Defender (Harlequin Blaze #342) [NOOK Book]


Theo Angelis definitely puts the "hot" in "hotshot lawyer." Or at least, that's attorney Sadie Oliver's opinion. Even a simple handshake has her weak in the knees. If only there was time to explore the barely contained chemistry simmering between them....

But there isn't. Because Sadie desperately needs Theo's help. Her brother lies in hospital facing a murder charge, and their sister is missing. And even Sadie herself is being followed by ...

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Defender (Harlequin Blaze #342)

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Theo Angelis definitely puts the "hot" in "hotshot lawyer." Or at least, that's attorney Sadie Oliver's opinion. Even a simple handshake has her weak in the knees. If only there was time to explore the barely contained chemistry simmering between them....

But there isn't. Because Sadie desperately needs Theo's help. Her brother lies in hospital facing a murder charge, and their sister is missing. And even Sadie herself is being followed by unsavory looking characters.

But Sadie's not about to take it lying down (unless Theo asks, of course). Her solution? To play an active role in the case, disguised as a law student. To anyone looking, Sadie will simply be another of Theo's male interns. But the heat in Theo's eyes never lets her forget she's all woman....

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426804007
  • Publisher: Harlequin Enterprises
  • Publication date: 7/1/2007
  • Series: Harlequin Blaze Series , #342
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 772,280
  • File size: 196 KB

Read an Excerpt

Friday, August 28th-Evening

ST. PETER's CHURCH looked deserted. When Sadie Oliver had driven by a few seconds ago, there'd been no one on the steps. Her sister Juliana's note had said to come at seven, but the only indication that there was anything going on was a dark van she'd spotted blocking the entrance to the little parking area behind the church.
There'd been something vaguely familiar about the man behind the wheel but she hadn't been able to draw up the memory. Sadie was debating whether or not to swing back and ask him to move so that she could park behind the church when she finally spotted a space just big enough to squeeze her Miata into.
She hated being late, but a glance at her watch told her she'd slipped into the tardy zone by almost ten minutes. Grabbing her purse, Sadie scrambled out of her car, locked the door and slipped her key into her pocket. She also hated feeling guilty. Maybe if she wasn't so obsessive-compulsive, she'd have been willing to leave some unfinished work on her desk over the weekend. But she was obsessive-compulsive and late and feeling guilty.
Spotting her reflection in the driver's window of her car, she added dowdy to her list. Just the cherry she needed to top off a very depressing sundae.
Sadie narrowed her eyes as she studied her image in the glass. Her long, dark hair was pulled back in a braid because she didn't like to fuss with it. Her earrings and suit were definitely conservative and work oriented. She'd taken great care in the selection because she wanted to represent her family well. But the ensemble reflected in the glass didn't make the transition to afterfiveeasily. Not that she was an after-five kind of girl, or had been, well, ever. It wasn't until she'd begun to work at Oliver Enterprises that she'd bought a couple of basic black dresses appropriate for the social functions that she was expected to attend as part of the Oliver family.
Finally, she glanced down at her shoes and winced. They were-well-serviceable was the best word she could come up with. Dowdy repeated the little voice in the back of her mind.
Annoyed, she turned and hurried up the street. A few months ago, she wouldn't have given a second thought to the way she looked. Her baby sister Juliana, who'd taken after their mother, had always been the girlie-girl. Since Sadie had tried to do everything her older brother Roman could do, she'd become a bit of a tomboy. Being a woman, fussing with her clothes and her hair had always made her-uncomfortable. But she'd been satisfied with herself. Hadn't she?
Sadie frowned. It had only been since Theo Angelis had stopped to talk to her in the courthouse two months ago that she'd caught herself glancing in the mirror more frequently and-what? Seeing herself the way Theo would see her? Dowdy, insisted the little voice. "Stop being ridiculous," she scolded herself as she picked up her pace. Theo Angelis didn't see her as a woman. He saw her as a colleague. He'd sought her out to congratulate her on the way she'd handled a case, a case that she'd been surprised to learn he'd sent her way. Sandra Linton, the woman she'd defended that day, had stalked him and pulled a gun on him in his family's restaurant. And Theo had actually been pleased that she'd gotten the woman psychiatric treatment instead of jail time. He'd said that he'd admired her work, a great compliment since she felt the same way about his work.
Just thinking about the encounter shouldn't have her recalling his scent-soap and something a little earthier. She was tall, but he'd been taller so that she'd had to look up to meet his eyes. Dark eyes with just a hint of danger in them. Just talking to him shouldn't have made her knees grow weak. And shaking his hand-she could still recall the way her mind had fuzzed over, as if her brain had been replaced by a vat of cotton candy. It had been hot in the courtroom. That was why she'd felt heat shoot right down to her toes; that was why her throat had gone dry.
What she'd experienced in that moment of contact had to have been some kind of aberration, no doubt due to that rush of adrenaline she experienced at the end of every trial. And that was probably the reason she'd developed a sort of schoolgirl crush on Theo Angelistotally one-sided and very self-indulgent.
And safe, nagged the little voice. Ignoring the voice, Sadie lifted her chin. It was just a handshake, for heaven's sake. She'd better get over it. She knew from experience that she didn't have the-know-how or theequipment to attract a man like Theo Angelis. The kind of man she evidently appealed to was the practical, steady kind. Someone like Michael Dano, who headed up the legal department at Oliver Enterprises. The kind of man she thought of as a mentor and a friend. Michael had waited almost six months to make a move on herand then she'd felt nothing. Theo had made her feel more with one look. It was just her fate to only be able to feel things with a man who could have any woman he wanted.
And she'd do well to put him out of her mind. The whole San Francisco legal community was buzzing with the fact that Jason Sangerfeld, defense attorney to the stars, had offered him a job in Los Angeles.
Glancing at her watch again, Sadie broke into a run. Her sister Juliana hadn't given her much notice. The invitation hadn't arrived until shortly after four O'clock, and she hadn't had time to go home and change. Not that she knew what she was changing for. Her younger sister's note hadn't been very specific. All it had said was: Come to St. Peter's Church at seven tonight. Please. Juliana. And she hadn't been able to reach her cell.
As Sadie reached the foot of the steps, she felt another wave of guilt wash over her. Juliana and she weren't close. Part of that was due to the fact that her sister was eighteen and she was twenty-six. The eightyear difference in their ages had seemed even greater when they were kids. Juliana had still been playing with Barbie dolls when Sadie had gone East for college and law school. And when Sadie had come back home to work in the legal department at Oliver Enterprises a year ago, Juliana had been away at boarding school.
When her sister had come home three months ago, Sadie's goal had been to get to know Juliana better. But she'd let her work and perhaps her current frustration with it interfere.
Frowning, Sadie hurried up the last steps. For the last five months, ever since the kiss, Michael Dano had seemed intent on keeping her buried in busywork-real estate deed and title searches. And when she wasn't doing that, her father and brother were insisting on her presence at various social functions.
No, Sadie gave herself a mental shake. She was not going to blame Michael Dano or her father or brother for the fact that she hadn't taken the time to get closer to her sister. There was no one to blame for that except herself.
Pulling the door open, she stepped into the gloom of the vestibule and felt the silence of the church envelop her. Then she heard two gunshots in rapid succession.
AFTER LEAVING A MESSAGE on Nik's cell, Theo dialed Kit and left the same one. Then he turned his cell phone off for the weekend, strolled onto the porch of the cabin and took his first look at the sea. The tide was coming in, but the water in the little inlet was relatively calm.
The position of the sun in the sky told him that there was about a half an hour left before sunset. Still plenty of time to sit and relax and enjoy the view.
It didn't surprise Theo that his brothers hadn't picked up when he'd called them. They would have known the minute they checked the caller ID what he was calling about. He'd made it to their grandfather's fishing cabin first, so it was his brotherly duty to gloat.
From the time they'd been kids, they'd always raced from their father's car to the cabin. The winner got the first pick of the lures and poles.
Well, he'd won the race this weekend, but it hadn't been for the choice of fishing equipment that he'd left his office early. He'd set out to beat the weekend traffic because he'd wanted some time alone before anyone joined him. There was something about being near the sea that helped him to sort things out. Perhaps it would even settle the restlessness that had been plaguing him lately. Noit was more than restlessness. For the first time in his life, he was doubting himself. In the courtroom he was hanging back, second-guessing his instincts.
A joyful bark had him shifting his gaze away from the water. Bob, a neighbor's dog, was bounding happily toward the cabin. No one was quite sure what Bob's actual lineage was, but Theo had always suspected that there'd been a Saint Bernard among his ancestors. He opened the door and Bob shot into the cabin. Theo heard his toenails clicking on the floorboards as he raced from room to room.
A moment later, Bob returned to the porch and Theo could have sworn that his expression held reproach.
"Ari is coming with Kit," he said. "He'll be here in another couple of hours." Over the years, Bob and Ari, Kit's dog, had become friends. Reminding himself that he wanted to have time alone before that joyful canine reunion, Theo strolled into the kitchen. He stored the whole grain bread he'd brought in the pantry and put the selection of cheeses into the refrigerator. When he turned, Bob stepped into his path, sat down and thumped expectantly his tail on the floor.
"Kit's bringing the stuff you like," Theo said as he reached into the refrigerator and broke off a chunk of cheese for the dog. His youngest brother always provided the more basic essentials-eggs, bacon, rolls and enough deli meat for an army. Nik, whose cupboard in his apartment was always bare, would bring what he considered essential-beer and junk food.
While Bob made short work of the hunk of cheddar, Theo unpacked the wine he'd brought. There were two dry Italian whites from different regions, a German white and a French chardonnay. All would go well with the fish they would catch this weekend.
Kit was the real fisherman of the family. Even as a kid he'd had their father's patience and ability. Nik and Theo would throw in their lines, of course; but Nik would spend the majority of the weekend on his boat testing his skills against the wind and waves and what Theo enjoyed most about the cabin was simply being near the water and being with his family.
Bob padded after him into the bedroom and sat ever hopeful as Theo stripped out of his city clothes and hung them neatly on hangers. Noticing the way that Bob was eyeing his Italian loafers, he rescued them and placed them on the closet's top shelf. After pulling on the well-worn jeans and T-shirt that he kept at the cabin, he strolled barefoot back to the refrigerator, poured a glass of the Italian white and carried it to the porch.
Theo sank into a chair, put his feet up on the railing and crossed his ankles. As he sipped his wine, he reached absently down and ran a hand over Bob's head.
A gull cried out as it swooped close to the water's surface before soaring into the sky. Far out in the distance, an outboard motor thrummed as a boat moved slowly into the center of the inlet. The driver already had his running lights on in anticipation of the sunset. At Theo's side, Bob sighed.
Theo could second the sigh. He had a decision to make this weekend. The fact that he wasn't looking forward to it didn't mean that he could avoid it any longer. Taking a slow sip of wine, he gazed out at the water. He wasn't usually indecisive.
His Aunt Cass believed that psychic powers ran in the family and she'd told him once that his own gift was particularly strong. He didn't see visions the way she did, but from the time he'd been a child, there'd often been occasions when he just knew things. Most of his success in the courtroom had been due to the fact that he'd had a hunch about which strategies to implement. And when it came to making choices, he was usually pretty sure which one to make.
But that had all changed since Sandra Linton. It was that damn most-eligible-bachelor list that had started it all. After that splash of publicity, Sandra had been among the women who'd started attending his trials. His brothers had called them his groupies. Then he'd made the mistake of agreeing to have coffee with her. Why hadn't he sensed that simple choice would lead to tragedy? For that matter, why hadn't he sensed that she was disturbed?
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Customer Reviews

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( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 5, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Exciting Romance!

    I've enjoyed every book by Cara Summers that I've read, and this was my very favorite. In The Defender Summers takes us on an exciting roller-coaster ride involving a hot romance and intriguing mystery. I eagerly turned pages, anxious to see how Theo and Sadie solved the crime and the disappearance of her sister--and how they resolved their growing attraction. This is a fabulous book!

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A reviewer

    In San Francisco, attorney Sadie Oliver attended the wedding that ended in murder. Her brother lies in a nearby hospital as the prime and only suspect although he fell over a railing and consequently was severely injured and her sister the secret bride vanished. The police also think Sadie abetted her siblings as they found her purse at the crime scene. She asks defense attorney Theo Angelis to defend her sibling and potentially her. However she needs to assist him so she disguises herself as a male law student working for Theo. Every time he looks at her, she realizes he knows who she is as his eyes strip her. --- As with the previous tales in the Tall, Dark and Handsome Angelis sibling miniseries (see THE COP and THE P.I) THE DEFENDER is a heated romantic suspense story as the action continues to a satisfying conclusion started when the murder and abduction occurred at the secret wedding. As their Aunt Cass knows fate has led her nephews to choose wisely in this case Sadie and Theo make quite a daring couple. Although this tale can stand alone, fans will want to read the three books while looking forward to more of the Angelis saga as Cass has a son, niece and who knows besides Cara Summers who else in the wings. --- Harriet Klausner

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