Hi, everyone! Welcome to my webpage. I’ve come back from the future to write a contemporary romance.
(Special Forces Veterans ~ Book One)
The book includes steamy love scenes intended for mature readers.
About the Book
Delaney Cole has no interest in love and marriage, at this time. She’s a computer whiz, aiming to become a force in Silicon Valley. To pay the bills, she teaches computer science at the local high school. When a fellow teacher is murdered, Delaney discovers the body and finds herself the focus of a psychopath’s fantasies.
Enter Jake Torrance, Special Forces veteran, now a homicide detective with the Boston PD. Jake’s commitment to his work was a factor in the breakdown of his marriage. The follow-on slugfest divorce was a
While the murder investigation unfolds, and the killer circles closer, Jake and Delaney dance around their unexpected attraction to each other. The charismatic detective fits the image of Delaney’s fantasy lover to a T, but he’s arrived too early and at the worst possible time.
Jake struggles to stay professional, but Delaney stirs emotions he thought he could no longer feel. He starts to believe she might be his second chance at happiness—if he can keep her alive.
Are you done with the body?” the Medical Examiner asked.
Jake nodded. “Call
Pulling off latex gloves, Jake asked Officer Bryant, “Who called it in?”
“The teacher, Delaney Cole.”
“Okay, I’ll speak to her first.”
“She’s over there.” Bryant indicated.
Jake turned and stood for a moment, assessing the witness. He guessed she was in her late twenties. She sat with a stiff spine, hands in her lap, staring straight ahead at the blank wall. There was something riveting about her controlled posture. Reading body language was part of Jake’s job. He judged the teacher to be cool and self-contained in her daily life. He walked over to her. “Good evening, ma’am. I’m Detective Torrance.”
She jumped at the sound of his voice, her gaze going to the gold badge riding on his belt before she looked up. “Yes, hello, Detective.”
Jake stared into a pair of electric blue eyes shot through with flecks of gold. Though she wasn’t conventionally beautiful, her facial features blended into a captivating image.
“When can I wash up?” she asked, drawing his attention down to the dried blood on her hands. She wasn’t wearing a ring on her left hand, he noted.
He refocused, clearing his throat. “Yes, ma’am, we’ll get to that shortly.” He crossed to bring another chair into the hallway, positioning it across from her. He sat and pulled out his pen and notebook. “Right, can you walk me through the incidents again, in the order in which they occurred?”
His witness looked perplexed. Clearly, she didn’t want to have to describe the scene again. She drew a wavering breath like someone about to jump into icy water. Jake watched her face while she recapped events with a strained huskiness in her tone. She hesitated. “There is one more thing. I’m pretty sure I heard the gunshot while I was in my classroom.”
Torrance glanced up sharply. Why hadn’t she mentioned that up front? “Go on.”
“I didn’t know what the sound was at the time. I assumed it was to do with the janitors’ equipment. But now I realize it was gunfire. I’m military.”
His dark brows lifted. “You were in the military?”
She shook her head. “No, I’m a military brat. My dad’s Army. He taught me to shoot along with my older brother. I should’ve recognized the sound of gunshot right away, but it was out of place in the school setting.”
Jake watched her closely as she spoke. Though her overall expressions and manner were convincing, the cop in him argued she was on the scene. She could have done it. Until she could be ruled out as a suspect, she was on the shortlist.
* * * *
Delaney’s heart was beating way too fast, partly because of the interrogation, and partly because of the big, dark-haired detective asking the questions. His rugged good looks made her think of Western men who lived outdoors. His skin was tanned, and there were faint lines around his eyes as if he were used to squinting into the sun. If Delaney was asked to describe his eyes, she would say they were a tawny gold color, rimmed by dark irises, and outlined by long, black lashes.
Even as a corner of her mind was drooling over his looks, she reminded herself that hot men who turned heads weren’t interested in geeky women like her. If he wasn’t in a relationship, he probably dated the kind of long-legged women you saw in glossy magazines.
“Those are all the questions for now,” he said, “unless you have something you would like to add.”
Delaney shook herself out of her trance, hoping her expression didn’t betray her thoughts. He was studying her with curious intensity in his unusual eyes.
She tried to return his gaze unflinchingly. “Uh, no, I’ve told you all I know. Can I wash now? I have clean clothes in my locker.”
“Not just yet. There’re a couple more things I need to do first. Wait here.”
Delaney’s gaze followed his broad back and the powerful stride of his long legs as he headed to the crime scene area. He returned moments later carrying plastic evidence bags. “Could you hold out your hands, please? We’ll be testing everyone in the building for gunshot residue.”
Delaney glanced up at his handsome face, which gave nothing away. She held out her hands. They trembled a little, showing her body was still in shock.
He swabbed her hands with small squares of material and put them in an evidence bag. “You can shower now.” He handed her a larger bag. “Put your soiled clothes in here.”
When they reached the female facilities, Torrance held up a hand to halt her. “Sergeant Bryant confirmed his men have searched this area, but I’ll doublecheck.” He returned in five minutes and looked down at her shoes. “We’ll need those as well. Do you have others in your locker?”
“Yes, I have sneakers.”
Inside the bathroom, Delaney quickly stripped, showered, and shampooed. She’d forgotten that the cleaning crew would have removed the towels for the evening, so she had to make do with paper ones. She had clean panties in her locker but no bra. She pulled on a white T-shirt and gray sweatpants, then sat on a bench to put on her sneakers.
She came out and handed Torrance the evidence bag, acutely aware that her T-shirt showed the outline of her breasts and nipples. When his gaze dropped briefly to her chest, she wondered if he liked what he saw. Then she was shocked that she was thinking about sex at a time like this.
“This is the last thing.” He held out a small square-shaped device. “I need to fingerprint you. It’s to compare and eliminate,” he added. “We’ll process the whole school tomorrow.”
Again, it was impossible to read his expression, but Delaney knew they would be looking for evidence that might tie her to the murder. It was unnerving, even though she was innocent.
“Okay, here we go.” He moved closer, his long fingers holding hers one by one as he rolled them over the inkless fingerprint pad. He was close enough that she could smell him, the faint scent of woodsy aftershave and clean male sweat. By the time he had finished, his nearness had shortened her breath.
He pulled out his notebook, wrote in it, and snapped it shut. “That does it. Thank you for your cooperation, Ms. Cole. If you’re not up to driving home, an officer can escort you.”
She shook her head. “That’s all right. I don’t live far.”
He nodded. “If anything else comes to mind, please call me.” He handed her his card, then surprised her with a flashing smile that upped his appeal from compelling to irresistible.
She turned away, hopelessly intrigued, wishing she could have met him under different circumstances. Then again, falling for a man like him—with so much “it” factor—was asking for trouble. She could be in over her head before she knew it.