For San Diego’s elite FBI agents, risking their lives is standard procedure when it comes to capturing the city’s most dangerous criminals-but falling in love is the greatest risk of all.
Catching bad guys in San Diego’s underworld isn’t just FBI Special Agent Ben Alfren’s job, it’s his life. He doesn’t have time for a serious relationship, doesn’t want one either. So when he meets his sexy new neighbor, Amber Jollett, he has nothing more in mind than unwinding with a glass of wine, a romantic walk on the beach…and maybe a hot fling.
But Amber is more than he bargained for. Her job as a nurse has brought her face-to-face with women caught in a human trafficking ring, women she’s determined to help. As Ben and Amber plot to rescue the women, the attraction between them flares into passion. But they’ll learn that in this dangerous game of cat and mouse, real love can save – or doom – them . . .
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“What’s wrong, babe?”
The concern on his face emboldened her. “I’m not exactly sure. Well, one thing really has me worried, and the other is just something sort of odd about the surrogate mothers.”
He picked up his fork again and took a bite. “Let’s work on the ‘worried’ one first.”
She drew a deep breath. “I met one of their reproductive endocrinologists.”
“English translation, please.”
“A doctor. In this case, a specialist in in vitro fertilization—IVF, for short.”
“He was introduced as Dr. Ortega, but I met him about a year ago as Dr. Raul Garcia.”
Ben sipped his wine. “You’re sure it’s the same guy?”
“Positive. He’s hard to forget because he’s drop-dead gorgeous.”
He arched his eyebrows. “Should I be jealous?”
“No. You’re drop-dead gorgeous-er.”
He snorted. “Go on about Dr. Gorgeous.”
“I met Raul… er… Dr. Garcia at a fertility conference in Houston. He was a well-respected doctor at a local clinic and part of the conference-organizing committee along with Laura Eldridge, my current boss.”
“So Dr. Garcia’s a big shot.”
“Yeah. He… uh…” She blinked and looked away. “I helped with some of the panels so we… saw each other quite a bit.”
“When did he hit on you?”
Her gaze snapped back. She wanted to be irritated, but the flush warming her cheeks was from embarrassment, not anger. “The first night.”
Ben’s eyes narrowed. “Did something… bad happen?”
“No, no, no.” She exhaled. “He was a nice enough guy, just annoyingly persistent.”
“Did you report him for sexual harassment?”
“Oh God, no. You’re getting the wrong idea. Why are you…?” Her mouth gaped. He was genuinely jealous. Oh my God. Jealousy could be such a negative emotion, but right now, it was really sexy. Focus, focus.
“What happened?” he prompted.
“Nothing happened. It’s just that we spent enough time together that I know absolutely, positively, this Dr. Ortega is that Dr. Garcia.”
“Okay, so stipulated. Go on.” Ben closed his eyes as he savored another bite of spaghetti.
“It’s what happened after the conference that has me freaking out. I read he was arrested for writing illegal prescriptions.”
Ben’s fork stopped halfway to his mouth. “Why isn’t he in jail?”
“After I got home today, I made a quick call to a former colleague in Texas who also attended the Houston conference. She said Dr. Garcia disappeared after he got out on bail. He’s still a… fugitive.”
“You got a picture of this guy?”
She pulled the Dream Makers sheet about the doctors from her pants pocket and handed it to Ben. He shook his head while he stared at the picture of Dr. Ortega/Garcia.
“Holy shit,” he muttered.
“What? You know about him?”
“No. But I know a helluva lot about someone he looks like. You’re sure this guy really is a doctor?”
“Well, I never looked up his license or diplomas, but wouldn’t someone have done that in the investigation prior to his arrest?”
She stood up and came around to stand behind him and look down at the photo. “Are you going to tell me who he looks like, or is it a big, bad FBI secret?”
“I need to square it with my boss first.” He craned his neck to peer up at her. “Are you going back to that clinic again?”
She placed her hands on his shoulders and massaged gently. “I thought you’d never ask.” She smiled sweetly. “I need a favor.”
“Good. So do I. You first.”
“Okay. Will you be my husband?”