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Bella sighed, crossing her ankles as the breeze rushed up to meet her. “The wind feels good.”
“It does. The sun’s hot.”
“Mmm. These are the days you burn and don’t even realize it until it’s too late.” She looked at Reed. “You’re wearing sunblock?”
She frowned, sitting up straight. “Why aren’t you wearing sunblock?”
He shrugged. “I forgot to put some on.”
“You’re risking sun damage and skin cancer.” She unzipped the backpack and reached in her purse for the small tube of sunscreen she always kept handy.
He grinned. “You carry that stuff with you?”
“Of course. Do you know how many cases of melanoma Dr. Huberty and I see every month? I just referred someone over to her on Thursday.” She took his hand, squirting a small glob in his palm. “Lather up, buddy. You’re not getting cancerous growths on my watch.”
He chuckled. “Is this part of the Reed McKinley Project?”
“You bet. Your face is way too pretty to be getting sliced and diced.”
“Pretty?” He frowned this time as he rubbed the lotion on his arms and the majority of his face. “I’m not pretty.”
She rolled her eyes. “Handsome, then. You missed a few spots.” She faced him and leaned in, spreading out the streaks along his nose, then went to work on his forehead.
He closed his eyes beneath his tinted shades and let loose a breath. “Feels good.”
“Touch is very therapeutic.”
He grunted his response.
“This is an all-natural product fortified with green tea and antioxidants. It’s great for your skin.”
“I’ll take your word for it.”
She dabbed a pea-sized drop on her index fingers and traced his ears.
He opened his eyes, meeting hers through amber lenses.
She swallowed, finding the power of his stare both mesmerizing and unsettling. “Most people forget their ears—men especially, which is unfortunate. I had a client lose an entire portion of his helix.”
“I’m not up on my anatomy.”
“This part here.” She outlined the upper area of his cartilage as her gaze wandered to his mouth. “Uh, are you finished with your lunch? Because you should protect your lips as well.”
He snagged a fry from the paper plate, bit in, and held the other half up to her mouth.
She smiled and took it. “These are so good. I wonder what seasoning they use?”
“We could ask.”
She shook her head, applying a light coat of product to his lips as their eyes locked again, then finished by protecting her own. “I can’t see myself making french fries anytime soon.”
“They’re the food of champions.”
“Grease is horrible for the complexion.”
“I’ve never seen skin as flawless as yours.” He skimmed his knuckles along her cheek. “It’s like porcelain.”
Butterflies danced in her stomach, even though she was certain Reed wasn’t trying to put the moves on her.
“How do you keep it so soft?” he asked.
“Product and treatments.” She inched away. “And I try to eat well and drink a ton of water. My face is my advertisement to the world.”
“You can’t be hurting for business, then.”
by Cate Beauman
GENRE: Romantic Suspense
Isabella Colby has always yearned for normalcy. Now that she’s settled in LA, she finally has it. Good friends, a pretty home, and her thriving career as the Palisades’ top skincare specialist are a dream come true. Bella is content until she meets her hunky new neighbor, but her attraction to the blue-eyed cutie is the least of her worries when contacting her long-lost father threatens to destroy her happy life.
Reed McKinley is more than ready to forget the past. His seven-year stint as an NYPD detective nearly got him killed. His wounds have healed and he’s starting over as Ethan Cooke Security’s latest recruit. With sixty-hour workweeks and little time to himself, the last thing on his mind is a relationship. Then he bumps into the gorgeous woman next door.
Reed and Bella become fast friends. Before long, Reed discovers that Bella is keeping dangerous secrets. Bella may have the answers to decades-old questions he’s been searching for. Reed will risk it all to uncover the truth, but he soon realizes that the deeper he digs, the direr the consequences.
*NOTE: While reading the series in order is recommended, it is not necessary. Each story is a stand alone title featuring new primary characters with limited overlapping secondary characters.*
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International bestselling author Cate Beauman is known for her full-length, action-packed romantic suspense series, The Bodyguards of L.A. County. Her novels have been nominated for the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, National Indie Excellence Award, Golden Quill Award, Writers Touch Award, and have been named Readers Favorite Five Star books. In 2015, JUSTICE FOR ABBY was selected as the Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Gold Medalist, while SAVING SOPHIE took the Silver Medal. SAVING SOPHIE was also selected as the 2015 Readers Crown Award winner for Romantic Suspense and FALLING FOR SARAH received the silver medal for the 2014 Readers’ Favorite Awards.
Cate makes her home in North Carolina with her husband, two boys, and their St. Bernards, Bear and Jack. Currently Cate is working on Deceiving Bella, the eleventh novel in her popular Bodyguards series.
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