Angels and Outlaws [Secure eReader]
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eBook by Lori Wilde
eBook Category: Mystery/Crime
eBook Description: Beyond the Call of Duty! When NYPD detective Sam Mason discovers his beloved angel just might be an outlaw, it puts him at a crossroads. Going undercover to catch the culprit in a rash of burglaries among Manhattan's elite means he's investigating Cass Richards and coming face-to-face with the seductive powers of The White Star. The charmed amulet has been stolen, but is it a part of his case or not? Will Sam find the buried clues in time to solve the real puzzle and save Cass? Or will he arrest her? Even though his gut insists she's innocent, his heart isn't so sure....
eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Blaze
Fictionwise Release Date: January 2006
12 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats [Secure eReader - What's this?]: SECURE EREADER (RECOMMENDED) FORMAT [172 KB]
All formats: Printing DISABLED, Read-aloud DISABLED
Microsoft Reader ISBN: 9781552543924
Adobe Reader ISBN: 9781552543924
Mobipocket Reader ISBN: 1552543927
eReader ISBN: 9781552543924
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DON'T LOOK DOWN.
Cassandra "Cass" Richards, assistant public relations representative to the haute couture house of Isaac Vincent, stood trembling on a window ledge eight floors above Broadway in Manhattan's garment district. One wrong move and she would plummet like a runway model's weight two weeks before the spring collection debut.
Suddenly, shimmying after her Hermès scarf, which had caught on one of the brownstone's grim-faced gargoyles, seemed more and more like a very bad idea. The brisk spring breeze had whisked it off her neck when she'd leaned out the open window to wave goodbye to her best friend, Marissa Suarez, who was heading off to the Caribbean with her boyfriend and had stopped by the office to leave Cass a key to her apartment just in case.
Wind whipped up her smart pink pencil skirt, sending a bone chill up her spine and causing her to realize that wearing a G-string thong today was probably not the brightest impulse she'd ever had.
And let's face it, in her much-prized four-inch Manolo Blahnik pink patent leather Mary Janes that had set her back a full month's salary, she was at a distinct disadvantage for navigating the eight-inch-wide cement outcropping.
How did she keep getting herself into these ridiculous fixes? She bit down on her bottom lip and eyed the traffic below.
Her head reeled dizzily.
Don't look down.
She was pressed flush against the side of the building, arms splayed out at her sides, the coveted Hermès scarf clutched tightly in her right hand. She wrinkled her nose at the thought of what the dirty bricks were doing to her glamorous outfit.
When she'd first climbed onto the ledge it hadn't seemed so scary because her attention had been fixed on the scarf. She had leaned out, never meaning to actually end up on the protrusion, but then she'd discovered her reach wasn't quite long enough. She'd winnowed her hips through the window frame just to give her an extra couple of inches.
Close, but not close enough.
Don't look down.
She'd held tightly to the frame, swung her legs around and then edged out onto the ledge. Two, three steps maximum was all it had taken to reach that first gargoyle.
Unfortunately, just as Cass had grasped for the recalcitrant scarf, the wind grabbed it again and fluttered it over to a second gargoyle a good four feet farther on down the ledge.
She hadn't thought about anything except how many lunches she'd had to skip to afford the damned thing. Now, one wrong move and she wouldn't have to worry about missed lunches or expensive scarves or passersby staring up her skirt ever again.
Please get me out of this alive and I promise, promise, promise I'll be less impetuous in future, she bargained with the heavens.
She got her answer in the form of raindrops spattering on her head.
Apparently, there would be no divine intervention forthcoming today. Her salvation was up to her. Thank God her mascara was waterproof, but her hair was doomed to frizz.
"You can do this," she told herself. "You got out here, you can get back. One step at a time."
She made a tentative move toward the window she'd come out of, knees trembling with cold and fear. The heel of one stiletto hung on a crack in the cement ledge. Cass stumbled and for one horrifying moment she thought she was done for, but an updraft of wind pushed her into the brownstone instead of away from it.
Don't look down.
Her heart pounded and her stomach roiled. She was never going to get off this precipice and all for a damned scarf.
Ah, but it wasn't just any scarf.
She'd purchased the Hermès two days after her older sister, Morgan, had closed on a magnificent six-bedroom dream home in Connecticut that she planned on filling with children.
Cass had been happy for Morgan, who was married to the most perfect guy—the sort of down-to-earth, good-hearted man that Cass figured she'd never find for herself. Not that she was looking. Adam was a Wall Street investment banker with a flair for making money and a penchant for spending it on his wife, but Cass wasn't jealous of her sister's husband or their grand home or their affluent suburban lifestyle.
No, she'd maxed out her Visa on the scarf because wearing expensive, gorgeous things made her feel better about herself. With her parents bragging about Morgan and pointedly asking when Cass was going to settle down and get married and start producing grandchildren, she'd felt pressured and overshadowed.
And the Hermès had done its job, snapping her right out of her funk.
Truthfully, she liked her life exactly as it was. She wasn't on the prowl for Mr. Right. She was having too much fun being young and single and dating in the most vibrant city in the world. She'd snagged her dream job at Isaac Vincent. She adored her fourth-floor walkup in Tribeca. Loved that she never had to cook. Treasured her freedom to come and go as she pleased and spend her money on whatever she wanted.
Including exorbitantly priced fashion accessories.
She wasn't even sure that she ever wanted the husband, the kids and the house. Deep down inside, she doubted she could handle such an awesome responsibility as a family of her own. Best leave that to dutiful Morgan.
But still, sometimes…sometimes…she couldn't help wondering what she was missing out on.
And when Cass got those itchy feelings, Cass went shopping.
Hence the Hermès.
Made from the purest silk twill. Paisley patterned and pleated and colored with the truest dyes. The hues in the scarf collaborated with a dozen different outfits and she wore it often. It wasn't as if she'd bought the scarf and then shoved it in the back of her closet. That scarf made her feel rich and important and worthy.
Copyright © 2006 by Laurie Vanzura.