Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Want a Little Taste of A Lot Like Love by Julie James? Here you go!

Jordan took a seat at the conference table. She watched the blizzard that raged outside the floor-to-ceiling windows, dreading the snow she’d have to shovel when she got home. Perhaps she should look into getting one of those power snowblowers, she mused. Or a man. Either could be quite handy in inclement weather. Then again, snowblowers took up a lot of garage space, and she generally liked to keep at least a three-foot buffer around the Maserati. Not to mention, most of the men she met presumably had even less interest than she did in shoveling snow—they likely would hire someone else to do that kind of thing. The downside to dating Italian-loafer types, she supposed.

Maybe she needed to find more of a guy’s guy. One of those men who could start a fire with two sticks, change a flat tire with one hand tied behind his back, and wasn’t afraid that a snow shovel would scuff his cashmere-lined leather Burberry gloves.

The door flew open and in walked Nick McCall.

Someone, however, who at least knew what a razor was.

“Sorry to keep you waiting, Ms. Rhodes,” he said.

As Huxley followed Nick into the conference room, Jordan noticed that both men had shed their coats. She also saw that they were armed, catching glimpses of the shoulder harnesses and guns they wore underneath their suit jackets.

“What happened to your file?” she asked.

“Would you believe it? We couldn’t find the darn thing,” Nick said. “Guess we’ll just have to march on without it.” He gave Huxley a nod.

“Everything we’re about to tell you is extremely confidential, Ms. Rhodes,” Huxley began. “You can tell no one about the purpose of this meeting.”

Easy enough for her to do, since she didn’t understand the purpose of the meeting. “All right.”

“You already know that this pertains to Xander Eckhart. For some time now, we’ve had him under investigation. We believe he’s running drug money through his nightclubs and restaurants for an organized crime syndicate led by Roberto Martino. You may have heard about the recent indictments of Martino and the others in his organization.” Huxley gave Jordan a moment to process all this.

“You seemed surprised,” Nick said.

She shot him a look. “Of course I’m surprised. I had no idea Xander was messed up in anything like this. You’re sure of this?”

Huxley nodded. “Yes. We’ve been watching Eckhart. We’ve seen him on several occasions with a man we know to be one of Martino’s associates. They meet in Eckhart’s office, which is located underneath the main level of his restaurant, Bordeaux.”

“The one down the hall from his wine cellar, you mean,” Jordan said.

Nick sat forward in his chair, interested in this. “You’ve been inside Eckhart’s office?”

“Yes. Last year at his Valentine’s Day party, he gave me a tour of the entire space at Bordeaux.”

“How well do you remember the interior of the office?” Huxley asked. “Would you be able to describe it, tell us the placement of the furniture, that kind of thing?”

“I can certainly try,” Jordan said. “Is that what this is about? You want me to describe Xander’s office to you?” It seemed too insignificant for all the secret-agent rigmarole.

Nick shook his head. “Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. What we want is for you to help us get inside Eckhart’s office. This Saturday night.”

It took her a moment. “You mean during the party?”

Nick folded his arms on the table. “How would you feel about bringing along an undercover agent as your date, Ms. Rhodes?”

Jordan leaned in to meet him halfway. “I think that depends on who the date is, Agent McCall.”

For more information about Julie’s books, or to read an additional excerpt of A Lot Like Love, visit www.juliejames.com.

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