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The McKenna Curse Book 2
BY PATRICIA ROSEMOOR
Grace Broussard shut down her psychic visions and vowed never to trust a man again until she meets New Orleans P.I. Declan McKenna. Grace’s case is almost too hot to handle. She needs protection from more than simple blackmail. Every touch they share ignites a powerful passion. But every touch also reminds him of the McKenna curse, making Declan wonder if he can save the life of the woman he loves.
She was the most stunning creature he’d ever seen.
The raven-haired woman entered through a door that should have been locked. It was well after ten. Behind her, the street was muted with fog that curled over the pavement and up the streetlights. Declan McKenna stood frozen at the front desk of Vieux Carré Investigations and let the stapler he’d just picked up tumble from his fingers back to the desktop.
“I need you,” she said, her low, throaty voice sizzling down his spine.
“Then have me. I’m yours.”
A perfectly arched brow revealed her annoyance with his attempt at humor. “I need your services,” she amended. “Your professional services. You are a private investigator?”
“Forgive me. You took me by surprise.” He straightened. “Declan McKenna, one of the owners of Vieux Carré Investigations.” His cousin and partner, Liam, was out of town, the reason Declan had spent all night wrestling with paperwork. They didn’t have any other employees, not while they were working to get the business in the black, so they had to do everything from footwork to accounting.
“I’m Grace Broussard.”
Closing the outside door, she stepped forward.
What an eyeful she was in a sleek red dress, both sides slitted to reveal glimpses of long, long legs. Her raven hair dusted her shoulders. There was something familiar about her, but he couldn’t quite place where he’d seen her before. Mesmerized by the length of Grace’s spine as she moved into the office before him, Declan removed his jacket.
She was making him sweat.
Grace took a seat, and Declan rounded his desk, one of the many antiques adorning the office. Not Declan’s taste. Not Liam’s, either. They’d bought the business, lock, stock and furniture, from the previous owner. The decor was appropriate for a business situated in the French Quarter, so they hadn’t changed anything, not even the dark green paint on the walls.
Declan hung his jacket on the back of his chair and sat. “What can I do for you, Ms. Broussard?”
“Grace, please. I need you to find out who’s been following me.”
“What makes you think you’re being followed?”
Not that he disbelieved her. Most likely more than one man had followed her at some time or other.
“Let’s say my senses are sharp, in tune with my surroundings. I’ve been aware of someone following me several times in the past two weeks.”
“Did you see who?”
“No, but I’m not imagining it. I thought perhaps it was a fan. But then there are these.” She opened her purse and pulled out several folded sheets of cream-colored paper. “The first came in the mail at work.”
Unfolding one of the missives, she placed it on the desk and slid it toward him. He stared at the words printed in caps.
I’VE BEEN WATCHING YOU
She placed the second sheet on top of the first. There was a little hitch in her voice when she said, “The second message was delivered to me at a social gathering. A charity dinner. I found it under my plate.”
I SEE EVERYTHING YOU DO
“And now there’s this, pushed under my apartment door sometime during the night. Or maybe that’s what woke me up so early this morning.”
Her hand was shaking now as she smoothed out the final note. Declan stared at the four words printed neatly in the middle of the third missive.
I CAN EXPOSE YOU
“Do you know what the threat means?” he asked.
“It must have something to do with my work.”
“I represent a new line of designer clothing called Voodoo.”
Declan snapped to and felt a flush creep up his neck as he placed her—that ad in the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Her lying across a red satin-covered bed, back arched, arm lazily thrown over her head, the words under the photo: Voodoo… Put A Spell On Him Tonight….
He’d wanted the woman in that ad to put a spell on him!
Clearing his throat, he said, “Sounds like this could be a stalker. Have you been to the police?”
“No police,” she said. “Not unless absolutely necessary.”
“Tell me why.”
Grace took a big breath. “Bad publicity could be devastating to my mother’s career. She’s an assistant district attorney and slated to fill a judicial vacancy. And then there’s my brother, a city council member up for re-election. I wouldn’t be able to bear it if I somehow ruined the lives of the people I love.”
As a man who believed in family loyalty, Declan was impressed. Grace’s emotions were raw, right on the surface. A person didn’t have to be an empath to read her. But as a McKenna, he could do so more quickly and more deeply than the average person. All the members of his family had some native ability—his being able to read anyone’s emotions.
“So, I gather you’d like us to provide you with a bodyguard.”
“No!” Her depthless gray eyes widened. “I can’t have someone following me around every moment. I want you to figure out who this pervert is and help me find a way to dissuade him from doing anything I would regret.”
“To find him, I would have to dig into your life. You need to realize an investigation sometimes brings to light things people would rather see stay buried.”
“I have no skeletons in my closet,” she said firmly, but suddenly she couldn’t seem to meet his gaze.
“And your family?”
“Of course not!” she snapped.
Making him certain she was hiding something. Well, that made two of them. Not that either his McKenna gift or the McKenna curse had any bearing on the case. He’d abandoned the woman he’d fallen for before anything serious could happen between them. The last time he’d seen Lila Soto, one of the serious artists his sister Aislinn represented in her gallery, her spirit had been crushed, and her dark eyes had been deep pools of pain—pain that he’d caused even though he’d left his home in New Mexico to protect her.
Grace Broussard was exactly the kind of woman he used to go for. Grace was gorgeous and sexy, but she was no Lila. Not soft and shy and funny and generous. Not the type of woman to whom he would ever give his heart.
“So, you would be comfortable with whatever background information I learn about you or your family.”
“As long as you keep to a confidentiality agreement.”
Declan nodded. “Of course. All right, I’ll take the case. We charge eight hundred a day plus expenses.”
Declan had Grace fill out some paperwork and sign a waiver so that he had permission to dig where he saw fit. When she was done, a rush of something he couldn’t quite name shot through him as he held out his hand to shake on the deal.
A feeling of helplessness—as though she were rushing to some inexplicable destiny—came over Grace. A sound like white noise filled her head and she found herself staring into thick-lashed green eyes with deep lids at half-mast. Bedroom eyes.
Forcing herself to concentrate, she stretched out her hand. Declan’s long fingers wrapping around hers shot a rush of heat through her and sizzled along her nerves. Shocked, she felt the room narrow as an image quickly flipped through her mind.
Declan tears off his tie… catches her by the hips and runs his lips along her naked spine.…
Spine tingling from neck to hips, Grace smothered a gasp and tried to look natural as she freed her hand. It couldn’t be happening to her again, not after all these years. Good Lord, what had she just done?
Her imagination was playing tricks on her. She hadn’t really seen what she’d thought upon touching him. Not possible, because she didn’t have visions anymore.
Not even by accident!
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Patricia Rosemoor has had 100 novels with 8 publishers and more than 7 million books in print. Always fascinated with “dangerous love,” Patricia combines romance with crime in her stories. She has won a Golden Heart from Romance Writers of America and two Reviewers Choice and two Career Achievement Awards from Romantic Times BOOKreviews, and in her other life, she taught Popular Fiction and Suspense-Thriller Writing at Columbia College Chicago.
Links to Patricia’s website, blog, books, etc.
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