Declan DeGraff is old money, turned no money, turned new money.
He’s fresh off the deal of the decade; he’s just sold his tech firm for over two billion dollars and he should be on top of the world.
But he’s still missing what he lost, long ago. And every time success comes his way, he’s reminded of how he would trade it all to have her back again.
Charlotte Sanders is running from the past. Again.
Years ago she fell deeply in love with the last man she should have allowed into her heart and near her body. After a summer of passion, he ended it abruptly, tearing Charlotte apart and making her swear off ever letting anyone in again.
But now she’s come back to the city where it all happened, Charleston, South Carolina, determined to find answers to the questions he never wanted her to ask.
A chance encounter takes them right back to where they started. But can they get past the secrets they’re keeping? Or are they destined to repeat the mistakes of a past they’re both desperate to forget?
Previously published under the serial episodes WILD, REVEL, and TAMED. This edition includes an epilogue not previously published.
WARNING This book is steamy. It will also break your heart and mend it again. A couple of times. But love prevails in the end, as always. Enjoy!
“…the fun, frenetic pace of a typical Talba Wallis caper. This is an effective mix of household drama, political corruption, and old-style murder mystery.” -Booklist
“This spicy gumbo of steamy mystery, saucy humor and piquant social commentary should appeal to discriminating crime fans.” -Publishers Weekly
“If you haven’t read Smith before, this is the time to start. If you’re a fan, you’re in for yet another tread.” – Marcia Muller, bestselling author of Dead Midnight
Your lawyer needs you to bail her out? Isn’t that kind of backwards?
So thinks PI Talba Wallis, on her way to Parish Prison—and indeed something’s badly amiss.
New Orleans’ most dynamic detective duo, poet/computer genius Talba and street-savvy Luddite Eddie Valentino, have a personal interest in this one—Eddie’s lawyer daughter Angie’s been set up for a drug bust.
Prominent Judge Buddy Champagne’s the obvious perp and Talba’s so mad she embeds herself in his house as a spy—but she doesn’t count on ending up with a family straight out of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; nor did she realize how involved she was going to get—especially with Buddy’s 14-year-old daughter Lucy.
It works, though, She uncovers plenty of evidence the judge is dirty. And then things get ugly: Somebody kills Buddy and Talba’s true identity comes to light. The Champagnes hate her at this point, but guess what? They hire her to solve the case.
There are plenty of mysterious twists and turns on the way to an ending guaranteed to surprise—but the real joy here is in the relationships, especially Talba’s with Lucy, who, it turns out, is a budding poet. And with another little girl, her boy friend’s bratty daughter Raisa. She’s SO not prepared for quasi-motherhood!
“(Talba) Wallis is fine fun to get to know… a consistently interesting and likable woman of depth and complexity.” -The Washington Post on Louisiana Bigshot
On the run and out of options, a desperate Ali Ross knows two things for sure…
Her ugly past will eventually catch up to her. And when it does, she’ll need a strong and loyal man to help her face the danger head on or risk losing everything.
The girl is hard on his heart…
Looking for love and having no luck, former Army Ranger Sam Gleeson knows two things for sure…
His beautiful new neighbor is under his skin. And no matter what secrets she’s keeping, her seductive sweetness is wreaking havoc on his hardened heart.
Hiding from a violent ex-husband, Ali knows the law can’t help her. She also knows someone like Sam can. Fearing her freedom, she hatches a shamelessly impulsive plan that’s as old as time. She’s willing to do anything to ensure her safety, and that includes doing the sexy soldier next door. But when their searing chemistry unexpectedly bonds them together, Ali’s hidden agenda seals an unimaginable fate.