Read an Excerpt »
Buy Now »
When You Know Too Much
Laurel Jennings may be an expert at art restoration, but she’s a novice at the justice system. When her business partner Jonathan Linton is found dead and she’s charged with the brutal murder, she needs help—fast. But with the powerful Linton family wielding their vengeful influence, the only lawyer willing to represent her is her former lover.
Sometimes Keeping A Secret
Damon walked away from the L.A. County DA’s office when his star witness in an infamous drug lord’s trial was gunned down on her way to protective custody. Protecting Laurel is Damon’s first priority—even if she has made it clear he’s the last man she wants representing her.
Is The Only Way To Save Your Life
A chance discovery throws Damon and Laurel into a conspiracy that could rock the art world to its very foundations – with deadly consequences. With only each other to turn to, Laurel and Damon find the passion that once burned between them is a dangerous risk when betrayal lies at the heart of Jonathan’s murder—and the body count keeps rising. To protect the future, and keep the past buried, Laurel and Damon will have to stay together, keep calm, and remain silent…
Read an Excerpt
Laurel Jennings detested funerals. Her dislike was even more profound when the interment consisted of someone close to her, someone vitally important in her life. That particular list, which was short to begin with, had now been reduced by one more.
She recognized the faces of many of the mourners, most were from the occasional social function her business partner had insisted she attend. They were old, boring, and disgustingly rich, but they’d kept her art restoration business flourishing, so with a grudge, she’d gone whenever Jonathan had insisted. No one would force her to be sociable now.
It would all be over soon, she thought, shifting her gaze from the simple pine casket with the Star of David etched onto the top, to the rabbi. She wouldn’t be putting in the obligatory appearance at the Linton home following the grave- side service. Johanna Linton, Jonathan’s mother, had made that point patently clear. Instead, she would escape the bloodthirsty stares of Jonathan’s family and mourn in private the loss of her business partner and dear friend. Until then, she’d maintain the status quo by remaining on the fringes and keeping her distance.
Distance was easier than involvement. Involvement required an emotional investment and risks she was no longer willing to take. Experience had taught her only her work was worthy of that kind of investment. Her work couldn’t betray her. At least not the kind she performed now. Four years ago, it’d been a different story . . . and another unhappy ending.
Laurel bowed her head as the rabbi issued the final blessing over the casket, automatically crossing herself after the final Amen before she realized her mistake. The gold of her Rolex caught the sunlight. A surprise gift from Jonathan when he’d landed the St. Giovanni’s restoration project. Had it only been a year ago? Jonathan had been so happy. The restoration of the Gates of Paradise had been a major coup, one she’d never dreamed would belong to Artifacts. But Jonathan had worked his magic and made it happen, catapulting them to worldwide recognition, and within a matter of weeks, they’d had more work than they could handle.
She let out a breath and quashed the memories. As she turned away, her black Italian heels ripped into the soft, damp grass. Quietly, she walked away and headed across the cemetery to where her car was parked while the mourners paid their respects to Jonathan’s family. She’d already said her final good-byes to her dear friend. There was no need to do so again.
She adjusted her dark sunglasses and looked toward her car. For a brief second, she stilled, her fight or flight instincts warring for domination. After a slight moment’s pause, she continued forward, her head held high. She could run, but they’d easily catch her, so why bother? Fighting she was accustomed to, it was as familiar to her as being alone. Besides, she’d known they’d come. It had been inevitable.
“This is rather dramatic,” she said in a cool, calm voice intentionally devoid of emotion when she neared the front end of her sleek, silver Jag where the two detectives waited for her. Determination straightened her spine. She wasn’t about to let Detectives Pete Teslenko and Gino Scanlon see they’d rattled her.
They’d questioned her for hours following her discovery of the body, and she hadn’t fallen apart once. Not when they’d searched Artifacts, nor when they’d conducted an extensive search of her home. Keeping her emotions buried inside was a habit born from necessity, and her toughest survival skill she’d managed to hone to a fine polish over the years. To allow the overzealous detectives to witness how much their presence at Jonathan’s funeral upset her wouldn’t only be a waste of time, but a drain on valuable energy she suspected she would desperately need to see her through the next few hours. Besides, it went against everything she’d ever learned since she was ten years old. There was no reason to break from tradition at this point.
Teslenko and Scanlon looked at each other, speaking some silent dialogue she had no hope of understanding. She’d studied their faces and habits during those long, relentless hours of interrogation. Studying people was her business, especially when she knew without a doubt she’d be fighting for her freedom—perhaps even her life.
“Tell me, gentlemen. Is arresting me at Jonathan’s funeral for the benefit of the family, or could it be for something as tasteless as the camera crew that showed up ten minutes ago?”
Detective Scanlon, an aging, portly fellow with a weathered face and more salt than pepper hair, stepped forward. His faded blue gaze was narrowed and cold. “Laurel Jennings,” he said, slipping a pair of handcuffs from the leather pouch attached to his belt, “you are under arrest for the murder of Jonathan Linton.”
Despite her determination to remain detached, hearing the words still made her flinch. She swore under her breath, then turned and handed her Fendi bag to Detective Teslenko as if he were nothing more important to her than a lackey to do her bidding. She’d known this was coming, she just hadn’t known when, or expected it to happen so soon. Based on what she’d learned from observing Scanlon and Teslenko, two of L.A.’s finest, she should’ve known they’d arrest her at the funeral in front of not only Jonathan’s family, friends, and business associates, but the Channel 4 news team as well. She didn’t put it past the two glory seekers to have tipped off the press themselves about her impending arrest in the first place.
The murder of Jonathan Linton, one of the Beverly Hills social set, was news. Big news. The list of Lintons was indeed powerful, from a studio head all the way up to the nation’s capital. When one of their own was brutally and viciously murdered in cold blood, the news not only made headlines, but warranted a sound bite or two during the commercial breaks of prime time.
If it bleeds, it leads.
This one bled all over the place.
Scanlon reached for her right arm. “You have the right to remain silent.”
She watched helplessly as the mourners filtered into the parking area, their attention locked in her direction. They looked on in varying degrees of shock, surprise, and even a few not-so-surprised observers, as Scanlon slipped a chilled silver handcuff over her wrist.
The television reporter rushed them, shouting instructions to the cameraman.
“You have the right to an attorney,” Scanlon continued, his voice as cold and emotionless as his eyes had been.
The reporter from Channel 4 thrust a microphone in her face. “Dr. Jennings, did you murder your business partner, Dr. Jonathan Linton?”
“If you cannot afford an attorney . . .”
Laurel struggled to keep her breathing even. Don’t show them anything! She silently repeated the mantra, shutting out the drone of Scanlon’s voice as he issued her Miranda rights.
The ratcheting sound of the cuff pierced her concentration as Scanlon secured her left wrist. Her steady breathing faltered.
Getting nothing from her, the reporter peppered Scanlon with questions. “Detective, is Dr. Jennings being charged with the murder of Jonathan Linton? When will she be arraigned?”
Teslenko, Scanlon’s much younger, cocky partner stepped in front of the reporter while Scanlon led Laurel across the blacktopped roadway. Amid the sea of Jags, Mercedes, Beemers and limos, the shit-brown, state-issued Chevy was anything but nondescript. The door creaked when it opened and Scanlon helped her inside. He shoved it closed, then signaled for his camera-preening partner.
She was going to jail. For a murder that, if Detective Teslenko was to be believed, had death penalty written all over it.
She’d need an attorney. A damn good one, too, because if the district attorney managed to get a conviction, he’d make sure she fried.