Lacey Reed jumps at the chance for independence with a career in the big city. But her naivety and ambition blind her to the lure of a blackmailer. With her savings gone, she has nowhere to turn when she literally runs into financier Connor Devlin.
Though dazzled by Lacey, Connor sees the desperation she tries to hide. His gut tells him to help, and he hires her as his fake fiancée. Now Lacey has a job, and Connor has put a bandage on a family crisis.
When the blackmailer ups the ante, Lacey resolves to face him down—no matter what the consequences. Does that mean Lacey will lose the only man who’s ever seen who she truly is?
Lacey cleared her throat. “Okay, I’m just going to say it because I don’t know how else to do this. Several months ago I was given a date rape drug and then I was filmed in some sort of, I don’t know, porno, and now I’m paying blackmail.” There she said it. It was sordid, it was horrible and it sounded even worse out loud than it had in her head but she’d finally told another person.
“Wh—at? What! Oh no, Lacey. Oh my God. How did this happen? Who would do such a thing...?”
It was so dark outside that Lacey could see her face reflected in the window. How weird—she didn’t look any different. Outside, beyond the window, beyond the house, nothing was visible. She couldn’t see anything but she could hear the tide beating against the rocks at the bottom of the sandy grass before retreating, then coming back to do it again. The tide grew louder until it roared in her ears like her own blood. She swayed and had to sit on the floor before she fainted. Sabrina was yelling, cursing a blue streak in her ear—who, what, when, where, why.
In contrast, Lacey’s voice when she interrupted her friend’s tirade was unnaturally calm. “Okay, here it is. Remember that photographer who said I was the front runner to be the face for that big Mon Secret campaign?”
“You mean Barry Bixby?”
“Duh, of course I do. He’s the guy in fashion photography. Since I’ve gotten more into photography, I’ve become more aware of his work. Are you saying he did this? He’s so, so highly...”
“Yeah, highly regarded in the industry. I know.” Lacey put a fist under her chin, pressed her lips together but a small sound escaped.
“Not okay, you’re crying, all right sweetie, don’t make a move,” Sabrina said, “I’m coming over there right now.”
Lacey stuttered out a sound between tears and laughter. This was only one of the many reasons she loved Sabrina.
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