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She was one of the most sought after women in the world. A top model who would stop at nothing to get what she wanted - even another woman's man. And now she was dead, the victim of a brutal murder. Police lieutenant Eve Dallas put her professional life on the line to take the case when suspicion fell on her best friend, the other woman in the fatal love triangle. Beneath the façade of glamour, Eve found that the world of high fashion thrived on an all-consuming obsession for youth and fame. One that led from the runway to the dark underworld of New York City where drugs could be found to fulfill any desire - for a price . . .
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Nora Roberts is the number-one New York Times-bestselling author of more than 150 novels, including High Noon, Angels Fall, Blue Smoke, and Northern Lights. She is also the author of the bestselling futuristic suspense series written under the pen name J. D. Robb. There are more than 280 million copies of her books in print.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
Table of Contents
IMMORTAL IN DEATH
She was one of the most sought after women in the world. A top model who would stop at nothing to get what she wanted—even another woman’s man. And now she was dead, the victim of a brutal murder. Lieutenant Eve Dallas put her life on the line to take the case when suspicion fell on her best friend, the other woman in the fatal love triangle. Beneath the façade of glamour, Eve found that the world of high fashion thrived on an all-consuming obsession for youth and fame. One that led from the runway to the dark underworld of New York City where drugs could be found to fulfill any desire—for a price . . .
“This series gets better with each book.”
Titles written as J. D. Robb
NAKED IN DEATH
GLORY IN DEATH
IMMORTAL IN DEATH
RAPTURE IN DEATH
CEREMONY IN DEATH
VENGEANCE IN DEATH
HOLIDAY IN DEATH
CONSPIRACY IN DEATH
LOYALTY IN DEATH
WITNESS IN DEATH
JUDGMENT IN DEATH
BETRAYAL IN DEATH
SEDUCTION IN DEATH
REUNION IN DEATH
PURITY IN DEATH
PORTRAIT IN DEATH
IMITATION IN DEATH
DIVIDED IN DEATH
VISIONS IN DEATH
SURVIVOR IN DEATH
ORIGIN IN DEATH
MEMORY IN DEATH
BORN IN DEATH
INNOCENT IN DEATH
Born In Trilogy
BORN IN FIRE
BORN IN ICE
BORN IN SHAME
DARING TO DREAM
HOLDING THE DREAM
FINDING THE DREAM
Chesapeake Bay Saga
Gallaghers of Ardmore Trilogy
JEWELS OF THE SUN
TEARS OF THE MOON
HEART OF THE SEA
Three Sisters Island Trilogy
DANCE UPON THE AIR
HEAVEN AND EARTH
FACE THE FIRE
KEY OF LIGHT
KEY OF KNOWLEDGE
KEY OF VALOR
In the Garden Trilogy
DANCE OF THE GODS
VALLEY OF SILENCE
Sign of Seven Trilogy
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IMMORTAL IN DEATH
A Berkley Book / published by arrangement with the author
Berkley edition / July 1996
Excerpt for Rapture in Death by J. D. Robb copyright © 1996 by Nora Roberts.
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The fatal gift of beauty
Getting married was murder. Eve wasn’t sure how it had happened in the first place. She was a cop, for God’s sake. Throughout her ten years on the force, she’d firmly believed cops should stay single, unencumbered, and focused utterly on the job. It was insane to believe one person could split time, energy, and emotion between law, with all its rights and wrongs, and family, with all its demands and personalities.
Both careers—and from what she’d observed, marriage was a job—had impossible demands and hellish hours. It might have been 2058, an enlightened time of technological advancement, but marriage was still marriage. To Eve it translated to terror.
Yet here she was on a fine day in high summer—one of her rare and precious days off—preparing to go shopping. She couldn’t stop the shudder.
Not just shopping, she reminded herself as her stomach clutched, shopping for a wedding dress.
Obviously she’d lost her mind.
It was Roarke’s doing, of course. He’d caught her at a weak moment. Both of them bleeding and bruised and lucky to be alive. When a man is clever enough and knows his quarry well enough to choose such a time and place to propose marriage, well, a woman was a goner.
At least a woman like Eve Dallas.
“You look like you’re about to take on a gang of chemi-thugs bare-handed.”
Eve tugged on a shoe, flicked her gaze up and over. He was entirely too attractive, she thought. Criminally so. The strong face, poet’s mouth, killer blue eyes. The wizard’s mane of thick black hair. If you managed to get past the face to the body, it was equally impressive. Then you added that faint wisp of Ireland in the voice, and, well, you had one hell of a package.
“What I’m about to take on is worse than any chemi-head.” Hearing the whine in her own voice, Eve scowled. She never whined. But the truth was, she’d have preferred fighting hand to hand with a souped-up addict than discussing hemlines.
Hemlines, for sweet Christ’s sake.
She bit back an oath, watching him narrowly as he crossed the spacious bedroom. He had a way of making her feel foolish at odd times. Like now as he sat beside her on the high, wide bed they shared.
He caught her chin in his hand. “I’m hopelessly in love with you.”
There he was. This man with the sinfully blue eyes, the strong, gorgeous, somehow Raphaelite looks of a doomed angel, loved her.
“Roarke.” She struggled to hold back a sigh. She could and had faced an armed laser in the hands of a mad mutant mercenary with less fear than she faced such unswerving emotion. “I’m going through with it. I said I would.”
His brow quirked, dark and wry. He wondered how she remained so unaware of her own appeal as she sat there, fretting, her poorly cut fawn-colored hair standing up in tufts and spikes, aroused by her restless hands, thin lines of annoyance and doubt running between her big, whiskey-colored eyes.
“Darling Eve.” He kissed her, lightly, once on the frowning lips, then again in the gentle dip in her chin. “I never doubted it.” Though he had, constantly. “I’ve several things I have to see to today. You were late last night. I never had a chance to ask if you had plans.”
“The stakeout on the Bines case went to after oh three hundred.”
“Did you get him?”
“Walked right into my arms—blissed on dreamers and a marathon VR session.” She smiled, but it was the hunter’s smile, dark and feral. “Murdering little bastard came along like my personal droid.”
“Well, then.” He patted her shoulder before rising. He stepped down from the platform into the dressing area where he pondered a selection of jackets. “And today? Reports to file?”
“I’m off today.”
“Oh?” Distracted, he turned back, a gorgeous silk jacket in deep charcoal in his hand. “I can reschedule some of my afternoon, if you like.”
Which would be, Eve mused, a bit like a general rescheduling battles. In Roarke’s world, business was a complicated and profitable war. “I’m already booked.” The scowl snuck back on her before she could stop it. “Shopping,” she muttered. “Wedding dress.”
Now he smiled, quickly, easily. From her, such plans were a declaration of love. “No wonder you’re so cranky. I told you I’d see to it.”
“I’ll pick out my own wedding dress. And I’ll buy it myself. I’m not marrying you for your damn money.”
Smooth and elegant as the jacket he slipped on, he continued to smile. “Why are you marrying me, Lieutenant?” Her scowl deepened, but he was, above all, a patient man. “Want a multiple choice?”
“Because you never take no for an answer.” She stood, shoving her hands into the front pockets of her jeans.
“You only get a half point for that. Try again.”
“Because I’ve lost my mind.”
“That won’t win you the trip for two to Tropic World on Star 50.”
A reluctant smile tugged at her lips. “Maybe I love you.”
“Maybe you do.” Content with that, he crossed back to her and laid his hands on her strong shoulders. “How bad can it be? You can pop a few shopping programs into the computer, look at dozens of suitable dresses, order in what appeals to you.”
“That was my idea.” She rolled her eyes. “Mavis ditched it.”
“Mavis.” He paled a bit. “Eve, tell me you’re not going shopping with Mavis.”
His reaction brightened her mood a little. “She has this friend. He’s a designer.”
“She says he’s mag. Just needs a break to make a name for himself. He has a little workshop in Soho.”
“Let’s elope. Now. You look fine.”
Her grin flashed. “Scared?”
“Good. Now we’re even.” Delighted to be on level footing, she leaned in and kissed him. “Now you can worry about what I’ll be wearing on the big day for the next few weeks. Gotta go.” She patted his cheek. “I’m meeting her in twenty minutes.”
“Eve.” Roarke grabbed for her hand. “You wouldn’t do something ridiculous?”
She tugged her way free. “I’m getting married, aren’t I? What could be more ridiculous?”
She hoped he stewed over it all day. The idea of marriage was daunting enough, but a wedding—clothes, flowers, music, people. It was horrifying.
She zipped downtown on Lex, braking hard and muttering curses at a sidewalk vendor who encroached on the lane with his smoking glide cart. The traffic violation was bad enough, but the scent of overcooked soydogs hit her nervous stomach like lead.
The Rapid cab behind her broke the intercity noise pollution code by blasting his horn and shouting curses through his speaker. A group, obviously tourists, loaded down with palm cams, compumaps, and binoks gaped stupidly at the whizzing traffic. Eve shook her head as a quick-fingered street thief elbowed through them.
When they got back to their hotel, they were going to find themselves several credits poorer. If she’d had the time and a place to pull over, she might have given the thief a chase. But he was lost in the crowd and a block across town on his air skates before she could blink.
That was New York, she thought with a faint smile. Take it at your own risk.
She loved the crowds, the noise, the constant frantic rush of it. You were rarely alone, but never intimate. That’s why she’d come here so many years ago.
No, she wasn’t a social animal, but too much space and too much solitude made her nervous.
She’d come to New York to be a cop, because she believed in order, needed it to survive. Her miserable and abusive childhood with all its blank spaces and dark corners couldn’t be changed. But she had changed. She had taken control, had made herself into the person some anonymous social worker had named Eve Dallas.
Now she was changing again. In a few weeks she wouldn’t just be Eve Dallas, lieutenant, homicide. She’d be Roarke’s wife. How she would manage to be both was more of a mystery to her than any case that had ever come across her desk.
Neither of them knew what it was to be family, to have family, to make a family. They knew cruelty, abuse, abandonment. She wondered if that was why they had come together. They both understood what it was to have nothing, to be nothing, to know fear and hunger and despair—and both had remade themselves.
Was it just mutual need that attracted them? Need for sex, for love, and the melding of the two that she had never thought was possible before Roarke.
A question for Dr. Mira, she mused, thinking of the police psychiatrist she often consulted.
But for now, Eve determined that she wasn’t going to think about the future or the past. The moment was complicated enough.
Three blocks from Greene Street, she seized her chance and squeezed into a parking space. After searching through her pockets, she found the credit tokens the aging meter demanded in its moronic and static jumbled tones and plugged in enough for two hours.
If it took any more than that, she’d be ready for a tranq room and a parking citation wouldn’t bother her in the least.
Taking a deep breath, sh...
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