To Catch a Bad Guy
by Marie Astor
Janet Maple’s stellar career ended with a layoff and her boyfriend of five years told her that he wants to be just friends. When she lands a job at one of New York’s premier boutique investment firms, Janet begins to hope that her luck is finally turning for the better. Not only is she happy with her new paycheck, but things also seem to be looking up on the personal front, as the company’s handsome attorney expresses keen interest in Janet. However, her euphoria is short-lived, as Janet soon discovers alarming facts about her new employer’s business tactics. When her boss dismisses her suspicions as groundless, Janet finds herself confiding to a cute IT engineer, Dean Snider. The closer she gets to Dean, the more Janet is tempted to break her rule of not dating co-workers, but what she doesn’t realize is that everything she knows about Dean, including his occupation and even his name, is a lie.
Dennis Walker is a top-notch white collar crime investigator who will stop at nothing to put culprits away. When an opportunity for an undercover assignment at one of New York’s premier boutique broker dealers comes up, Dennis jumps at the chance, adopting a persona of geeky IT engineer, Dean Snider. While he may be an ace at his job, years of experience fail him when Dennis meets Janet Maple and finds himself torn between his professional obligations and his personal desires. Will he have to choose between his feelings and duty, or will he find a way to satisfy both?
“Oh, I’m sorry – I’m almost done here.” A male voice made Janet drop her purse on the floor. At least it was not her breakfast, which she was still clutching in her hand.
“Hello.” Janet picked up her purse and touched her pinned up hair for reassurance. Whenever she was in distress, her neat hairdo was always a source of comfort. “I was running late...” she struggled to explain her behavior, hoping that the unknown visitor had not deduced her panic.
“First day, huh?” The bespectacled man sitting behind Janet’s desk smiled at her, and she could not help noticing that he had really lovely blue-gray eyes.
“Second day, actually.” Janet wondered how best to broach the subject of the unknown stranger taking over her office.
“Oh, I’m sorry – this is very clumsy of me. I’m Dean, Dean Snider – IT.” The man jumped to his feet, sticking out his hand for a handshake. “I was just sent in to set up your computer, so I assumed that today is your first day…”
Janet placed her purse on her desk and shook Dean’s hand, sneaking a better look at him. He was wearing clothes that were too short for his height and slouching when he should be standing up tall, but this goofiness rendered him an unlikely kind of charm.
“Yesterday was more of an orientation than hands-on work,” Janet improvised a description of her work, which, honestly speaking, had not involved any work at all.
“Well, that’s no skin off anyone’s nose.” Dean grinned. “One thing I found in this place is that work will always be here for you the next day. Sometimes it helps to take a breather and reassess things.”
Sensing Dean’s glance lingering on her, Janet looked up. She was not used to IT specialists giving work advice to lawyers.
“Well…” Dean squinted at the computer monitor. “I’m all done here. Your email is up and running, and so is the rest of your computer. Have a good one – don’t work too hard.” Dean tipped his head.
“Thanks.” Janet smiled.
Once the door behind the IT support guy closed, Janet settled in her chair. This had certainly been an eventful morning. She reached for her by now lukewarm coffee and took a sip. Then she took a bite of her croissant, but could take no pleasure in either one. For reasons unknown to her, the IT guy’s remark was humming in her head. What was his name? Dean, Dean Snider – that’s right. Sometimes it helps to take a breather and reassess things. No doubt Dean was simply making small talk, but something in his tone made Janet uneasy.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Marie Astor is the author of contemporary romance novels This Tangled Thing Called Love, Lucky Charm, On the Rim of Love, romantic suspense, To Catch a Bad Guy, and a short story collection, A Dress in a Window. Marie is also the author of young adult fantasy adventure novel, Over the Mountain and Back.
Books by Marie Astor:
This Tangled Thing Called Love – a contemporary romance about overcoming one’s inhibitions, learning to tango, and finding one’s true love match.
Lucky Charm – a humorous contemporary romance about love, luck and friendship.
On the Rim of Love – a contemporary romance about the unexpected power of love.
A Dress in a Window – a collection of short stories about love, coincidences, and fate.
Over the Mountain and Back – young adult fantasy adventure novel about a boy who takes his snowboard for a ride and finds himself in a magical, hidden world he never knew existed.
Social Media Links:
Marie will be awarding custom designed semiprecious jewelry pieces to five randomly drawn commenters during the tour.
Prize 1: Citrine quartz and prehnite sterling silver necklace
Prize 2: Red agate sterling silver necklace
Prize 3: Onyx sterling silver bracelet
Prize 4: Smoky quartz sterling silver earrings
Prize 5: Blue quartz sterling silver earrings