Breath of Scandal by Sandra Brown
Published by: Grand Central
Publication date: February 26th 2013
Genres: Adult, Suspense, Thriller
On a rainy Southern night, Jade Sperry endured a young woman’s worst nightmare at the hands of three local hell-raisers. Robbed of her youthful ideals and at the center of scandal and tragedy, Jade ran as far and as fast as she could. But she never forgot the sleepy “company town” where every man, woman, and child was dependent on one wealthy family. And she never forgot their spoiled son, who with his two friends changed her life forever. Someday, somehow, she’d return . . . exacting a just revenge, freeing herself from her enemies’ grasp, and, perhaps, fulfilling a lost promise of love.
Jade Sperry alighted from a shiny new pickup truck with the TexTile logo stenciled on the door.
“Does he bite?” she asked, nodding toward the dog.
“I don’t know. He’s not mine.”
“I don’t think he knows that. He’s already guarding you.”
Bending at the waist, she beckoned the dog forward by making kissing noises with her mouth. “Come here, pooch.” The dog stopped barking, whimpered a few times, then crept down the steps toward her. She let him smell her hand. He licked it. She scratched him behind the ears.
”Some watchdog,” Dillon remarked drolly.
Straightening up, Jade tossed him a set of keys to the truck. “I hope you like it.” He snatched the keys out of the air with one fist. “It’s yours to drive for as long as you’re on the job.”
”I’ve already got a truck.”
She glanced at his battered pickup. “That’s for personal use. Anytime you’re representing TexTile, use the company truck, please.”
“Yes, ma’am. Anything else?”
She climbed the steps to the trailer. The dog trailed behind her, wagging his tail. She took a gasoline credit card from purse and handed it to Dillon. “Use this too.”
“The bills will be sent directly to me.”
“They sure as hell better be.”
He was being rude and obnoxious, but it bothered him to take gifts from a woman. It reminded him of being tutored Mrs. Chandler on how to make love. Do this, do that. Not so hard. Harder. Slower. Faster. Dillon had been a quick learner and, before long, bad mastered his own technique. He liked it much better when he had the upper hand.
It was an untimely and unpopular attitude, he knew, but he couldn’t help it. He was perversely glad that he was on the step above Jade and she had to tilt her head back in to speak to him face to face. She might be the boss and have the means to buy new trucks, but she wasn’t going to bash his masculinity .
“You’ll have to drive me home.”
“I’d like to see the office you’ve set up first.” He didn’t budge. She smiled up at him with feigned sweetness. “If this is a convenient time, Mr. Burke.”
He locked eyes with her, sensing that there was an undeclared war of wills going on. Eventually, he stepped aside and waved her into the trailer. To keep the dog from coming inside, he closed the door, then wished he hadn’t. The trailer was too small for two people—at least it seemed that way now that he was alone in it with Jade. He had never seen her dressed in anything except suitable office attire. She had changed since the town meeting and was now wearing a pair of jeans and a white pullover. If he hadn’t known better, he would never have guessed she had carried a child for nine months. Her thighs and ass were firm and slender. Her belly was flat. Her breasts . . .
He cleared his throat. “The phone lines will be installed tomorrow.”
”Good,” she said, turning away from her inspection of the desk he had installed. The living area of the trailer had been converted into a compact office. The only items not used for business were a radio and a small portable TV. “This doesn’t leave you much room to live in.”
“I don’t need much room.”
”Are you sure you won’t reconsider my hiring a secretary for you?”
He shook his head. “If I decide later on that I need one, I’ll let you know.” Her eyes roved beyond him, toward the kitchen and bedroom.
“Did you want to check out my bed, too?”
Sandra Brown is the author of more than sixty New York Times bestsellers, including DEADLINE(2013), LOW PRESSURE (2012), LETHAL (2011), TOUGH CUSTOMER (2010), SMASH CUT (2009), SMOKE SCREEN (2008), PLAY DIRTY (2007), RICOCHET (2006), CHILL FACTOR (2005), WHITE HOT (2004), & HELLO, DARKNESS (2003).
Brown began her writing career in 1981 and since then has published over seventy novels, bringing the number of copies of her books in print worldwide to upwards of eighty million. Her work has been translated into over thirty languages.
A lifelong Texan, Sandra Brown was born in Waco, grew up in Fort Worth and attended Texas Christian University, majoring in English. Before embarking on her writing career, she worked as a model at the Dallas Apparel Mart, and in television, including weathercasting for WFAA-TV in Dallas, and feature reporting on the nationally syndicated program “PM Magazine.”
In 2009 Brown detoured from her thrillers to write, Rainwater, a much acclaimed, powerfully moving story about honor and sacrifice during the Great Depression.
Brown recently was given an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Texas Christian University. She was named Thriller Master for 2008, the top award given by the International Thriller Writer’s Association. Other awards and commendations include the 2007 Texas Medal of Arts Award for Literature and the Romance Writers of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
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