Chelsea Reed is hot on the trail of Devlin McVey, the man who jilted her. Her search for the truth leads her to the balmy Caribbeanand a brusque, bearded stranger. Mitch Russell looks nothing like clean-cut Devlin, but he arouses the same frustrating brew of anger and fascination that Devlin always had. There is only one way to find out if Mitch really is her long-lost flame but can Chelsea live with herself in the morning?
Zane Flannery had always been overprotective of his famous wife, Kayliehe was, after all, her former bodyguard. In the aftermath of an averted tragedy, his protective instinct proved to be too potent for Kaylie. She began to feel more like a prisoner than a wife, so she saw no other option than to leave her husband. Now, years later, even with a new threat of danger, Kaylie isn't convinced she should let Zane back into her life. But try as she might, she can't erase the memory of moments in his arms that have nothing to do with protection.
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"I think I've found your man."
Chelsea Reed froze. She glanced up sharply from the jewelry counter where she'd been taking inventory. "Devlin?" she asked, focusing on the short man with unremarkable features and small eyes. Adrenaline surged through her. "He's alive?"
Ned Jenkins tapped the countertop with his blunt fingers and a smug smile played on his lips. He was one of the best private investigators in the bay area, and Chelsea had hired him three months before to find Devlin McVey. Now, surrounded by silk dresses, brilliant scarves and designer handbags in the boutique, Jenkins looked like the proverbial fish out of water.
"I'd bet money on it," he said, seeming satisfied with himself.
"Where is he?"
Jenkins snorted. "The Caribbean. Looks like he wanted to disappear, but good."
"The Caribbean " Chelsea swallowed against a suddenly dry throat. Her fingers gripped the counter. So Devlin, damn him, had run away, leaving her alone to deal with her grief.
Memoriessome wonderful, some filled with painswam before her eyes. Her heart began to knock in her chest. She glanced quickly around the three connecting rooms of the old converted row house. A few customers browsed lazily through the racks and Melissa, a salesgirl for the boutique, was standing in the front window display case, pinning a bright pink belt around the slim waist of a mannequin.
"Melissacan you hold down the fort a few minutes?" Chelsea asked unsteadily. She could barely concentrate on anything other than the fact that Devlin McVey was alive. Now he had a lot to answer for.
"Will do," Melissa said around a mouthful of pins.
"Sally will be back shortly and Carrie will be in at four. If you need me, I'll be in the kitchen." Her knees threatened to buckle though she'd waited for this day for over a year.
"Got it," Melissa replied, making an "okay" sign with her fingers and thumb.
Chelsea turned back to the small investigator. "Let's go into the back room where we'll have a little more privacy."
He shrugged. "Wherever you want."
He followed her through a door behind the counter and down a short hall to the kitchen of the old house. To keep her hands occupied Chelsea poured them each a cup of lukewarm coffee, then motioned for Jenkins to sit at a chipped formica-topped table.
"Okay," she said, finding her voice. "Let's start over. Where exactly is he?"
"On an obscure island called Paradis. Believe me, this place is off the beaten path."
Her fingers clamped around her cup. "And you've seen himyou're sure it's Devlin?"
For an answer he snapped open a battered old briefcase, pulled out a manila envelope and dumped the contents of the packet onto the table. There were several snapshots and a large, glossy eight-by-ten color photo which he slid across the table. "Unless I miss my guess, this man is McVey."
Chelsea picked up the photograph, heart racing at the sight of a handsome, roguish-looking man with tanned skin, bladed cheekbones and unruly black hair that brushed across the collar of his faded denim jacket. His eyes were hidden by mirrored aviator sunglasses, his jaw disguised by a dark beard. He was grimacing and he looked tough and hard. "I don't know," she said quietly, remembering Devlin as he had beendark and sensual, with a hard edge that hinted of danger. This man could be him, but then again
"Well, he's changed his looks, of course. People usually do when they want to get lost," Jenkins said, leaning forward and tossing another picture, a photograph of Devlin taken six months before the accident, onto the table. "But check out his cheekboneshmm? And the way his hair parts a little off-center? And his nose" he pointed to the larger photograph, then to the small snapshot "compare them. Identical. Looks as if that nose was broken somewhere along the linemaybe more than once."
"Several times," she thought aloud. There was a similarity in the two pictures; she too, could see it. Her pulse started to pick up speed but she willed herself to remain calm. Even if this man did prove to be Devlin, there were still so many unanswered questions. She studied the photograph as the minutes ticked by. Yes, the man could be Devlin, but she wasn't sure "I'd feel better about this if I could see his eyes."
"I know." Jenkins gave a snort of disgust, as if he wasn't used to being outfoxed by his quarry. "The only time he took off those damned glasses was in the café and it was too dark to get a shot."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I love this book, this book is about a person name Devlin McVery was missing during the accident and Chelsea Reed try to find McVey's body.