To Catch a Bad Guy (Janet Maple Series Book 1) by Marie Astor
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: August 10, 2012
Janet Maple’s stellar career ended with a layoff and her boyfriend of five years told her that he wants to be just friends. When she lands a job at one of New York’s premier boutique investment firms, Janet begins to hope that her luck is finally turning for the better. Not only is she happy with her new paycheck, but things also seem to be looking up on the personal front, as the company’s handsome attorney expresses keen interest in Janet. However, her euphoria is short-lived, as Janet soon discovers alarming facts about her new employer’s business tactics. When her boss dismisses her suspicions as groundless, Janet finds herself confiding to a cute IT engineer, Dean Snider. The closer she gets to Dean, the more Janet is tempted to break her rule of not dating co-workers, but what she doesn’t realize is that everything she knows about Dean, including his occupation and even his name, is a lie.
Dennis Walker is a top-notch white collar crime investigator who will stop at nothing to put culprits away. When an opportunity for an undercover assignment at one of New York’s premier boutique broker dealers comes up, Dennis jumps at the chance, adopting a persona of geeky IT engineer, Dean Snider. While he may be an ace at his job, years of experience fail him when Dennis meets Janet Maple and finds himself torn between his professional obligations and his personal desires. Will he have to choose between his feelings and duty, or will he find a way to satisfy both?
Dennis Walker was giving himself a mental browbeating for nearly blowing his cover. What on earth had possessed him to get all mushy with that stand-offish girl whose computer he had been fixing or, to be more specific, bugging? Well, actually, Dennis knew perfectly well what had possessed him. The girl was damn good-looking, and if he had to admit to having any weaknesses, it was to not being able to pass by a pretty skirt without looking and, preferably, much more than just looking.
Still, this was work – not play, and if he wanted to get that promotion he had set his eyes on since he had started his career in the Department of Treasury Investigations Unit, he’d better get his mind out of the gutter and get focused on the game.
Still, even with today’s minor lapse, Dennis could afford to pat himself on the back: he had already tapped into the most critical employees’ computers, and the data that he needed to substantiate the case was flowing in. The most difficult part of his assignment would be to remain undiscovered, which, as the morning had shown, was going to be much trickier than Dennis had anticipated.
Playing the role of Dean Snider was proving to be more challenging than he had expected. Dennis was a naturally social creature who was keenly aware of his masculine charms, which he enjoyed exercising on members of the female sex with great success.
Dean Snider, on the other hand, was a mousy and shabbily pathetic excuse of a man who was afraid of his own shadow – a role that Dennis detested playing, but was determined to excel at, lest his boss prove to be correct in his initial intention to give the assignment to Laskin. Dennis scratched his neck, which was beginning to chafe from the rigid collar of his cheap shirt, and focused his attention on his computer monitor.
As a senior member of the IT department at Bostoff Securities, Dennis had the administrative rights to his computer and to those of the firm’s employees, which allowed him to install the data gathering software on the employees’ machines and receive real-time data feedback on his machine. The fact that his desk was smack in the middle of the trading floor made matters difficult. With a title like Chief IT Analyst, Dennis had expected to be allotted an office or at least a cubicle, but apparently Bostoff Securities was short on real estate.
Thankfully, the software was transferring the data over a web-based connection to the server that the Treasury Department had sourced out for the investigation. The initial prep work of data sorting was to be conducted by junior analysts at the Treasury, and in the evenings, after having spent the day behind his desk at Bostoff, in the privacy of his home office, Dennis would catch up on the reports prepared for him. A work schedule that intense would pretty much eliminate any presence of social life for the duration of the assignment, but Dennis was used to making sacrifices when they were worth it.
Marie Astor is the author of contemporary romance novels This Tangled Thing Called Love, Lucky Charm, On the Rim of Love, romantic suspense, To Catch a Bad Guy, and a short story collection, A Dress in a Window. Marie is also the author of young adult fantasy adventure novel, Over the Mountain and Back.
Giveaway: Marie will be awarding custom designed semiprecious jewelry pieces to five randomly drawn commenters during the tour. (1) Citrine quartz and prehnite sterling silver necklace, (1) Red agate sterling silver necklace, (1) Onyx sterling silver bracelet, (1) Smoky quartz sterling silver earrings, (1) Blue quartz sterling silver earrings.