Rules of Attraction (Behind Closed Doors) [NOOK Book]



Hired to keep Claire Winston's sister under surveillance, Quinn Gerard was stunned to find he was following the wrong woman when he and Claire came face-toface...body to body. Knowing Claire would eventually lead him to his quarry, the daring P.I. vowed to keep her close, but in doing so he risked more than he could have imagined. For Claire's loving nature—and passionate ...

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Rules of Attraction (Behind Closed Doors)

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Hired to keep Claire Winston's sister under surveillance, Quinn Gerard was stunned to find he was following the wrong woman when he and Claire came face-toface...body to body. Knowing Claire would eventually lead him to his quarry, the daring P.I. vowed to keep her close, but in doing so he risked more than he could have imagined. For Claire's loving nature—and passionate secrets—had shaken the unshakable Quinn to the point where once his job ended, he didn't know if he would ever be able to walk away. That was the thing about rules.... They were made to be broken.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426876967
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 9/20/2010
  • Series: Behind Closed Doors Series , #1647
  • Sold by: HARLEQUIN
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 787,291
  • File size: 489 KB

Meet the Author

Susan Crosby started writing contemporary romances to entertain herself when her children were small. When they entered school, she returned to college and earned her B.A. in English, then began writing as a career, her longtime goal.

Having grown up at the beach in Southern California during the heyday of the Beach Boys, Susan still loves the feel of sand between her toes, early morning ocean swims, and that yellow polka dot bikini she wishes she could wear just one more time!

Susan has two grown sons, a terrific daughter-in-law and two perfect grandchildren.
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Read an Excerpt

Rules Of Attraction

By Susan Crosby

Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.

Copyright © 2005 Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-373-76647-5

Chapter One

Private investigator Quinn Gerard felt a momentary pang of regret for having turned respectable seven months ago. He missed the anonymity, and the danger. He'd hungered for it, thrived on it. Since he'd given up his private practice to become a partner in ARC Security & Investigations, he'd had to operate by the rules, instead of ignoring them or making up his own when the situation warranted it.

One personal rule that hadn't changed, however, was that he never got personally involved with a client - no matter how tempting - and the willowy blonde in the electric-blue blouse and black leather skirt currently ambling away from her car was worse than a client. She was a subject.

Still, as a man, he could admire the package if not the contents. And that package was more interesting at the moment than in the previous three days he'd had her under surveillance. In fact, Jennifer Winston was a bundle of surprises today. First, she'd left her house hours earlier than her norm. Second, she'd slowed her pace. Usually in a hurry, today she moseyed along as if life were eternal - or she was reluctant to get where she was going. Third, she'd borrowed her sister's car, a modest white compact, instead of driving her own conspicuous red convertible. Fourth, and perhaps most surprising, she was headed into the local blood bank.

Quinn would've guessed that Jennifer Winston didn't have a charitable blood cell in her entire lovely body. So, why was she here?

She'd been followed twenty-four hours a day, for weeks, from the house she shared with her sister, first by D.A. investigators, and now by Quinn. According to reports passed along to him, her routine stops included chic boutiques, trendy San Francisco nightspots and luxurious spas in the Napa valley. She hadn't held a job in almost half a year, so she came and went at will, generally staying out until very late at night then not leaving home again until almost noon.

Suspicious of the deviations in her pattern today, Quinn followed the newly unpredictable and decidedly sexier Ms. Winston into the building instead of waiting for her to return to her car. Deviation from the norm often resulted in the big breaks in a case.

He trailed her down a wide, quiet hallway, watched as she disappeared through a doorway topped by a sign that read Donor Room. Not wanting to be directly on her heels, he stopped to drink from a water fountain then pretended to read some flyers on a bulletin board. Finally he put himself in a position to peer into the room. He didn't see her so he moved a little closer, stepped through the doorway -

"You're here to make a donation?" someone almost shouted behind him.

The tone of voice was more demand than query. Quinn turned and eyed the white-haired pixie with the big voice. The top of her head barely reached his sternum. He outweighed her by at least a hundred pounds.

"No, I -"

"Why not?" she asked, looking him up and down.

"You look healthy."

Because I'm following a woman the district attorney is convinced is hiding five million embezzled dollars, that's why not. "I don't have time," he said.

"Hardly takes any time at all," the human steamroller said, challenge in her eyes. "In and out before you know it."

Her name tag identified her as Lorna, a 15,000-hour volunteer. Quinn ignored her as he scanned the room then zeroed in on Ms. Winston. She had donned a purple smock over her clothes and was putting cookies on a plate next to cartons of juice. Jennifer Winston, the juice-and-cookies lady? He couldn't reconcile it with what he knew of her. Although he had imagined her living a double life....

"Scared of needles?" Lorna asked.

He met her placid gaze directly, coolly. "Yes."

After a moment she cracked a smile. "Thought not. Come on, then."

He focused on the fact that Ms. Winston wasn't going anywhere. He could observe her and do his civic duty at the same time. It was a little risky getting so close to her, close enough she might remember him later and realize she was being followed again, but the thrill revved his adrenaline. The challenge of meeting her face-to-face while still tailing her appealed to him. Hiding in plain sight. He excelled at it.

He answered the long list of health-related questions, had his iron level tested, then settled in a padded lounge chair. He sought out his target as the nurse inserted the needle in his arm. Lorna and Ms. Winston were laughing together. He hadn't seen her this mellow or friendly. Until now, she'd seemed like a woman on a mission, determined and direct. Now, she smiled at everyone, drawing smiles in return. She tossed her shoulder-length blond hair flirtatiously, lifted a hand to wave to someone entering the room - then noticed him.

From thirty feet away Quinn saw her falter in her conversation. Her smile faded. She lowered her arm slowly.

Had he been made? He went on alert, ready to go after her should she run. But then Lorna elbowed her and said something that put some pink into Ms. Winston's cheeks and made her dip her head a little, as if embarrassed.

Quinn relaxed. Male/female connection? Now that intrigued him. He believed the reason he was never noticed by his subjects was that he was ordinary looking. Unmemorable.

On the other hand, there was something to be said for animal magnetism. As Ms. Winston maintained eye contact, his pulse sped up. Which was a normal reaction to the risk, he decided, of her being able to spot him following her after this. But it had been a while since his hormones had mutinied on their own like that.

A few more minutes passed. She looked away and back several times. He didn't pretend disinterest, deciding instead that he could take an entirely different approach to his surveillance, a much more personal one. It would require playing a role, acting as if he didn't know her boyfriend had been convicted of embezzlement and now occupied a cell in a federal prison - and that she was thought to be his accomplice.

Quinn had to be especially careful, however. Agreeing to take on the case for the D.A.'s office made him a police agent, which meant he needed to stay within the boundaries and scope of the law.

Ms. Winston took a few steps toward Quinn then hesitated. He held her gaze. She came closer. Close enough that he saw her eyes. Blue. Bright blue, not brown.

His gut clenched. Blood rushed through him, a feeling as close to panic as anything he could remember.


Excerpted from Rules Of Attraction by Susan Crosby Copyright © 2005 by Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd. . 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
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2005

    Claire's Hero Quinn!!

    Another of the Behind Closed Doors series--scrumptious hero Quinn Gerard of the ARC Security & Investigations Agency new San Francisco office is working for the S.F. DA watching Jennifer Winston, her boyfriend's just been convicted of embezzlement of over 1 million dollars and it's thought she can get to it. Jenn gets her younger innocent half-sister Claire to bleach her hair and borrow Jenn's clothes so Jenn can escape the surveillance. Quinn follows her not knowing it's the wrong woman! He realizes too late after having personal contact w/her but now he can't stay away. She agrees to help him find Jenn--she wants to tell Jenn no more help! and to get closer to Quinn. Quinn's a very wounded hero but w/Claire's help and understanding he begins the road to 'family understanding' and a wonderful love affair w/Claire. In May & June we'll see more of the ARC Agency in SF--don't miss it. Her website has more info on the future books

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2011

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    Posted December 20, 2010

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