Face of Danger

( 57 )


Private investigator Vivi Angelino loves living life on the edge, but stepping into the shoes of a movie starlet to bait a serial killer isn't just a thrill . . . it's a ticket to the big time for her fledgling security firm. That is, as long as a certain risk-averse FBI agent stays out of her way-and out of her fantasies.

Assistant Special Agent in Charge Colton Lang isn't above using his well-worn rulebook to stop Vivi's latest walk on the wild side. But when they learn her ...

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Face of Danger

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Private investigator Vivi Angelino loves living life on the edge, but stepping into the shoes of a movie starlet to bait a serial killer isn't just a thrill . . . it's a ticket to the big time for her fledgling security firm. That is, as long as a certain risk-averse FBI agent stays out of her way-and out of her fantasies.

Assistant Special Agent in Charge Colton Lang isn't above using his well-worn rulebook to stop Vivi's latest walk on the wild side. But when they learn her client is involved in something far more insidious than bad acting, Vivi and Colt must work together despite the electrifying attraction arcing between them. For each new clue is bringing them closer to a high-profile crime with a dark and deadly truth at its core . . . and a cold, calculating murderer with nothing left to lose.

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Editorial Reviews

RT Book Reviews
4 ¿ stars "St. Claire has become the go-to gal for romantic suspense. Rip-roaring fun, gripping intensity and sizzling passion span the pages of Edge of Sight."
Romantic Times BOOKreviews Magazine
"When it comes to dishing up great romantic suspense, Roxanne St. Claire is the author you want."
From the Publisher
4 ¿ stars "St. Claire has become the go-to gal for romantic suspense. Rip-roaring fun, gripping intensity and sizzling passion span the pages of Edge of Sight."—RT Book Reviews

"A bold new series with this taut, complex and intelligent page-turner ...Readers will thrill to this dynamic tale and its nonstop action, sweet and sexy romance, lively characters, and celebration of family and forgiveness."—Publishers Weekly

"When it comes to dishing up great romantic suspense, Roxanne St. Claire is the author you want."—Romantic Times BOOKreviews Magazine

Library Journal
Ambitious, risk-taking Viviana Angelino is determined to make her family's fledgling private security company successful, so she takes on a top-secret job—posing as the body double for movie star Cara Ferrari in order to smoke out a killer who's been targeting Academy Award winners. But the game plan changes when Vivi is attacked and the thug—who's not the Red Carpet Killer but is wanted by the FBI for links to human trafficking—ends up dead. Now Vivi and sexy, rule-bound FBI agent Colt Lang find themselves working against time to solve the mystery, come to terms with their highly charged relationship, and simply stay alive. VERDICT Funny, sassy, and hot, this nonstop adventure captures readers from the start and keeps them breathless until the final wicked twist as the "Guardian Angelinos" series continues. St. Claire lives in Florida.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446566575
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 5/1/2011
  • Series: Guardian Angelinos Series , #3
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 469,420
  • Product dimensions: 4.02 (w) x 6.74 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

First published in 2003, Roxanne St. Claire is a RITA award winning author of twenty-five novels, including her bestselling Bullet Catcher series. Her critically-acclaimed books have been published in numerous languages and recognized with multiple awards including The National Reader's Choice Award, the Daphne du Maurier Award and the HOLT Medallion, all for best romantic suspense. She currently lives on the east coast of Florida with her husband and two children. You can learn more at:


Twitter, @RoxanneStClaire

Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/roxannestclaire

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Read an Excerpt

Face of Danger

By St. Claire, Roxanne


Copyright © 2011 St. Claire, Roxanne
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780446566575


The Bunker Hill Bridge cast a long shadow over the sea of slate gray concrete bowls and ramps, the whine of traffic competing with the constant whirl of BMX and skate wheels on concrete. It was music to Vivi Angelino’s ears.

Trotting down the hill from one of the viewing areas, she scooped up a discarded napkin that had blown from the refreshment stand and popped it into the trash. Charles River Skate Park was her baby, and even the smallest piece of trash marred its perfection.

Switching her board from one hand to the other, she paused at the bottom of the half-pipe to watch as some kid attempted a five-forty McTwist. A thrum of empathetic exhilaration pulsed through her as the skater sailed into the air and spun gracefully into the move.

Vivi had yet to land the five-forty, but when she did it would be here, at the Boston park she’d spent every spare minute raising money and corralling support to build.

The McTwister wiped out right in front of her with a slam and a loud “Sonofabitch!”

Vivi walked over to help the kid up, offering knuckles to the failed skater. “You’ll get it.”

“Damn right I will,” he said, popping up even though his butt had to burn. “The McTwist is better than sex.”

“I wouldn’t know,” she said, half to herself as she checked out the top of the ramp. “Haven’t tried it yet.”

The cement reflected silver white in the rare winter sunshine, a gift on a Sunday in February, when the weather gods usually tortured Boston with snow.

The pipe was crowded, so she decided to cruise the park some more and give herself mental back pats for the all the hard volunteer work she’d done. All the years of trips to City Hall, all the presentations to council members, all the free time she’d sacrificed had been worth it to give the skaters of Boston a home for their passion. These kids, city rats most of them, had no idea how to rally politicians and city leaders to get what they wanted. But Vivi was older—though no less passionate about her pastime—and remembered how frustrating it could be to be a teenager with no voice.

So she’d been their voice, and this glorious jigsaw of concrete and grass was the result. She eyed the strategically placed viewing areas where parents and partners, newbs and wannabes looked out over the courses and—shit. Her heart dropped like a longboard on the eight-foot ramp.

“What the hell is he doing here?”

Assistant Special Agent in Charge Colton Lang stood with strong hands gripping the rail, broad shoulders tensed in determination, his relentless gaze sweeping over the ramps like a deadly sniper intent on finding his next victim.

Lang was the very last person she’d ever expect to see at Charles River Skate Park.

He’d only make fun of it. Tease her for being a little old for a skateboard.

Not that his opinion mattered. He was a client of her security and investigation firm, and this was a nonworking Sunday morning. Who cared if he saw her hanging at the park she had built?

She did. She cared too freaking much about everything that concerned Colt Lang. And that was her problem. Her dirty little secret problem.

So what the hell was this uptight white-bread FBI agent doing on her sacrosanct skate park grounds, wrecking her perfectly awesome Sunday morning? How could he have found her here?

And now he would see her with three inches of hair standing on end from her last trip down the vert pipe, her face damp with sweat, her clothes hanging off her like she’d grabbed them from her bedroom floor and stepped in without even glancing in the mirror. Because, well, she had.

But it doesn’t matter, right, Viviana? He’s just a client.


She stole another look, and saw him take his phone out of his pocket.

Maybe he wouldn’t recognize her—he’d have to have a really excellent eye to pick her up in this sea of skaters, every single one wearing the same uniform of baggy top and cargo pants, sunglasses, and helmet.

Inside the pocket of her cargo pants, her phone rang. Damn. He was calling her.

She turned, trying to use her board to shield herself as she slipped the phone out, hoping he wasn’t scanning the crowd to spot anyone answering a cell phone at that moment. It would be so like him to use that sneaky tactic to find her.

“Yeah?” The word sounded as on edge as he made her feel.

“Yeah?” His baritone tickled her ear. “That’s how you answer the phone?”

“Oh, so sorry, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of Proper Phone Etiquette and Manners. Let’s have a do-over.” She cleared her throat. “Good morning, Mr. Lang. Viviana Angelino at your service—despite the fact that it is Sunday morning and I am not anywhere near the Guardian Angelinos office. How can I help you?”

He laughed, a mix of a grunt and a low catch in his throat, hating, absolutely hating, that the sound sent a little jolt right down to her toes.

“Turn around,” he ordered.

Goddamn him. “What are you talking about?”

“I think I see you, but I need you to turn around.”

“You see me? I’m in church right now, so I seriously doubt that you see me.”

“Church? Right. You’re worshipping at the altar of Airwalk.”

How’d he know that brand? And what made her think she could lie to him?

“Turn around, Vivi.” He said her name just the way she liked it: Vee-vee. He drew out those twin syllables and made those long e’s sound… sexy.

Still, she refused to move. “Just tell me what you want, Lang.” She’d long ago dispensed with his unwieldy title, since she got it wrong most of the time anyway. He’d told her it was proper to call an ASAC “Mr. Lang” but she’d dropped the “Mr.” after their first case together. And he didn’t seem to care.

“I want you to turn around.”

“Do you have a job for the Guardian Angelinos?” she asked.


The single syllable, invasive, and, oh Lord, sexy, punched her gut. “Do you need a report on the assignment that Zach is currently working on?”


“Do you have a big fat check to give me for all the consulting work we do on behalf of the Federal Bureau of Investigation?”


“Then go away and I’ll see you at our scheduled meeting Monday at eleven o’clock.”

A hand landed on her shoulder, making her jump.

“No.” He tightened his grip and eased her around. “Turn around.”

She felt the heat of his body behind her, his presence so strong it made her go weak behind the knee pads.

“Damn you, Lang.” She pivoted, her gaze landing on the Izod logo on his chest, his jacket hanging open to confirm what she already suspected. He was a nerd who wore collared pullovers. And they fit like a dream.

With one finger, he gently tapped the brim of her helmet. “This is very cute, Angelino.”

“I told you I hate to be called—”

“Cute. I know.”

The air cooled her sweaty head when he took the helmet off. Great. Helmet hair.

His smile deepened and his hazel eyes glinted gold and green. “What else could you call this, other than cute?”


She stepped back and glared at him. What the hell did she care what Lang thought of her? “This is my Sunday special. I’m off the clock right now, Lang, so what do you want?”

“A good security specialist and investigator is never off the clock,” he said, all condescension and good reason. “I thought you were a little business-owning tigress, working tirelessly to build your new organization into a force in the security industry.”

“Remind me never to confide anything in you again.” Anything. Especially her fantasies.

She eased the longboard between them, desperate to put any kind of barrier between them.

Lang seemed to be getting way too much enjoyment from her disheveled state. Of course he was amused. He’d cruised into her world like a package of perfection—not a chestnut hair out of place, his stupid preppy shirt pressed like it just came off the rack at Bloomingdale’s and fitting so snug over his expansive shoulders. She’d bet her life he was carrying a Glock under that jacket, too.

“What are you looking at?” he demanded.

“You shaved, Lang? On a Sunday? What’s wrong with you?”

He brushed his whiskerless face. “It’s the former Boy Scout in me.”

She rolled her eyes. It was the nerd in him. And, God, that nerd did unholy things to her insides.

“Want something to drink?” he asked, putting a casual hand on her shoulder like he owned her. She’d tied her sweatshirt around her waist after her last run, so no doubt her skin felt damp through the cotton T-shirt he touched. Oh, fabulous. Now he was sticking to her. “There’s a refreshment stand over there.”

“I know.” She dropped the board and hopped on, zipping a few feet ahead of him. “I built it.”

Before he could answer, she kicked to the ground and took off ahead of him, rounded a concrete hill, swerved up the side, twisted the board into a perfect one-eighty, then landed hard.

“You built it?” he asked, reaching her just as she toed the board and gave him a cocky look.

“I supervised the fund-raising team that scared up the dollars to build it,” she explained. “Charles River Skate Park is the result of the hard work of a major community volunteer organization. One that I happen to be extremely involved with.”

“Really.” He scrutinized her for a moment, like an art dealer who kind of saw something worthwhile—but then he looked away. Like he’d rather pass.

She hated that his disinterest torqued her.

Disinterest is good, Vivi. He’s a client. Client. Cli-ent. How often did she need to remind herself of that?

He slipped her helmet back on her head. “Don’t skate without this.”

She took it back off again. “I’m walking, not skating. What do you want from me today, Lang?”

“I just came to tell you I have to cancel our meeting tomorrow. I had a change in my schedule. I can come over to your offices on Wednesday if you have time.”

Like he couldn’t have called to tell her that. Or sent a text, since they seemed to be exchanging plenty of them on a regular basis. Couldn’t he just leave a message with Chessie? Why did control-freak Lang always need to do business in person?

Was it because he didn’t trust the efficient delivery of an e-mail message, or because he wanted to see her? She squashed the thought, and considered how much to tell him when she replied.

“You’ll have to meet with my brother on Wednesday. I’ll be out of town.”

He gave her an interested look. “Work or fun?”

“Work is fun. Maybe not for hardened FBI agents, but we budding security-business owners have a blast.”

“I’m serious.”

That made her laugh. “You were born serious, Lang.”

He almost smiled. But not quite. “Where are you going?”

“Need-to-know basis. And sorry, but you don’t.” He’d just scoff at the whole idea anyway. “You’re not our only client, you know.”

“I’m the only one here.”

Just the way he said it sent warmth rolling through every female corner of her body.

“You can meet with Zach,” she said. “My brother is up to speed on all our open cases. You’ll never miss me.”

His brow twitched upward, ever so imperceptibly. Like… like maybe he would miss her. “I was hoping you’d give a full report on the Berkower case I handed over to the Guardian Angelinos last month. That case is in your bailiwick.”

“Bailiwick?” She choked a derisive laugh. “Where do you get these words? Everything’s in my bailiwick, but I’m going to be in L.A., so—”

“You’ve got clients in L.A. now?” He sounded surprised, and way too interested. “I didn’t realize your little company was going national.”

Your little company. She should be used to slight put-downs from Lang by now. They were a fact of life, no different from the teasing she took from the cousins she and Zach were raised with. She knew it was just his way of maintaining control. Still, they irked her.

“If you knew why I was going, you wouldn’t be so liberal with your thinly veiled insults.”

“Then tell me.”

Some skaters whizzed by, swerving to miss Lang, who strode down the path like he’d built the place instead of Vivi and her band of volunteers.

“Can’t,” she said simply. “It’s client confidential.” Or it would be. As soon as she got the job.

“So you do have a California client? That’s interesting.”

She almost lied, but her mother’s well-painted image of St. Peter at the pearly gates counting up her lifetime tally stopped her, as it always did. “To be honest, it’s just a pitch for new business, but I think we have a shot.” A very long shot. But that was her favorite kind. “Why is that interesting?”

“Because…” He hesitated, sliding a glance at her. “I may be moving out there.”

Her heart dropped so hard and fast she felt it hit bottom. “Really?”

He shrugged, feigning a casualness that something told her he didn’t feel. “Possibly. There’s an opening for an SAC position out there that I’ve been interviewing for.”

“Whoa, Lang.” She gave him a playful punch in the arm, using the opportunity to let her knuckles enjoy the hard bump of his bicep. “Big promotion to Special Agent in Charge, losing that pesky ‘assistant’ handle.” A promotion that would put him three thousand miles away. “You’d be running the whole office?”

“God, no. Only the Criminal Programs Division, which is pretty big. There are multiple SACs in an office that size, so it’d still be a move out—er, up.”

And out. “You’re from L.A., aren’t you? Your family’s there?”

“Just my dad, and he’s getting on. I’m the only kid around to help, since my brother lives in Europe and is a complete waste of a human.”

She snorted softly. “Nice.”

“Maybe not, but it’s true.”

He guided her toward the snack shack. “Tell me about the L.A. job.”

“No, thanks. I try to avoid your ridicule whenever possible.”

“I won’t ridicule you.” He walked up to the window. “Want a Coke?”

“Cherry slurpy.”

He rolled his eyes. “And you make fun of me.”

“See? Ridicule because I want a slurpy.”

“Vivi, you’re thirty-one years old.”

“Right. So make it a vodka slurpy and meet me at that table.” She walked to an empty round table with matching cement benches and sat down. There, she positioned herself to watch Lang buy their drinks.

And think about him moving to Los Angeles.

Lang leaving was a good thing, she told herself, but she couldn’t deny the pressure on her heart. She would be able to work with another ASAC, someone who didn’t wreck her balance and make her freaking heart stutter every time his ID showed up on her phone. Like the man said, she was thirty-one years old and way past the time of teenage crushes.

But look at him. Even his doofus Izod shirt looked… hot. And as much as she loathed a pair of khaki Dockers, his covered a world-class backside and had just enough of a bulge in the front to send her imagination into overdrive and make her little vibrator seem inadequate.

Sunlight pouring over him, he was all goodness and strength. The gold flecks in his eyes and hair looked like God had dipped him in bronze when he was born. The sun highlighted the sharp angle of his cheekbone and jaw and the fullness of a mouth that rarely smiled, but when it did, stupid things happened in her lower half.

She blew out a shaky breath. So, yeah. L.A. Good move for everyone.

He strolled over with the drinks, his eyes locking on her as if he knew what she was thinking. Thank God that was impossible, because Lord knows if he had even an inkling of the direction her thoughts took when she looked at him he’d laugh himself silly. She was a colleague, a consultant, a friend at best. Nothing more to him. Nothing would be more humiliating than him knowing just how many times she’d fantasized about tearing off that golf shirt. With her teeth.

“Interesting hairstyle,” he said, placing the drinks on the table. “Even for you.”

Yeah. They were most definitely not on the same wavelength.

“Is this your way of sweet-talking information about my new client out of me? So effective.” She took the slurpy and tore the paper off the top of the straw, turning it around to blow the wrapper in his face.

He snapped it midair with one lightning-fast hand. “You know you want to tell me.” He leaned over the table. “Just give in to it, Vivi.”

Her nether regions took another thrill ride.

“Give me one good reason why I should tell you anything.”

“Because,” he said, lowering his voice to that I-call-the-shots tone she found maddening and sexy and, every once in a while, a little scary, “I want to know.”

And just like that, she capitulated. No man had ever had that effect on her. Ever.

When Vivi Angelino closed her mouth over a wide straw and sucked hard enough to hollow her delicate cheeks, Colton Lang almost got a boner.


The state of damn-near-hard was status quo around this woman, so in the few months he’d been sending consulting jobs to her firm, Colt had learned a couple of tricks to ensure that “almost” didn’t become “obvious.”

Like focusing on her outlandish black hair, made even more so today by the helmet and what appeared to be yesterday’s hair gel. Or he’d let his gaze settle on the diamond dot in the side of her nose, concentrating on how much that puncture had to hurt instead of how it would feel to run his tongue over the stone.

Or he’d simply remind himself that this skateboard-riding, sneaker-wearing, guitar-playing tomboy happened to have some of the best investigative instincts around, and if he wanted to keep the Guardian Angelinos in his back pocket for certain jobs, acting on a mindless surge of blood to his dick would be not only unprofessional, but also foolish.

That was usually enough to quell the erection. Sometimes. Today, finding her in this skate park with a little sheen of perspiration making her pixie-like features glisten and her coffee-brown eyes spark with unexpected interest, the boner might win this battle.

But look at that outfit, Colt. A long-sleeved cotton T-shirt that dangled off her narrow frame and faded green cargo pants frayed at the cuffs. He could never be attracted to a woman who cared so little about her appearance that she rolled around Boston dressed like she’d shopped at Goodwill.

He preferred a woman who looked like a woman, who wore a little makeup, had hair falling to her shoulders, and maybe strolled—not rolled—through a park in a pretty sundress. He’d bet his bottom dollar she didn’t own a dress.

“All right, I’ll tell you,” she said after swallowing. “But I swear to God, Lang, don’t try to talk me out of it, because I want this job.”

“What job?”

“You’ve heard about the Red Carpet Killer, of course.”

He held his Coke, frozen midway to his mouth. “You don’t buy that malarkey, do you?”

She smiled. “Lang, malarkey hasn’t been sold for forty years. Can you get with this century? And do you really think two Oscar-winning actresses being killed in two consecutive years, weeks after winning, isn’t more than simple coincidence?”

“One was an overdose, one was an accident. No matching MO, no serial killer. But I do know there’s an FBI task force out of L.A. with an eye on the possibility of a copycat killer.”

“Exactly.” She pointed at him. “I don’t happen to think there’s a serial killer, but I do know there are five women in Hollywood who are scared spitless right now. They are ramping up security like you wouldn’t believe.”

“You think they’re going to hire your firm for protection?” He tried not to scoff, he really did. But it was ludicrous. “A brand-new firm made up of an extended family of renegade Angelinos and Rossi cousins?”

No surprise, her espresso eyes narrowed in disgust. “We are not renegades, for God’s sake. I’m a former investigative journalist, in case you forgot, so getting a PI license was a natural move. Zach is a former Army Ranger. And, yeah, our core employee base happens to be a few cousins my brother and I were raised with—”

“Don’t forget Uncle Nino, providing pasta and daily encouragement.”

“Don’t knock my Nino,” she shot back. “And, for your information, we’re interviewing protection and security specialists, including some highly qualified bodyguards. The Guardian Angelinos are experiencing a growth spurt.”

He angled his head in acknowledgment. “I know that, Vivi, especially since I keep throwing FBI consulting jobs at you. I just think the actresses who are worried about being victims of a curse or a killer will hire the biggest and best in the protection industry.”

“Maybe.” She took another drink, her eyes dancing with some untold secret. “What do you think of Cara Ferrari?”

“I think I wouldn’t kick her out of bed for eating crackers.”

She looked skyward with a loud tsk. “I meant of her chances to win.”

“I don’t follow Hollywood too closely, but I did see that remake of Now, Voyager. My opinion? She was too melodramatic.”

“Fortunately, your opinion doesn’t matter. She’s got a chance.” She gave him a slow smile, revealing that tiny chip on her front tooth. God, he’d thought about licking that, too. “So I think I have a chance, too.”

He just shook his head, not following, but maybe because his body was betraying him again.

“Look at me,” she demanded, leaning back to prop her hands on her hips and cock her head to one side.

“I’m looking.” That was the problem. She was so damn cute he forgot what they were talking about.

Look, Lang.”

At what? The way her position pulled the T-shirt just tight enough to outline her breasts? They weren’t big but perky and sweet, just as spunky as she was and, well, even on Vivi some things were feminine. Was that what she wanted him to look at? Because if he eyed them any longer, his hard-on was poised to make a reappearance.

“Don’t you see the resemblance?” She turned her face to give him a profile, lifting her chin, closing her eyes, and dropping her head back in a classic movie-star pose. His gaze drifted over her throat which was—just another fucking thing he wanted to lick.

Jesus, Colt. Get a grip.

She spun her face around and for one insane second he thought she’d read his mind.

“I look exactly like Cara Ferrari,” she insisted.

He let out a soft hoot of laughter. “Are you as stoned as half these other skaters?”

She scowled at him. “Real skaters don’t get high—posers do. And look at this face,” she demanded, pointing to her cheeks with two index fingers. “Is this not Cara Ferrari’s twin sister?”

He chuckled again. “Speaking of posers.”

“Lang, damn it.” Frustration heightened her color, making her even cuter. “Everyone says I look like her. I mean if my hair were longer and I—you know, had some makeup on.”

“Like a truckload.”

“I get stopped and asked if I’m Cara Ferrari all the time,” she insisted.

“And you believe what drunks say to you in bars?”

“Jeez, you’re as bad as my cousins. Quit teasing me and take this seriously.”

He worked his face into the most humorless expression he had, and he had many. “Cara Ferrari is a movie star, Vivi.”


How deep was she going to let him dig himself? “I mean, she’s a gorgeous icon….”


“Not that you’re not attractive in your own way.” This was getting worse, but on he went. “It’s just that she’s all glitz and glamour and gloss and you’re…” Not.

“I can glam up.”

Now that, he’d like to see. “All right,” he relented, not wanting to hurt her. He squinted at her, and made a camera viewing box with his fingers. “Yeah, I can see the similarity. You both have dark hair and dark eyes.”

She swiped his hands down. “Never mind, Lang. I should have known you couldn’t think outside the box. You’re all linear, trapped by your rules and the way things are supposed to be done. I shouldn’t ever dream that you might approach something creatively. That would just be asking too much from your structured, formulaic, uninspired brain.”

All right, he deserved that after the insults he’d just heaped on her, but something was really off in this conversation, even for them. “What the hell are you getting at, Vivi?”

“A body double.”

This time he just stared at her for a minute. “You’re not serious.”

She thumped her fist on the table. “I knew I shouldn’t have told you.”

“Told me what?”

“C’mon, Lang, it’s the oldest form of security in the world. Put a fake—a professional fake—in her shoes until the killer is caught. If there even is a killer, which I don’t happen to think there is. But, still, we bait with a decoy and—”

“Stop it,” he said, his voice low and harsh, not having to pretend seriousness at all now. “All kidding aside, you’d need an extreme makeover to pass as Cara Ferrari.”

“Not from a distance.”

“A job like that should go to a trained professional, not an outside consultant. And good luck getting to Cara Ferrari. It’s easier to get an appointment with the President.”

A flicker of arrogance crossed her face. “Maybe I already have.”

“What? How?”

She shrugged. “What do they say—everyone is six degrees of separation from someone.”

“You are not six degrees of anything from Cara Ferrari.” Was she?

She picked up her drink and then set it down again. “Forget it, Lang. You’re right, she did suck in Now, Voyager. She should stick to the trashy stuff that made her real money.”

“Absolutely,” he agreed, ignoring her sarcasm. “Like one of her really early B movies, the one where she played the undercover cop working as a stripper? I liked that.”

“Of course you did. What man doesn’t love the raw acting talent it takes for a woman to use her mouth to unzip thigh-high boots during a lap dance?”

“You have to admit that was a memorable scene.”

“Yeah, that took mad acting skills.”

“And coordination,” he agreed. “Just think how many college boys she made happy.”

“Were you one of them, Lang?”

“Please. I was in the FBI Academy when that movie came out.” Still, he fought a smile. “But it was a pretty sexy lap dance. Although, I guess that’s redundant.”

“Yeah, whatever. Can we just forget we had this conversation? It’s moot anyway. They say Kimberly Horne has the Oscar in the bag.”

He relaxed a little. “Vivi, you can’t seriously think you could convince Cara Ferrari to let you be her for however long it takes for this Red Carpet Killer brouhaha to die down. I think you should forget this idea completely.”

“Brouhaha.” She rolled her eyes and grabbed her drink. “I don’t care what you think.”

He didn’t respond and she sucked the straw again, looking up at him with her wide eyes—kind of exactly like she’d look up from a blow job.

Goddamn his dancing dick.

“Just forget it,” he said, as much to his disobedient organ as to his unintentionally sexy consultant. “It’s a cute idea, but—”

“Fuck you, Lang.”

“Sorry, I know you hate anything cute.”

“You just don’t get it, do you?”

Evidently not. “Get what?”

“What I’m trying to do with this business my brother and I started.”

“How can you say that?” He pushed his drink aside to move closer to Vivi. “I believe in your business. Hell, if I’m not careful, my boss is going to start questioning just why I’ve given you—what, four or five assignments in as many months? We’re supposed to spread the outsourcing wealth, not focus on one firm.”

She just shook her head. “This isn’t about you and your office. This is about me and my office.”

“Seriously, Vivi. You only started this business last fall. What do you expect?”

“Greatness,” she replied without pause. “There are companies doing what mine does and making millions. They’ve got multiple offices and hundreds of investigators and bodyguards and security specialists on their payroll.”

“And that’s what you want?” Somehow, the dream of big business just didn’t fit this skater chick. The raw ambition, like so many things about Vivi, surprised him.

“I always want to be the best,” she told him. “I don’t like to do things half-assed.”

“I respect that, but”—he placed both his hands over hers, damning the electrical charge he got every time his skin made contact with hers—“you’re not starting with Cara and your body-double idea.”

She snapped her hands away. “You can’t tell me what to do, Lang. No one can.”


“Give me one good reason why not, other than the fact that I don’t look like a movie star, as you’ve pointed out with great relish and candor.”

“What if there really is a Red Carpet Killer? Or a copycat? It’s dangerous.”

“My job is dangerous,” she replied. “Your job is dangerous. That’s the life we’ve chosen. If we get the assignment, Zach has three excellent bodyguards who can come stay with me twenty-four/seven.”

Three guys with her twenty-four/seven? Unfamiliar and ugly jealousy rolled through him. “Doesn’t matter. With all the nutcases out there, it’s too risky.”

She pushed back with a disgusted breath. “You are so… careful.”

“You say that like it’s a detriment. I’m an FBI agent, Vivi. Cautious is my middle name. And if you’re going to make it in the security consulting business, you’d do well to adopt the same one.”

“Well, my middle name is Belladonna,” she informed him.

“A poison.”

“ ‘Beautiful woman’ in Italian,” she corrected him, then raised a palm to stop his response. “Don’t. You’ve insulted me enough for one day. My point is, cautious doesn’t always work in business, Lang.”

“It does in the security business.” Three bodyguards? Shit, he hated that.

“Nobody gets ahead playing it safe. It’s like that half-pipe over there.” She tipped her head to the concrete slopes where skaters flew and flipped. And fell on their asses. “You gotta go big or go down.”

“Yeah, well, I’ve gone big and gone down hard.” No, he hadn’t gone down. The one and only woman he’d ever loved had gone down. All the way down. Six-feet-under down.

“What happened?” she asked.

He shook his head. “Just don’t take crazy risks, Vivi.”

“Can’t help it—that’s how I roll.” She got up, kicked her board out from under the table, and hopped on it. “I’m going to be late for the Rossi family Sunday dinner if I don’t leave now. See ya, Assistant Special Agent in Charge Colton Cautious Lang.”

“Bye, Private Investigator Viviana Poison Angelino.”

She untied a ratty sweatshirt and pulled it over her head, then tugged on her helmet. “Thanks for the slurpy and the advice.”

She zipped off, giving him a perfect shot of her ass as she kicked into high speed.

There went his cock again.

To make the blood flow north to his brain, he forced himself to think about her stupid, foolish, crazy idea. Okay, it wasn’t entirely stupid, but the last time he took a risk like that, he’d lost everything.

Never again.


Excerpted from Face of Danger by St. Claire, Roxanne Copyright © 2011 by St. Claire, Roxanne. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 57 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 57 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    What does it take you to forget past pain and let love take control?

    Viviana Angelino took her family's love and turned it into a family owned private security business that is just starting to see growth and expand into other areas with every new family member that comes onboard. Vivi loves what she and her family of misfits do but one small factor of following all the exact rules required to be legit is tripping her up. Especially when complete stickler for rules and regulations, Special Agent in Charge Colton Lang the FBI liaison that she is working with and throwing business her way. Now Colton believes in doing things the right and formal way, which Vivi is anything but, yet he cannot stay away from her and his desire for her, makes no sense since she does not even own a pair of Khaki's. She is nothing like his prior relationships and her looks are over the top nonsense right down to her nose ring and skateboard. Colton knows trouble when he sees it and Vivi is nothing but a bad idea.

    However, Vivi does have a striking resemblance to a movie star that is in the path of a serial killer who hates Oscar winners. Vivi steps into the latest winner Cara Ferrari's fabulous strappy sandals and pretends to draw everyone one way while Cara goes another. However, Vivi finds that there is more than one secret hiding beside her in Nantucket and while no one wants to talk, Colton would like to do some investigating of his own one-on-one with Vivi sans any clothing. Colton got lucky being assigned this case and can keep a very special attentive eye on Vivi while trying to prove his muster with the FBI. Occasionally a rule needs to be broken and if Vivi can convince Colton of that, they really might have a great time and possibly a future together. That is after they figure out which was the tunnels go; who this woman is living in Cara's house; and find out who the Red Carpet Killer is. But other than that, this relationship is moving along nicely.

    The third book in this series tells the story of the founder of Guardian Angelinos Vivi's story. She needed a great one and this storyline provides it with killers, mysteries, and mayhem along with a great alpha male by her side. Colton may talk as if it is 1954 but he lives in the 21 century and knows how to get the crook and take home the girl all before sundown.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 23, 2011

    Loved it!

    Sexu, fast paced and keeps you on the edge of your seat! Did i mention sexy?? Lol i loved seeing buttoned up Lang come out of his shell, so to speak ;-) definitely cant wait to read Gabes story!

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  • Posted September 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    LOVE Vivi & Colt!

    My Review:
    From the very start of this series, Vivi has been a wonderful character. A skater chick with a tough as nails attitude to match, but the brains of an ace investigative reporter tied up into one sexy little bundle. The Guardian Angelinos is her brain-child and she has HUGE plans for this company going big! I couldn't wait for her story, and OMG, it did NOT disappoint! This story was wonderful!!!

    FBI agent, Assistant Special Agent in Charge Colt Lang, showed up in book #2, Shiver of Fear, and it was no secret from the very beginning that he and Vivi simply did not see eye-to-eye. He's a by-the-book, straight-laced kind of guy who wears golf shirts and chinos. She has a nose piercing, wears skate-boarding loose, baggy clothes, and has short spiky black hair. She has no issue with making up the rules as she goes along if it nets the right end-result. He had a former partner and fiance who died because of that same personality flaw. He refuses to fall for another girl like that who will shred his heart when she gets killed. They are both drawn to each other, but they each have their own valid reasons for not wanting to get involved. Unfortunately, (well for them anyway...for the reader, it is pure reading gold) they have been thrown together on the same case working very closely to one another which makes temptation really hard to resist.

    From the word "go", this book is sizzling!! OMG, the scene on the airplane...so incredibly hot...and the whole book is like that!! Absolutely sizzling with scorching sexual chemistry, incredible twists and turns, fantastic suspense, and in the end...just a beautiful love story between two people who cannot be more perfect for each other. I really, really loved this story. Vivi has this tough, in-your-face bravado, but she is really just a marshmallow inside. She has been crushing on Colt a long time, but has NEVER let on about her feelings until she has to distract him from blowing her cover. Then there is no turning back. BUT she has a reason why she has never approached Colt, or any other guy before, and when it all comes out, it's just heartbreaking.

    Colt has loved and lost once. He has absolutely NO DESIRE to ever go through that again and Vivi's impulsiveness terrifies him. But it's her impulsiveness and zest for life with their investigations that snags him over and over. He doesn't want to be drawn to her, but he can't help it. I loved that he lost control when he's around her, even to the point of breaking the rules to keep her safe. That was a wonderful twist with his character and so well-written.

    This entire series, so far, has been absolutely amazingly good!! Roxanne St. Claire is simply an wonderful writer. I cannot wait for more installments in the Guardian Angelinos series!! But while I am waiting, I am adding her other series, The BulletCatchers to my TBR pile!!!

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  • Posted May 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Worth the Wait

    Roxanne St. Claire is a bestselling author of twenty-four novels of suspense and romance. In addition to being a four-time RITA nominee, her books have won the National Reader's Choice Award for best romantic suspense for two consecutive years, as well as the Daphne du Maurier Award, the HOLT Medallion, the Maggie, Booksellers Best, Book Buyers Best, several Awards of Excellence, the Aspen Gold and multiple Gayle Wilson Awards of Excellence. Roxanne holds a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Market Communications from UCLA and completed several post-graduate courses in Marketing Management at Harvard University. Prior to launching a full-time career as a novelist, Roxanne worked as a television actress and news reporter, appearing in Bosom Buddies and Laverne & Shirley, and hosting a regional news program in southern California. She then launched a career in public relations and marketing, including seven years as a Senior Vice President for Hill & Knowlton, one of the world's largest communications firms. Roxanne joined the Romance Writers of America in 2000, held a board position in her local chapter and is currently active in three chapters in her home state of Florida. Other titles include: Hunt Her Down, Make Her Pay, First You Run, Then You Hide, Now You Die, and Hit Reply.

    Private investigator Vivi Angelino started the Guardian Angelinos security firm, and her new assignment could financially stabilize the company, or bring it down. Vivi loves living life on the edge, but stepping into a starlets shoes to bait a serial killer is a bit much, even for her. FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Colton Lang follows all the rules, and isn't above trying to stop Vivi in her latest mission. Yet when they learn the client may be involved up to her eyeballs in something far worse than bad acting, they must work together to bring down a calculating killer with nothing left to lose.

    This is book three in the Guardian Angelinos series, with Edge of Sight and Shiver of Fear coming before. Though part of a series, these are all stand alone reads. Though I read and loved the other books in the series, this one is my favorite. The sexual tension between Vivi and Colton in previous books made me eager to jump in this one, and it didn't disappoint.

    With a touch of "Miss Congeniality" thrown in, this was both humorous and intriguing. It was hilarious to watch skateboard-wielding Vivi get decked out to double as a movie star. And to watch Colton finally give in. The bantering between these two was phenomenal, and the mystery behind the killer and the family was captivating. Highly recommended.

    Kelly Moran

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  • Posted April 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    a taut thriller

    Two Oscar winners are murdered by the Red Carpet serial killer. Viviana Angelino realizes she is a near dead ringer for the Best Actress favorite best actress front-runner, Cara Ferrari. Seeing an opportunity for her struggling Guardian Angelinos firm to gain a foothold, she offers her services as a double. Cara accepts but stipulates that Vivi fly to Nantucket on the actress' private plane.

    FBI agent Colton Lang is irate with the replacement. At Cara's estate, someone attacks Vivi demanding where she hid the key. Angelino and Lang are bewildered by the assault, but more confusion will follow on the red carpet.

    The latest Guardian Angelino romantic suspense thriller (See Edge of Sight and Shiver of Fear) is a tense tale of opposites who fight, fuss and fall in love. The fast-paced story line is loaded with danger and stunning twists as treachery makes the case that it is much more perilous and risky to the lives of the lead pair and others as well as to the respective hearts of Vivi and Colt. Fans will swear they can smell the cacciatore as Roxanne St. Claire provides a taut thriller.

    Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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