Detective JD Cameron is on to something big. He's got evidence of a human-trafficking ring operating here in Austin, Texas. And he's targeted one guy as his way into the ring. But how can JD get close enough without alerting the suspect?
The solution comes with actress Violet James. In town for personal reasons, she needs a bodyguard, and JD is perfect for the job. But this simple assignment quickly changes. An unexpected and powerful connection develops between Violet and JD--one that can't be ignored. Not only is it jeopardizing his objectivity, he's also aware he's not telling her the truth. Confessing all risks his career, but not confessing risks so much more.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
Harlequin Enterprises, Limited
April 01, 2012
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from On His Honor by Jean Brashear
"Violet, over here!"
"Have you talked to Barry? Have he and his latest conquest emerged from their love nest?"
"How does it feel to have him cheat on you barely six months into your marriage?"
Cameras flashed, television cameras rolled, the gleaming shark teeth of entertainment reporters menaced as the crowd closed around her.
Oh, God, she couldn't do this. What had she been thinking, trying to show up on the set as though her world hadn't been shattered into a thousand pieces?
She hadn't slept at all the night before, not after she'd seen the photos splashed all over the internet and the tabloids, photos of the man she'd trusted with her heart and her dreams caught with a woman he'd apparently been involved with even before he'd met Violet.
She knew she looked like death warmed over, her eyes too scratchy for makeup, her unwashed hair scraped back in a ponytail. But she was two days away from wrapping her role in this film, and she was determined to be the professional she'd always been.
Though she had no idea how she was going to play a romantic role with the slightest trace of sincerity when she no longer believed in love. All she wanted was to be alone, to climb under the covers and hide, to never speak to another soul.
Before she'd been caught in the storm of scandal, she'd accepted that lack of privacy was the price of success, and had done her best to get along with those she told herself were only trying to make a living.
But now, witnessing the undisguised glee on their faces, the avid curiosity to see how soon she'd break...the people she'd cooperated with once now showed her no mercy, not even when her heart was breaking and she wanted to crawl into the nearest hole.
"Violet! His lover's not even that pretty! How does that make you feel?"
She whipped around. "How do you think it makes me feel?" she yelled. "Why are you doing this?"
For a second, the only sound came from the cameras. Even hardened reporters were shocked.
What am I turning into? The depth of her bitterness stunned her.
I can't breathe. Frantically, she scanned for an opening as the crowd surged closer and the shouting resumed. Her heart pounded. Her vision blurred. Blindly she pushed to get away.
Just then, two beefy men shoved through the crowd, and she recognized them as part of the security crew for the production. The yelling only mounted as security whisked her away. The cameras never stopped whirring.
Once out of sight, she half collapsed against one of them.
"It's okay, Ms. James. We've got your back now. Sorry we weren't here. No one expected you today."
I shouldn't have come.
Desperately she tried to get a grip on herself, though she was trembling. "I don't know how to thank you.
"Miss James, those bloodsuckers will never leave you alone, not after--" the second one halted in mid-sentence. "Um, sorry."
He might as well have said it: after you and the rest of the world found out that your husband had been cheating on you from the first. When your marriage--your second marriage--turned out to be a lie. But none of that was anyone's fault but hers.
"It's...okay." But it wasn't. Barry had made their marriage a freak show. Had made a fool of her.
She wanted to carve out his heart with a rusty spoon.
Her shoulders sagged. She didn't understand why this had happened. What had she done? What hadn't she done? How had she failed? Was she only lovable from a distance, only as an image, not a real person?
Then she realized the security guys were staring at her. "I'm...sorry. I'm just..." Sick at heart. And so very sad.
"Can't trust anyone in this town," the second guard muttered. "Folks will sell their own grandmas to get ahead."
She knew he meant well, but she couldn't handle sympathy right now. She would break.
She shouldn't have come to the set, but the madness was worse at her house. Her housekeeper had helped spirit her out the back of the property in disguise, but it hadn't been enough.
She didn't know what to do. Where to go. How to live with this. "Excuse me. I have to..." Vaguely she waved toward her trailer.
"Sure thing. You need anything, Ms. James, anything at all.. "
"Thank you." She dug deep for strength. Tried hard to remember who she'd been only yesterday. She cleared her throat, composed her features. "Would you please tell Mr. Forbes that I'll be ready for makeup in fifteen minutes?"
"You're going to stay?" The guard looked incredulous.
"I am. It's my job." She pulled herself up very straight, composed her features. Somehow she would gather herself, shake off the miasma of grief and shame and humiliation blanketing her like a filthy fog. She made her way to her trailer.
Just as she got inside, her phone rang. She nearly hit the button to reject, but when she glanced at the display, she seized upon the lifeline.
Avery. Her dearest friend. He would understand.
"Hello?" she answered.
"What the hell happened? I was out of pocket, so I just heard. Where are you? Are you all right?" For a second, she couldn't speak. "Violet? Talk to me."
"No," she whispered brokenly. "I'm not all right."
"I'm going to kick that bastard's ass."
They'd never been lovers, but in some ways they'd been closer than she'd ever been to her romantic partners. Avery Lofton had saved her life. She'd dropped out of college and made her way to L.A. from Tennessee against her parents' wishes, a naive, headstrong Southern beauty who'd grown up in the bosom of a protective, loving family. She'd had no grasp of the world's darker realities, and she'd believed all those people who'd sworn she was the next Julia Roberts. one week in California had taught her some hard lessons.
After one week she'd been dead broke after falling for a bogus agent scam. She'd been too proud to ask her parents for help. Avery hadn't been much better off financially, but from the moment they first met at an audition, something had clicked for them, and she'd spent months sleeping on his sofa as he became a combination older brother and best friend. She'd learned the Hollywood ropes from Avery, and as her star began to rise much more swiftly than his, she'd done what she could to repay him. Once she'd wielded enough box-office power, she'd insisted that he have roles in every one of her productions.
His pride wouldn't stand receiving charity forever, though, and eventually he'd given up his acting dream and left L.A. for Austin. Four years later, he was now a successful restaurateur and owner of Danger Zone, the hottest club in town, but they'd never lost touch. Avery, she realized to her chagrin, knew her better than either of her husbands had.
"He never deserved you. He was just--" Avery didn't finish.