Gripping romantic suspense from USA Today bestseller Rebecca York
Does everyone have something to hide?
Olivia Winters and Max Lyon knew each other way back when, but she was one of the cool kids, and he was a bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Olivia's a successful model now, and Max a PI much in demand.
When Olivia's old high school friend is murdered-and a raft of "accidental" deaths may be murders, too-Max is the only man Olivia can trust to help her investigate.
As they team up, Max is blown away by Olivia's courage under fire, and Olivia finds that the bad boy she remembers from the fringes of her social circle might just be the best man she's ever met...
Praise for Bad Nights:
"Bad Nights has everything...drama, suspense, action, and passion." -NIGHT OWL REVIEWS
"Tense and intriguing, the first of York's Rockfort Security books is an action-packed read that promises much for the series to come." -RT BOOK REVIEWS
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Read an Excerpt
A sudden jolt of unease made the hairs on the back of Angela's neck prickle. She might have stopped and looked around. Instead, she quickened her pace, hurrying toward the car. She'd parked behind her shop when she'd arrived early that morning. She put in long hours, but it was worth it because she was building her business and her reputation as a local fashion maven.
Her sedan had an automatic lock that opened when she reached for the door handle, and she breathed out a sigh of relief as she slipped behind the wheel and locked the doors. Usually she didn't mind walking to her vehicle after hours. It was only a few steps from the back door of her boutique, after all, and the area was well lit. Which was good, because lately she'd had the feeling that someone was lurking in the darkness, watching her. She glanced up at the car's dome light and tried to turn it on. But it seemed to be on the fritz. And did the car smell funny? She twisted around, looking in the backseat, but saw nothing.
Then she shook her head, trying to dispel her unease. Was she getting paranoid? Or was she tempting fate with her success in the fashion world?
Her shop was on Main Street in Ellicott City, a 250-year-old mill town built into a river valley. The old stone townhouses that lined the narrow thoroughfare were now full of antique shops, restaurants, boutiques, and other retail outlets that catered to tourists and affluent locals. As you drove down the hill toward the Patapsco River, the shops on the left backed right into a massive stone cliff. In fact, the living stone was sometimes part of the back wall. On the right side of the street, there was room in the rear for parking. Some shop owners lived above their stores or rented out the space. Angela preferred to get out of the crowded downtown area when she wasn't working.
Her boutique, called What She Wants, sold trendy women's clothing. It was doing so well that she was thinking about expanding. The store next door had been vacant for a few months, and she was probably going to ask the owner if she could expand into the extra space. That way she could have twice the display area and be able to add the line of slinky underwear she'd been thinking about. Plus, she could have a bigger lounge in the back where customers could relax with a cup of tea while they modeled clothing for each other. That was part of the charm of her shop-the unhurried atmosphere. Destination shopping.
She smiled to herself as she pictured doubling her domain. Maybe she wasn't as big a success as the former class star, Olivia Winters. Olivia was a big deal in the New York fashion scene. A jet-setter who was the envy of half the country's female population. And a sex object for the guys. Was that the bad part? Because there had to be a bad part, didn't there?
But Angela could deal with Olivia's fame and fortune. And she was sure the two of them would have a lot to talk about at the upcoming Donley High ten-year reunion. She was already working on plans for some of the events, and if she couldn't get Olivia onto the planning committee, she was at least hoping to get her best friend from high school down to Maryland for the reunion.
Her mind turned from her fears of being stalked to the reunion plans. She was on the committee, and she was going to make sure that this was the best ten-year reunion Donley had ever seen.
For just a moment, a painful memory from her high school days zinged into her mind. Quickly she pushed it away. All of that was over and done with. You couldn't dwell on the past. You had to keep moving forward if you wanted to be a success in life.
With a firm shake of her head, she nosed the car away from the downtown area into the subdivision where she'd bought a comfortable townhouse after her divorce from Chip. She'd met him at a young singles mixer a couple of years after she'd graduated from high school. He'd seemed like a good guy-ambitious and personable, with a college degree in hospitality and a good job at a national hotel chain. But he'd turned out to be one of the few major mistakes she'd made. She'd gotten rid of him as soon as she'd realized he wasn't about to let his wife have a career that might eclipse his importance as the man of the house.
She'd bought her end unit at a good price after the housing bubble crash. In the driveway, she clicked the remote, waited for the garage door to open, then drove in and closed the door behind her.
She was hungry. Maybe she should have stopped at that new French carryout on the way home instead of having to fix something. Well, it would have to be something quick, like a can of the low-cal soup she had in the pantry.
Before she could get out of the car, someone grabbed her from behind-someone who must have been in the car all the way home from the shop.
She cried out in shock and disbelief, but the cry turned into a gasp as the person behind her grabbed her shoulder to anchor her in place while they slipped something around her neck.
In desperation, she kicked out her legs and bucked her body, writhing in her seat as she tried to free herself from the stranglehold. But the hand held her fast as the cord tightened and tightened.
Did she hear words whispered in her ear? Hateful words about what a slut she'd been in high school-and how she'd broken her word.
No, she wanted to scream. It wasn't true. She'd kept her vow of silence. But the person with the rope around her neck kept whispering, telling her she wasn't going to get the chance to blab about her past at the reunion-or anyone else's past.
The awful voice kept talking, filling her mind like boiling syrup in a pot bubbling on the stove, and she knew who it was. Someone dangerous. Someone she'd avoided for years.
"You little slut. You thought you were a big deal. You thought you could hide your true colors, didn't you?"
Again she tried to scream that it wasn't true. It had never been true. And no matter what she had been in high school, she was a different person now. Then she'd been unsure of herself. Eager to fit in. Now she knew she didn't have to conform to anyone's standards but her own. She was put together. Successful, and on her way to bigger and better things.
But there was no breath in her lungs for those protests, or for anything else. She was slipping from consciousness. She tried to focus on her shop. On her big plans. But black dots danced in front of her eyes. Then the blackness overwhelmed her.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Angela spent several hours working at her shop and building up her business. Lately Angela had a feeling someone was watching her. Angela was glad it was only a few steps to her car and it was well lit. Angela’s best friends from HS was Olivia who now had both fame and fortune in the fashion world. Angela hoped to get Olivia to come to their HS reunion. Angela was in her garage and then she was grabbed and a rope put around her neck. Olivia had returned for the reunion meeting even though HS had been the most miserable years of her life. But Olivia had come after Angela’s death. Olivia had brought Max with her and they were to act like they were together in actuality max partially owned Rockford Security When Olivia went to Rockford Security Max was the only one who could help her. Olivia felt unease about seeing her old classmates. Olivia was attracted to max but didn’t want to be. The main reason Olivia and Max had come to the planning meeting for the reunion was to try to figure out who killed Angela. He had two other people watching them - Shane and Jack . Max and Shane and Jack had pooled their resources to start Rockford Securities more than two years ago. .The men had met in a Miami jail and since they opened new recommendations came from satisfied customers. Olivia was Max's ticket into this group , his best opportunity to meet these people in a casual way . Someone was murdering Olivia’s classmates . three were already dead. There was Angela, Patrick and Gary and the only connection that could be found was that they had been part of the in crowd in H S. Max had been attracted to Olivia back in HS even though he was a couple years older. But Max had been a bad boy back then . Eventually Max uncovers the deaths of Olivia’s classmates are all murder and not an odd accident. Olivia has to tell Max she was raped in HS something she had kept secret until now. I had mixed feelings about this story. I liked some of the parts but not others. The starting of this story is good but the ending not so much. I found a lot of the story hard to believe. Also it made no sense to me why Olivia would keep some things to herself when she hired Max and his team to help her find out what is really going on. I liked how max wanted to protect Olivia while also trying to find answers. I liked Max and Olivia as characters for the most part. I also liked most of the ins and outs of this story it just didn’t WOW m
I enjoyed the 2nd installment of Rebecca York’s Rockfort Security series and was looking forward to Private Affair. Unfortunately, this one just didn’t hold up. I’d like to give York the benefit of the doubt and say that either a) she was rushed to hit her deadline and didn’t have time to polish or b) quite a bit of editing will be done between these early pages and the final version of the book. I really wasn’t happy with the writing style – it was stilted, superficial, with no narrative nuance. And there was way too much “tell” and not nearly enough “show”. The story had no life of its own and didn’t allow the reader to get far enough from the act of reading to feel anything for the characters or the plot. Verdict: A big let-down after a great 2nd book. 2/5.
“Did any of what happened in high school matter to now? Apparently it mattered to someone.” It’s time for the Donley High School ten-year class reunion and several won’t be attending this year – because they’re already in their graves. Donley may be considered the best high school in the country but it comes with it’s disadvantages too. Olivia Winters can’t help to wonder if she’s next in the killer’s sights when her high school BFF is strangled. Luckily for her, it’s class reunion time and a member of the Rockfort Security Agency, Max Lyon, puts more credence in her suspicions than the local police. Someone wants their high school memories to stay buried and bringing troublemaker Max back to the forefront may cause more trouble than Olivia bargained. Hott Review: I LOVED 80% of this book. The romance, characters, and suspense through most of the book is just what I’ve grown to love from Rebecca York, but the last couple of pages was a bit weird and off-color. It was almost like someone else wrote the ending! It felt so odd that that characters that used so little foul language throughout the book would pour it out those last couple of chapters! Now, I will admit that I still finished the book – I was too invested at that point to put it down – but, I don’t think I would have picked it up had I realized the ending. More… Author: Rebecca York Source: Sourcebooks Casablanca via Netgalley Grade: B Steam: Definitely a higher R Rating; Rape is a main topic Setting: Howard County, Maryland Series: Rockfort Security, 3
This was a really good susppense romance. I was really trying to figure who did what and why they did it! York did a great job keeping the reader engagdged. I recieved this book as an ARC from Netgalley and I enjoyed every page of it. Olivia Winters just found out that her best friend and some of her other classmates have been killed in her hometown. Suspecting foul play she turns to Max Lyon a PI ,who also grew up in her home town, to help figure out what exactly is going on. Max and Olivia travel back home pretending to be a couple so that no one suspects that they are trying to figure out exactly who is responsible for all of the deaths. Unfortunately for them their hearts want for them to make this relationship 100% real. This book has the feel of the classic getting a chance with the 'one that got away' but with a twist. Assumptions about who they were in the past are blown apart and secrets are no longer hidden. Great book and great job Rebecca York.
York’s shockingly vivid scenes make this story easy to picture. She definitely kept me on my toes as the story unravelled. The subject matter was very hard hitting at times, bringing up a great deal of unsavoury topics, but York does so in a way that engages her readers, bringing it forward in a very straightforward, in your face manner that relates directly to the story at hand. Combined with suspense, action, and a very healthy dose of romance, she kept me hooked throughout. I enjoyed getting to know the main characters in this story. They were very well developed, approachable individuals who made me laugh while capturing my heart. The fact that they both overcame their pasts in a big way was awesome. Their interactions with one another, as well as with the rest of the individuals in the story were quite revealing as well. Personal relationships were a large factor in the story, they highlighted the characters pasts and showed who they are today. Overall, this was a very enjoyable story. York kept me guessing while capturing my heart. This was an enjoyable romantic suspense that could just as easily be read as a standalone or as part of York’s series. Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this work in exchange for an honest review.
Think you’re good at figuring out who-dun-it before the big reveal? Rebecca York and Private Affair may just give your calculating mind a run for your money! When a top model decides a break from the limelight is in order, she heads home to the place she couldn’t get away from fast enough years before. Olivia finds herself drawn into the suspicious death of a former classmate. With help from private investigator, Max Lyon, they get neck deep in a cesspool of murder, lies and deadly secrets which may put them on target to be next on “the list.” Posing as a married couple at a high school reunion seemed like a good idea at the time, but is Olivia’s heart in danger now, too? Max has a trouble past, and it seems these two have crossed paths before, but the man in front of her is definite hero material, but can he save her heart from breaking? Rebecca York has nailed the mystery, the intrigue and twisted route to the end with her ability to tell a tale filled with devious layers of deceit. The relationship between Olivia and Max seems shadowed by their investigation, almost heating up, and then cooling off, with no dramatic “got you by the heartstrings” event to overshadow their main mission. Great planning by the author? A piece of the story that needs some depth? Only you can decide, one thing for sure, either way, you will be entertained from start to finish.