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Stephanie Doyle

For the First Time

Stephanie Doyle For The First Time Large Print
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$3.97 Pre-owned
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Series:

Harlequin LP Superromance

Biographical note:

Stephanie Doyle, a dedicated romance reader, began to pen her own romantic adventures at age sixteen. She began submitting to Harlequin at age eighteen and by twenty-six her first book was published. Fifteen years later she still loves what she does as each book is a new adventure.

She lives in South Jersey with her cat Lex, and her two kittens who have taken over everything. When she isn’t thinking about escaping to the beach, she’s working on her next idea.

Excerpt from book:

Mark Sharpe looked across his desk at the latest job candidate. Her hair was slicked into a tight ponytail, with a straight heavy band of dark hair falling down her back. The nose stud she obviously sported had been removed for the interview. She wore a black turtleneck blouse that looked as if it was strangling the life out of her under her suit jacket.

Occasionally, when she fidgeted with the collar, he could see the hint of ink peeking out.

A nose stud and a neck tattoo. Who knew what else she was hiding?

"I wanted to let you know how impressed I was with your work on the Anderson case," she said.

Josephine Hatcher was the second investigator he'd interviewed. The previous one had wanted to talk about the Anderson case, too. Interviewing 101, he supposed—compliment the boss on his work. Some days, though, that case didn't feel like an accomplishment. It felt like a family ripped to shreds starting with the murder of a daughter by her own father.

"First getting the coroner's ruling of suicide overturned and then learning her father was behind the poisoning had to be shocking. He'd been free for thirteen years until you uncovered the truth."

The other candidate had said almost the same thing. Mark was a genius, a detecting marvel, a hero for justice. Blah, blah, blah…

"It took you a little long, though."

"Excuse me?" The other candidate hadn't said that.

"After you exhumed the body and were able to confirm the girl had been poisoned, the number of suspects was limited to her family and her boyfriend. Few others would have had sufficient access to her over the prolonged period of time it took to her kill her. Once you knew the method, how hard was it to eliminate suspects?"

"Not hard."

Her lips twitched. "Just saying. Can I ask why you opened the case?"

"Anonymous tip."

"Probably someone who knew her, knew the family dynamic."

"Probably," he grumbled. Who the hell was interviewing whom?

"Did you find the source of the tip?"

"No."

"Did you look?"

Yes, but he wasn't about to admit that to her. Anonymous tips were tricky. Sometimes they panned out. Sometimes they didn't. Mark always preferred identifying the source of an anonymous tip as a way of evaluating the reliability of the information. But he hadn't been able to locate the person who had sent him the copy of the coroner's report along with the plainly typed note that simply read, She didn't do it.

It had been enough to pique his interest. Especially when he read the report and the police file. Suicide had been a stretch, he thought. When people chose to kill themselves they wanted it done immediately.

This girl had been dying for months.

"That doesn't matter now—the case is closed. So, I should tell you I'm looking for someone with several years' experience." It was a prelude, he thought. A way to cushion the blow he was preparing to deliver.

"I've been working in the field independently for four years, and apprenticed with another investigator two years before that while earning my master'sBeing a father shouldn't feel this risky! 

There's not a lot former CIA agent Mark Sharpe hasn't done. Yet suddenly he's in a world of firsts—first time being a father, first time being self-employed…and first time being attracted to his employee. JoJo Hatcher, with her attitude, her tattoos and her investigative talents, tempts him in ways he can't explain. With each day she becomes more irresistible. How is he supposed to function in this messed-up situation? 

Then his teenage daughter, Sophie, is threatened. There's only one person he trusts to help him: JoJo. As they work to untangle the mystery, Mark imagines a future together that includes another first—family.


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