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Hidden Agenda

Cover of Hidden Agenda

Hidden Agenda

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Work undercover, catch the bad guy, become a full-time Project Justice investigator. Simple enough plan, until Jillian Baxter recognizes the man she's investigating. Her new "boss" is none other than Conner Blake--her childhood crush. Luckily, he has no idea who she is, since Jillian is no longer Jillybean, the short, overweight teenager he publicly humiliated.

Despite their past, Jillian knows Conner isn't a murderer. Nor is he that same cruel boy. In fact, there's much to admire about the man he is. Still, this is an ongoing case and whatever is happening between them will have to wait. As she gets closer to finding the killer, she must decide if she can trust Conner with the truth. And that could be her toughest decision yet.


Work undercover, catch the bad guy, become a full-time Project Justice investigator. Simple enough plan, until Jillian Baxter recognizes the man she's investigating. Her new "boss" is none other than Conner Blake--her childhood crush. Luckily, he has no idea who she is, since Jillian is no longer Jillybean, the short, overweight teenager he publicly humiliated.

Despite their past, Jillian knows Conner isn't a murderer. Nor is he that same cruel boy. In fact, there's much to admire about the man he is. Still, this is an ongoing case and whatever is happening between them will have to wait. As she gets closer to finding the killer, she must decide if she can trust Conner with the truth. And that could be her toughest decision yet.
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    I'm in! Jillian Baxter tried not to let the sense of triumph show on her face as the personnel director, Joyce Carrington, droned on about vacation policy and 401(k) plans. Jillian had crossed her first hurdle as a field investigator at Project Justice: she'd been hired by Mayall Lumber. Now she would infiltrate the company and catch a murderer.

    "Well, we can go over all this when you officially start," Joyce said breezily. She was a pleasant, matronly sort with a cloud of dark, frizzy hair escaping from numerous barrettes, a blouse with a coffee stain, and a desk piled high with messy stacks of paper itching to be sorted and organized. "We'll make the job offer official as soon as Mr. Blake signs off."

    "Mr. Blake?"

    "He'll be your direct supervisor," Joyce said. "I'll warn you, he's quite challenging. He's been through four admins this year already. But with your experience, I'm sure you'll have no trouble."

    Jillian's experience was mostly fabricated. Daniel Logan, CEO of Project Justice, had put together a resume that had made her sound like the best administrative assistant in all of Texas, making sure her stellar references would check out.

    But Jillian had full confidence in her ability to please this Mr. Blake, whoever he was. He couldn't possibly be any more demanding than Daniel was, and she'd been Daniel's personal assistant for years before transferring to the foundation's investigative arm.

    "I'll walk you over to his office." Joyce stood, bumping one of the precariously balanced stacks of paper, which fell to the floor in a flurry of printed reports, invoices, newspaper clippings and employee candidate resumes.

    Jillian hopped out of her chair to help clean up the mess. One particular paper caught her eye; it was a memo from the company's public relations office with lots of capital letters and exclamation points.

    Under no circumstances should anyone speak with reporter Mark Bowen-- That was as much as Jillian could read on the fly.

    "Oh, goodness, thank you," Joyce said. "I'm afraid I've gotten behind in my paperwork. Things have been a little crazy around here the last few weeks."

    Jillian wasn't surprised. When one of your employees was murdered and found in the trunk of your CEO's car, it probably created all kinds of havoc.

    Jillian made no reference to the scandalous situation. "Business is booming, then?" she asked innocently.

    "Well, yes, business is good. But that's not.. It's just that we've lost some key people recently. Others are retiring, including our acting CEO."

    Hamilton Payne. He was the one who had contacted Project Justice, and the only person working here who knew of Jillian's true purpose.

    "Your job must be quite demanding," Jillian said sympathetically as she stacked the last of the fallen papers and laid them on the desk. "I hope you have a good admin."

    "On maternity leave," Joyce said glumly.

    "If I have any extra time, I'd be happy to help you out." Jillian wasn't just being generous. Joyce obviously knew the ins and outs of Mayall Lumber--who the key players were, their salaries, their responsibilities. She and her office could be a gold mine of information.

    "Trust me, working for Mr. Blake, you won't have much free time. He'll keep you busy."

    Jillian hoped this Mr. Blake wouldn't be too ghastly. But no matter how bad he was, she would make it work. She only had to put up with it for a short time, just until she found something to prove Stan Mayall's...

About the Author-
  • Kara Lennox has been penning romance and romantic suspense for Harlequin and Silhouette for twenty-plus years, with more than sixty titles under two names. Formerly an art director and freelance writer, Kara now writes fiction full time. Born in Texas, Kara lives in California with her writer-publisher husband. She loves teaching workshops on writing. You can find her at karalennox.wordpress.com and on Facebook ("karalennox").

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