Sex, weddings and gambling hold a back seat to kidnapping and murder in the city of sin…
Owen Carpenter sets aside one night each month to relax at the Totally Five Star, but a case has just landed on his desk that has those nights disappearing for the foreseeable future. Someone is kidnapping women in Las Vegas and Owen needs to stop them before the women end up dead.
Harrison Boone is head of security at the Totally Five Star. He notices a man who comes in once a month and he wants to know more about him. When Owen introduces himself, there’s an instant attraction between Harrison and Owen, but they are interrupted by a kidnapping—at his hotel. After Harrison leaves the military, the hotel becomes his life, so Harrison will do anything to keep the hotel out of the news and protect its reputation.
Can Owen and Harrison find love in Sin City, or will the case of the disappearing women crush what might be the best bet the men have ever placed?
About the Author
Jambrea wanted to be the youngest romance author published, but life impeded the dreams. She put her writing aside and went to college briefly, then enlisted in the Air Force. After serving in the military, she returned home to Indiana to start her family. A few years later, she discovered yahoo groups and book reviews. There was no turning back. She was bit by the writing bug.
She enjoys spending time with her son when not writing and loves to receive reader feedback. She's addicted to the internet so feel free to email her anytime.
Read an Excerpt
Copyright © Jambrea Jo Jones 2016. All Rights Reserved, Totally Entwined Group Limited, T/A Pride Publishing.
Owen Carpenter strolled through the precinct like he hadn’t a care in the world. He whistled some song that was on the radio before he shut the car off. Now it would be stuck in his head all day. He might as well share it with others. What could he say, he was a giver.
It helped the façade he put on for others and it drove his partner nuts when he did it, which was a plus. He always had the outward appearance of being calm and that everything was right in the world. He had to or he’d go batshit crazy and he couldn’t have that. He was armed, after all, and it could be dangerous for a cop to go all mental. He needed to be focused, and if pushing his issues back helped, he’d do it all day. Owen tried to keep his private and work lives separate. That didn’t always happen, because his partner liked to give him a hard time, which was why Owen did his best to drive Jeff crazy. Of course they were more like brothers than partners. Most days that was a good thing, especially when Jeff’s wife sent in muffins for him. The best was when Sally came in and personally handed him some goody to make sure Owen got some. Jeff hated that and tried to steal his goodies, but Sally made sure Owen was taken care of.
This morning was one for the books, that was for sure. One of those days he wished he could do over. His sister and niece had been kicked out of their latest apartment the night before, so they were shacked up with him for the duration. He had to haul all their stuff to his place, and it was a mess. At least he had a garage to hold some of the stuff. Not that his sister was kicked out of her home every day, but Susan wasn’t the best with her money on a good day. He tried to help the best he could, but she didn’t always appreciate her big brother butting his nose into her business. At least Susan hadn’t gone back to the booze. That would add a whole other set of issues he really didn’t want to deal with. He’d helped get her dry once and hoped like hell it stuck because he didn’t know if he could go through that again.
His niece, Gabbi, was a sweetheart, and he’d do anything for her. She was only nine and cute as a button with her long blonde hair and big blue eyes. Yeah, he might be wrapped around her little finger, but he didn’t know if he’d ever do kids, so she might be all he ever had. He planned to spoil her as much as possible. When the time came, he’d make sure she was treated right by whoever she wanted to date. If he let her date. She was an old soul who acted more like Susan’s mom on most occasions, which made him want to pamper Gabbi even more.
His own mom had trouble dealing with two new people in her space—when she remembered it was her space. The Alzheimer’s was getting worse. It was hard enough most days when she didn’t remember him, but now she kept asking who the two hussies were and why they were in her house. Gabbi didn’t fully understand why her grandma couldn’t remember her and called her names.
His mom was in the process of being moved to a new home this week because taking care of her was just too much. He hated the fact that she had to go, but it was past time. A nurse came by to sit with her while he worked. The only problem with that was that they didn’t always send the same person and it got confusing for his mom. If she was in a home, she could get used to the same people. It would give her a bit of the stability she’d lost the last few years. At least with his sister at the house, he could get some help with their mom—not that Mother would remember either of them—but Susan needed to help out. Breakfast had been a disaster with his mom dumping her food on the floor and stomping out of the room like a cranky two year old. Poor Gabbi had had to do some clean up, because Susan had decided to sleep in, and he’d been running late for work. He made a note to take Gabbi to a movie or shopping for the weekend. If she really wanted to go, he’d take her, even if he hated going to the mall.
Now he needed coffee—stat. He hated the slop they had in the office, but it was better than nothing. He’d forgotten to set his coffeemaker up to brew last night. Of course, he’d been dealing with a sobbing sister and a too-serious niece. He hoped that nothing big had been tossed on his desk, but he wasn’t sure he’d get that lucky. It had been a busy week—not that he should be surprised—since it was Vegas, after all. The lights and gambling attracted all kinds. It kept him busy most days. Owen had just wrapped up a case late yesterday. A domestic violence situation where the boyfriend had killed the girlfriend. It was pretty open and shut, but he’d still had to cross his T’s and dot his I’s so the guy didn’t get off on a technicality.
At least he wasn’t set to testify anytime soon. He hated going to court. He’d rather be solving cases. Some of the other guys looked at it like a day off, but not him. All those people staring at him while he did his best not to fidget in the seat.
His partner was out on leave so that left him picking up the slack. They had a few cases open that he’d have to take a look at and see what else he could do, as long as something new didn’t take priority.
The coffeepot was almost empty. There probably wasn’t even enough for a cup. It seemed the guys did that shit all the time. Owen poured the little bit into his cup. At least it would give him a jolt while he waited for a fresh batch to brew. He didn’t even think about how long the pot had been setting there. The others would pass it up in a heartbeat and wait until someone else made it, then they would all jump on it like vultures. Shit. He really should have brewed some at home.
Maybe he would swing by a Starbucks later. He hated to spend the extra money, but he couldn’t live without the nectar of the gods. The sludge in his cup wasn’t going to cut it. After one sip, he dumped it out. Nothing was going to save that coffee. Leaving the pot brewing, he made his way to his desk. It was pretty quiet. The shift change meeting wouldn’t happen for about an hour, so he had time to go through the files from yesterday.
Owen had just settled in when his captain threw a file on his desk. He knew he wouldn’t be lucky enough to skate through the day with the files he already had. He’d jinxed himself.
“Kidnapping. This is the fifth one in as many weeks. They’re all tall, blonde, mid- to late twenties. That’s about the only thing they have in common. One is a local and the other four were all staying at different hotels. I want you and Polubinsky on this.”
“He’s on leave.” Owen picked up the file.
“You can start on it. He’ll catch up. Take a look at the notes and do some legwork. This one takes top priority for now. I want them found. None of them have shown up dead yet, and I’d like to keep it that way. There have been no demands or ransom calls. The first couple were filed and looked at briefly, but nothing came of it. When the third was reported, we noted a pattern. Now that we have five, we have to consider that they might be connected. None of the vics look like the types who would just walk off, but you never can tell. You know how it is. Most of them can be chalked up to having too much fun, but it’s been weeks on the first two girls. The local lady has a kid and appears responsible. She has lived here in Vegas her whole life, so I don’t see her running off now.” The captain shrugged and left.
Owen flipped through the file. There wasn’t much there, just a description of each girl and where they were from, the hotels where they had stayed. They were all over the place. One of the hotels caught his eye—Totally Five Star. He’d take a look at that one last. He had a friend who dealt cards there. Plus it was the place he loved to go once a month. He’d missed last month and it looked like he was going to miss this month too with all the stuff going on.
At least now he could get that cup of coffee he wanted. Plus he’d get out of the morning meetings, which could get boring, especially if Espinoza got to talking. It sucked that it had to take a foul-play case to get him out into the streets, but he’d take it.
It was only eight in the morning and it was already reaching the hundreds. One of the things he loved and hated about Vegas, but it was his city, so he dealt with it. He really couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.
First stop for interviews would be to the local girl’s family. It looked like she was the first one taken. He just hoped the leads hadn’t run dry with that one. It sucked that sometimes it took a murder to find these people. Most of the time they turned up safe and sound. For some they just needed time away from the world. Hell, he could understand that. At times he wished he could run away, but he had too much responsibility and he wouldn’t leave like that. It just wasn’t in him to flee his duties.
Who would take care of his mom or his sister, not to mention Gabbi? If anyone needed him, it was the kid. He was the only one she could act her own age with.