Layers Deep

Book 1 in the Layers Trilogy

He needs to save a friend.
She wants to plan her revenge.
Their pasts scar them layers deep, their passion distracts them, and distractions can be fatal.

Tristan Cross lives in a world where trust is earned, loyalties are tested, and finding time for love is impossible. That is, until he meets Allie Green, the beautiful rookie cop who holds the key to finding his kidnapped friend. All he has to do, is convince her to work for him.

Allie Green seeks revenge and she’ll do anything to get it. With her new job and resources, the time for payback is closing in. Except working for Tristan Cross comes with its own price. As vengeance boils her blood she can’t keep her mind off her hot new boss, and her employment, professional.

With the mouth watering private investigator distracting her, Allie struggles to prioritize an undercover job she’s been assigned, her hunger for revenge and the scorching hot romance. As the partners in crime hold their secrets close to their hearts, they’re forced to acknowledge that the same secrets have gained the power to tear them apart.

Can Tristan and Allie find a balance between work and life and recognize they’re stronger together, or will the scars they hold be too deep and too dangerous to heal?

Join the hot new co-workers on a suspenseful journey as they fight to close old chapters in their lives and make plans for new ones.

Warning: Intended for adult audience only.

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Books in the Layers Trilogy

Layers Deep sneak peek:

The moment he walked into the room, my knees softened and I knew I was in trouble. But I didn’t know he’d flip my life upside down.

“How the fuck are we supposed to concentrate now?” Laura stared at the entrance to the auditorium with her mouth open. No, her mother had never washed her mouth out with soap. Neither had mine, but I reserved my colorful language for my job. In our line of work, our tough mouths sometimes turned out to be the best weapons. We weren’t hookers, if that’s where your mind is going, but little did I know that I would soon give up my job as a cop and walk the street like a veteran prostitute.

My gaze followed my best friend’s. The GQ cover-worthy stud had strolled in wearing a tailor-made suit. His calculated steps lengthened with confidence. He stopped by the sergeant’s desk, pulled his hands behind his back, and spread his legs ever so slightly apart, facing the fully seated lecture hall. For a moment, as he shifted his feet, the inseam of his pants touched a curve under his zipper. I squeezed my knees together as he readjusted to hide the piece underneath.

Warmth swooshed through my tummy.

“This is Mr. Cross from Cross Enterprises,” Sergeant Dwayne, our instructor in charge of explaining the new HR procedures, announced with a hint of well-camouflaged nerves in his voice. It was a rare sight to see him tense up like that.

I joined the rest of the squad in a long stare at the life-sized Ken doll as Cross slowly began scanning the seats starting at the front row.

“If you live in New York, it’s unlikely you haven’t heard of him. The application on your desk is for a vacant position at his company. This is an opportunity to put your skills to the test, people,” said Dwayne, a bit more relaxed as Cross’s attention flowed from one officer to another, in a perfect straight line of the first row.

Papers ruffled and everyone’s heads lowered to the questions.

Of course I had heard of Cross Enterprises, the top notch investigations and security firm, but I’d always pictured the owner as a man in his sixties with gray hair, or at least wearing a toupée. Mr. Cross had always kept out of the spotlight. Few people knew what he looked like and to my surprise, he sported near a physically impossible to attain physique. I wondered which gym he worked out at, but he probably had a personal trainer who catered to every beautiful muscle on his body which tried to squeeze from underneath the fit suit.

Cross’s keen gaze found the second row, and I inhaled sharply. Most attendees had already begun filling out the application, but something about him held me still. My breath locked in my lungs, and then released at the same time he exhaled. His motions were steady. A slight twitch pulsed on the side of his neck. The suit couldn’t be the attire of his choice. As comfortable as he wanted to appear, he wasn’t. Here, all dressed up, Cross stood out like a drop of black oil in white milk.

He prefers to blend in, I thought.

Unexpected heat flowed up my body as I pictured him in shorts, perhaps jeans, and a T-shirt, and I felt my mouth curve up. I began undressing him in my mind, only to change his clothes, of course: that seemed more civil than stripping him naked for my eyes to feast on. Cross’s cheeks held a natural tan, and though summer had passed a few weeks ago, the fresh layer of sun-kissed glow suited him. The hint of highlights in his hair accentuated the bronzed skin. For a moment I’d thought I’d seen him before. Or perhaps it was someone who resembled him? I’d definitely remember this man.

God, he is hot!

Cross glanced over the last officer in the row and began the controlled routine one level higher, now scanning from left to right. My stomach tightened and my palms began to sweat. I joined his unbroken stare over each person, waiting until he reached another row. Who was he searching for?

“Aren’t you going to apply?” Laura, my roommate and best friend, elbowed my ribcage. “I doubt there’s a woman here who wouldn’t like to work under him.”

It astounded me the rest of our female force held their heads down, instead of gawking like me, but they were a dedicated bunch. Not that I wasn’t. I should have been filling out the application too, but my eyes held all the power over my body now, and so did Cross.

As much as a job at Cross Enterprises could help me leave my past behind, I hesitated. Could I really work for Cross when the strength to control my own eyes vanished the minute he walked into the room? This wasn’t part of my life plan. I hadn’t expected to be taken aback by him, and I couldn’t allow any distractions. Plus, Cross didn’t strike me as the pen and paper type. The owner of a top private investigations firm in the country who never hired anyone in such public manner had to have people do that for him, didn’t he? Why was he here?

“I don’t know,” I whispered, and Laura resumed her fast scribbling.

Who in their right mind could shift their attention from one of the most powerful men in our state—perhaps even the country? And to top it off, Cross was so easy on the eyes.

I wondered whether he was looking for a female employee. My gut bubbled in agreement, unless it was the sushi I had for lunch. Either way, my gut was usually right, and I always followed my instincts that chose to guide me by bloating my stomach. But his dark eyes gave nothing away. Three quarters of our lecture hall were males, all drooling at the opportunity to work with Cross. If I had to bet, they were more interested in the perks that came along with the job. Rumors of world travel and dining at the most exclusive restaurants with floods of beautiful women escorting the Cross brothers were daily gossip around town. They were part of the few who could shut down a street without disclosing the details. I wished I’d paid more attention to the rumors. Perhaps a quick glance at the tabloids would have prepared me better.

Still, instead of writing, I stared.

One more row and he’d reach me. My pen slipped in my palm as I tightened my grip. His steady breaths rose his chest and I began to lose control of my pulse. What was it about him that captivated me? Even if he was the answer to my problems, something struck a nerve deep inside me. Familiar scars from the past painted his face the same way they had marked my heart.

His gaze moved to my row. One after another, he scanned the top of each head.

Three, two, one, I counted down as his hazel eyes came to rest on mine.

And he paused.

Not for long.

But he broke his momentum and held my gaze. I cocked my head to the right, wondering what he was thinking. Why stop on me?

What position are you hiring for? But when he looked at me, the important questions I sought drifted away. The man had a way of seeping deep into my soul and covering each wound with a permanent band-aid. As if he knew I needed his help.

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