When You Know Too Much
Laurel Jennings may be an expert at art restoration, but she's a novice at the justice system. When her business partner Jonathan Linton is found dead and she's charged with the brutal murder, she needs help--fast. But with the powerful Linton family wielding their vengeful influence, the only lawyer willing to represent her is her former lover.
Sometimes Keeping A Secret
Damon walked away from the L.A. County DA's office when his star witness in an infamous drug lord's trial was gunned down on her way to protective custody. Protecting Laurel is Damon's first priority--even if she has made it clear he's the last man she wants representing her.
Is The Only Way To Save Your Life
A chance discovery throws Damon and Laurel into a conspiracy that could rock the art world to its very foundations - with deadly consequences. With only each other to turn to, Laurel and Damon find the passion that once burned between them is a dangerous risk when betrayal lies at the heart of Jonathan's murder--and the body count keeps rising. To protect the future, and keep the past buried, Laurel and Damon will have to stay together, keep calm, and remain silent...
Arrested in L.A. and charged with the murder of her art restoration business partner, Jonathan Linton, Laurel Jennings fears that the evidence against her is strong enough for a conviction, especially with her fingerprints found on the murder weapon. After an anonymous tip, her ex-lover, former Los Angeles DA Damon Metcalf, returns to L.A. to represent her at her bail hearing. The Linton family's connections reach far and wide, and Damon stays on as Laurel's lawyer when no reputable L.A. criminal defense attorney will take on her case. A break-in at Laurel's business, a suspicious theft and a lucrative but sketchy restoration project deepen the mystery surrounding the death; soon there are more murders, and Laurel herself is in danger. Laurel and Damon can't keep it just collegial for very long. As the novel races toward its explosive conclusion, creative plotting insures that they have to stay together, right where romantic suspense fans will want them. (Nov.)
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October 29, 2007
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Excerpt from Remain Silent by Jamie Denton
Laurel Jennings detested funerals. Her dislike was even more profound when the interment consisted of someone close to her, someone vitally important in her life. That particular list, which was short to begin with, had now been reduced by one more.
She recognized the faces of many of the mourners, most were from the occasional social function her business partner had insisted she attend. They were old, boring, and disgustingly rich, but they'd kept her art restoration business flourishing, so with a grudge, she'd gone whenever Jonathan had insisted. No one would force her to be sociable now.
It would all be over soon, she thought, shifting her gaze from the simple pine casket with the Star of David etched onto the top, to the rabbi. She wouldn't be putting in the obligatory appearance at the Linton home following the grave- side service. Johanna Linton, Jonathan's mother, had made that point patently clear. Instead, she would escape the bloodthirsty stares of Jonathan's family and mourn in private the loss of her business partner and dear friend. Until then, she'd maintain the status quo by remaining on the fringes and keeping her distance.
Distance was easier than involvement. Involvement required an emotional investment and risks she was no longer willing to take. Experience had taught her only her work was worthy of that kind of investment. Her work couldn't betray her. At least not the kind she performed now. Four years ago, it'd been a different story . . . and another unhappy ending.
Laurel bowed her head as the rabbi issued the final blessing over the casket, automatically crossing herself after the final Amen before she realized her mistake. The gold of her Rolex caught the sunlight. A surprise gift from Jonathan when he'd landed the St. Giovanni's restoration project. Had it only been a year ago? Jonathan had been so happy. The restoration of the Gates of Paradise had been a major coup, one she'd never dreamed would belong to Artifacts. But Jonathan had worked his magic and made it happen, catapulting them to worldwide recognition, and within a matter of weeks, they'd had more work than they could handle.
She let out a breath and quashed the memories. As she turned away, her black Italian heels ripped into the soft, damp grass. Quietly, she walked away and headed across the cemetery to where her car was parked while the mourners paid their respects to Jonathan's family. She'd already said her final good-byes to her dear friend. There was no need to do so again.
She adjusted her dark sunglasses and looked toward her car. For a brief second, she stilled, her fight or flight instincts warring for domination. After a slight moment's pause, she continued forward, her head held high. She could run, but they'd easily catch her, so why bother? Fighting she was accustomed to, it was as familiar to her as being alone. Besides, she'd known they'd come. It had been inevitable.
"This is rather dramatic," she said in a cool, calm voice intentionally devoid of emotion when she neared the front end of her sleek, silver Jag where the two detectives waited for her. Determination straightened her spine. She wasn't about to let Detectives Pete Teslenko and Gino Scanlon see they'd rattled her.
They'd questioned her for hours following her discovery of the body, and she hadn't fallen apart once. Not when they'd searched Artifacts, nor when they'd conducted an extensive search of her home. Keeping her emotions buried inside was a habit born from necessity, and her toughest survival skill she'd managed to hone to a fine polish over the years. To allow the overzealous detectives to witness how much their presence at Jonathan's funeral upset her wouldn't only be a waste of time, but a drain on valuable energy she suspected she would desperately need to see her through the next few hours. Besides, it went against everything she'd ever learned since she was ten years old. There was no reason to break from tradition at this point.
Teslenko and Scanlon looked at each other, speaking some silent dialogue she had no hope of understanding. She'd studied their faces and habits during those long, relentless hours of interrogation. Studying people was her business, especially when she knew without a doubt she'd be fighting for her freedom--perhaps even her life.
"Tell me, gentlemen. Is arresting me at Jonathan's funeral for the benefit of the family, or could it be for something as tasteless as the camera crew that showed up ten minutes ago?"
Detective Scanlon, an aging, portly fellow with a weathered face and more salt than pepper hair, stepped forward. His faded blue gaze was narrowed and cold. "Laurel Jennings," he said, slipping a pair of handcuffs from the leather pouch attached to his belt, "you are under arrest for the murder of Jonathan Linton."