Dirty Little Secrets

Dirty Little Secrets
О книге

New Orleans detective Ethan Delancey had a mission to solve a senator’s murder. Putting Laney Montgomery, the sole witness who now has a cold-blooded killer on her heels, under his protection? Pure instinct. Every hour pushes her deeper into danger.The only way to ensure her safety—and capture a criminal—is to keep her close. Neither expects the flare of desire that pushes them over the line between professional and personal.Even as Laney’s secrets start to unravel, Ethan is driven to watch over her despite the rules of his job and the threat against them.Together, they’re on the verge of discovering every dirty detail of the truth … unless an unknown murderer finds them first.


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He knew he couldn’t just grab her dad’s records away from her and leave. As much as he dreaded having to offer her comfort, and knowing what it was going to do to him to be that close to her, he was all she had.

She made a face. “I don’t like to cry. It just messes up my face and gives me a headache.”

She met his gaze and he marveled at how blue her eyes were. He’d thought from the beginning that they were lovely. “I think you have the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen.”

He had a sudden need to swallow—hard. Here they went again. Just like before, he sat perfectly still and hoped like hell that she didn’t kiss him, because he was already very much on the edge.

She’s your responsibility. Your responsibility.

He leaned forward, his gaze moving from her eyes to her lips. Then, as she let her eyes drift shut, he brushed her mouth with his.

Dirty Little Secrets

Mallory Kane


MALLORY KANE has two very good reasons for loving reading and writing. Her mother was a librarian, who taught her to love and respect books as a precious resource. Her father could hold listeners spellbound for hours with his stories. He was always her biggest fan.

She loves romantic suspense with dangerous heroes and dauntless heroines, and enjoys tossing in a bit of her medical knowledge for an extra dose of intrigue. After twenty-five books published, Mallory is still amazed and thrilled that she actually gets to make up stories for a living.

Mallory lives in Tennessee with her computer-genius husband and three exceptionally intelligent cats. She enjoys hearing from readers. You can write her at [email protected].

For Michael: Hang in there, baby. I love you.

Chapter One

Everything had been planned—from every lock that had to be picked, to every step through every corridor. The Louis Royale Hotel’s popular restaurants had cleared out by midnight and most of the diners had moved on to more exciting places or gone home. The hotel’s bar was popular for lunch and predinner cocktails, but most serious partiers ended up on Bourbon Street by late evening.

It had been simple to slip in with the last of the late diners. Simple to take the elevators up to the tenth floor. And it was a snap to pick the lock on the fire stairs door to the penthouse suite that took up the entire eleventh floor. The hotel still used the original ornate metal keys, although the guest rooms also had computerized security card locks.

The hotel was the perfect place to kill the senator. And tonight was the perfect night. His offices and the senate floor in Baton Rouge were too public and too secure. The locked gates of his home just outside of that city put the Louisiana State Legislature’s security measures to shame. It was laughable that the man who’d erected a fortress worthy of a paranoid potentate was so lax about his safety in a hotel. But then, a lot of people assumed a hotel’s penthouse suite was innately secure. Tonight, for Senator Darby Sills, that assumption would prove to be a fatal mistake.

Crouching in the fire stairs to wait for the perfect moment was also a snap. Boring, cramped, but simple. The layout of the penthouse suite was perfect. The elevator doors opened into the sitting room. On the left wall were the double doors to the master suite and on the right was the door to a second, smaller bedroom.

It was after midnight, one twenty-seven, to be specific. The senator and his staff were due to have breakfast with the local longshoremen’s union at eight o’clock in the morning. He’d probably sent his staff off to their rooms by eleven, eleven-thirty at the latest. Sills insisted that his employees maintain a routine. He liked to say that any man or woman worth their salt should be in bed by eleven and up by seven. Not that Senator Sills abided by that rule. No one in public life could maintain a healthy, structured sleep schedule.

Although few people were aware of it, Sills was an insomniac. He rarely got four hours’ sleep a night. At home, he’d sit in a rocking chair in his study, smoke his pipe, sip Dewar’s scotch and read. It was widely rumored that his staff had the unenviable task of keeping the senator and his scotch separated when he was on the road.

The plan to kill Senator Sills allowed seven minutes for the job, start to finish. Best scenario, Sills would be in the sitting room, reading. A quick entrance through the service door, a muffled shot, right in the middle of Sills’s chest, a rapid escape and down the fire stairs. If Sills had already retired to the bedroom, seven minutes would be stretching it, but it could still be done.

Next, change to the clothes hidden in the fire stairs while descending to the first floor, then walk through the bar and out the door as if nothing was more important than heading left toward Bourbon Street. Seven minutes, one bullet, and the greedy bastard would be dead.

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