Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Chocolate, Lies, and Murder by Sibel Hodge Excerpt

Chocolate, Lies, and Murder (Amber Fox Mysteries book #4) (The Amber Fox Murder Mystery Series) by Sibel Hodge

"If you like Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum I think you will really like Amber Fox - I know I do." ~ Martha's Bookshelf

Feisty insurance investigator Amber Fox is finally marrying her boss, Brad Beckett, in seven days. All she has to do before the wedding is get a manicure, a bikini wax, and buy some sexy honeymoon undies. Easy peasy...

Until glamour model Aleesha starts receiving threatening letters, and Brad's suddenly hired as her bodyguard. Unfortunately, Aleesha's definition of guarding her body is different to Amber's. Especially since Aleesha is Brad's ex and has her sights set on getting him back.

And when Brad's arrested, facing life imprisonment, it looks like the only thing on Amber's honeymoon itinerary will be conjugal prison visits. Can Amber solve the case and clear Brad's name? Is Brad as innocent as he claims? Or is this the end for Amber and Brad?

Other Amber Fox books:
#1 Fashion, Lies, and Murder
#2 Money, Lies, and Murder
#3 Voodoo, Lies, and Murder


Life was good. For once, I was having no men dramas—I mention “dramas”, plural, because for a long time there’d been two men in my life. Now I’d finally made a decision about them, and I was back with Brad. For good this time. OK, it’s a long story; here’s the short version. Brad was my ex-fiancé, who became my boss, then my fiancé again. Romeo had been my boyfriend in between the Brad saga and was a lovely guy. It’s just that Brad had stopped at nothing to get me back and to be honest, he was my soul mate. See, simple! Or not. Which was why I’d been having said men dramas. But not anymore. I wasn’t stressed about men now and was ecstatically happy with Brad. In fact, we were flying off to Vegas in seven days to get married. Yay! Plus, in my job as an insurance investigator for Hi-Tec Insurance, owned by Brad, no one had tried to kill me lately, which seemed to happen a lot. Somehow, I always seemed to become embroiled in cases where the bad guys wanted to shut me up. I mean, I admit I have a big mouth and I’m not afraid to use it, but the whole kill Amber thing was getting a tad repetitious. And, as an extra bonus, I’d just picked up some rather large slices of mocha choca cake for breakfast. Scrumalicious. Coffee, chocolate, and cake, three of my favourite things all rolled into one. So, actually, life wasn’t just good, it was pretty much perfect.
I wandered through the front doors of the plush Hi-Tec Insurance office with a happy smile, humming to myself as I walked past the empty reception and salivating at the prospect of the cake. All I had to do this week before we got married was tie up some loose ends on the case files I’d been working, buy some sexy undies for the wedding night, have a bikini wax, and get a manicure. Easy peasy. I was thinking pink glitter (for the manicure, not the bikini wax), or maybe something like Hot Vixen, just because I loved the name on the bottle. I could picture myself being a Hot Vixen on our honeymoon. Elvis and the Chapel of Love took care of the rest of the nuptials, so it was going to be a lovely, relaxing week for once and nothing could possibly go wrong before the big day.
I was loaded with four slices of cake to share with Tia, the receptionist, and some bizarre, soggy-looking tofu concoctions for Brad and Hacker, who were both into the health food thing.
I entered the office I shared with Hacker. Tia sat next to him. They both stared at me with a worried expression.
‘What? Have I got lipstick on my teeth or something?’ I ran a finger around my mouth. ‘Or is it my hair?’ My curly waves had a mind of their own and often bordered on a scary Krusty the Clown look, although I’d had a trim for the wedding after a nasty incident of hair singeing, so it couldn’t look that bad. Plus I’d poured practically a whole bottle of argan oil conditioning serum over it.
Hacker and Tia gave each other a sheepish glance before letting out a nervous laugh.
I eyed them suspiciously, my investigator-ish intuition shifting up a notch. To avoid my gaze, Hacker, the office tech guru, suddenly found his massive bank of computer monitors and electrical equipment very interesting. I’d yet to see a computer system he couldn’t break into. Originally from Haiti, he’d been in the SAS with Brad. He was six foot six and the spitting image of the rapper Snoop Dogg. He had two plaits that stuck up in the air like antennas, a gold front tooth, and a penchant for wearing various gangsta rapper hoodies. Today he wore one that said “Keep Calm and Rap”. His real name was Roderick, but I seriously doubted anyone who’d ever called him that lived to tell the tale. Tia was American and had a heart-shaped face, blonde ringlets, and big blue eyes. But don’t let the ditzy blonde act fool you. She was a tough little thing. Tia liked to dress loud with a capital L. Today she wore a tie-dye maxi dress of psychedelic colours you could see from outer space. She probably made those people who monitored the orbiting satellites reach for their sunglasses. Tia and Hacker had been seeing each other for a while, so maybe I’d just caught them in the middle of a raunchy discussion about their sex life.
Under my scrutinizing gaze, Tia let out her signature snorty giggle, which sounded like a hyena on crack.
‘OK, what’s up with you two?’ I asked, handing out the food.
They glanced at each other again before saying, ‘Nothing’ in unison.
‘Hmm.’ I raised a disbelieving eyebrow and opened up the box of cake. A pre-appreciation dribble came on as I lifted the delicious mixture to my lips. In full drooling mode, I noticed a woman in Brad’s office across the corridor.
My hand froze mere millimetres from my face as I took in the scene through the glass window. The woman sat on his desk, facing Brad and away from us. Yes, actually on his desk. And if that wasn’t a bit too familiar for my liking, her face was up close to his ear. She whispered something before tossing her long, highlighted hair over her shoulder and giggling. Then she reached out, ran her fingers along the side of his neck, and walked them down his chest. The touch was not in an ‘I’m just a friend’ way, either. Oh, no. This little stroke was more of an ‘I want to get you into bed’ kind of way. Through Brad’s slightly open door, I could hear their murmured voices but couldn’t make out what they were saying.
My appetite vanished. A hot, bubbling sensation erupted in my stomach. I think I might’ve even let out a growl.
I put the cake back on my desk. Now I knew what Tia and Hacker had been staring at when I came in, and it wasn’t me. It was that…that woman behind me.
‘OK, spill,’ I whispered to them. ‘Who’s that? And why’s she practically molesting Brad?’ I jerked my head in the direction of Brad’s office.
‘Er…’ Tia’s eyes widened, looking like she was panicking about giving me some potentially bad news.
‘Spit it out,’ I said.
‘It’s Aleesha,’ Hacker said.
I frowned. The name wasn’t ringing any clangers. ‘Aleesha who?’
He shrugged. ‘You know, that glamour model. She just calls herself “Aleesha”.’
My eyes narrowed as I glanced back at the woman, who now fondled Brad’s ear. My temperature shot up a few degrees in recognition. ‘That slutty woman who’s always in the paper for wearing skirts that could double as belts, and getting out of cabs flashing off the fact she’s wearing no knickers?’ My mouth contracted into a thin line.
‘That’s the one.’ Tia pulled a worried face.
‘And what’s she doing with Brad?’ I asked, although maybe I already knew the answer. By the look of things, she’d have her man-hungry claws into him quicker than I could say ‘trailer trash’. She’d had more husbands and fiancés than I’d had junk food, which was saying something. Every week she was plastered over the tabloids and celebrity magazines with a new man, or because of some drunken exploit, or she’d decided to dish the dirt on an ex.
‘She’s a client.’ Tia nibbled on the edge of her cake.
‘What’s she got insured with us? Her double FFs?’ I spat out.
‘She’s also Brad’s ex-girlfriend,’ Hacker said.
My jaw flew open. ‘What? When? I didn’t know about that.’ Ew. The thought of them together was just ick.

1 comment:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...