Confidential Rejuvenations...hot bodies are our specialty! Our private medical facility is a lush oasis of tranquillity, catering to affluent patients who require complete discretion. Our latest staff addition is Dr. Dante Nash, an extraordinary specimen of hotness... Her, professionalism. In fact, nurse Elle Kingston can't seem to keep her eyes--and her lusty thoughts--off him! But Dante is more than a sexy-pants practitioner who makes Elle weak in the knees--and in other parts. He's also undercover for the FBI. There have been some illicit goings-on here at Confidential Rejuvenations. Dangerous ones. And it isn't just Elle and Dante's sizzling affair that's about to blaze out of control...
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May 31, 2008
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Excerpt from Crossing the Line by Lori Wilde
From its stately exterior overlooking the bucolic Colorado River just outside Austin, Texas, Confidential Rejuvenations--a small but criminally expensive medical treatment facility for the cr�me-de-la-cr�me--exuded an atmosphere of supreme tranquility.
The lush green lawns were perfectly clipped, as were the bountiful privacy hedges. Ivy-twined trellises shaded genteel redwood park benches. The profusion of petunias, pansies, daisies and daffodils in full bloom undulated in the breeze, testifying to the exemplary gardening skills of the groundskeepers.
A luxurious flagstone walkway led toward the discrete front entrance in one direction. The other fork wound its way to an elaborate hand-carved gazebo positioned on a bluff above the sensuous curve of the river.
Confidential Rejuvenations was a favorite recuperation spot for southwest politicians, actors, musicians and other VIPs seeking various cures for addictions, aging and crisis of identity.
But Dr. Dante Nash wasn't fooled by appearances.
Beneath the serene surface, behind the healing promises made in the glossy full-color, trifold brochure resting on the passenger seat beside him, beyond those stately vine-covered walls, lurked a shadowy menace.
Careers lay on the line. Fortunes stood to be lost or gained. Lives hung in the balance.
And Dante was the catalyst. Sent undercover by the FBI to find out exactly who at Confidential Rejuvenations was trafficking in a very potent sex drug.
The designer party drug, street named Rapture, had been popping up on the club scene and college campuses around the Southwest for the past several months. It was being blamed for a dozen senseless deaths, and the FBI had traced the genesis of the substance to this quaint boutique hospital, partially owned by Dante's former college roommate, Dr. Mark Lawson.
For the past three years, Dante had worked for the Bureau as a plastic surgeon, giving new faces to people entering the Witness Protection Program. This was his first actual undercover assignment; he'd been hand selected for the project due to both his skills as a surgeon and his connection to Mark.
Dante didn't know if his ex-roommate was involved or not, but if Lawson was, he would take the man down without a moment's hesitation. Nothing was going to stop Dante from getting those drugs off the street. Ultimately, he was doing this to avenge Leeza's death.
He winced at the thought of his murdered sister. Of all the things they had suffered together. Sense memories of his miserable childhood rolled over him. The stench of sour mash whiskey on his father's breath. The feel of a leather strap slapping against his skin. The taste of fear on his tongue. He thought of the beatings he'd taken. Both from neighborhood thugs and his old man, until he had learned to fight back, learned how to protect his baby sister.
Painfully he recalled the way Leeza had looked the last time he'd seen her, strung out on drugs, eyes red, unwashed hair matted to her head, track marks running up and down her arms as she carried that hopeless, helpless air of the damned.
He'd tried to help her. Had gotten her into rehab twice, and she'd run away both times, unable to resist the seductive allure of heroin and the dangerous pull of her mob-connected boyfriend, Furio Gambezi.
Dante's desire to save his sister was the motivating factor in his decision to join the FBI after he'd completed his residency in reconstructive cosmetic surgery. It was the burning need to see justice served. His hunger to even the score.
His body tensed, fingers tightening around the leather steering wheel, his mind on full alert.
Dante stopped the Porsche Carrera GT--the FBI had provided it as a prop--at the security guard station and rolled down the window. The car had been seized during a drug bust. After the mobster who'd owned it had gone to prison, the FBI had been allowed to keep it for use in undercover operations such as this one.
He had to admit he took some satisfaction in driving one of the world's most expensive sports cars, especially since it had been confiscated from a gangster. The sensuous purr of the engine, the luxurious feel of the butter-soft leather, the illicit thrill. It put him in mind of truly great sex.
Unfortunately, it had been so long since he'd had truly great sex he was a bit fuzzy on the details of exactly how good it did feel. His job didn't allow much time for developing intimate contacts and he'd never been proud of his brief, meaningless affairs.