Excerpt from book:
Some days, Rafe Sullivan hated his job.
The elegantly dressed woman seated in front of him had tears streaming down her face, and her once-flawless makeup was ruined by the black streams of mascara tracking down her cheeks. Rafe slid the box of tissues closer to her, but she was too busy sobbing and clutching the photos he'd just given her to notice.
In each of the dozen pictures, his client's CEO husband was with a different woman. Brunettes, blondes and redheads were all represented. The only thing they shared in common was cup size, as each of the women was very wellendowed, including the young wife sitting in Rafe's office.
"That bastard!" she spat between sobs. "He swore he would never cheat. He said I was everything to him. During our wedding vows, he stood up in front of my family and told me I was the true love of his life." She lifted her gaze from the pictures, her eyes so full of pain. "Why couldn't he be faithful? Is it because I'm not as pretty as these women?"
Seven years ago, when Rafe had decided to leave the police force and open up his own investigation firm, he'd been full of high ideals. Justice. Truth. That was what he'd been after. He now had half a dozen people working for him, and was widely considered to run the best P.I. firm in Washington State.
But how the hell had it come to this? He used to go into every case with an open mind. After all, how high could the statistics be in favor of infidelity? Fifty percent was high, he'd figured. Sixty percent would have been nuts.
He hadn't imagined a world in which 100 percent of the people he investigated were up to no good.
Somewhere along the way, Rafe's reputation for discovering whether or not high-profile men and women were cheatingand they always werehad eclipsed the number of his other investigative cases. He'd been unable to justify turning down these pricey jobs when he had a staff depending on him for salaries and benefits.
Though he'd been doing this for almost a decade, Rafe had never figured out how to numb himself to the moment when he handed his client the pictures he and his staff had taken of infidelity in action. He couldn't help but feel that he was at least partly responsible for their tears.
But, most of all, he hated the way the women moved all too quickly from anger to blaming themselves.
"This is not your fault," he said in a gentle voice.
He would like to have told his client that she was easily as beautiful as the women her husband had cheated with, and might even have reached out to touch her hand in comfort, but hard-won experience had taught him he couldn't even do that.
Comfort and much-needed compliments could be too easily mistaken for something more. He'd only been stupid enough to go down that road once, had known better than to start anything with one of his ex-clients, but she'd been persistent and pretty
and he'd been tired and just plain stupid. Boy, had that been a major screwup.
Now, though he wished he could do more to help his client, all he could do was hand her the tissues.
She finally plucked one from the box to wipe away her tears and running mascara. "I trusted him." Her voice was little more than a whisper now. "How will I ever be able to trust anyone again?"
Rafe knew she was waiting for him to assure her that not everyone was bad, that there were still some good guys out there. But after seven years of catching every cheater in the Pacific Northwest with their pants down, all he could do was remind her, "You have good instincts. That's why you came to me, isn't it?"
She nodded, her eyes finally drying. Thank God.
"Just keep trusting your instincts."
She seemed to think about his adv"The perfect combination of sexy heat and tender heart." –Barbara Freethy, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author