie, who hadn't been a crime, yet had chosen a life on the lam over She sat on her heels for five long minperspiraA shadow fell over her. When she standing with her eyebrows raised.

narrow blonde, conservatively Patricia

is there a problem?" Lindy asked.

"No."

You know you're not supposed to be using "Yes," Carlotta said, her throat closing. "But this is a—an emergency."

"Oh?" Lindy crossed her arms in front of her chest. "Are you on an organ-donor list?"

"No."

"The phone-a-friend for a contestant on a national trivia show?"

"No."

"Waiting to hear back from your next employer?" Patricia snickered and Carlotta swallowed."N-no."

Lindy extended her hand. "Hand it over. You can pick it up at the end of your shift."

"But—"

"No buts, Carlotta. You're already skating on thin ice around here."

Carlotta bit her tongue. Lindy had been more than fair to give her a get-out-of-jail-free card for buying clothes on her employee discount, wearing them to crash upscale parties, then returning the fancy outfits for full credit.Ditto when she had been involved in a knock-down drag-out fight with a customer right here in the store—and been implicated in that customer's subsequent murder. That particular misunderstanding had since been cleared up, but Carlotta's once-stellar sales record had slipped badly in the interim. It hadn't helped that the murdered woman had been a high-volume customer.

She was lucky that she hadn't been canned weeks ago, and since she and Wesley depended on her paycheck for little things like paying the mortgage…with a shaky smile, she handed the phone to Lindy. "Carlotta, have you met Patricia Alexander?"

"Not formally." She extended her hand to the blonde.

"Hello."

The woman's hand was just as cold as her smile."Hello." "Patricia is number one in sales this week," Lindy said. "Congratulations," Carlotta murmured, stinging with the knowledge that not too long ago, she had owned that number one spot.

"Thanks," Patricia said, then laughed—a sound that reminded Carlotta of a test of the Emergency Broadcast System."No hard feelings, I hope."

"Why should there be?"

The woman angled her head."Because I plan to break your sales record. Better watch your back." Her frosty smile didn't match her breezy tone.

Lindy gave Carlotta a pointed look, then dropped the phone into her jacket pocket. Carlotta watched the women walk away, along with all hopes of talking to her father today.

Had it really been him? And if so, would he think she'd hung up on him purposely,that she didn't want to talk to him? Worrying her lower lip, she wondered—did she?

If anyone had asked what she would do if her father called out of the blue, Carlotta would've sworn that she would hang up on him. Over the years her anger had grown into an almost tangible mass,like a tumor.Yet at the sound of his voice, she had regressed to Daddy's little girl—the entitled, spoiled teenager she'd been when he'd disappeared, the naive, young woman who couldn't conceive that her parents would desert her and her nine-year-old brother. With a mere four words uttered from his mouth, she'd been ready to accept his explanation and his apology…assuming he'd had either to offer.

She covered her mouth to suppress the aching wail that lodged in her throat. Knowing that her father still had that much power over her made her feel even less in control than usual. How dare he dive-bomb back into their lives like that?

Perilously close to losing it,Carlotta backtracked to find her shoe, but was blinded by tears of frustration. She wiped at her eyes angrily and swore under her breath.

"Is this what you're looking for?"

She winced, then turned at the unmistakable noise of Detective Jack Terry's voice. She blinked away the moisture to find him studying her red Dior stiletto-heel slide with the same intensity that she'd seen him study evidence at crime detective into close proximity at a couple of crime scenes, with abrasive results. Jack Terry was the one person she didn't want to see right now—the brute had recently reopened her father's case.

"Yes," she snapped, snatching the shoe out of his big hand.

"What are you doing here?"

"Irritating you, apparently." Then he suddenly looked sheepish and she realized he was dressed too casually to be on duty. He cleared his throat."If you must know, I need a monkey suit for a bigwig department dinner and I could use your…uh…help…picking out something."

Her anger receded. He had no idea what had just transpired. And wouldn't know unless she told him…or unless he'd made good on his threat to put a trace on her and Wesley's phones. He wasn't convinced that a handful of postcards was the only contact they'd had with their missing parents.

He gestured over his shoulder."Maybe I should just go to the place where I usually shop."

"I didn't realize that Dick's Sporting Goods sold formal wear," she said dryly.

"This was a bad idea." He turned to go.

"No, Jack. Wait." He stopped and Carlotta wondered if he realized it was the first time she'd called him anything other than Detective Terry—or one of the several unsavory nicknames she had uttered privately. But recently he—and one of her collectible Judith Leiber breastplate necklaces, circa mid1980s—had saved her from the bullet of a murderer, and in the aftermath,something electric had passed between them.She felt that confusing jolt now, at a loss to explain why she would be attracted to this good old Southern boy who—between arresting her brother for hacking into the Atlanta courthouse records, resurrecting her father's case and grilling her about her customer's murder—seemed to have made her family's lawlessness his pet project.

"What?" His nose flared and she sensed that he too felt the unwelcome sexual energy bouncing between them.

To break the moment, she narrowed her eyes."No way are you going to deny me the pleasure of seeing you buttoned into a tux."

Jack frowned."Sadist."

She smiled and dropped her shoe, trying to compose herself as she pushed her bare foot inside. Her father would call back…of course he would.She wobbled and Jack reached out to steady her.

He gave a little laugh, his gold-colored eyes narrow with sudden concern."Are you all right? You seem on edge."

Carlotta stared at his big hand on her arm, reminding herself that if Jack Terry appeared concerned for her well-being, it was only because he was trying to get on her good side in the hope that she would lead him to her parents.

She pulled away."I'm fine, Detective. Follow me."

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 54 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(34)

4 Star

(15)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

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1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 54 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2012

    Awesome book

    I accidentally skipped the first book but i loved the book and im hooked in the series.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2011

    recommend if you can find one!

    I purchased books 1-3 in a package on nook fell in LOVE with this series for some reason book 2 has vanished off my nook and I can't re down load it or re purchase the item ( I would by the way ) so confused? Where the heck did this book go. Also went to Barnes and Noble and was told I couldn't order it from there in any form??? Strange. If I didn't like the books so much I wouldn't care..

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Awesome

    The best series I have read in a long time.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2013

    To kathleen

    I understand. And i love u more than any1 has ever loved u i bet... right?

    1 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 26, 2011

    Would recommend this series

    Why isn't this book on Nook?? I just read the 1st book and went online to buy the 2nd one and its not available what the heck?

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2011

    Why not on Nook?

    I just got done reading the first in the series and loved it ... went to download the 2nd book and it isn't available on the nook??!!?? The rest of the series appears to be available, but not the 2nd!!
    Don't know if I should go onto 3rd book or not! Was really looking forward to getting into the 2nd book tonight!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great Follow-Up

    Great follow-up to the first in the series (Body Movers). Here, Carlotta's love interests become a little more complicated, along with the rest of her life. Someone has assumed her identity, ruined her credit and then turned up dead. Can she use her supposed death to flush her parents out of hiding? Wes continues to make bad decisions. Hannah tries to get Carlotta more involved in the body moving business. The series is heating up!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2009

    So Good!

    Okay,I was looking for a book that had something different that was exciting but still had that bit of romance, yesterday I had the whole day to myself so I went to the library and saw this book sitting on the shelf all by itself, amidst all the other dark, dreary 'mystery' book covers. It caught my attention so I picked it up and was intrigued by the title. Once I started I couldn't put it down, I finished it in one day! I can't wait to get the next one, but first I'm going to go get the first one. Stephanie Bond is now my new favorite author, I can't wait to read the entire series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great Follow Up

    This book was even better than the first one in the series! Carlotta now has some romantic competition in her life that makes for a very interesting read! I could hardly wait to go buy the third one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2008

    Great Plot

    I usually read Western based books, but bought the first in this series, Body Movers, because I needed a book and it was on sale. Luck was on my side that day, I finished it and ran out to by this 2nd book in the series because I HAD to know what was happening. I read this in 2 days and now can NOT wait for the next one. Bond keeps it moving and develops the characters - you feel like you know them. A little sexual tension, a quirky friend whom Carlotta is loyal to some frustration w/ the loving little brother and a knack for attracting trouble make this a great read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2013

    The best mystery series.... I was hooked from the start and cou

    The best mystery series....

    I was hooked from the start and couldn't put this book down. I've now finished the series up to book 6 1/2 and waiting patiently for book 7 to come out. I highly recommend this series. Very exciting and keeps you on your toes and WANTING MORE! 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2013

    enjoyable

    The books have a fun premise and are easy to read but my biggest complaint with this whole series is that she retells the stories from the past books over and over.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2013

    Entertaining

    Love this series, but I am ready for it to end!! Ms. Bond is now on her sixth book in this series and I want a conclusion! She is an excellent writer and keeps one involved from beginning to "when-on-earth-will-it-end!"

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2013

    Highly recommended

    A great follow up book to the first one. Great and easy read filled with suspense and action you can't put it down!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 20, 2013

    I love this series. They go together in threes. If you read Bo

    I love this series. They go together in threes. If you read Body Movers, you will have to read 2 and 3 to know what happens. 4-6 follow each other as well. Carlotta Wren has joined Eve Dallas and Stephanie Plum as my favorite characters. They read as mysteries rather than romances. I can't wait for the next installments!

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  • Posted March 19, 2013

    Must read series!!

    Love the series!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2013

    A fun read with delightful characters and a good plot

    If you're up for an escape and a fun mystery, this is it. I've read all four Body Movers books and hope there will be a fifth soon. Three men attractive men and stylish leading lady, who is prone to misadventures, kept me interested and eager to see what would happen next.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2013

    So far a cute series

    I have enjoyed the first two books enough i want the next one. Carlotte is a little inmature for her 28 years but it's not bad enough to take away from the book. Her relationship with her brother is great and the slow build of her three suitors is great who will she choose?

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  • Posted February 22, 2013

    I've enjoyed reading this series. Buy all of them -- one book r

    I've enjoyed reading this series. Buy all of them -- one book runs into the other and it's addictive!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2013

    Juliana

    Name:julie. Age:10. Looks: short anf skinny wearing neon colors. Blonde hair and blue eyes.~Juliana

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 54 Customer Reviews

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