Photograph cheating spouses. Hand over the evidence. Cash my check.
That was my plan when I returned home to Holly Woods, Texas, and became a private investigator.
Finding the dead body in my dumpster? Yeahâ¦ Given the choice, I think I would have opted out of that little discovery, especially since all three of my brothers are cops. And my Italian grandmother is sure the reason Iâm single is because of my job.
Of course, my connection to the victim is entirely coincidental. Until Iâm hired by her husband to investigate her murder and shoved bang-smack into the path of Detective Drake Nash.
My nemesis, a persistent pain in my ass, and one hell of a sexy son of a bitch.
Shame he still holds a grudge from that time I shot him in the foot twelve years ago, or we could have something. In another life.
So now all I have to do is avoid my nonnaâs blind dates, try not to blackmail my brothers into giving me confidential police files, and absolutely do not point my gun at Drake Nash. Or kiss him. Or jump his bones.
All while I hunt down the killer.
Sounds totally simpleâuntil a second body proves that sometimes things that start as coincidences donât always end up that wayâ¦
(Twisted Bond is book one of the Holly Woods Files series and while it does not end in a cliffhanger, it is not a standalone.)
âIâm sorry?â Drake recoils.
âGet out. Of my building,â I add, moving toward him as he walks backward. âIf you donât have a warrant in your ass pocket, get the fuck out. Now.â
He grabs my wrist and pulls me into him. âListen to me, cupcake. Someone got real lucky last night, and that someone was you. You werenât here when your killer wanted you to be. Yeah, I said yours. They know youâre waitinâ for âem. Most nights youâd be here, right? But last night, because I pissed your ass off, you werenât. Know what that tells me?â
âIâm sure youâre gonna tell me,â I manage through gritted teeth.
âIt tells me this killer is watching you. You ainât safe. Theyâre waiting to strike, and itâs gonna be the second youâre alone. Weâre close. I can feel it. Youâre their target now. And this killer? They want to kill you.â
âNo shit,â I whisper, looking away from him. âI wonât back down. I donât care what you say. They can try and kill me. Iâve dealt with worse.â
âStop being a pain in my ass.â He grabs my chin and forces me to look into his eyes and all their devastatingly icy glory. âSomeone. Wants. To. Kill. You.â
âYet you donât care.â
âI care,â I whisper, holding his gaze. âBut did you ever think that Iâm your best bet at catching this person? If theyâre watching me, if they want to kill me, theyâre there. Waitinâ, like you said. And that means theyâre gonna come to me. Not you. Not anyone else. Me.â
âYeah, I thought it. But I donât like it.â
âAinât your job to like it, Detective. Itâs your job to deal with it.â
âYouâre right. It ainât my job to like it, but I ainât exactly dealing with it either.â
âWhat the hell does that mean?â
âIt means,â he leans in, his touch relaxing just a smidge, âIt means that I donât like it. Iâm not dealinâ with it. And the thought of you beinâ in the kinda danger you are scares the ever-lovinâ fuckinâ shit out of me.â