Title: Tell Me Lies
Author: Gail Chianese
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Paranormal Romantic Mystery
You’d think with a guardian who’s a ghost, she’d see everything coming. But nope, that’s not how it works. That’s not how any of this works. Private investigator Lexie Smith has a mostly perfect—okay, satisfying life. A successful, if not super lucrative business with her best friend. A wonderful, loving companion named Bear—sure, he’s a little furry and he drools, but nobody’s perfect. A house on the beach and a wisecracking supernatural “intern” named Vinnie, who knows everything there is to know about crime and her nonexistent love life. Things are good, even if the cases are somewhat tame, until a dangerous assignment forces her to turn to the last man she can trust: Rafe Barandas, local police detective and the man who broke her heart years before. After a decade in New York, Rafe has returned to his small hometown, burned out on big-city politics and crime. He’s looking forward to the quiet life, until he’s thrown together with Lexie (and, unknown to him, her phantom familiar) to solve what starts out as a simple B&E but quickly escalates. Leaving Lexie the first time was a huge mistake. Now that he’s got another chance, he’s determined not to blow it, so long as the job doesn’t get in the way. As Lexie and Rafe get closer to solving one case, old hurts come back to haunt them and a new threat emerges. Can they put past lies and mistrust behind them long enough to thwart a cunning foe who seems to know every step they take and will stop at nothing, even murder? Or will one of them pay the ultimate price before they take their second shot at love?
It was a perfect spring evening for spying. The moon hid behind the clouds. The majority of the oceanfront homes on this stretch of the beach were still vacant for the season and their target? Well, he was finally cooperating.
It was a private investigator’s dream. Or it should have been, except Lexie Smith hated everything about this case.
“Have you gotten the picture of the lying-cheating-rat-bastard yet?” Kat Jones asked for the tenth time.
“No. Now hush, before we get caught.” Lexie shifted her butt to sit firmly on the tree branch and glanced towards the neighbor’s house on the left. They had come home early. Just her freaking luck. Hopefully the cool breeze blowing off the water would keep them inside.
Lexie turned back to their assignment. Her firm, LexaKat P.I., had been hired to prove Mr. Salvatore Figerello, the aforementioned lying-cheating-rat-bastard, was engaged in an adulterous affair. Over the course of the last week, Mr. Figerello, the LCRB, had not cooperated in proving his wife correct, until tonight when he’d brought home his administrative assistant.
Talk about a cliché.
Both, she and Kat, her best friend and business partner, were armed with telephoto lenses ready to obtain proof for their client.
“She’s pretty,” Lexie said.
“What a cute belt.”
“I think it’s supposed to be a skirt.”
“This blows,” Lexie whispered. This was not how she pictured her career. Where were the cases in which she got to hunt down the bad guys, recover stolen jewels and artwork, or reunite long lost loved ones? It was moments like these that made her question her career choice. “I’d rather be working insurance fraud. Does he really think she’s in love with him? He’s twice her age.”
“More like in love with his bank balance.” Kat scooted further out on her branch. “Move your foot so I can get a picture of the tramp while she prances in front of the window. Now, if he'd just shut up and make his move, we could get what we need and get out of here.”
“Let’s not take any more infidelity cases, okay? Watching him flush his marriage down the septic tank over a quick ego boost is depressing. Not to mention, I feel slimy.”
“Okay with me, but last I heard you liked to eat.”
Her stomach grumbled as if agreeing with Kat. “I could stand to lose a few.”
“Right. Speaking of eating, it’s still early and since you blew off your date with Benjamin Franklin Bacon the Fourth, we should go get dinner when we’re done. Maybe catch a movie?”
“I’m not dating Ben. My mom wanted me to round out the dinner party numbers.” She took a few more pictures and paused. “Isn’t Paul at home waiting for you?”
“Does Ben know that and no, Paul had a thing. So dinner?” She smiled over her shoulder at Lexie. “We could get bacon burgers.”
“Seriously, how can you date a guy with the last name of Bacon? I'd be hungry all the time. I’d be like one of those dogs in the commercial—‘Bacon, bacon, baaaacon, I smell baaconnnn.’ He needs a nickname like B4, and then I won’t always be thinking of eating.”
As if that could ever happen. “Again, not dating. Now shush. We're here to do a job, not discuss my social life. Besides, if you ate more than rabbit food you wouldn’t always be hungry.”
Not wanting to have the conversation, Lexie snapped a succession of pictures of the LCRB and mistress as they moved into a tender embrace. She’d gone out with Benjamin a few times and the sizzle didn’t even fizzle. He was a nice guy that she knew her parents hoped would end up being more than her plus one at social functions, but she just didn’t see it happening. They needed to stop pushing him on her before he got the wrong idea and wound up hurt.
“Just a couple more minutes and we can wrap up this case.”
“Speaking of social lives.” Kat scooted back to look her in the eye. “You never did say what you thought about a certain former resident’s return and his position as lead detective with the police department?”
Keeping her eye on the assignment, Lexie refused Kat’s invitation to discuss the topic of Rafe Barandas. Yeah, she’d heard about his appointment with the department. Witnessed him making his way around town, saying hello to the business owners, getting to know the new people in town. Lexie had several near misses with the detective to date and she planned to keep it that way.
Getting reacquainted with her former flame, no matter how hot he’d become, was listed on her agenda under the never doing section.
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
Universal link from Books2Read: books2read.com/u/mgZAVK
I’m one of the authors participating in the Read a Book Month Giveaway and you can win a $10 Amazon Gift Card generously donated by Gail Chianese.
Runs September 1 - 30 and is open internationally for most prizes.
Winners will be drawn on October 1, 2020.
Gail Chianese is a multi-published author of contemporary romance, romantic mystery, and women’s fiction. Originally from California, (she’s lived in eight states and three countries thanks to the US Navy) and now calls Connecticut home with her real-life hero of a husband, her three amazing kids and too many animals to count.
Social Media Links
Author Website: www.gailchianese.com