Nothing ends a first date faster than finding a dead body.
Photographer and sassy Seattle-lite Roxy Summers swears off men after catching her ex-boyfriend, a.k.a. her ex-boss, in a compromising position. Newly single and facing eviction, Roxy puts all distractions (men!) aside as she begins her new job assisting an international fashion photographer and notorious playboy.
No one told Roxy her new job would entail dealing with her new boss’ fiery temper, his emotional girlfriend, his conniving ex-mistress, his partner who has a melt-the-polar-ice-caps blinding smile, have her stumbling over a body, become an amateur detective and find herself annoyingly attracted to Detective Charlie Bennett, who seems determined to put Roxy in handcuffs!
Excerpt from Capture Me:
Several police cars arrived and parked haphazardly. The area soon filled up from at least a dozen people from the Seattle Police Department. An ambulance was parked a few feet away from me, outside of the entrance to the studio.
Dylan was being questioned by a female police officer. He’d arrived at the studio shortly after I did. He was too far away for me to hear anything he was saying, but I watched him gesture to me, then the entrance, and then turned back to the officer.
All of the flashing lights, squawking from radios, and police officers scuttling about started to make my mind swirl. My vision blurred as the sounds all glommed together.
“I don’t feel so good,” I mumbled.
“We got a fainter!” called out one of the EMTs.
As I tipped forward, a pair of cargo pants and black military boots appeared in my field of vision. I fell against something warm and solid. A pair of warm, tanned arms slid around behind my back and my under my knees, carrying me towards the ambulance. I was placed in a sitting position on the back steps of the vehicle and felt the person gently press my face downward.
“Put your head between your legs. You’re in shock.” I felt soft fabric against my skin as he wrapped a blanket around me. “Inhale through your nose, hold briefly, and then exhale slowly through your mouth. Do this three times and count them off for me.”
I did as the voice told me. After a few minutes, I eased myself back up with the help of the stranger.
“Take your time, ma’am.”
Looking up, I blinked through the flashing lights from the police vehicles to connect the voice to the man. He stood about six feet, sporting a navy blue t-shirt that hugged a medium but muscular build. His face was also slightly tanned from too many days working out in the sun. As I took in his face, I noticed a small white scar on his upper lip, a five-o’clock shadow dusting his jaw line, and a slightly crooked nose, as if it had seen one too many bar fights. His dark blond hair was cut short, and his eyes were a hazel green that held my gaze.
“You have nice eyes” I said, giving him a watery smile.
Something reflected off his chest. I noticed a set a dog tags hanging from his neck. Suddenly a flash of Laurent with the scarf wrapped around his neck crossed my mind, and I started to feel woozy again.
He sighed and pushed me back down.
Once the second wave of nausea passed, I sat back up.
He inspected my face, probably checking if the color had come back. “Better?”
He pulled out a badge and held it up to me. “I’m Detective Bennett with SPD. Do you feel that you’re able to answer a few questions for me now, ma’am?”
“I guess so.”
He studied me, gave a brief nod, and pulled out a small notepad and pen. “Your full name, please.”
“Roxanne Summers. Roxy.”
“And how did you know the victim, Ms. Summers?”
“My boss, I mean Lauren-, well, he’s my boss. Er, I guess I mean, was. I’m a photographer. But not here. Here, I’m just an assistant for the studio. A gofer. You know, go for coffee, go pick up his dry cleaning, that sort of thing. Not that I wouldn’t want to have been an assistant photographer. I used to be one, but I kind of screwed up that opportunity, which is why I’m here. But this is a good job, too. Er, I mean, was a good job. I mean … Oh, no. Does this mean I don’t even have a job now? What about the proofs? I never ordered the proofs! I meant to send them in for pickup on Monday! Er … but, I guess we don’t need them now. Wait, Tessa still needs them. Can I go get the proofs? Oh, I’m talking too much, aren’t I?”
Detective Bennett just stared at me.
I blushed. At least I had some color in my cheeks.
He waited a few seconds and cleared his throat. “Do you have reason to believe Mr.-” he paused to check his notes, “-Hunt would want Mr. Garnier dead?”
The detective just waited.
“Of course not! Dylan and Laurent are, uh, were, I guess now, friends. The only reason we were here was to meet for our first date, and then go to dinner.”
“I don’t bother wearing heels without a good reason,” I deadpanned.
Detective Bennett’s neutral expression didn’t budge.
Huh. Tough crowd.