Tara's private investigation business is failing. Bobby, an ex-cop she worked with when she was a cop, seems to be successful. He wants her, both as a woman, and to work for him — become his personal spy in an industrial espionage case.
Taking the job, as a temporary personal assistant to the target, Josh South, she finds that he is suspiciously unsuspicious… and deliciously sexy. Something isn't right. Her cop instinct tells her that the game being played isn't the one Bobby told her. Now she is taken with Josh and has lied to get the job, she is trapped. Telling the truth will ruin her; going through with the job might make her a criminal—if she isn't one already.
~~~~~ PG Excerpt ~~~~~
Taking a hard look at the spreadsheet on her desk for what must have been the fortieth time that afternoon, Tara felt the last traces of optimism go out of her. She sighed, put her elbows on the table, and dropped her head in her hands.
She was no accountant, but no matter how she twisted the figures around, the message was all too clear. Her private investigation business was in deep trouble.
Having too little work and too many bills was a common enough song for a small business, but that didn't make it sound any sweeter. According to her calculations, Tara's business was in deep shit.
The facts were harsh: With her current cash flow she had about two months left before she was broke. The idea of spending two months treading water before she was sucked under and drowned was not an appealing prospect.
The question was what to do about it.
She sighed. Although she didn't have formal business training, it shocked her how quickly things had gone wrong. She'd probably made a lot of rookie mistakes and they'd piled up. In retrospect it was clear that she had kept her secretary on too long—well after it was clear that the business wouldn't support the two of them, but the woman had needed the job. Letting her go had been painful for both of them.
Besides… according to the evil numbers on the page in front of her, her biggest mistake had been the office. What a fool she'd been to sign a long-term lease.
Sure, a lease kept the rent from going up, but that assumed you had some business and could use the office. Now, when she didn't need so much space, if any at all, she was still on the hook for the monthly rent on it.
Without the lease, she could have cut costs by working out of her apartment. That would have made a huge difference. It would have given her breathing room to run down some new business.
Hindsight sucked. The lease had seemed like a great idea at the time. Positive affirmations about success had made her want to lock the rent in, and now it had her locked in a downward spiral.
Her landlord had not been receptive to negotiating a lower amount while she got through the slump either. A deal, in his opinion, was a deal. He didn't care if it meant she'd go belly up. She was stuck with owing him a monthly payment—until bankruptcy do them part, apparently.
It came as a welcome relief when her phone began playing some song she had downloaded a few months ago. The tune had struck her as catchy and optimistic at the time; now that most of her calls were about overdue bills, she'd come to hate it.
Still, it interrupted her angsty thoughts. She had to have hope. She had put in bids in for some surveillance and security jobs; there was always a chance she'd score one. They'd be tedious and boring but paid regularly. To actually get the job, you had to answer the damn phone even when you didn’t want to.
“Tara?” The voice was a deep male voice that she found very sexy. It also sounded familiar.
“Bobby Bly?” At the sound of his voice a picture of him popped into her head, and the picture that it found was one from a pleasant fantasy.