The complications Will Dannaker brings are more than Leah needs in her life. Posing as a management intern, he is placed in her care. He isn't an intern; he's a fraud specialist working undercover at his father's company. When Will's charm fails to penetrate Leah's shields, he resorts to blackmail to make her go out with him.
As things grow serious between them, the embezzling spirals out of control. Six million dollars are missing--far more than Leah took--and all the evidence Will gathered points to Leah. Everything blows up when she is arrested, and Will is forced to fight his family to prove his love to Leah.
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From LASR: Click HERE to read the rest.
"We readers are engaged from the first, mainly by the depth of Leah’s character. Her concerns for sister Cecelia, even the old “Forever in Blue Jeans” song, all feel so right and so incredibly, believably human. Ms. Ryan reveals a wonderful gift for setting the stage, welcoming the reader in, and making us feel right to home.
From the first, there is a sense that this is a story we’ll read and then peruse again later. That quick identification with the heroine, her challenges and even – oddly – the setting, bring us in close to the story.
So Will’s introduction is both nice…and awful. Their relationship progresses, wonderfully and … horribly. We hope for a certain resolution, we feel like we can perhaps predict it: but with the skill of an illusionist, Ms. Ryan keeps our eye on the romance, while the crime and the mystery evolve.
The best of Crimes of the Heart is the driving, determined romance at its heart . This story features solid characters, unpredictable action, a real, believable mystery, and that subtle something more.
Extraordinary lives take place against a backdrop of ordinary. Ms. Ryan’s writing style is straightforward, with just-enough description, action, and thought. This is a comfortable read with surprises -- rather like finding a well-liked familiar dish, with some pleasantly new spices. "
From Blackraven's Reviews : Click HERE to read the rest.
"Crimes of the Heart by Debora Ryan definitely hits every mark of making it a great book, from romance, passion, deceit and suspense. Loved it."
He caught her in her office, finishing her notes for the Monday meeting. He entered quietly and closed the door behind him.
“Leah,” he said.
She wished the way he said her name didn’t affect her the way it did. Without looking up, she responded in kind. “Will.”
“I know you have plans tomorrow with your sister.” She closed her eyes and braced for the invitation. “And I checked with Anne. You don’t have plans tonight or on Sunday.”
She sighed and scratched at her forehead, irritated at him but taking it out on her skin. “We’ve been over this, Will. It’s getting old.”
“This is the last time I’m asking.” His voice held a note of finality. She believed him. He approached her desk and wrote something across the top of the page on which she was making notes. “This is my cell number. It’s on all the time. If you change your mind, let me know. The ball is in your court.”
She stared at the numbers. For once, she didn’t want to be rude and she didn’t want to be mean. Sarcasm was a way to keep men who wanted something more from her at a distance. It worked beautifully, but it was a habit that wasn’t easily shed. Gently, she said, “Don’t hold your breath.” It didn’t come out sounding nearly as resolved as she wished.
“I won’t,” he assured her. “But I am an optimist. I know our futures are linked. It’s only a matter of time.”
Linked. That sounded entirely too enticing. Leah’s defenses rose to high alert, but she couldn’t manage to not sound defeated. “Did you ever stop to think that’s because one day you would be running this company and I’ll probably still be working here?”
He shook his head. “Are you always such a pessimist?”
Her voice remained gentle. “We aren’t right for each other. We come from two completely different worlds.”
“You don’t strike me as the kind of woman who lets artificial things like that stop her.” He paused with his hand on the door. “Don’t let something like this pass you by because you’re too afraid of getting hurt. Live a little, Leah.” Then he was gone.
Leah sat back and rocked in her chair for a while, pondering the sense of loss she felt. True to her word, though, she didn’t call him. She thought about it. The type of challenge he had thrown her kept her up at night. Threads of unspoken conversation played themselves out inside her head over and over. She wondered if he was looking at his phone, willing it to ring or swearing at it for not ringing. Still, she managed to survive the entire weekend without giving in to the urge to call him.
He made no allusion to their conversation for the entirety of the next week. Another weekend passed, and still she did not call him. She knew the invitation remained open. It was in the looks he gave her when he thought she wasn’t aware of him. It was in the way he said her name and in the gentle pressure of his hand on her back when he guided her through a door he opened for her or the million excuses he found to touch her.
Over the course of the week, she began to encourage him to take the lead in the informal meetings she held with the members of her department. By the end of the week, she was impressed by how much he knew about the ins and outs of each project. She called him into her office at the end of the day on Friday to let him know she wanted him to run the Monday meeting.
He seemed surprised. “Why?”
“I think you should know what it’s like to be in that position at least once. I plan to move you to a team next week so you can actually work on a project.”
He considered this for a minute. “It doesn’t bother you to hand over power like that?”
She laughed. “Not at all. It will be a nice change to watch instead of direct.”
“I assume you’ll be critiquing me.”
“You assume correctly.”
“I wonder if my ego can handle it.”
“Your ego will survive. I think it’s pretty sturdy.”
He thought about that for a minute, but he didn’t mention the way she trampled all over him. “Which team?”
She shrugged. “I haven’t decided yet. I’ll have to see where they are Monday. Ideally, you’ll join one at the inception stage of a project.”
He nodded. As was usual lately, his mind seemed to be elsewhere.
“Are you ready for it?”
“How much preparation do you need to do to listen to a status report?” he asked. “I mean, you keep track of everyone without really letting them know you’re checking up on them. It’s pretty ingenious, yet simple.”
“You have to know the new assignments.”
“What new assignments? None of your people court new accounts.”
“That’s my job.” She indulged in a rare moment of pride.
“I haven’t seen you court new accounts.” The look he gave her made her think he felt like he should know every move she made. The thought made her shiver with guilt she immediately repressed.
“Then you haven’t been watching closely.” She laughed. She picked up three file folders and tossed them onto the desk in front of him. “One new account and three new projects.”
Will thumbed through them, brows raised. “Most people are vocal about the accounts they land,” he said. “You haven’t said a word.”
“This way no one can keep track of my win-loss record.” She was in an exceptionally good mood, and she had no idea why. Yes, she did. Training Will meant she wouldn’t have to embezzle money for a whole year.