Body Movers [Body Movers Series Book 1] [Secure eReader]
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eBook by Stephanie Bond
eBook Category: Mystery/Crime/Suspense/Thriller
eBook Description: Okay, so Carlotta Wren's life hasn't turned out as she'd planned. She didn't plan for her parents to skip bail for a white-collar crime, leaving her to raise her younger brother. She didn't plan on having the silver spoon ripped out of her mouth and forgoing college to work retail. She didn't plan on her blue-blood fiancÚ dumping her like last year's designer bag. And she didn't plan to still be single (with no prospects) ten years later, working at Neiman Marcus, with no idea where her fugitive parents are. But she's coping, sort of. Until... her lovable brother is arrested and his loan sharks come calling ... the hunky cop who arrested her brother reopens her parents' case ... her brother becomes a body mover, transporting corpses from crime scenes ... her former fiance's wife (a good customer) is murdered, fingering Carlotta ... her brother's sexy boss draws her into the bizarre world of body moving. Suddenly Carlotta realizes that she has to bag a murderer to keep her own well-dressed body from being next on the list!
eBook Publisher: Harlequin/MIRA
Fictionwise Release Date: August 2006
This eBook is part of the following series:
18 Reader Ratings:
"Does this make my ass look big?"
Carlotta Wren stood in the dressing room of Neiman Marcus in the Lenox Mall in Atlanta, Georgia, her arms full of designer bathing suits that Angela Ashford, one of her least favorite customers, wanted to try on. They weren't even halfway through the selections and already Carlotta wanted to murder the woman.
She dutifully glanced at Angela's surgically sculpted glutes falling out of a tiny patch of metallic-blue fabric. "No, your, um, ass looks…great."
Angela tossed her blond hair over her shoulder and pouted at her rear reflection in the three-way mirror. "You think?"
Carlotta's mouth watered to say, "Way better than it looked in high school," but bit her tongue. It was part of the game, after all—Angela played the role of poor little rich girl with a confidence problem, and Carlotta played the stroking, sympathetic friend. Both of them deserved an Oscar.
Angela turned around and carefully rearranged her newly acquired breasts in the bikini top that barely covered her nipples. Then she slipped her narrow feet into the silver high-heeled sandals sitting nearby and performed a three-quarter turn to peruse her long, slender figure from all angles. Carlotta tried not to compare her own ample curves to the woman's lean lines. Or her own gap-toothed grin to Angela's perfect, Clorox smile.
She was not jealous of Angela Ashford.
"This suit is a definite maybe," Angela announced.
Carlotta managed not to roll her eyes—the sixth "definite maybe" so far. "I have to warn you that the trim on that suit won't hold up to chlorine."
Angela made a face. "Good grief, I don't actually swim in our new pool—I don't even know how to swim. I just want to look amazing."
Carlotta bit down on the inside of her cheek. "Do you want to choose from the ones you've set aside so far, or do you want to try on the rest of these?"
Angela looked irritated. "I'll try on the rest." Then she smiled meanly. "And I'll be needing several new spring outfits. With shoes, of course. Peter told me to treat myself to anything I wanted since he just got a huge bonus and our wedding anniversary is coming up. He's so generous."
Carlotta busied herself removing the next bathing suit from its hanger, trying not to react. Peter, as in Carlotta's former fiancé. Just like every time Angela came in for a shopping binge, Carlotta reminded herself that her relationship with Peter Ashford had ended over a decade ago. To be precise, one week after her father had skipped bail on his indictment for investment fraud and he and her mother had gone on the run. The local media had had a field day.
RANDOLPH WREN FLIES THE COOP
RANDOLPH WREN, FUGITIVE JAILBIRD
RANDOLPH WREN AND WIFE VALERIE ABANDON CHILDREN
Just a few weeks shy of eighteen, Carlotta hadn't been a child, but she'd led a rather charmed and sheltered life up to that point. Suddenly faced with raising her nine-year-old brother, Wesley, and with no extended family to rely upon, she had clung to her boyfriend, Peter. Too tightly, apparently, because after the headlines had exploded, he had explained over the telephone that their lives had grown too far apart—he was in college at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, and she still had to finish her last semester of high school in Atlanta. Translation: Your name is tainted and I don't want to be associated with your family scandal.
With maturity and hindsight, she had come to understand why Peter had bowed out, but at the time, the rejection of the man she had loved for most of her teenage years, the man who had taken her virginity, had been akin to having her heart surgically removed.
"I hope it doesn't make you uncomfortable when I talk about Peter," Angela said as she yanked the tie to the bikini top, baring her rigid boobs. She kicked the two-hundred-dollar scrap of Lycra across the floor of the dressing room.
"N-no," Carlotta said, scrambling to rescue her merchandise. She straightened, then handed Angela a one-piece suit and gave a little laugh. "Why should it?"
Angela stepped out of the minuscule bikini bottoms and stood nude before Carlotta for a few seconds before stretching the next swimsuit over her tight bod.
"Because, well, you know, the whole pretend engagement you two had when we were in high school," Angela said, preening in the mirror.
The Cartier engagement ring was proof that it had been more than a "pretend" engagement, but Carlotta wet her lips and forced a casual note into her voice. "That was a lifetime ago. We were…kids."
"That's what he says," Angela offered cheerfully. "And that if the two of you had actually married—" she laughed at the improbability "—that it never would have lasted."
Carlotta's heart twisted, but she managed a smile. "Then everything worked out for the best, didn't it?"
In the mirror, Angela leveled her feline gaze on Carlotta. "I suppose so."
Carlotta steered the conversation back to clothes and, thankfully, Angela was distracted by the appearance of the "perfect" bikini (two of them) and the armfuls of designer dresses and pantsuits that Carlotta pulled from every couture department. A phone call to the shoe department on the lower floor brought Michael Lane to the women's clothing department. He headed toward Carlotta, pushing a hand truck laden with colorful boxes of Pucci and Gucci, Don Ciccillo and Donald J. Pliner. "Here's everything we have in size seven narrow."
"Thanks—you're a dear."
He gave Carlotta a wry smile. "How are you holding up?"
Carlotta scowled toward the closed door of the dressing room. "I'm ready to strangle her."
"Down, girl. Double-A is one of your best customers."
Copyright © 2006 by Stephanie Bond Inc.