Sara’s emotionally abusive husband dies unexpectedly. She’s struggling to reclaim the intelligent, independent person she was before she married. She vows never to let a man take over her life again. Now she’s part of a special team, training to help other women.
Mac is has been responsible for training women in special ops techniques so they are prepared when they are challenged to save other women. When he meets Sara sparks fly between them. He wants her to quit the training and let him take care of her.
Sara graduates and now she and her team have to save Sara’s daughter from a serial killer. Can Mac step back and trust her in a dangerous situation? Can Sara and Mac resolve their issues, or will they go in opposite directions?



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Immediately he gave himself a mental slap and tightened his grip on her large suitcase. He followed her out the door reminding himself, one, she was family of a victim. And two, he only did no string relationships. She had strings written all over her. Back off O’Reilly.

“You’re looking better. Sleep well?”

Julie Ann nodded. “I went out like a light. Thanks.”

“Did you eat breakfast?”

Julie Ann nodded. “I’m usually not much of a breakfast person, but with a busy day in front of me I ordered room service and pigged out on bacon and eggs. No grits.”

“No grits?”

“I know I’m in New Orleans, but breakfast is bad enough, let alone with grits on the plate.”

“At least you got your protein for energy. My mother says breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I’ll take the doll to forensics.”

“I want to keep the doll for now, if it’s okay. There’s someone I’d like to see it. Then I’ll turn it over to you.”

Connor hesitated. “Okay, as long as you turn it over soon.”

They headed for the elevator.

“Did they find anything voodoo at the crime scene?”

Connor shook his head. “Not that I’m aware of. Why?”

“I wondered, since someone put the doll in my room.”

The elevator slowed to a stop and Connor stepped to one side to let Julie Ann exit first. “The car’s parked out front.”

Julie Ann walked briskly through the lobby, unaware of the admiring glances from most of the men checking her out. Connor noticed though and fought the impulse to tell them to quit drooling.

On the street Julie Ann paused by his dark sedan. It was still early so the temperature was bearable, but the humidity immediately started to seep through her top. She waited for Connor to catch up so she could climb into air-conditioning. She glanced up and down the street.

Connor noticed her checking out the street. He dropped the luggage in the trunk. Someone must have followed them from the house yesterday. That’s the only way they’d know where she was. Was she checking to see if anyone was watching them today?

He needed to be aware of that possibility. He opened the passenger door and lightly touched her curls to make sure she didn’t bump her head when she slid into the seat. A warm sensation shot right to his groin.

He pulled his hand back and reminded himself again of the reasons he couldn’t get involved with a victim of a crime, especially this one.

“Slide in and I’ll get that air-conditioning going.”


Connor drove through the narrow streets, periodically checking his mirror. He found a parking spot halfway down the street from a restaurant he knew.

“Come on lady, you may not need food, but I need a coffee. It could be a rough day.” Connor took her arm as they headed to the restaurant.

Julie Ann nodded. “I could use another coffee. I’ll be okay today. Everything hasn’t really sunk in yet, except that I know it wasn’t a robbery.”

“What do you mean?”

“I just know.”

“Is there something you’re not telling me?”

“Not at the moment. I have no proof.” She hesitated. “I know my mother and I’m familiar with the area. Nothing makes any sense.”

He was a cop. He went with facts. He wouldn’t understand how some things felt right or wrong. He probably thought she was a little crazy.

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