Romance doesn’t fit into Camden Alexander’s hazardous line of work…
A DEA agent, Camden is deep undercover, posing as a chef on a dangerous drug operation. He wants to take down Darrell Weberley, the owner of the Vin Doux restaurant, who is suspected of manufacturing his own brand of designer drugs. The investigation leaves no time for romance, plus he can’t risk exposing his cover. His love ’em and leave ’em philosophy is the only thing that keeps his one night stands out of harm’s way.
Rayma O’Riley isn’t looking for a quick hook-up. She has her own agenda…
Rayma is bored with her position as anchorwoman for News 12. She misses the thrill of investigative reporting. When she receives an anonymous email about a lucrative restaurant manufacturing drugs, she decides to investigate the story in her free time. She quickly finds a source for information in the form of the handsome and flirty chef. She agrees to a date, thinking she can pry insider information out of Camden.
If Camden can’t convince Rayma to drop this investigation, Darrell will have both their heads…
Camden can’t blow his cover, but if Rayma doesn’t stop snooping around, he knows it will lead to trouble. He doesn’t want her getting hurt before he can take Darrell down. He tries to scare some sense into her, but Rayma releases an article about the restaurant’s below-the-law side business anyway.
Darrell Weberley isn’t the kind of man to let something like that go without punishment, and all it’s going to take is…
one wrong move.
Rayma was staking out the dessert menu when Nicole tugged her hands, vying for her attention. “Isn’t that the guy?” she asked.
Glancing up, she saw the chef from last night. The menu thudded to the table. She latched onto her wineglass as if that would steady her heartbeat. She couldn’t remember all the drinks they’d ordered, but after the food she’d consumed, her body was feeling no ill effects from alcohol.
The effects from the chef, however, were a different matter. She watched as he approached their table and talked to Liz. Liz? Of course Liz, why not? She was attractive, young, single, and scantily clad. Why wouldn’t he be interested? Besides, Rayma wasn’t on the look-out right now, so why should she care?
He made his way around the table, next introducing himself to Brenda and Gail. They each fluttered at whatever he said to them. The guy was a looker, gorgeous even, but Rayma didn’t understand the female species. She would not act so juvenile.
The cliché of tall, dark, and handsome suited him well. Height was a prerequisite for Rayma, since she stood five-nine. As much as her height gave her an advantage in certain situations, most of the time it made her self-conscious. This man dwarfed her. She lifted her glass to guzzle the remainder of the wine, which was pathetically lacking.
His molasses-colored eyes slid over her, making her tremble. She reached for the wine bottle and cursed at the quivering in her hands. Red sloshed to the table as she poured and missed. He swiped the bottle and topped off her glass, then asked everyone else if they wanted a drink or dessert.
Once the wine was topped, he leaned over and extended his hand. She forgot all about dessert. His eyes were more of an indulgence than anything on the menu.
“Your story might not have helped business, but it did bring out a lot of curious people,” he said by way of introduction.
She wiped her hands on her cloth napkin and ignored his hand. He finally dropped his.
“My name is Camden. I’m the chef who brought about your story.”
“I remember,” Rayma said. “Care to give us any insight?”
“Clashing of opinions.” His smile revealed perfect teeth. “Kind of like now.”
“Oh?” Rayma sipped her wine, but it came out as a slurp. She set the glass on the table and dabbed her mouth with the napkin in an attempt to look bored.
“You think I’m a jerk. I think you’re wrong.”
“You going to beat me up over it?” she asked, smiling. He was handsome and charming. She was taken in by his good looks but not by his charm. Charm didn’t faze her, even if her heart floundered in her chest and her entire body vibrated like a plucked string.
“How are you enjoying your dinner?” His voice, deep and rich, trilled along the lines of her collarbone and into her throat. His undertone was like a whisper-soft touch, and she fought the urge to tilt her head back and await his lips on her skin.
She dropped her napkin on her plate and tried to compose herself. “Why do you ask? You didn’t poison it did you?”
His laugh thrummed into her, each note sliding to a lower rhythm and settling into her core. “Now why would I do that?”
She scanned the room, her gaze landing everywhere but on his face. “I don’t know, to get rid of the bad advertising?” She finally glanced up at him. Their eyes met. She nearly collapsed with the punch of their chemistry. Her chair wobbled, like a dock in the ocean being hit by forceful swells, and her heart pounded out dissonant rhythms. “And anyway, you give me way too much credit. Barely anyone reads my blog.”
“Another clash of opinions,” he said.
He looked like the devil. Strong jawbone, deep-set eyes so dark she’d lose herself with one glimpse. Perfectly coiffed hair that could easily be mussed by her hands.
Certainly he evoked this effect on all women on purpose. She fisted her hands on her lap and relaxed her shoulders, breathing in and out slowly and inconspicuously. When that didn’t work to ease her, she grabbed her glass of wine and gulped.
“Would you like another glass?”
She hated how his eyes sparkled, as if he knew exactly how he affected her. He was probably accustomed to it, but she was certain he wasn’t accustomed to having the tables turned. He was like a gift from the heavens, and not because of his looks and his charm. No, he was the chef of a famous restaurant accused of smuggling drugs. What better way to unearth the information she desperately craved?
“I have to get back to work, but I get off sometime after eleven. How about coffee?”
“Coffee at eleven?” she asked, oozing her own charm, turning her gaze down, then up again. Smiling. Flirting to her advantage, not his. “I’ll be in bed by then.”