There are preconceived notions about everything in life. A woman who lives on the streets and wears short skirts in public must be a sinner. A woman who attends church every week must be a saint. However, everything is not always as it seems. In fact, it rarely is.
Police chief’s daughter, Danielle Beckett, grew up knowing two things. One: anything worth having was worth hiding from her father, and two: she wanted to be the best at what she did. Her business, Sinners & Saints Modeling Agency, does well for itself but what happens behind the scenes does better. As an exclusive high priced call girl she has everything she wants while keeping everyone in the dark.
Life is great until her employees start being picked off one by one. Danielle starts missing days and everything falls apart. As her life unravels around her, she is forced to not only choose between her safety and her business, but between her business and the one thing she never saw herself wanting.
How can she keep her business and herself alive, when she knows one story, but the police know another?
**Warning: If you're looking for something to leave you feeling warm and fuzzy, this is not the book for you. The worst thing you can do going into this book, is go in thinking you know how it's going to end. This book is intended ONLY for those over the age of eighteen.
I tap my fingers against the polished wooden bar, gaining the bartender's attention and raise my glass. He works his way down to me, refills the two shot glasses in front of me, and walks away again without a word. My finger traces around the rim, dipping in. I bring the liquid dripping from my finger to my mouth and suck it clean.
“I think that might just be the slowest, albeit sexiest, way to do a shot.”
I push every ounce of emotion I am currently trying to drown down. I push away every thought about the girls I’ve lost, and about what happened with Brendon yesterday, and put my usual game face on.
Can’t have people thinking you’re weak, now can we.
Crossing my legs, I swivel the barstool and smile brightly at Cooper.
“Didn’t you hear, Detective Hayes? Everything I do is sexy. In fact… it’s what I get paid for.” I lick my lips and toss back one of the shots in front of me. “So, what happened? Did my Police Chief father send you to make sure I was still breathing?”
Cooper draws back his jacket, pulls his badge off his belt, and drops it onto the bar. He gives me a cocky grin before stealing my other shot. I watch his throat constrict as he swallows and want nothing more than to lick the stubble that lines his skin.
“Off-duty. Can’t a guy just get a drink without a beautiful girl thinking he has ulterior motives?”
“Can’t a girl get a drink without having to have security?” I counter.
He leans in close, close enough that his scent fills my nostrils and I’m afraid I’m going to do something stupid. “Not when your name is Danielle Beckett and there’s a serial killer out there killing off your staff.”
I order another round and a beer for Cooper, hell-bent on making my mind forget, and that scares the hell out of me. The buzz I’m already feeling is helping a little, but I’m nowhere near ready to stop.
“We’re going to catch this guy, Dani.” Cooper's fingers dance across the bare skin between my shoulder blades. They drag up, circle, drag back down, and repeat. With his fingers on me, it’s the calmest I’ve felt in months other than when I’m with Brendon. “I promise we’ll find him, and you’ll get your happily ever after like every girl dreams of.”
“This isn’t a romance novel, not everyone gets a happy ending.” I swivel back toward him and grip his tie, pulling him a little closer. My eyes drop to where Cooper is licking his lips and back to his eyes. “I’m more into erotica anyway.”
My phone vibrates on the bar, interrupting my train of thought and Harper’s name and face flashes across my screen. Since I’m not in the mood to talk I press ignore and go back to my drink.
“Erotica, huh?” he chuckles, the bottle between his fingers spinning on the bar.
I slide down off the barstool and lean into him, resting my hands on his powerful thighs. All the alcohol that I’ve been dumping down my throat for the past few hours hits me all at once and I let my mouth work faster than my brain.
“Yeah, sex,” I whisper against the shell of Cooper’s ear. “I’m good at more than just looking pretty in front of a camera. I’m also really good in bed.”
“And your father is also my boss.” His words say no, but his actions scream yes. His fingers wraps around my hips and he slides me between his thighs.
I shrug. “What Daddy never knows, never hurts him.”
Cooper pushes me back a bit so he can look in my eyes. “Dani, there are things about me that would hurt a good girl like you.” He sounds ashamed but I bet if he knew even half of what I do on a daily basis he would run away scared.
I sigh. “And there are things about me, the good girl, that would destroy everything you have ever worked for… Everything you believe.” He narrows his eyes at me, trying to figure out what I mean and I know I’ve said too much. “And on that note, you can either choose to join me and I’ll show you all the fabulously dirty things I’m good at. Or, I can pay off my tab and you can watch my perfectly shaped ass sway out of here while I pour myself in a cab.”
Standing in the middle of the Police station, I search for Chief Beckett with my hands resting on my stomach. Instead of finding him, tall, blonde, and sexy steps into my view.
“Can I help you, Ma’am?”
The man’s southern drawl washes over me as he pushes his jacket out of the way, revealing his detective shield. I swear if I wasn’t already ten million months pregnant, the sound of his voice would have made me that way. “I uh— I’m looking for Captain Beckett.”
He nods his head, his uneasy eyes never leaving my stomach. “Well, since I’m doing anything I can to avoid this reporter, I’ll bring you to him.” This must be Cooper.
Taking his offered arm, he leads me across the room slowly, mainly because I waddle. Thankfully he doesn’t say anything about our pace so I don’t say anything about being the person he’s trying to avoid. “Do pregnant women make you uneasy, Detective?” I purse my lips, trying to hide the grin threatening to make an appearance as I peek up at him.
He stiffens, taking a deep breath, telling me that what he’s getting ready to say is a lie. “No, not at all. Pregnancy is wonderful… for some people.”
“Not for you?”
“We’re here.” He stops mid-step, opening the office door.
Captain Beckett smiles up at me from behind his deck, waving me in. He rises from behind his desk offering me both his hand and his chair since the rest of the seats are already taken. I hear Cooper mutter “Fuck me” under his breath, and I can’t help the giggle that leaks out through my lips.
“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you before, Detective Hayes.”
Cooper leans back against the door after he closes it and continues to stare at my belly. If I’m being honest, it kind of creeps me out, but I can see the hurt behind his guarded eyes. I figure by the look on his face something must have happened to him involving a baby, so I don’t say anything.
“Don’t mind him,” the statuesque brunette on the couch says. “He just doesn’t like it when he doesn’t get his way.”
Her clothes, the way her leg crosses gracefully toward the man on her right, and the hand resting on the man’s thigh, makes me think that this is Dani. “Dani, I presume.” She nods, resting her head against the guys shoulder. “Which must make you Brendon.” Turning to the younger girl on my right. She gives me a small wave before tucking her hands back between her thighs. “And Harper. I’ve already met Cooper, and Captain Beckett, which means the only person missing is Tara.”
“Don’t worry”--Harper mumbles--“that crazy bitch is always here somewhere. She likes to pop up when you least expect it, or when you don’t want her around the most.”
I pull my recorder from my bag, setting it up in the center of the desk so I can capture what everyone says. That way I don’t have to worry about keeping notes. I shift in my seat, trying to get comfortable before launching into my questions.
“First of all, I want to thank all of you for taking time out of your day for me. My name is Rebecca. I know you’re all busy, but everyone wants to know a few things, so let’s get down to business and I can let you all go. I took some questions from some people who know your whole story and they get pretty personal. Hope you don’t mind.” I smile, trying to put everyone at ease and lean back in the chair. “First up, we have two easy questions for the girls. If Tara wants in on this, I’m sure she will speak up.” Dani nods once and continues waiting for my question. “Manolo or Louboutin. What’s your preference?”
The corners of Dani’s lips perk up as she stares down at her feet. “Manolo, obviously.”
I turn toward Harper. “And you?”
She shrugs. “There’s something classic about the red soles, I’m going to have to go with Louboutin.”
“Anything to be different…” Dani rolls her eyes.
“Shut up hoo—”
“Enough!” Captain Beckett snaps. “That is just about enough out of the both of you.”
They both look like wounded puppies as I launch into my next easy question. “Satin or lace.”
“Satin,” Dani says quietly.
“OK… let’s take the focus away from the girls for a few and ask the guys some questions. Cooper, did you ever think you actually had feelings for Dani, or did you just want to get in her chonies?”
Cooper clears his throat, chuckling when Brendon practically growls. “Honestly, I think I could have had feelings, not that I actually want to admit that now that I know what she is, but I’m not a guy that only goes after a woman to get in her pants.”
I see Dani wanting to speak up when he makes the snide comment, but she thinks better of it when her father shakes his head.
“OK. Mr. Beckett.” I flip through my notes, trying to find the question for him. “Did you ever have any sneaking suspicions that there was something else going on with your daughter when you saw her with a bunch of different high profile men?”
“No,” he says gruffly, crossing his arms across his chest. “My daughter works as a model, of course she’s going to be seen with different men. It’s doesn’t mean anything. Rumors are just that, rumors. Don’t believe everything you you hear, Rebecca.”
I feel the heat creep up my neck and into my face. “Yes, Sir. That’s why I’m asking questions. People want to know, I want to give them your side of the story. How about we move on to one for Brendon.” I scan my page before pulling up and connecting with his gaze. “Why would you put yourself, and your position as a Senator, at risk by having something on going with Dani when you know the rumors going around about her? Wouldn’t that put your career at risk?”
“It’s just a job, Rebecca. Just money, a title; nothing that truly matters in the long run. People are going to think what they want either way. The outcome just depends on how you handle yourself. But if you’re happy, nothing else matters.”
Well, that’s profound for someone hooking up with a prostitute...
“OK, Harper, after the fight, why didn’t you push harder to find out why it happened?”
Harper’s eyes shift from me, to across the room and back. “Like I said to her, you get one free hit. I knew she had been struggling, and she had just found out about Jen, I figured she had just snapped for a second. I didn’t think she was bat-shit crazy.”
“I’d do it again in a heartbeat, whore.”
“Oh, yay…” Harper whispers sarcastically. “Tara’s here to play.”
I smile to myself, glad that Tara finally showed up because the last few questions I have are for her. “Can I have some alone time with Tara please?” I ask Captain Beckett. He nods, opening the door. Cooper and Brendon leave, followed closely by Harper who whispers as she walks by.
“If you want to be alone with the crazy bitch more power to you, but I’m out.”
Once the door closes, Tara kicks off her heels, tucking her feet up under her. Her cold eyes flick from my face, to my stomach, staying there for a minute before her gaze connects with mine again. “Are you married?”
“And the baby is your husband's?”
I chuckle. “Yes, the baby is my husband's. But I think we’re off track.”
“Whatever.I just wanted to make sure you weren’t a whore too.” She shrugs. “Ask what you want to know so I can go back to what I was doing.”
The glint in her eyes and the smirk on her lips makes me want to question what she was doing, but something in me tells me to think better of it. “Do you ever feel the desire to make Dani the bad guy, so you have the chance to be the good guy for once? Or is everything you do to protect Dani?”
Without even hesitating, she answers, never breaking eye contact. “Everything I do is to protect her. If she would stop doing stupid shit and getting herself in these predicaments, I wouldn’t have worry about it.”
“So, you know what happened on the balcony with Dani and Cooper. At any point during that, did you feel like jumping in and ending everything?”
“Honestly"--she shudders--“I stayed as far away from that until it was over. I don’t want any part of those situations. But yes, if I thought it would have made a difference, I would have stepped in.”
“OK, final question and I’ll be going. You know about Dani’s profession, and you hate it. Have you ever tried to convince her to stop, or to just off herself? I know you’ve talked about it before, but I want the truth.”
Tara looks at me like I’m the dumbest person on earth, but she answers me. “I try to convince her to stop every chance I get. As for getting her to off herself… I won’t lie and say I’ve never tried, but if that happens, I go away. I’m not ready to go away completely and will take any steps necessary to make sure I stick around until I’m finished with what I’m here for.”
“Thank you.” Standing from the chair, I grab the recorder from the desk, shut it off, and stuff it back in my desk. Brendon opens the door when he sees me head for it, and I slip past him. Standing in the middle of the little group, I smile. “Thank you. All of you. I’m sure I’ll be seeing you all again soon.”
Cooper offers me his arm again and pulls me away from everyone else. I don’t say anything because Tara was starting to creep me out a bit. He silently walks me to my car, helps me in, and waves as I pull out of the parking lot. I can’t help but wonder if the next time I’m here, all six of them will still be around for another interview.
Sinner Q and A
1. Where did you get the idea for the story for Sinner?
I have absolutely no clue. I was writing Hate Me Today when I suddenly had to put it down because the boss lady of Sinners and Saints popped into my head demanding attention. What it started out as, and what it is now, are so different that I’m not sure how I got from point A to point B with it.
2. What interests you in writing this genre of books?
I’m able to let every part of me out. The romantic, the sex-fueled, the sick and twisted. I’m used to coming up with a little mystery with the other series, but nothing that really made the reader’s mind twist the way Sinner does.
3. What is your favorite book not written by you?
That’s impossible! I can’t pick just one author, and I also can’t pick just one book, so I’ll do series. I will narrow it down the best I can though! The Falling Away series by Penelope Douglas, Harper Sloan’s Corps Security books, Nicole Edwards Alluring Indulgence Series, and the Chocolate Lovers Series by Tara Sivec. That’s as narrowed down as I can get for you. Phew, that was hard.
4. Are there any messages in the story that you want the readers to grasp by the time they finish the book?
Not everything is how it seems in life. Just because something looks like it’s one thing, doesn’t mean it is. Everyone has demons hiding within them, some more than others, and how your life turns out just depends on how well you tame those demons.
5. Do you have any pre-writing rituals to help you prepare for writing different scenes and getting into a character’s mind?
Not really. I can write anywhere with almost anything going on around me. I think the only difference with this book was writing Tara. I had to be super mad to get her out, and for some reason, she wanted Spice Girls to be the first thing she heard when we started. After that, it didn’t matter. But, no lie, she wouldn’t talk without a little Wannabe first thing.
6. Who was your favorite character to write in Sinner?
Tara. Hands down. It was nice to finally be able to let that sick, twisted, mouthy chick out of my head. Shewas simmering throughout the first three books I wrote, but I could never work her into that series. She wasn’t part of this book at first, but she put her foot down, demanding that she be set free. Although, I never expected THAT from her.
7. What can we expect next from you?
Saint is next in this series. If you think that Sinner was twisted, you’re in for it with Saint. Other than that, I have the final three books in the Save Me Series. I have a lot in the works for next year, so watch out!
8. What type of scenes do you enjoy writing the most?
It really depends. With this book, it was the more grotesque scenes because I was able to get my aggression out without having to worry about bail money. With the others it was different, and really depended on the book.
9. Tell us a random fact about yourself.
Thanks to some amazing friends… I have a seven pound rubber ass that hangs out on my desk. Her name is Alice the Anus, and I’m pretty sure she will travel with me to signings. She’s there, just hanging out when I need something to squeeze, punch, slap, hold my pen…
10.How do you come up with the character names?
Sometimes the names pop into my head right off the bat. Other times I have friends help me, or I use a baby name website. I’ve written a few books where I had to use () in place of a name because I couldn’t come up with a name for that particular person until later on.
11. Do you read a lot and if so, how do you make sure other stories do not influence your books?
I used to read a lot. Like, ten to twelve books a week, but since I started publishing it’s been cut back. There are a few select authors that I HAVE to stop writing so I can read them, but not many. As for not influencing my books, it’s hard, but I try to make sure that it’s my voice being heard and not anyone else’s. I have a few people that read as I write, or before I publish, and will tell me if something sounds familiar. If it resembles something, I change it.