Delaney Cole has no interest in love and marriage, at the moment. 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 psychopath’s fantasies.
Enter Jake Torrance, former Army Ranger, now a homicide detective with the Boston PD. Jake’s commitment to his work was a key factor in the failure of his marriage. The following slugfest divorce taught him a major life lesson.
As the murder investigation unfolds, and the killer circles closer, Jake and Delaney dance around their unexpected attraction to each other. Delaney is floored by the charismatic detective, with the dreamboat eyes. He fits the image of her fantasy lover to a T, but he’s arrived at the worst possible time. Jake struggles to stay professional, but Delaney stirs emotions he thought he could no longer feel. He starts to think she might be his second chance at happiness—if he can keep her alive.
With a faceless killer chasing her through her dreams, Delaney slept fitfully through the night, jarred awake by the apartment’s entrance buzzer. Groaning in annoyance, she rolled and squinted at the clock on the night table. 8 a.m. She wasn’t expecting a delivery, and her friends knew she usually slept late on weekends. She figured someone had buzzed her apartment by mistake. “Dope.” She snuggled down again.
Moments later, the buzzer sounded again. “Dammit.” Flinging back the covers, she strode over and punched the intercom. “Who is it? Can’t you read names?”
“It’s Detective Torrance, ma’am. Can I come up for a few minutes? I have a few more questions.”
Delaney’s jaw went slack. She yanked her finger off the intercom as if it had bitten her. What was he doing here this early on a Saturday? Her mind threw up the absurd notion he might have come to ask her for a date. Commonsense kicked the theory in the ass. He called you ma’am, you idiot. It’s police business.
She cleared her throat and pressed the intercom. “Uh, right, please come up.” Pressing the door release, she caught sight of herself in the hallway mirror and winced. She was in her usual sleeping garb of tank top and boxers, but she looked like a wild woman. Her eyes were wide and starey, and her sleep-tousled hair was sticking out all over the place. She raced into the bathroom, gargled with mouthwash, brushed her hair, then realized her long zip-up toweling robe was in the laundry hamper. She grabbed her blue robe off the chair. It only came to the top of her knees, but it would have to do.
At the sound of a knock, she drew a steadying breath and walked to open the door.
“Good morning, Ms. Cole.”
Delaney nodded. “Detective.”
He looked as good as she remembered, better even. His tall, broad-shouldered frame seemed to fill the hallway. His gray suit jacket was open, showing his flat stomach and muscular quads beneath his trousers. She dragged her gaze up to his face. His amber eyes showed some heaviness in their depths as if he’d also spent a restless night in bed. And he hadn’t shaved this morning. His jaw was shadowed by faint black stubble.
Delaney swung the door wider. “Please come in. But I need coffee before we talk.” As he walked with her to the kitchen, she noticed his spicy masculine scent again, wondering why it was so pleasing to her. She barely noticed how most men smelled.
"Nice place you have here," he said.
"Thanks." She was proud of the way the place had turned out. She’d spent a lot of her savings on it over the past year. The décor was stylish but understated—a mixture of russet and beige furnishings, with bright artwork on the walls. The woman who’d owned the condo before Delaney had worked in an art gallery, and she’d sold Delaney the canvases, along with some interesting ornaments.
The kitchen had coral and gray marble countertops and white cabinets. Delaney pressed the coffee machine’s brew button and got milk out of the fridge. As she reached up to open the cupboard where she kept the mugs, she glanced over her shoulder to ask, “Would you like coffee?” She saw Torrance’s gaze flick upward as if he’d been checking her out. It gave her a jolt until she reminded herself that mentally undressing females was an involuntary male reflex. It didn’t mean anything.
“Thanks, coffee would be welcome,” he said. “I take it black.” She poured and picked up the steaming mugs, turning to see Torrance was perched on a stool at the kitchen’s Central Island flipping through his notebook. Delaney set down the mugs and sat facing him. The collar of his blue shirt was open again, showing his strong neck and that sexy triangle of dark hair. Delaney knew some women didn’t care for chest hair on a man. She loved it. To her, it broadcast primal masculinity. “So, detective, what new questions have you come up with that brings you here on a Saturday?”