Mixed Up with the Mob [Secure eReader]
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eBook by Ginny Aiken
eBook Category: Romance
eBook Description: Death and a Damsel In Distress! Strange things were happening to Lauren DiStefano. Since her brother's funeral, a mysterious driver had tried to run her down, menacing mobsters threatened her and a handsome FBI agent saved her life. Something was seriously wrong, and Lauren feared for her life. As Lauren discovered her brother Ric had left behind a trail of treachery, lies and mob ties, Special Agent David Latham seemed determined to uncover the truth. Could she place her trust, her life--and her heart--in David's hands?
eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Steeple Hill
Fictionwise Release Date: September 2006
5 Reader Ratings:
He'd never given marriage much thought. At least, not for himself. And especially not since God had seen fit to bless him with a grandmother like Dorothea Stevens Latham, a passionate and determined matchmaker. In fact, avoidance of the subject was one of David's favorite hobbies.
At the red light, he brought his vintage electric-blue Camaro to a stop, and watched a few snowflakes melt on the windshield. It hadn't felt all that cold earlier in the day, but years in Philly had taught him to expect anything from the weather. It was the twelfth of December, after all.
He flicked on his radio, and smiled at the sound of Miles Davis's mellow trumpet. It filled the car with its richness; it flowed over him like melted fudge. He loved music, especially the lushness of jazz.
The cell phone rang; he looped on his hands-free headset. "Latham."
"So how was dinner with the lovebirds?" asked Dan Maddox, a fellow agent with the FBI's Philadelphia Organized Crime Unit.
The light turned green. David pressed the gas pedal. "Honeymooning agrees with J.Z., and Maryanne's just as radiant as on their wedding day."
"Wish I could've been there."
"Well, someone had to mind the store. Since I took the day off, and you are supposed to be on duty—oh, that's right. You're on 'sit and watch' detail."
"Yeah, yeah. I'm on surveillance. Don't rub it in. So how was dinner? Can the bride cook?"
David took the next turn. "You missed out, man. Homemade lasagna, garlic bread, the best green bean dish I've had in years and tiramisu. Eat your heart out."
David remembered how he'd felt the entire evening. Good food, good friends, good atmosphere. J.Z. and Maryanne's happiness had made a unique fourth at the dinner table.
And while his thoughts hadn't veered into dangerous territory during the visit, the minute he walked out of the cozy condo, a question had elbowed its way into his brain. It didn't want to take a hike.
What would happiness like what he saw tonight be like?
How would it feel to close the door behind a visitor, and turn around to find himself in the company of the person who brought him that kind of joy?
"…earth to Latham!"
He blinked. "Sorry. Guess I lost track of our conversation. I'm on my way to pick up Grandma Dottie."
"What's wrong with her brand-new Hummer?"
"Beats me. She just said it was in the shop, that she needed a ride home." Her request had stunk like a fine, tire-flattened polecat on a hot summer day. His grandmother was nothing if not independent.
But he'd rather discuss her than think of marriage. He muttered, "That only leads to danger, my man."
"Come again?" Dan asked.
David blushed. "Nothing. Just wondering what Gram's up to this time."
"Yeah, well. With her you can be sure she's up to something every time. Where is she?"
"I'll tell you, but don't you dare make any stupid comments, Maddox. She's at the latest Lady Look Lovely makeup party."
Dan's guffaws threatened David's eardrum. "Oh, yeah. She's up to something all right. She wants great-grandchildren, Latham, and she's lured you to an event peopled with women of all ages, sizes, shapes and interests. But there is one interest they all share, you know. Men, single men. Like you."
"That's not funny. I'd rather suffer bubonic plague than face that crew."
"Better you than me."
"Maybe that's what I should do. Have you pick her up. Sometimes I think she loves you better than she does me."
"Can't blame the woman for her good taste."
"Give me a break. Just for that, I'm gonna turn around and call her. Tell her I'm sending you in my place. You should face the 'sweethearts' she hangs around with. Especially those who aren't till-death-do-us-part attached to a sucker of the male persuasion."
With Dan's indignant squawks in the background, a niggle of discomfort crossed David's mind. That was how he'd viewed the lot of the average married man. Until tonight.
He murmured a few "Mmm-hmms" and a few "Huhs," which kept Dan happy and blathering.
David's thoughts ran rampant.
Maybe Dan was his best defense against Gram's zealous efforts, now that J.Z. and Maryanne had infected him with curiosity…and, if he were completely honest with himself, something he always tried to be, with a weird kind of emptiness in the pit of his—was that his gut that felt so jittery? Or was it his heart that made him feel strange, on edge?
He'd always thought the heart did nothing more than pump blood. He'd always rejected love-sloppy poets and schmaltzy chick flicks with their throbbing hearts and broken hearts and mended hearts. He'd always believed that the Lord would guide him to the woman he was meant to marry—if he was even meant to commit such lunacy in the first place.
"…are you okay, David? I've never known you to space out like this, and you've done it twice now. You still driving?"
"I'm fine. Just irritated with myself. I can't help the soft spot I have for Gram. You should've heard her. She was in fine form this morning. 'Oh, Davey, it's not a problem. I'll just have Bea drive me home after the party. She only lives two houses down from me, you know.'"
Dan hooted. "Sure, as if we didn't know that Bea Woodward has more driving citations than a stray mutt has fleas. I don't blame you. I don't want your grandmother careening down Philadelphia's wintry streets in that white-haired maniac's car any more than you do."
Copyright © 2006 by Grisel Anikienko.