Tell Me Lies
Camden Point Mystery Book 1
by Gail Chianese
Genre: 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?
“Gail Chianese explodes onto the paranormal romantic mystery scene with a slow-burn, second-chance romance that readers of the genre are sure to love!”
–Elicia Hyder, bestselling author of The Soul Summoner series
“In Tell Me Lies, the characters are fresh, the plot is complex, and the readers will definitely savor the piquantly sweet sex scenes. But it’s the side-splittingly hilarious banter that is the frothy icing on this multi-layered whodunit.” –Josie Brown, author The Housewife Assassin’s Handbook series
Out stepped Detective Rafael Barandas. She didn’t need the glow of the streetlight to know he was six-two and extremely fit, or how his dark brown eyes looked black when his blood was pumping, or how thanks to his Portuguese heritage he had a yearlong tan. All those details were burned into her brain a lifetime ago.
“That man is like fine wine.”
“Shut up, Kat.”
“Well, well, well, if it isn’t the stable boy,” Vinnie piped in.
“Shut up, Vinnie,” Lexie and Kat replied.
The detective cautiously stepped out from behind the open door, as if they were a threat instead of two women.
“Well, if it isn’t Smith and Jones, forever together.”
Vinnie snorted in her ear. “Good one.”
If she could, she’d elbow him in the gut.
Rafe looked up and down the quiet street. “One of you call in a burglary?”
“Yes, sir,” Kat said.
Feet planted shoulder width apart, arms crossed in front of him, she could imagine the intimidating stance worked on many a suspect. Ignoring Kat’s answer he pointed in the direction of her car. “You’re parked illegally. Engine trouble?”
“No, sir,” Kat said.
He made his way over, stopping directly in front of Lexie, stealing the air from her lungs. The saliva in her mouth went Sahara Desert dry, her tongue stuck to the roof refusing to work. Her heart pounded a strong, fast rhythm in her ears.
“Just out for a late evening stroll and happened to see the crime going down?”
She swallowed a few times, focusing on his Adam’s apple as he spoke, refusing to look into his eyes. Oh no, she knew better, having fallen into that trap before. But, she wasn’t the same person. That was a lifetime ago, so why was she having the same old reaction to him? Stupid pheromones. And where was her voice?
“Uh, not exactly. Lex, you want to explain to Detective Barandas how we happened to be in the area?” Kat jumped in, but not exactly to save her.
Lexie shot her best friend—former best friend—a look that said a whole lot more than no. The less said the better, for more reasons than she cared to think about, but at the top of the list was the possibility of losing her client’s proof if her camera was confiscated as evidence.
“Not really.” Pulling it together, she looked him in the eyes. “Suffice it to say we were in the area on business and caught sight of someone in the Irwin’s house.”
Rafe looked at the nearby houses. She followed his gaze from the cars in the driveway to the lights on inside the homes. The look on his face, as he scratched his jaw, made her want to laugh.
“Probably best I don’t ask. Your call said the burglars exited through the backdoor?”
He directed his question to her, but Kat responded. “Yes, sir, that is correct, sir.”
“Okay, can you two wait here while I check the residence? I’ll take your statements after I’ve cleared the home.” After getting their affirmative head nods, he stalked across the street as quietly as a giant cat on the prowl for its next meal.
“I’ve got to say it, wow. He just keeps getting better looking every time I see him. Don’t you think so?” Kat nudged her arm with an elbow.
Lexie pushed Kat away, and took a step back, giving herself some space to breathe.
“Let’s not go there. Rafe was a long time ago. Besides, I thought you were Team Benjamin. You said he’s a nice guy.” Not that she wanted to date him either, but she had hoped mentioning him would shut the other two up. Apparently not, as snorts of laughter rang through the night.
She didn’t blame them.
Rafe and Benjamin. It was like comparing a delicious, fresh, sweet apple to dehydrated apple chips. Same genetic make-up in the beginning, but life had shaped them into totally different beings in the end.
For her, Rafe would always be sweet temptation. But just like Snow White was a goner with one bite, she knew she would be too if she tasted Rafe Barandas again.
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About the Author
Gail currently lives in beautiful Connecticut, but originally hails from sunny California. She is the mom of three amazing kids, the wife of a 27 year Naval officer and the rescuer of three furbabies.
In her spare time (what little of it there is), she likes to ghost hunt with her hubby, geocache with her family and lock herself away with a great book. Currently, she’s attempting (keyword there) to learn to knit. Wish her luck, she’ll need it. And, she’s dreaming of the day when she can take her next trip. Where will it be? Only time will tell. Check her out on Instagram to see her words of wisdom, her travel destinations (past and future), what she’s read, and maybe enjoy a chuckle or two: https://www.instagram.com/authorgailchianese/
Her books have been nominated for the National Readers Choice Award and EPIC eBook Awards.