Against the Law (Raines of Wind Canyon Series #3)

Against the Law (Raines of Wind Canyon Series #3)

4.3 138
by Kat Martin

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At thirty-two Dev is "mostly retired" from Raines Investigations, content to run operations from his sprawling Arizona home. But Dev has never been able to say no to a beautiful woman, so when Lark Delaney comes to him for help, the former U.S. Army Ranger from Wind Canyon gets back in the game.

Lark is sexy, successful and dedicated to tracking down the


At thirty-two Dev is "mostly retired" from Raines Investigations, content to run operations from his sprawling Arizona home. But Dev has never been able to say no to a beautiful woman, so when Lark Delaney comes to him for help, the former U.S. Army Ranger from Wind Canyon gets back in the game.

Lark is sexy, successful and dedicated to tracking down the baby girl her sister gave up for adoption. It should be a straightforward case, but it's not long before Dev uncovers a shady adoption ring and worse—the child's parents have been murdered and the little girl has been taken.

As the case grows dangerous and Lark needs him more than ever, Dev can't ignore his growing attraction for her. He also can't trust his judgment with women or the emotions he's long-since buried. But there's a chance, if he gets this right and saves Lark's niece, that he'll end up saving himself, too.

Product Details

Publication date:
Raines of Wind Canyon Series , #3
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 4.28(h) x 1.08(d)

Read an Excerpt

He had everything he ever wanted. Plenty of money. A successful business. A sprawling, custom-built home in the Sonoran Desert north of Scottsdale filled with pricey, original works of art. He had a sailboat in San Diego, wore custom-made suits, and had a woman in his bed anytime he felt the urge. Which was often.

Devlin Raines had it all. Yet lately he had begun to feel dissatisfied.

And he had no idea how the hell that could be.

Soaking up the rays of early-October sunshine, the best time of year in Arizona, Dev adjusted his wraparound sunglasses and stretched out on the chaise lounge beside the swimming pool. The sound of water cascading over the rock waterfall at the opposite end began to soothe him. He had almost drifted off when his friend and employee, Townsend Emory, shoved open the sliding glass door.

"Sorry to bother you, boss. There's a woman here to see you. She's damned insistent." Town was a big, black, former tackle for the Arizona Cardinals. A neck injury had ended his career fourteen years ago, but Town had stayed in Phoenix and worked for a number of security firms, including Raines Security, before his old injuries had put him completely out of commission.

Fortunately, the man had brains as well as brawn and now worked at the house, handling Dev's personal affairs. Along with Aida Clark, the housekeeper, Town managed the household and just about anything else that came along.

Dev pushed his sunglasses up on his head and frowned at his friend, who took up a good portion of the doorway. He had a standing rule: none of the women he dated came to the house without calling first. It saved a lot of embarrassment if another woman happened to be there. In his no-strings relationships, the rule had worked fairly well.

So far.

Swinging his long legs to the ground beside the chaise, he stood up, wondering who it was and why she so urgently wanted to see him.

"Hey wait a minute!" he heard Town say as a tall, shapely brunette sailed past him out the door onto the patio. "You can't just barge in here!"

The woman ignored him and just kept walking. "You must be Devlin Raines." She flashed him a bright, self-assured smile and extended a slender hand with nicely manicured, hot-pink nails. She was around five-nine, with very dark, jaw-length hair streaked with red. She was wearing skinny jeans and a pair of strappy, open-toed red spike heels.

He'd never seen her before. She wasn't wearing a wedding ring. And she was sexy as hell.

"I'm Raines." He flicked a glance at Town, telling him the situation was under control, and the big man slipped silently back inside the house. "What can I do for you, Ms….?"

"Delaney. Lark Delaney. I came here to hire you, Mr. Raines. I'm hoping you'll be able to help me."

She was more than just sexy. She was a bombshell. Just not in the usual sense. This woman oozed energy and purpose. She was flashy yet somehow stylish with her big silver hoop earrings and oversize pewter-trimmed, paisley purse.

She wasn't the sort of woman he preferred: a pretty little bit of arm candy who did whatever he told her. Yet he felt the pull of attraction as he hadn't in a very long time.

He lifted his short-sleeved Tommy Bahama shirt off the back of a patio chair and shrugged it on, covering his bare chest and a portion of the navy-blue trunks he was wearing, probably a good idea considering his train of thought and what was happening to his body.

"Why don't we sit down over there in the shade?" He indicated the huge covered patio that looked more like a living room, with a fully complete, top-of-the-line outdoor kitchen. The day was pleasantly warm but not so hot the automatic misters attached to the perimeter had come on.

They sat down in yellow overstuffed chairs around a big table inlaid with colorful mosaic tiles.

"So, Lark…how did you know where to find me?"

It wasn't common knowledge, though he had certainly had enough parties here for word to get out. And of course there were the ladies he brought home.

"Actually, I stopped by your office in Phoenix. When they said you weren't in very often, I came out here. A friend of yours recommended you. Clive Monroe. He gave me your address. He said the two of you served together in the army. He said you were Rangers."

Clive "Madman" Monroe was more than a friend. He had once saved Dev's life. "You're here to hire a private investigator?"

"That's right."

"Didn't Clive tell you I'm retired?" In the army, he'd saved his money and invested in the stock market before it took off—he'd been one of the winners, then gotten even luckier when he invested in Wildcat Oil. He and his brothers had won big on that one.

Lark smiled. She had very full lips painted the same hot-pink shade as her nails. His mind flashed on the erotic things lips like that could do to a man, and his groin tightened.

"Clive said you would help me. He said you owed him a favor."

More than a favor. If it hadn't been for the precisely placed round shot from Monroe's M-4 carbine, he wouldn't be lounging around the pool right now.

"So…are you and Clive…involved?" he found himself asking.

Her eyes widened. Big green cat-eyes that made the rest of her pretty face even more striking. "No. Actually, Clive recently got married. His wife and I are friends—Molly Harris, before she became Molly Monroe."

"I hadn't heard."

"It was kind of a whirlwind romance. Molly's how I met Clive. He's a great guy. And he seems to think very highly of you."

"That's nice to hear. But like I said, I'm retired." Mostly. Though at the moment, coming out of retirement to spend a little time with Lark Delaney sounded like a very good idea.

"Clive said you'd help me."

Dev blew out a breath. There was no real choice in the matter. He owed Madman Monroe. Clive had never asked for any kind of payback. The favor of working with a gorgeous brunette—even if she was a hundred-eighty degrees from his usual type—didn't seem like too much to ask.

"So what can I do for you, Ms. Delaney?"

She leaned forward in her chair. She wasn't overly endowed in the bosom department but she had more than enough for him, and besides, he'd always been an ass man. From the fit of those tight blue jeans, Lark Delaney had a world-class ass.

"I liked it better when you called me Lark, and it's kind of a long story. I'm not exactly sure where to begin."

"Let's start with what it is you'd like me to investigate."

"I need to find my sister's baby. A little girl. She was adopted four years ago. The files were all closed, the proceedings kept secret. But it was my sister's dying wish that I find her daughter and make sure she's being raised in a good, loving home."

"Your sister is deceased?"

She nodded. For an instant, her pretty green eyes clouded. "Heather was only twenty-one. She lived here in Phoenix. She died of breast cancer three months ago. I spent the last few weeks with her. As I said, finding her daughter was her dying wish."

"So you want to hire me to locate the family who adopted the child."

"I want you to help me find them. I need to do this myself. I need to be involved. I promised Heather. I won't let her down again."

"Have you tried the internet?" Dev asked. "There are dozens of sites that specialize in locating birth parents, adoptees, that kind of thing."

"I've tried the web, believe me. OmniTrace. MiracleSearch. I just don't have enough information."

Interesting lady, Dev thought. A brain, as well as a luscious little body. Too bad it looked like he was going to be working for her. Getting involved with a client was one rule he never broke.

"I'm going to have a few more questions. Why don't I get us something to drink? A Coke, maybe, or how about a margarita? I promise I won't make it too strong."

"That sounds good."

Moving toward the outdoor bar, he set to work, filling a blender with ice, pouring in a light amount of tequila, giving himself some time. He owed Monroe. But working with a woman as sexy as Lark would definitely be a test of his willpower.

As he turned on the blender, he studied her from behind the bar and a corner of his mouth inched up. His debt to Madman was about to be paid in full.

Lark shifted in her chair, her gaze fixed on Devlin Raines.

God, the man was gorgeous. She'd had no idea when she'd walked out on the patio. He was thirty-two, she knew, same as Clive. But a lot of men went to hell by then. Not this man.

He'd pulled a shirt on over his swimsuit but hadn't bothered with the buttons. As he turned off the blender then picked up two wide-mouthed stemmed glasses and salted the rims, she could see the six-pack abs across his flat, suntanned stomach. Now and then, she caught a glimpse of a muscular chest darkened with a nice amount of curly dark chest hair.

The guy was totally ripped.

And those eyes. A bright crystal-blue in a face that could grace the cover of a GQ magazine.

Lark leaned back in her chair and gazed out over the city below, blocking his handsome image. She wasn't there to ogle Devlin Raines. She was there for her sister. Heather was her first priority. She wasn't about to fail her the way she had before.

Lark had been twenty-one when it had happened. She'd graduated early from UCLA and was trying to break into the fashion world while Heather was still in high school in Phoenix. The girls had lost their parents in a car accident six years earlier and fallen under the guardianship of their grandparents.

Then, the summer Heather turned sixteen, she had gotten pregnant. She was lonely and frightened but determined to keep her baby. Grandma Florence and Grandpa Joe, both devout Catholics, were equally determined that the right thing for Heather to do was to have the baby and give it up to a good family.

At the time, Lark hadn't been certain her grandparents weren't right. They were too old, they said, to raise another child and Heather was just too young.

Heather had been forced to give up the baby, but she had never gotten over the loss. For a while, she had turned to drugs and alcohol and though that period had ended, she had continued to suffer bouts of depression.

Now Heather was gone.

Lark had never forgiven herself for the way she had failed her sister in her time of need and she was determined to keep the promise she had made. She was going to find her sister's little girl and make absolutely certain the child was being raised in a good and loving home.

She glanced up at the sound of Devlin crossing the patio and returned her thoughts to the business at hand. He set a frosty, salt-rimmed glass down in front of her and took his seat across the table.

"Getting back to your sister's child," he said, "I would think your parents would be able to help you."

Lark drew a finger through the moisture on her glass. "My parents died when I was fifteen. My grandparents raised us." She told him about Heather getting pregnant

and how her grandparents had insisted she give up the baby. "Heather finally agreed, but she never really got over losing her child."

"Do your grandparents have the adoption papers?"

"I'm afraid they're gone, too, but I have the papers that Heather wound up with after my grandmother passed away. I've done my best to locate the agency, Loving Home Adoptions, but their address here in Phoenix is no longer valid and I haven't been able to come up with anything else."

"I'll need to see the papers."

Her eyes shot to his. "Then you'll take the case?"

"Monroe knew I would when he sent you here."

Relief swept through her. It was going to happen. She would be able to keep her promise. "That's great. Terrific. Thanks."

"I charge twelve hundred a day plus expenses. Could turn into a pretty hefty chunk of change."

She noticed the way he watched for her reaction and thought he was more interested in her attitude than he was in the money.

"Not a problem. I'll give you a check in advance as a retainer." She lifted her purse off the ground and set it on the table, opened it and took out a business card. LARK Designs. It gave her office information in L.A., as well as her cell-phone number.

"I design handbags." She pointed to her purse. "This is one of them. You might not recognize the style but a lot of women would. I can afford your fee, Mr. Raines, I assure you."

His mouth edged up. "Since neither of us is that old, let's just keep it Lark and Dev." He assessed the quality of the bag. "Good-looking product. Designer bags like yours don't come cheap. I had a hunch you were more than just a pretty face."

She smiled. "I just hope you are."

Dev laughed.

"As I said, I intend to be involved in the search. I can't just sit on the sidelines. That wouldn't be keeping my word."

"All right, I guess I can handle that."

Leaving her margarita untasted, Lark got up from her chair, and Dev stood up, too.

"We'll start tomorrow," he said. "Bring me everything you have. I've got an office here in the house that should suit our purpose."

"I'll be here at eight, if that's all right with you."

"Sounds good."

She walked back through the sliding glass doors into the house, Dev right behind her, and crossed the Spanish tile to the heavy carved front doors.

"That your car?" he asked, his eyes going to the little silver Prius parked in front of the house.

"It belonged to my sister." She glanced away, feeling the familiar bite of pain. "I haven't gotten around to disposing of her things."

"That's got to be hard. There's probably no need for you to rush."

She nodded, liked that he seemed to understand.

He stood waiting as she descended the front porch steps. "See you tomorrow, Lark Delaney."

Meet the Author

Kat Martin is the New York Times bestselling author of more than fifty historical and contemporary romance novels. To date she has over 13 million copies of her books in print in seventeen countries, including Sweden, France, Russia, Spain, Japan, Argentina, Poland, and Greece. Kat and her husband, author Larry Jay Martin, live on their ranch outside Missoula, Montana, and spend winters at their beach house in California. Kat invites you to visit her website at

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Against the Law (Raines of Wind Canyon Series #3) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 138 reviews.
The_Reading_Reviewer More than 1 year ago
Lark Delaney is fulfilling a promise to her late sister to make sure the baby her sister gave up for adoption is being well cared for. She hires Raines Security to help with the search and once she meets, its owner Devlin Raines she knew the mission was going to be a success. Devlin runs his business and never fraternizes with a client but when Lark walks in the door all bets are off once the case is solved or maybe even sooner. Both Lark and Devlin know the pain of shattered childhood dreams and relationships that have not worked out so they are in this for the short-term and think they have their eyes open and hearts closed - great idea on paper, bad idea in reality. It looked easy enough to find a child but the adoption turns out to be bogus, the agency a fraud and the parents who adopted the baby are drug cartel money launders. Devlin and Lark go on a roller coaster ride to rescue Chrissy who is the only person left alive after the bad guys get to town and wipe out an entire household but keeping Chrissy safe is not going to be easy. The bad guys keep coming and when they break into Lark's home and take Chrissy again Dev goes into full Ranger mode calling up friends and making sure everyone including Lark is locked and loaded for a trip to Mexico on a little recon mission. Lark proves to be a determined, tough woman and someone Dev knows he shouldn't be falling for but is. They both fight any attraction and even during the most harrowing times they still reach for one another without a thought to long-term love. However, when the mission is complete and everyone back to their life will normal exist without the other in their life? Loved this series and each one is more suspenseful and exciting than the last. Devlin is the youngest of the brothers but the toughest for sure. He and Lark really shake off the past and work as a team well as if they were made for one another! Ms. Martin knows how to write romance and suspense keeping you on your toes with such well-written text you think you are with them on their adventure.
Judy_F More than 1 year ago
Against The Law by Kat Martin is a perfect blend of romance and pulse pounding suspense. Devlin Raines enjoyed his "semi-retirement" from his Raines Investigations. He was content to let his employees take the bulk of the cases and just enjoy his time at his Arizona home. But one hot and sexy woman has him unable to say no to her request for help. Lark Delaney poses a dilemma for Dev, one of his rules is not to mix business with pleasure. Lark Delaney won't take no for an answer. She promised to honor her sisters last wish of finding the child she had put up for adoption. Lark just wants to be sure the child is in a good and loving home. After teaming up with Dev they uncover a whole seedy side to the adoption agency. Each clue they uncover leads them into a world filled with danger. As the case becomes more treacherous Lark and Dev attraction are drawn more to each other. The lines of business and pleasure become blurred and they can no longer ignore their overwhelming attraction. But once the case is solved will they both be able to go back to their former world and not think about what might have been? Against The Law is terrific. The romance and suspense are top notch. The emotional connection between Lark and Dev is powerful. As is Lark's connection to her late sisters child. You feel their struggles and want every to work on for them all. I just adored this whole series, it was sexy and moving. I am eager to read more.
RCJBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Former U.S. Army Ranger, Dev (Daredevil) Raines has been hurt one time too often by inconsistent women. After his fiancé leaves him for another man Dev is devastated and gives up on love. Deciding its time to cut woman lose and use them for what God entailed them for. No strings attached are Dev Raines motto and he is sticking to it. Dev built a new life in Arizona creating a successful security business, Raines Security. Dev has a demanding job and that is exactly how he likes. His life is pretty easy breeze being able to pick and choose the jobs and clients he wants. But lately he's been felling a bit adrift. He is thinking about maybe taking on a new client when in sashays one of the sexiest woman he has ever seen. Even though all the bells and whist blow for Dev not to take her on as a client he can't help but agree to help her locate her sister's child. Lark Delaney doesn't have time-literally. She made a death-bed promise to her younger sister to find her baby and make sure she is in a good home. Mutual friend, Clive (Madman) Monroe says Devlin Raines of Raines Security is the man to get the job done. Perfect. She'll finish packing her late sister condo, find her niece and make sure she has a loving and caring family only then her promise will be fulfilled. And Lark will be able to go back to California where her design company. Nothing prepared her for the chemical reaction she would feel on first sight of meeting sexy Dev Raines. But this is business and she doesn't need her hormones or emotions getting involved Lark has enough on her plate. After reuniting with her four year old niece, Chrissie Lark is suddenly an aunt and a mother having just witnessed the brutal slaying of her adoptive family. Back home in LA with Chrissy Lark tries to start her life and routine back at work designing couture hand bags for her company LARK bags. But thoughts of a blue-eyed devil with a magic touch that gave her one explosive night replays in her mind. One night while Lark and Chrissy lay sleeping assailants break in kidnapping the little girl. Lark shoots-to-kill and makes her mark as one man lies dead on her floor. She knows no one better than Dev Raines that can help her track down her little girl. They join forces and head to Mexico where the meet up with Dev's friends from his Ranger days to plan the rescue of four year-old, Chrissy. Racing against time to find the little girl and bring her home Dev and Lark will fight with everything they have to bring her home. Danger at every corner, heartache and heartbreak just a breath away but neither Dev nor Lark can deny the powerful connection that draws them together. In a time of devastating peril can these two find a common ground that will never shift and keep their lives forever entwined and stable? Accolade: 5 quills! Ms. Martin has struck the mother load in her AGAINST series. AGAINST THE LAW is her third installment in the series and by far the most powerfully intense romantic suspense with its charismatic characters, a story line that defies gravity with enough endorphins and adrenaline driven that even the Die Hard series can't hold a candle to this brilliantly written series. Ms. Martin is a true mistress of the written word that never disappoints her readers.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Handbag designer Lark Delaney desperately wants to find her niece adopted by strangers as her sister Heather was only sixteen when she gave birth. She pleads with thirty something Devlin Raines at his Arizona ranch to help her. Mentioning that his Army Ranger buddy Madman Monroe sent him saying he owed him, reluctantly as he has retired from field work the Raines Investigation analyst agrees to make inquiries. Devlin assumes this will be a quick search, but is stunned when his assumption proves false as his friend expert Chaz Denton searches the net only to find Loving Home Adoptions not licensed in Arizona, but gives him a printing clue to begin a search for Mrs. Olcott who arranged the adoption. Following the trail, Dev accompanied by Lark go from Southern California to Mexico with each clue making both fear for the child. The case has turned personal for Dev who cares for the child he has not met fearing she has been sold into sexual slavery and especially for the frantic aunt who begged him to find her. The third Raines of Wind Canyon romantic suspense thriller (see Against the Fire and Against the Wind) is a terrific tense tale filled with twists and spins as nothing goes according to Raines' plan. He, like his older brothers, is a strong hero, but has met his equal in Lark who fearlessly stomps on snakes. Timely with the plight of young females being sold, readers will root for the pair to rescue her niece as we fear what has happened to that little girl. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this series. Very enjoyable love story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is excellent reading material. I would recommend the whole series for anyaone. I have the whole series and looking forward to the next book. She is a very good author and her books keeps you coming back for more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Again great writing, it was keep your nose buried till you finished it. Onward to the next book!
stewartsd More than 1 year ago
I have read several of this series and they have all been excellent. I like the romance and mystery.
OctoberWoman More than 1 year ago
I went into this book with a little trepidation, knowing that the heroine was going to hire Dev to help her track down the child her sister had placed for adoption four years earlier. Knowing, from the synopsis, that the adoption probably was not conducted legally. This is one of my hangups. I work in  the adoption field, and I hate seeing stories, on film or in print, that give adoption a bad name.  After it was stressed a couple of times that Lark only wanted to be sure her sister's child was in a safe and loving home, and had no intention of disrupting that, I began to relax a little and enjoy the story. And then when they finally went to that home, just in time to see masked men fleeing after having gunned down the adoptive parents and the household staff, while terrified little Chrissy was hiding in a closet, I was completely hooked. And after that, it wasn't about adoption (other than Lark of course eventually adopting Chrissy). It was about drug cartels, and Mexican criminals, and lives being in danger, and me turning pages faster and faster.  I loved Dev and Lark together. Lark is a successful businesswoman, running her own company and making and selling designer handbags. Now that she has Chrissy to raise, the last thing she needs is a relationship. Dev is the youngest of the Raines brothers, and after his fiancee broke up with him days before their wedding several years ago, he doesn't trust women and is determined to never fall in love again. They may say they love you, but how can you know if they really mean it? The answer is to have fun with pretty women but never get serious with them. The attraction between Dev and Lark is palpable, but Lark is Dev's client, and he doesn't mix business with pleasure, so she's off limits as one of his flings. When they do finally give in to the chemistry between them, it was pretty sizzling.  We meet several men who work for Dev, or who served with him in the military and are called upon now to help out. The action never lets up as Dev, Lark, Chrissy, and other men are thrown into one intense situation after another. Of the three books about the Raines brothers, this one is definitely my favorite. The next three books in the Against Series feature three of the other men involved in this one, and I am eager to read all of them. So eager in fact, that I've already placed an order through Barnes & Noble for the next book, along with two other books in the Against series, and the first book in the Brodies of Alaska series.  So despite my initial misgivings, this was a very good suspenseful story with a complex plot. There were lots of scenes that made me either laugh out loud or grin like an idiot, and when the danger was over and Lark and Dev were coming to grips with their feelings for each other, there were some scenes that literally made me cry. I can't get the next book quick enough. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
J: This one read like a familiar pattern. The hero has been hurt and sworn off love. After numerous threats against his lady he gives in to happy ever after. The stories are the same. Only the situations are different. I'll back off of this series for a while, but I will probably come back. A little too much steamy "romance" but still pretty exciting and suspenseful at times.
desitheblonde More than 1 year ago
the book is one of 3 and i have read all and then the guys in the book are great and loving to point. Kat s sister was 16 and pregnant and she gave the baby up but kat want to find out what happen to the baby since her Sister is gone she has no one but want to find out what happen to the little one. Well she hire a pi and then they find out the adoption was not legal she going to find her and bring her back to her and in joy the life she can have The family was killed and little girl is alone now and now they got to find who killed the family Dev pick up the little girls and she talk and ask question and he did not like that but thing got out of hand the little girl was kid napped and then it sent to Mexico drug dealer and then he sold her to another one now what going to happen will tke you in to the books and then see how Dev and his brother going to do. i love the book and then they are all great reads this is my opinion
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Awesome book loved it
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Very well written, good story. a Keeper!
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