Jessica Brody Love Under Cover

ISBN 13: 9780312383640

Love Under Cover

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9780312383640: Love Under Cover
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Can a former fidelity inspector tear herself away from her old calling for the sake of the perfect guy, or is the temptation to conduct love under cover just too strong?

Jennifer Hunter never saw herself as the relationship type. After all, she'd spent the last two years of her life as an undercover fidelity inspector, hired to test men's faithfulness―not exactly the kind of job that lends itself to intimacy. But when Jamie Richards walked into her life, everything changed, and Jennifer vowed to trade in her undercover lifestyle for something more normal. That's why she formed the Hawthorne Agency: five full-time fidelity inspectors, hired to carry out Jennifer's mission while she manages the process from a safe (relationship-saving) distance. Jen's business is booming, and just when it seems like things can't possibly get any better, Jamie proposes. Despite her lifelong issues with trust and commitment, Jen says yes. But can a woman who's seen nothing but failed marriages ever come to terms with tying the knot herself? And when Jen receives a frantic phone call from one of her employees in trouble, she's forced to make a choice. A choice that lands her in an all-too familiar place―a strange hotel room, kissing another man. And she knows that nothing will be the same.

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About the Author:

Jessica Brody knew from a young age that she wanted to be a writer. She started "self-publishing" her own books when she was seven years old, binding the pages together with cardboard, wallpaper samples and electrical tape.

Brody graduated from Smith College in 2001 with a double major in Economics and French and a minor in Japanese. She went to work for MGM Studios as a Manager of Acquisitions and Business Development, and then, in 2005, she quit her job to follow her dream of becoming a published author.

Brody is the author of the novel The Fidelity Files and the young adult novels The Karma Club and My Life Undecided. Jessica's books are published in over ten foreign countries including the U.K., France, Germany, Czech Republic, Russia, Brazil, China, Portugal, and Taiwan. She now works full time as a writer and producer, and currently splits her time between Los Angeles and Colorado.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

1 bare witness The girl in the slinky black dress and matching stiletto heels was perched on the edge of a high-backed bar stool at the far end of the bar. She was trying hard to blend in with the rest of the Thursday night crowd. Unfortunately, God had given her certain features that made blending inherently diffi cult.
Of course, the dress didn’t help either.
She fidgeted anxiously with the metal strap of her black designer clutch with one hand while the other fingered the ends of her lusciously long blond hair, twirling them around the tips of her fi ngers as if she were skillfully performing some type of lesser-known crocheting technique. It was the nervous habit of a girl who had blossomed late in life, never being able to fully develop the confi dence of those who had always been beautiful.
Whether or not she was really that girl was irrelevant. She played the part flawlessly.
With a despondent sigh, she reached into her bag and pulled out a small silver cell phone. Her fingers wrapped tightly around the helpless device, suffocating it mercilessly as she mustered enough courage to glance at the screen. The thought that a tiny envelope-shaped icon was her last and only hope for salvation struck her as ridiculous and sad, but at this point, she was clearly beyond naïve expectations.
The screen was blank.
Just as it had been five minutes ago and five minutes before that. The tiny icon that had promised to save her from the conclusion she feared most was defi antly absent.
After one final hopeful glance around the hotel bar, the girl in the black dress tossed the cell phone on top of the bar and reluctantly resigned herself to the idea that whoever was supposed to occupy the bar stool next to her was not going to show. She sighed and took a sip of her Pinot Noir, which until this moment of defeat had remained untouched.
It was becoming clearer with each passing moment that tonight she would be drinking alone. But certainly not by choice.
The man who had been watching this entire spectacle from across the hotel bar suddenly felt a surging rush of confidence. The girl in the black dress had intrigued him immensely. Not only because she was so strikingly beautiful... and blond (he had always had a secret thing for blondes), but because she seemed so lost. So fragile and endearingly powerless. It had been such a long time since he’d encountered someone of such beauty displaying such vulnerability out in the open.
It was, in all honesty... refreshing.
He eyed the empty bar stool next to her. Marveling at how an inanimate object could suddenly appear so welcoming. So inviting.
It was practically begging him to take it.
R
Everyone in the room was waiting for me to speak.
It was the only reason I had been brought here in the fi rst place. A messenger of words. A linguistic savior.
It was a title I had become familiar with in recent months.
The air was hot and sticky. An unusually muggy day for New York in late October, and the air-conditioning had seemingly given up trying to keep up hours ago. But truth be told, I wasn’t sure if the tiny beads of sweat on my forehead were due to the humidity in the room or the burden of my purpose here.
It would have been easier if I were completely impartial. Prepared to accept the inevitable outcome regardless of which side it landed on. But I couldn’t do that. As much as I wanted to, I couldn’t not care.
The uniformed guard standing to my left finally spoke. “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?”
“I do,” I stated, keeping my gaze locked on a white marble statue situated in the back of the room. It was the only neutral thing here. Half of the people staring at me wanted nothing more than to see me fail. Watch me break apart and stumble for words. The other half were looking to me for salvation.
Neither was a comforting expectation.
But then again, it wasn’t their expectations I was worried about.
“You may be seated,” the bailiff informed me.
I sat down, trying to ignore the hard, splintery surface of the wooden chair beneath me.
There was a brief silence in the room, and I refused to make eye contact with anyone. Especially not him. The man in the light gray suit sitting diagonally to my left. The one with invisible laser beams shooting out of his eyeballs.
For the most part, I was used to it. It wasn’t the first time I’d found myself the direct target of a glare like that. Especially from someone occupying his seat.
The tall, redheaded woman in a knee-length pencil skirt and silk blouse stood up from the opposing table and made her way toward me. In her hand she held a yellow legal pad, which she referred to briefly before addressing me. “Can you please state for the record what it is you do?”
I nodded with practiced confidence and spoke in smooth, even tones, keeping my sentences brief, limited to no more than ten words. After doing this four or five times, brevity starts to become second nature. “I run an agency.”
“And what does this agency specialize in?” I cleared my throat. “We offer a service called a ‘fi delity inspection.’ ”
I heard a groan from the other side of the courtroom, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw the man in the gray suit roll his eyes. His lawyer quickly shot him a subtle yet warning glance.
“A fidelity inspection,” the female lawyer repeated. “Can you explain to the court what that is?”
I took a deep breath and spoke the same words that I repeated nearly every day. To anyone who entered my office in search of answers. “It’s an undercover test to determine whether or not the subject in question is capable of infi delity.”
“So,” the woman said, holding on to her legal pad with one hand and using the other to animate her words with large circular motions. “Basically you send out a decoy, or bait, in the form of a beautiful woman to see if a man will cheat on his wife?”
“Basically,” I replied.
She nodded, as if she were digesting this information for the fi rst time, even though I had already explained it to her numerous times over the past week. “I see,” she continued. “And can you tell me, was my client, Mrs. Langley”—she paused and pointed to the thin, harsh-looking woman sitting behind her—“one of your agency’s clients?”
I stole a quick glance in the direction of her fi nger. Mrs. Langley sat stony faced, her tightly pulled skin and high-arched eyebrows refusing to give up any emotion. She had the kind of unforgiving face that you expect to see on a headmistress at a strict boarding school, and I wondered if the plastic surgery had been intended that way. Maybe her job as the CEO of a Fortune 500 corporation demanded nothing less than severity. Maybe she had found that a cruel, harsher beauty went further in this male-dominated world than the softer variety.
Her dark, serious eyes focused back on me with only a fl eeting hint of expectation. She wasn’t the kind of woman who willingly relied on others. Or if she did, she wasn’t the kind of woman who wanted people to know that. A spitting image of the person who had entered my office with poise and confidence only a few short months ago.
“Yes,” I replied, opening a glossy crimson folder on my lap and checking the notes inside. “Joy Langley hired the agency to test her
husband, Todd Langley, on June twenty-fourth of this year.”
“Why?” the lawyer asked simply.
I looked down again. “According to my notes from our initial meeting, Mrs. Langley was concerned about her husband’s ability to cope with the success of her rising career and feared that his feelings of inadequacy would lead him to stray.”
Mr. Langley snorted his disapproval and mumbled something that sounded like “Conceited bitch,” but I wasn’t close enough to confi rm.
Mrs. Langley’s lawyer continued as if she had either failed to hear the underhanded comment or simply chosen to ignore it. “So you sent out one of your associates to either prove or disprove her suspicions?”
I continued to sit tall in my seat, trying to keep movement to a minimum. I knew that the opposing counsel would be studying my body language for any signs of uncertainty. Any reason whatsoever to poke holes in my testimony or question my credibility. And I refused to allow an innocent slouch to sway the outcome of this case.
“Yes,” I replied.
R
The girl in the black cocktail dress downed the last of her red wine with one smooth gulp. The man who had just casually slid into the empty seat beside her watched out of the corner of his eye as she brought her glass down against the top of the bar with a purposeful clank.
“Thirsty?” he asked as a rush of adrenaline coursed through his veins.
He had never been as smooth as he would have liked in these kinds of situations. The James Bond–esque superhero who had championed similar scenarios in his head was nowhere to be seen now. And the real-life version of himself was decidedly less impressive.
She turned her head toward the stranger and flashed a disheartened grin. “Yeah, I guess.”
“Can I get you another?”
Her head fell into a grateful nod. “Yes, please. It’s an Estancia Pinot.”
At the mention of these words, the man’s face brightened. “Estancia? That’s my favorite vineyard.”
The girl nodded her enthusiastic agreement, or as enthusiastic as her self-pity party would allow her to get. “It’s all I drink.”
“Two glasses of the Estancia,” he announced to the bartender, pleased that this conver...

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Book Description GRIFFIN, United States, 2009. Paperback. Condition: New. Original. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Can a former fidelity inspector tear herself away from her old calling for the sake of the perfect guy, or is the temptation to conduct love under cover just too strong? Jennifer Hunter never saw herself as the relationship type. After all, she d spent the last two years of her life as an undercover fidelity inspector, hired to test men s faithfulness--not exactly the kind of job that lends itself to intimacy. But when Jamie Richards walked into her life, everything changed, and Jennifer vowed to trade in her undercover lifestyle for something more normal. That s why she formed the Hawthorne Agency: five full-time fidelity inspectors, hired to carry out Jennifer s mission while she manages the process from a safe (relationship-saving) distance. Jen s business is booming, and just when it seems like things can t possibly get any better, Jamie proposes. Despite her lifelong issues with trust and commitment, Jen says yes. But can a woman who s seen nothing but failed marriages ever come to terms with tying the knot herself? And when Jen receives a frantic phone call from one of her employees in trouble, she s forced to make a choice. A choice that lands her in an all-too familiar place--a strange hotel room, kissing another man. And she knows that nothing will be the same. Seller Inventory # BZE9780312383640

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