NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
He once picked the wrong woman…
he won’t make that mistake again.
Reyes Drere came from a long line of gardeners. He’d known since he was little which way his life was going to go and it had nothing to do with planting seasons. When he joined Legendary Securities after eight years as a Navy SEAL he’d been avoiding going home and joining the family business.
The family business included an ex-fiancé he had no wish to see again. Her sister was a good friend but there was nothing more dead than a dead love – unless it was a dead ex-fiancé…
Raina is reeling from the shock of seeing the only man she’s ever loved showing up at work one day, his new boss in tow. Ice is all about plants on a grand scale, whereas Reyes appears to be all about denial.
Only the shocks continue as her twin and Reyes ex-fiancé show up dead… and he’s the one with a motive…
I am behind on this series so I definitely have catching up to do. But this book came up so here I am at the most recent of this series instead of the beginning.
Ice has decided to add plants to the landscape around the pool at the compound. To accomplish this she recruits Reyes whose family owns a large nursery in California.
Now Reyes hasn’t been home in two years, not since he broke off with his fiancé. Nothing says welcome home more than having a conversation with your ex’s sister in the middle of the store, and having your ex walk in and slap you.
Reana is a volatile woman, much like Reyes’ mother. Women who control with anger and abusive behavior. Her twin sister Raina is the opposite and frequently finds herself apologizing for Reana’s behavior.
To Reyes’ surprise, his mother steps in to quell the scene unfolding. However the lies Reana has told everyone will soon haunt him.
Things settle and Ice and Reyes go to her father’s for the night and Raina heads home. Her mother interrupts her late with calls regarding her sister.
After several of those calls Raina calls Vince, friends with both her and Reyes. He offers to check on Reana and also calls Reyes and sets up a breakfast date.
That breakfast changes this whole trip for all of them.
This is a favorite scene.
She couldn’t help but catch the grin on Vince’s face and how his eyes lit up at Reyes’s words. “Well, there you go. Now you got his attention,” she muttered.
The men continued to talk. She listened, not part of the conversation. She pulled out her phone yet again and checked for a message from her sister, but there were none.
Her phone rang while she was holding it though. “Hi, Mom. I’m at a restaurant with friends,” she said. “I haven’t heard any updates from Reana.”
“Neither have I,” her mother said, her voice drawn and tired. “I’d hoped to sleep in this morning, but apparently I can’t.”
“I’ll let you know as soon as I hear anything,” Raina said. She hung up and placed the phone beside her knife and fork.
The food arrived slowly, with the coconut pancakes first. By the time she got her plate, the men were already digging in. But then she was eating about half the amount they were. She had a traditional waffle with a fried egg and sausage on the side.
As she finished her last bite, placing her knife and fork on her plate, she looked up to see two police officers walking into the coffee shop. They stood at the entrance, their gazes slowly moving across the patrons. When they landed at her table, her heart sank.
“Uh-oh,” she said. “This doesn’t look good.”
Reyes looked at her with a frown. “What the devil do they want?” he muttered.
The men stacked their dirty plates to the side and reached for their coffee, almost as a defense mechanism. When the officers arrived, they looked at the three of them.
The first one asked, “Which one of you is Reyes?”
“I am,” Reyes said. “What can I do for you?”
Instead of answering him, they looked at Raina and asked, “Are you Raina Woodcroft?”
Slowly she nodded her head, her heart sinking even further. “What’s this about?”
“We need to know where you were last night.” But they didn’t direct it at anybody in particular. It seemed like the police wanted to know where each of them had been last night.
“I was at home alone,” Raina said.
Reyes popped up next. “I was with my boss at her father’s house.” He rattled off the address.
“The whole night?”
Reyes frowned. “Yes, the whole night.”
“Can anyone vouch for that?”
She watched a stillness cross his face. “Well, I was with both of them up until I went to bed, and that was about eleven o’clock. Then I got up this morning, had a quick cup of coffee with the two of them before Vince picked me up for breakfast.”
“Did you sleep alone last night?”
He replaced the cup of coffee on the table in front of him, nodding slowly. “Yes, I did. But there is security at the house, and I’m sure it would record whoever was coming and going.”
The two officers exchanged a look and continued to write on their notepads.
Reyes repeated, “What’s going on?”
But they insisted on questioning Vince on his movements and then questioning Raina again.
Finally she couldn’t stand it. “Is this about my sister?”
The officers turned their gazes on her. “What about your sister?”
“We can’t find her,” she said boldly.
Dale Mayer. Reyes’s Raina (Kindle Locations 708-736). Valley Publishing Ltd.
A suspect now in a murder, Reyes calls Ice who smooths things over a bit, but the circumstances of the initial interview have consequences that complicate everything more.
Reyes becomes Raina’s sole support as her world falls apart, and he finds he can’t deny his feelings for her any longer. Pleasantly surprised to find those feelings are reciprocated.
Plenty of emotion, suspense and family drama all around as this tale unfolds with just enough heat.
5 Contented Purrs for Dale!
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Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It’s a Dog’s Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series).
She honors the stories that come to her – and some of them are crazy and break all the rules and cross multiple genres!
To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series. All her books are available in print and ebook format.