Psychology studentCamila Duarte is finally on her own, living in NYC and away from her overprotective brothers. Her serenity quakes when she receives terrorizing letters. When the threats ramp up, she hires the best problem solver in the business to protect her and look for the criminal.
After losing his wife and kid, Jaeger Bauer left the NYPD and has one simple rule: don
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"Mr. Bauer's ready for you," the fifty-something assistant said then pressed her lips into a closed smile.
Camila Duarte nodded and swallowed the lump of uneasiness forming in her throat. Besides one unsavory experience, most of her life she had taken her freedom and her sense of security for granted, because her brothers always protected her. That was one of the reasons why she'd come to intern in a psychiatric hospital in New York City after she finished her studies in Rio. She wanted to have her own experiences, make her own mistakes, far from Brazil and her brothers where they constantly smothered her with their well-meaning intentions.
She squared her shoulders and walked across the hardwood floor like she didn't feel nervous about the whole thing. At the end of the day, she was a woman living alone — well, living with a roommate who was always out — in the Big Apple where she didn't know many people. Her brothers were thousands of miles away and couldn't save her this time, nor did she want them to. She'd have to save herself.
Nothing will happen.
She glanced at the last office in the hallway while she passed by other glass wall suites where mostly men and a couple of women worked quietly at their desks. The office at the end of the hall had Jaeger Bauer's name on the plaque beside the open door.
Sucking in a breath, she entered. The office had an industrial atmosphere with exposed brick walls and metal light fixtures hanging from the ceiling. The collection of black leather chairs and the oak table in the center added a contemporary flair.
The man she was supposed to meet, Jaeger Bauer, stood in front of the desk, gesturing for her to sit. She expected him to shake hands or do some type of greeting, but it never happened.
Without taking her eyes off him, she sat on the chair, and only then did he do the same. He studied her with eyes so blue they reminded her of exotic islands surrounded by clear ocean waters; her shoulders dropped a notch and her pulse ridiculously quickened. Why hadn't she looked for a picture of him online? Maybe then she'd been prepared for this blond, oversize Viking god in a casual suit.
"How can I help you?" he asked, in a deep, cultured voice that sent little thrills of awareness down her spine.
She had provided his secretary with the basic information. "I'm Camila Duarte," she said, and then realized how stupid she sounded. Of course he already knew her name. He lifted his eyebrow in acknowledgment, but didn't say anything. Every move of his was calculated, and that only worsened her nerves. "Nice to meet you, and thanks for seeing me. Your aunt Gesa recommended you, but she didn't say exactly what you do."
"I'm a fixer. I help people fix problems when they're in danger. I work with my team."
Camila had confided in her hairdresser, his aunt, about the threats she'd received. Gesa had insisted Camila see her nephew as soon as possible, and Gesa had made an appointment for her before she could think twice about the idea.
He didn't move a muscle. He watched her, and she shifted in her seat, uncomfortable. Good-looking as this fixer-whatever was, he didn't say much.
Might as well get started.
"I've been receiving scary letters for the past three weeks. I didn't care at first, but they're becoming more threatening, and they're arriving more often," she said and reached into her bag to draw out the envelopes she'd kept. She handed him the pile, her fingers brushing his. A small, electrifying sensation shot up her arm. Shaking her head, she scooted to the back of her chair.
He glanced at her hand for an instant, then cleared his throat and studied the letters. His long fingers glided down the texture of the construction paper. They had started out with cutout magazine letters, though the last few letters were typed in a bold font. Get out of New York, stupid bitch. Go back to Brazil or you'll pay. "They were mailed in New Jersey. Interesting."
A couple of minutes went by, and he continued studying the envelopes in silence. His mind was clearly working, his hands moving, and his eyes on the printed matter. "Your stalker started cutting and gluing pieces of magazines, then used a computer."
"Yes. Maybe he or she went green. A stalker with an environmental cause." She waved her hands in the air. "You never know, right?" Her attempt at humor did nothing to soften the contours of his face.
"Whoever did this is an amateur. He started with the cut letters. Thought they would scare you away, but you didn't leave town. Now he's just typing his threats, which means he's lazy."
"Are we assuming it's a he?"
"For now. If I take the case, I'll exhaust every possibility. It's just easier and less confusing to stick with one pronoun." He gave her back the pile and took a pen from the pen holder.
He grabbed a small notepad from the first drawer and glanced at her. "Have you lived in New York for long?"
"Er, no. I moved here over two years ago. I'm an intern at Hatch Psychiatric Center." Her mother had died because of lack of medical care and severe lupus, but she'd also experienced depression. Back then no one really knew much about the disease, and as a child, Camila had vowed to help and treat others with mental illnesses. Never had she known, as a poor Brazilian girl who suffered from dyslexia, that she'd actually conquer that dream. And hell, she wasn't about to give it up.
"The new hospital?"
"And you come from a rich Brazilian family," he said, more of a statement than a question.
She shifted in her seat and cleared her throat. Discussing her family's wealth was never a comfortable subject. She opened her mouth to say the Duartes had very humble beginnings and lived a modest life with no medical care and days of poverty until her oldest brother, Bruno, left the Northeast of Brazil and, after much hard work, became one of the world's top software developers in the United States before settling in Rio, but she resisted the urge to babble. Most likely Jaeger already knew all the important pieces of her life. "Yes," she simply said. "What did you mean by 'if I take the case?' I thought you would."
He scribbled on his notepad then scratched his chin. "Don't worry. Everything we discuss is confidential."
"That's great." She drummed her fingers on the desk. "But you're taking me as a client, right?" she asked, unable to hide the note of impatience in her voice.
"I told Aunt Gesa I'd talk to you and see if I could help."
"Listen, I need you to take my case. Money isn't a problem." She'd saved the funds she'd brought with her and lived modestly rather than draw attention to her wealth, even politely declining Bruno's offer to use his exclusive penthouse to maintain her independence. Her rental — a much smaller apartment closer to her work — was perfect, though she had a roommate. Still, it felt great to pay her own way. Now the money she'd put aside for a rainy day would have to stem the dark storm caused by the threatening letters. "I just want to find out who wants to hurt me and stop the bastard."
If she could judge this man by the accents in his surroundings, she knew money wasn't a problem for him, either. She recognized expensive furniture when she saw it, no matter how minimalist. Glancing around, she counted the abstract paintings hanging on the wall. A couple of shelves displayed small statues of bronze that must have cost a fortune, too. One of them reminded her of a piece she saw in a magazine. No frames though, or any personal items that gave away a hint about the man sitting across from her.
"I understand, but I'm a busy man. I'll refer you to one of my associates," he said.
"I don't want one of your associates. I want you."
"Because you're the best." And because she didn't have that many friends in the city, and hell, someone recommended him, so she wanted the real thing. "And because this happened to me once before," she said in a shaky voice.
Jaeger's fingers itched to open his top drawer and retrieve a red stress ball to have at it. He managed to keep still, like he was in a military drill, and listen to her. The woman was gorgeous. Layers of sultry, long brown hair framed her exotic face. The beige silk blouse complemented her dark olive skin, which he bet was soft to the touch. And she'd piqued his curiosity with her admission.
Don't take this job. If he didn't, Aunt Gesa wouldn't let him hear the end of it. She'd been demanding when she told him on the phone he should take Camila on as a client. He knew better than flat-out denying an old German lady with a temper.
Jaeger scratched his chin. When she'd given him the envelopes, her finger brushed his accidentally. He normally wouldn't have made anything of it — living in NYC, bumping into people in the streets or subway was common. But his reaction to the quick touch hadn't been ordinary — his finger had tingled in response, the unexpected effect shooting up his arm and setting a stupid race in his heart. When had been the last time a bare skin brush had provoked such a primeval response in him?
"Tell me about it," he said. Usually he wasn't so robotic with potential clients. He was straightforward and focused — using his manners to avoid sounding like a total dick. But Camila Duarte brought it out of him after only a few minutes in her presence. Something inside him sent clear messages to his brain to be extra careful with her and refuse her case.
If only his hardening cock had received the same memo.
"When I was thirteen a boy had a crush on me, and he followed me home every day from school. Let me tell you, I walked a long way from school. I didn't want anything besides friendship, but he wouldn't get the message. Once, he left a note for me under my pillow," she said, and she tucked her hair behind one ear, then immediately did the same with the other ear — making it clear for him talking about it still made her nervous. "He went to my house and left a note while I was away."
"What did the note say?"
She shrugged. "Something about me being his girl. That I couldn't fight fate."
"What did you do?"
"Nothing. I kept telling myself it was just a silly crush. I didn't want my brothers involved. I have three hot-blooded older brothers, and growing up we didn't have much money, but they always had my back. I didn't want them to get in trouble." She shrugged. "Then one day, he cornered me against a tree and held a knife to my throat."
Jaeger swallowed. The idea of any girl in danger abhorred him, but as he imagined a younger version of the lovely woman in front of him, his heart shrunk to the size of an olive. Why? He'd seen some bad shit when he worked at the homicide department of NYPD. Damn it. He'd lost his wife, Ellen, and his son Trevor while on duty, failing to protect them. The memory of that loss had haunted him for five years; his collar felt tight around his neck. He tugged it and cleared his throat. "What did you do after you discovered the note? Before it escalated to the knifepoint incident?"
"I kept the note. The next day, he cornered me again, and upped his game with the knife. I distracted him for a moment, kneed him, and ran. That day I knew I couldn't deal with it alone, so I went home and told my brothers and they gave him a good beating. He never bothered me again."
"That's all? You didn't press charges against the bastard?"
She shook his head. "My brothers broke both his arms."
Message received. "What happened to the guy?" he asked, though the chances of the same man harassing her now were nonexistent. The pattern didn't match, and that would mean the stalker would have learned English, moved to the United States, and found her — quite a stretch, especially if he hailed from a poor background.
"I don't know. He moved to another town with his family. He's not behind my current situation. All I want to tell you is I've experienced the tension before, then I got over it. But now it's happening again, and I really don't want to relive having a knife at my throat, if not worse."
She leaned closer, her eyes gleaming with hope. "Please help me. I moved to the States so I could live on my own. If I mention this to my brothers, they'll be on my butt to return to Brazil, or one of them will come. They have their own lives. One of them is getting married soon."
Why would her brothers' opinions matter so much? He shook his head. Being an only child, he didn't have a lot of in-depth experience on sibling love. "You're an adult. You can do whatever you please."
"Yes, I can and I will, which is why I want to take care of this on my own. If I knew how to find whoever is sending me these letters, trust me, I would. But I don't have your training."
He touched his collar. "Why didn't you go to the police for help?"
"Because if I do, I doubt the story won't leak, and soon Brazilian paparazzi will be taking pictures of me. My family is very well known back home, and the fact we've tried to keep our privacy only enticed the media. Bruno, one of my brothers, is a software developer whose work has received a lot of attention. Leonardo and Emanuel have accomplished a lot and also had their share of media attention. Each time my brothers reached a new milestone in their respective careers, our family name made it to the newspapers."
Nodding, he remembered the stories he'd read, the latest about how Emanuel Duarte helped prove Silas Lancaster, a real estate giant, was part of an embezzlement operation and even murder. Because Silas's daughter had helped Emanuel and they got engaged, more attention has been drawn to the Duartes. "Why do you care?"
She lifted her chin. "One of the reasons I moved here was to be away from all that. I don't want the spotlight or a glamorous job. I want to learn how to help people — people like my mother who had depression and no one understood. But all that is pointless if my life turns into a circus," she said.
He should say no. That strange reaction to her should be enough of a red flag for him to back off and never see her again. Sure, Aunt Gesa would be a pain in the ass, but he'd deal with her — or ignore her like he had done two years ago when she'd tried to set him up on a date with a "nice girl" from her church. He owed nobody a thing.
Take this woman in front of him. He could say no to her and go back to his work. Thankfully, his financial situation was more than comfortable, and he didn't have to accept every job that crossed his path.
She chewed on her lower lip and tilted her head to the side, anticipating his response. Yes. He could say no and let someone else deal with her. But before he could list them, he found himself saying, "Okay. I'll take you on." Blood thrummed in his veins, and that was when he knew he had just made a big fucking mistake.
"Hi," Jaeger said, marching into her apartment.
Camila had seen him hours before at his office when he'd told her a couple of bodyguards would watch her day and night until the stalker was found, to guarantee her safety. Whenever Jaeger took her places as part of his investigation, he'd be the one watching her.
Her dog, Torto, yapped at him, begging for attention. Before she could tell Torto to be quiet, Jaeger bent and gave him a quick pat on the head then stood and walked into her living room.
The room's super girly ambiance contrasted against his masculine presence. He gave her place a once-over while striding into her living room, searching for stuff like he already knew where everything was. His denim jeans and casual black shirt sinfully hugged his pecs, muscular legs, and squeezable ass. "You want anything to drink? Water, juice, coffee?" she asked, grabbing a glass from the cupboard.
She pressed the glass against her neck to cool herself off, and when her eyes found his, he frowned. Oh crap. "Er, I was exercising," she said then cleared her throat. What a lie. She wore a knee-length blue dress and high heels.
His lips set into a hard line. Gosh. Did the guy ever crack a smile? Like, seriously.
"Where's your roommate?" he said, checking a lamp that stood next to the sofa.
"She's out of town for a few days." Zoe had traveled to Vermont to visit a sick aunt. "Something wrong with my lamp?"
"I'm doing a sweep. Making sure you're not being recorded or taped."
She folded her arms. A shiver of fear rolled down her spine. The possibility of a hidden camera never occurred to her until now. Someone could be watching her closely, seeing her every move. She shook her head.
Excerpted from "Brazilian Surrender"
Copyright © 2017 Carmen Falcone.
Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Brazilian Surrender is the third book in Carmen Falcone’s The Brazilians series. Another well written book by Ms. Falcone. Loved how Jaeger immediately felt the need to protect Camilla. This was a fast read that I recommend.
This was a good read. I haven’t read the complete series, but it didn’t interfere with being able to enjoy this one. Jaeger and Camila were good together, and I thought they had good chemistry. I was kept guessing with the mystery part of this story. It was written well. I thought the ending was good, and I enjoyed the epilogue. I voluntarily read an advanced readers copy of this book.
Finally able to stand on her own, without her family or family name is huge! Camila is thrilled to go about her business incognito. That is until the letters started. Gesa directed Camila to her hunky, nephew (Jaeger), for help. He'd suffered tragic personal loss. The attraction between them is instantaneous. Solving the case is the first priority; or things could get messy... Mystery, drama and sizzling scenes add up to hot suspenseful romance! An unstable villain/villainess ramps up the suspense becoming more deranged as the story continues! A love that's resisted builds as well. Good reading! Voluntarily read ARC for honest review.
Another fabulous read from Carmen. This is the final book in the Brazilians series and can be read as a standalone - but is more enjoyable as part of the series. This is Camila's story. What a great suspense read - it had me on the edge of my seat from the beginning. The chemistry between Jaeger and Camila is fantastic - very hot. Overall a must read - I highly recommend this book and series. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.
This is the authors last book in her Brazilian Series, Brazilian Surrender. We have another Duarte family member this time Camila who is now in NY to not only intern but to get away from her overprotective family. While there she begins receiving ever more threatening letter, so she seeks help from an agency where she meets Jaeger, a former police officer. Jaeger has lost his family to the dangers of his job and has sworn to never get close to anyone again. Against his better judgment he takes her case and they decide that the only way to protect her is to pose as her boyfriend. That's all I'm saying for I hate to give spoilers; although it appears that I have believe me there is much more meat to this story. Grab this great story and learn how far the villain is willing to go to get rid of Camila. You will also read how Jaeger's will to once again get emotionally involved is stretched to it's limit. Not getting involved will be hard to do when their attraction to each other starts to sizzle. The story is filled with the authors snarky humor and thrilling adventures amongst hot sizzling sex. I, for one, will miss further adventures in her wonderful Brazilian Series and if you haven't yet read the previous stories, don't just stand there go get them now.
Engaging!! My favorite kind of romantic suspense! This story is exciting, sexy and will keep you guessing. Who is stalking Camilla? The big reveal was AWESOME!! I would have never guessed!! If you are a fan of real romantic suspense you can't pass this story up!
What a fantastic conclusion to this series! This one has a wonderful blend of suspense and romance as Camila Duarte, enjoying a bit of freedom for the first time, finds herself the victim of an unknown individual who is leaving her threatening letters. She hopes to get this handled without involving her brothers who would want to drag her home immediately. Hopefully security specialist Jaeger Bauer will be able to help her and keep her safe.. And hopefully she won't lose her heart in the meantime. Great read that I highly recommend to everyone.
Brazilian Surrender is the final book in the Brazilians series by Carmen Falcone, but can be read as a standalone for those who haven’t read the previous books. If you haven’t read the previous books, you need to correct that, because this series is one of my favorites and definitely worth the read. Brazilian Surrender revolves around Camila Duarte and Jaeger Bauer. When Camila Duarte receives threating letters demanding that she leave New York and go back to Brazil, she hires Jaeger Bauer. Jaeger used to work for the NYPD, but owns his own security firm, now. At first Jaeger wanted to refuse her case, because of the immediate attraction, but because of his aunt he gives in. The danger Camila is in makes Jaeger feel things he long thought was forgotten. To keep her safe, he must stick to her like glue and from there it’s only a matter of time before he gives in to their sizzling chemistry. I loved Camila as a heroine. She’s smart, independent, and very caring. She understands Jaeger and the wounds he carries with him after losing his wife and son. I loved everything about Brazilian Surrender and couldn’t have asked for a better hero for Camila than Jaeger. The ending was amazing and was the perfect conclusion to a must-read series!
Camila Duarte came to New York City to study, but also to have a little freedom from her brothers. Life was good until she starts receiving threatening letters. Camila tells her hairdresser Gesa of her worries; as chance would have it, Gesa’s nephew, Jaeger Bauer, has a security firm; Camila doesn’t want to involve the police so as not to alarm her brothers. Jaeger is hesitant to accept the case because of his attraction to Camila; he will not let anyone get close, never again… BRAZILIAN SURRENDER is the last instalment in the exciting The Brazilians series, and Carmen Falcone has written her best suspense story yet; there were so many ramifications, I never guessed who the killer was, and especially not the reason for the crimes. Camila is another wonderfully independent heroine; she knows what she wants, she is not afraid to do what she needs to get it, but she is also a warm, caring, and patient person. Jaeger has closed himself off after his wife and son were murdered, and it was wondrous to see him crawling out of his shell. The sex scenes are sizzling and beautifully crated, and better yet they serve a real purpose as they constitute a vital element leading to important character development. And what a treat it was to see how all our Brazilians have fared in the meantime. BRAZILIAN SURRENDER ends on a fabulous epilogue; I could not have wished for a better conclusion to this excellent series! I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.
Loved this book! This is a sexy and engaging novel that fans of the genre will love. In this book, Camila is a psychiatry intern who starts to receive threatening letters. She turns to Jaeger, a somewhat damaged man who owns a security company. He poses as her boyfriend while protecting her and also trying to find the culprit. The sparks flying are predictable, but so well told that I just enjoyed the story. I've enjoyed each of the books in this series and loved the romance between Camila and Jaeger. Put this at the top of your TBR list - you'll be glad you did. The author is on my must read authors' list.