USA Today Bestselling Author
No one could tell who was telling the truth…
For Liam Benedict, the merging of Software By Design into the Arroyo mega-conglomerate is a dream come true—until someone on his staff screws with critical software and put the company and its future in grave jeopardy.
Suddenly life is not so euphoric for Liam. His contract with a defence contractor is in jeopardy, he doesn’t know who to trust on his staff and there is a distinct possibility a foreign power is behind the whole thing.
When forensic data analyst Eric Braun discovers who it is and how they did it, he is killed before he can tell Liam he’s discovered the mole. Framed by the killer, Liam is arrested for the murder.
It will take the combined resources of beautiful criminal defence attorney Sydney Alfiore, the woman he loves, and the huge Arroyo Corporation to solve the riddle, but can they do it in time?
It’s exciting times for Software By Design, founder Liam Benedict. He is about to close a deal with Arroyo Enterprises which will open them up to more growth and bigger contracts. He’s also close to delivering a major defense contract. Hack-proof security software is his company’s forte and their hard work is about to pay off, in more contracts, better office space and more developers.
Sydney Alfiore is a high-power criminal defense attorney, when we first see her she is in the middle of a complicated case. When she literally runs into Liam as he is rushing to his meeting with the Cantrells, they agree to have a drink if they finish early enough.
This is a favorite scene.
They were having dinner in the restaurant. Surely they’d be finished by now, right? He was about to turn and head in that direction to check, when someone called his name. He turned to see the woman herself walking toward him. His body responded at once.
Cock, behave yourself.
Thank the lord he was wearing a dark suit where the bulge in his fly wouldn’t be quite as obvious.
“Oh, good.” She hurried over to hm. “You’re still here.”
The warm, familiar female voice wrapped itself around him like melting chocolate. She smiled at him, looking sexier than ever. He looked around but didn’t see anyone with her.
“I was just about to come looking for you. What did you do with your dinner companions?”
“Sent them off to bed. They’ve got a big day tomorrow, doing trial prep. They need all the rest they can get.”
Liam hitched an eyebrow. “Should I ask what your client did to need your excellent services?”
Sydney laughed. “I’m his attorney. He didn’t do anything.”
“Oh, right.” Liam winked. “Of course not. Well, do you have time for a drink, then? I imagine you’ll be up early tomorrow, too.”
“I will, but we have such a hard time getting together, let’s take advantage of it.”
“I agree.” His mouth twisted in a wry smile. “Yeah, our schedules aren’t exactly the kind that make for any kind of relationship. We should probably consider what’s left of this evening a gift and make use of it.”
Sydney nodded. “Absolutely. Besides, you look to be bursting at the seams about something, so let me buy tonight. Come on.”
The bar in the hotel was designed for intimacy. No bright lights, just soft coach lamps on the walls and at each booth. The carpeting on the floor was thick enough to absorb sound, so the conversations were muted. It was a place to entice a woman to bed or put together a secret business deal. And perfect for intimate conversation.
Liam followed Sydney into the bar, nudging her toward a booth in the far corner that a couple was just vacating.
Conversation around them was little more than a low hum, people engrossed in each other, some serious, some smiling. A low-key, nonthreatening situation. So why, Liam asked himself, did a tiny chill suddenly skitter its way down his spine?
As casually as he could, he glanced around, trying to spot anyone who might be fixated on him. Watching him. But no one seemed to be paying him attention. Still, the feeling was there and he could not seem to get rid of it. When they reached the booth, he slid into the bench seat that backed up to the wall.
Sydney stared at him, one eyebrow lifted. “Are you okay? Would you rather not do this now?”
He shook his head. “No. Not at all. I mean, I’m fine and I want to do this.” He was determined not to waste this unexpected opportunity. “Have a drink with you.”
“Okay.” She studied him for a moment. “If you’re sure.”
Liam forced himself to relax. Having a drink with Sydney was the perfect ending to a day when his life had taken an extraordinary turn. Who better to share it with than the woman he couldn’t get out of his head? The woman he wanted to strip naked and tumble in his bed so he could do all sorts of wild things with her. If he weren’t aware of how crass it would sound, he’d ask her to have that drink with him at his townhouse in South Tampa.
No. Not this way. At least let her think you have some class.
“This is nice.” He studied Sydney for a moment. “It seems as though life keeps conspiring to keep us apart, so this is an unexpected pleasure.”
She nodded. “For me, too. Sometimes I wish…”
“Wish what?” That we could get together more often, like now, as I do?
“Maybe that there were more than twenty-four hours in a day.” She shrugged. “No matter. Here we are.”
“Yes.” He winked. “A very unexpected pleasure. It’s great that we both ended up in the same place tonight, even if it’s just for a short while.”
“I agree. Tell me how your dinner went tonight? I want to hear all about what’s going on with you. Whatever it is sounds very exciting.”
“I’m not sure I have any personal business to mention, if you want to know the truth,” he joked.
Even as he spoke, he was scanning the room for anything that might be the source of his uneasiness. Sydney reached across the table and touched his hand.
“Liam, are you okay? Is something wrong?”
He gave himself a mental shake and did his best to knock it out of his mind and into a corner. He was probably just being paranoid, anyway, and for what reason? Damn it, he wasn’t going to waste this unexpected opportunity worrying about some figment of his imagination.
“I’m fine.” He grinned at her. “This has been an exciting few days for me, Syd. I’m probably still just wound up about everything.”
“Must be something big. Did your dinner go well? Can I ask who it was with?”
He nodded, then waited until the waitress served their drinks before answering. “Are you familiar with the Arroyo Corporation?”
Sydney gave a ladylike snort. “Of course. Who isn’t? I think they own the world.”
He leaned forward a little, blocking out the rest of the bar. “As of tomorrow, Software By Design will be part of the Arroyo family.”
“Liam!” Sydney reached for his hands and gave them a squeeze. “But that’s fantastic. Truly. A major step forward for you. Think of all the doors it will open. The type of clients you’ll attract.”
“No kidding. I can hardly believe it myself.” He took a swallow of his bourbon, savoring its taste. “I’m thirty-five years old and I feel like a kid at Christmas.”
“As well you should.” She smiled at him. “That’s quite a coup. How did you pull it off?”
He chuckled. “In the most unlikely way. Someone knew someone who knew someone.”
He told her about John Martino and Optimus and Martino’s dinner with the Cantrells.
Sydney cocked an eyebrow. “Yes, John certainly knows all the right people.”
“That is just the damn truth,” Liam agreed. He touched his glass to Sydney’s. “A toast to people who know people.”
“Amen to that.” She took a long sip of her wine. “I’m excited for you, Liam.”
Desiree Holt. Double Deception (Kindle Locations 378-431). Totally Bound Publishing.
Unfortunately things don’t all go smoothly. We get peaks at the traitor within Liam’s company, but only a few clues as to who it is.
When a secret alarm goes off that someone is trying to breach the new installation, Liam’s world gets turned upside down. A forensic data analyst, Eric Braun is called in and when he makes the discovery he ends up dead before he can let anyone know. Now Liam is fighting for his freedom and his company’s integrity.
Intertwined with some very sensual and steamy scenes, a page-turning , nail-biting mystery unfolds. You won’t want to put this one down.
5 Contented Purrs for Desiree!
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USA Today Bestselling and award winning author Desiree Holt writes everything from romantic suspense and paranormal to erotic, a genre in which she is the oldest living author.
She has been referred to by USA Today as the Nora Roberts of erotic romance, and is a winner of the EPIC E-Book Award, the Holt Medallion and a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice nominee.
She has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and in The Village Voice, The Daily Beast, USA Today, The (London) Daily Mail, The New Delhi Times and numerous other national and international publications.
“Desiree Holt is the most amazing erotica author of our time and each story is more fulfilling then the last.” (Romance Junkies)