Release date: August 15, 2016
When Berry Challoner arrives in Houston determined to solve her brother Daniel’s murder, she knows Tyler Reid, his best friend and college roommate, is the perfect man to help her.
Berry’s convinced that Daniel stumbled onto something criminal at the company where he worked, and she plans to go undercover to expose the killer. Berry knows next to nothing about business, but if she can get a secretarial job with one of the company’s womanizing owners, she’s sure that Tyler, a certified public accountant, can help her follow the money to the murderer.
Tyler loved Daniel like a brother, but he’s not a fan of this crazy, spontaneous plan, even if he is mesmerized by Berry. When it looks like she’s next on the killer’s list, he’ll have to challenge his milder instincts and go all in to save the girl he’s beginning to fall in love with.
by Kathryn Brocato
Kathryn Brocato is a lifelong reader and writer of romance who lives with her husband, dogs, and chickens in southeast Texas. Find Kathryn Brocato at www.kathrynbrocato.com and on Facebook.
An excerpt from The Texas Takedown:
“You want me to what?”
Tyler Reid regarded the woman sitting on the other side of his desk with the expression he usually reserved for discrepancies in financial records. Perhaps the afternoon heat had affected his hearing. It was early June and already sweltering, but he’d thought he was well adapted to the Houston weather.
“You heard me,” the woman repeated, enunciating clearly. Her knuckles were white from her grip on the arms of her chair. “I want you to help me find out who killed Daniel. It’s been almost six months and the police still haven’t arrested anyone. Somebody has got to do something.”
She meant him. Tyler still couldn’t understand it. He was an accountant, for Pete’s sake, not a television private eye. He knew his way around a chart of accounts, but he lacked even a rudimentary knowledge of crime detection. Anyone else would have known and respected that fact, but apparently not Berry Challoner.
Her brother, Daniel Challoner, had been Tyler’s college roommate and best friend. Though they’d been complete opposites in temperament, each felt he had found a brother. That was, up until six months ago, when Daniel had been found shot to death in the doorway of his apartment. Police investigators found no clues that would explain Daniel’s untimely death. The official explanation was that the murder was probably a case of mistaken identity. Although Tyler understood and sympathized with Berry’s distress at the lack of action from the Houston Police Department, he wasn’t crazy enough to try and take the case out of their hands.
He regarded her in frowning silence. He recalled Berry at Daniel’s college graduation ceremony. She’d worn a hot pink dress made of some floaty, gauzy material. He was surprised to realize how many conclusions he’d drawn about her because of that dress, considering he was usually such a logical and unimpressionable sort of man.
She looked different now. The wide, feathery brows still gave her face an exotic look, and her thick, shoulder-length, black hair called attention to a pair of large gray eyes that still managed to sparkle with life. But her smooth, golden skin looked sallow against the stark white blouse and navy skirt she wore.
The outfit was one Daniel would have approved of, but Tyler wished Berry had stuck with hot pink. It would have suited the passion and enthusiasm she projected much better than the clothes Daniel had always advocated for women in the business world. Daniel had believed strongly that women in business should avoid bright colors and feminine fashions because they distracted people from doing their jobs.
Berry’s gray eyes blazed with fiery determination. She was not noticeably daunted by his lack of reaction. “There’s something evil going on at that company where Daniel worked,” she said. “I intend to find out what it is.”
She sat on the edge of one of his leather office chairs, digging short, unpolished nails into the upholstery of the chair arms, and fairly glowed with determination and zest in spite of the drab clothes and the grief that still shadowed her expression.
Tyler had never seen anyone like her. No matter which of her emotions won out in the end, he had a bad feeling about whatever her “plan” entailed.