Characters

Chicago, IL

Chicago Police Detective Reagan is the kind of man a woman feels safe around the minute she sees him. Tall, strong, and capable, Reagan has piercing blue eyes framed by dark brows and a squared-off jaw, and he's set against criminals; especially the ones that prey upon defenseless women. Even as he uses his keen eyes and sharp wits to track a relentless serial killer, he is a haunted by the loss of something precious in his life - something he believes he can never regain.


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Chicago cop Aidan Reagan makes good use of his laser beam deep blue eyes when questioning a perp or tracking a killer. Surrounded by long, luxuriant lashes, there's little those high beams miss. Handsome when he is fierce, Aidan is nothing less than beautiful when he smiles, although his close-knit family may be the only ones to see his tender side. When 'Dr. Chick' walks into his life, he worries that they are miles apart in background and social status, but the attraction may be too strong to be denied.


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The past knows her as the uneducated southern child bride Mary Grace Winters. Now Caroline has fled an abusive cop husband by staging her own death. She is rescued and given her new identity by Chicago's Hanover House women's shelter, where she becomes best friends with Dana, the shelter's founder. Now, a secretary at Carrington College in Chicago, Caroline is determined to make a better life for herself and her son, Tom. She'll be safe as long as her past stays buried, but a beautiful, intelligent woman such as Caroline can't stay unnoticed forever...




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The long-legged director of Chicago's women's shelter, Hanover House, Dana courts danger as she meets runaway women and children at the bus station and hides them from their abusers. Working with rescued friend Caroline Stewart, and foster daughter Evie Wilson, she is the keeper of many secrets-- but the one about herself is the deepest. Busy helping others, Dana has no one to call her own, and wants to keep it that way, but sometimes love finds you no matter where you hide. 


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Born in Maryland and once a desert stalker in the Afghan War, Ethan is using his skills as a security expert in civilian life. Blond, tanned and green-eyed, Buchanan is the strong man with secret vulnerabilities and surprisingly gentle hands who turns up in Chicago looking for his godson, and rocks Dana's world.


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With her wild, bright red corkscrew curls held back in a severe twist, Chicago star prosecutor Kristen can be tough as nails. It's not for nothing that her colleagues call her 'the ice queen.' And indeed, Kristen herself often wonders if she'll ever be able melt in a man's arms after the savagery that was done to her one night long ago. When she's drawn to Abe Reagan, the police detective sworn to protect her from the death threats she's received, she wonders if finally, he's the one.


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Slightly lame after a tragic accident that kills his father and ends his NBA career, Max is David Hunter's older brother and the devastatingly handsome Carrington College professor and History department head for whom Caroline works. With a past that has left him with what he thinks of as a 'deformity,' Max is as well-defended as he is hard for Caroline to resist.


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Mia is brash and very sure of herself. A detective in the Chicago Police Department has to be. She usually hides her curves in a beat up leather jacket and her spiky blonde do under a ratty, worn hat. An abusive father taught Mia to be wary of men. She uses her instincts and street smarts to put bad guys away. But underneath the tough exterior is a caring person who reaches out to help Dana keep the secrets of Hanover House-- and who even learns to put her heart on the line again.


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Solliday, an officer in Chicago's arson squad, is a former military man and tight end: a big man with panther-like grace. His sensual lips, framed by a trim goatee, evoke the devil, but his deep laugh and broad smile render him extremely attractive. A widower and devoted father to his teen-age daughter, Reed's put his heart in the deep freeze, but when he's teamed with homicide detective Mia Mitchell, the thaw begins...


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A respected and successful Chicago psychiatrist, beautiful gypsy-haired, 'Dr. Chick' is often called upon to give testimony in court cases. Her reputation for sympathy toward disturbed criminals has certainly not endeared her to the Chicago PD, but in fact, Tess' testimony has helped put away a lot of bad guys. It seems one of those bad guys is after her - first making her look like a suspect herself, then stalking her. Lucky for Tess, one of Chicago's very finest is on her side.


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Raleigh, NC

With long, long legs, violet eyes, full red lips, and long coal black hair, there is no doubt that Raleigh, North Carolina schoolteacher Jenna is a catch. But she's not ready to love anyone while the specter of her late fiancé, Adam, haunts her. When a serial killer starts going after her students, Jenna must help the police any way she can, but her association with a certain detective could cost her life - or heal her broken heart.


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Big, blond, and attractive, Steven Thatcher is still a young, virile man when his wife dies, leaving him with three boys to raise. Oldest son Brad has always been a great kid, but has radically changed in the last few weeks. What's going on with his son? But when a serial killer is on the loose in Raleigh, this special agent has to hope that Brad's common sense prevails. Steven needs help and it arrives, in the form of Brad's beautiful teacher, Jenna. But Steven may not be ready to accept all that Jenna has to offer.


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Philadelphia, PA

Tall and strong, Sophie Johannsen is a beautiful woman with a quick temper, an agile mind, and a soft heart. At Philadelphia's Albright History Museum, she is a curator who would rather be out in the field on a dig any day. Sophie feels most at home in jeans and work boots and hardly ever wears makeup. But that doesn't keep her from being admired by Detective Vito Ciccotelli when he enlists her help with some crime scene archeology. Trouble is, it seems like Vito's already taken and Sophie refuses to see her own history repeat itself.




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Tough-talking, motorcycle-riding Philadelphia homicide cop, Vito is fiercely loyal to his brothers Dino, Tino, Gino, and his sister Tess. The tall, broad-shouldered, dark-haired leather-jacketed crime buster doesn't have room in his heart for anyone but family, but after he meets a tall, motorcycle-loving blonde, things could change.


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Atlanta, GA

Tall, slender, and strikingly beautiful, with caramel hair and cool, whiskey-colored eyes, Alex Fallon is all calm and competence in the Cincinnati ER where she works as a nurse. When her step-sister disappears, leaving Alex to care for the niece she never knew existed, she travels to Atlanta to find the truth. There, Alex loses that hard-won composure as she confronts both her past and the compellingly attractive Special Agent Daniel Vartanian.


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Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent Daniel is avowed to law and order. It makes perfect sense given his background: his brother Simon was a serial killer, enabled by the parents he ultimately murdered. It's a lot to live down but Daniel is tough. His blue eyes, golden hair, and hard body make him attractive to women, but driven by his GBI work, he hasn't given much thought to finding love - that is, until the beautiful Alex Fallon walks into his life. 


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Dark, with dangerously pirate-like good looks, Luke works for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. His partner is homicide specialist, Daniel Vartanian, but for the last year, Luke has been on Internet crimes assignment. The GBI has uncovered a ring that lures teenagers via chat rooms, for deadly and diabolical purposes. When Daniel introduces Luke to his sister, Susannah, Luke's protective instincts go into overdrive as he feels himself drawn to the damaged young woman. As the Internet crime heats up, Luke discovers a connection to Susannah's past that threatens their chance for happiness - and their lives.


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Lovely, petite Susannah leaves her job in New York City to attend her parents' funeral in Dutton, Georgia - and to testify in a rape trial for crimes committed by her dead brother Simon and his band of surviving 'rich boys,' perpetrated thirteen years ago. Susannah was one of the victims. Her brother, Daniel, a Special Agent, has asked his friend and partner, Luke, to help Susannah with evidence-gathering for the trial and an attraction builds. But a new crime wave begins in Dutton; one that ties to Susannah's past and threatens her life as well as her chance for love. 


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Minneapolis, MN

Once a high-school heart throb and popular jock, David hides a terrible secret-- one that makes him feel guilty enough to dedicate his life to the service of others. Rehabilitating his disabled athlete brother, Max, or repairing the roof of the Chicago's Hanover House women's shelter, David remains a mystery: a man with demons that drive him to do good, while he denies himself the love and companionship his tall, dark, gray-eyed movie star looks could easily garner him. After loving Dana Dupinsky in vain for years, David finally follows his friend Eve to Minnesota, where as a Minneapolis firefighter, he is reunited with Olivia Sutherland, who also holds her secrets deep... 


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Once Caroline's assistant at Chicago's Carrington College and Dana's foster daughter from the Hanover House Shelter, Eve has a new life in Minneapolis, pursuing a master's degree in counseling while moonlighting as a bartender. Dark haired, brown-eyed Eve keeps her head down, not just because she likes hard work, but because trusting the wrong man has left Eve's lovely face horribly scarred. Now the healing must take place - but even if the scars fade, will the terrible memories ever disappear?


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Like the hero of a film noir, Noah isn't traditionally handsome, but he is dangerously attractive and from his signature black fedora (that marks him as a member of the Hat Squad of Minneapolis's PD) to his shiny black shoes, he looks like a powerful animal, coiled to strike. Big like a line backer and usually sporting stubble along his strong jaw, Noah has the edgy, almost thuggish look of a man ready for trouble. A recovering alcoholic with a grim past, Noah is drawn to Eve Wilson in a way that surprises them both.


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Blonde, blue-eyed, and beautiful, with long glowing hair usually tied in a French braid, Olivia hardly seems what she is: a tough and capable Minneapolis police officer. As a child, Olivia was deserted by her father and constantly undermined by her bitter, unhappy mother. Later, a fiance dumped Olivia for an ex girlfriend, making the intrepid detective decide that love was just not for her - not even with someone as desirable - and determined - as firefighter David Hunter.


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Baltimore, MD

First a Marine, then a DC cop, then a PI, Clay Maynard has been defending those around him throughout his adult life. A good man, he’s got the heart of a warrior and the body to match. But the his warrior’s heart belonged to Stevie Mazzetti from the moment he first saw her, a mama bear desperate to keep her daughter safe. She was never ready, having lost her husband and son, so he waited until she was ready. But nearly losing her after she was shot spurred him to tell her that he loved her – and being rejected and asked to leave her alone nearly crushed him. He wishes he could stay away, but fate keeps bringing them together. Now her life has been threatened yet again, as well as the life of Cordelia, the little girl who’s also stolen his heart. He will protect them with his life, even if it means having to walk away again – but he plans to do everything he can to win Stevie’s heart while keeping her alive.



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A sassy, brassy blonde with Dolly Parton hair, lime green mini skirts, long, long legs, and a West Virginia slang, Daphne has made her mark on the Baltimore prosecutors’ office despite getting a late start in her career. Mother to twenty-year-old Ford, Daphne’s come a long way from her Appalachian roots, persevering through a teen-aged pregnancy, a loveless forced marriage, a vicious divorce, and breast cancer, to finally become the woman she’s always wanted to be. But behind her careful mask of happiness and confidence prowl the childhood nightmares spurred by the horrific crimes she witnessed – and endured. When Ford is kidnapped, those nightmares become her new reality, but FBI Special Agent Joseph Carter has vowed to bring her son home. Can Joseph also convince her to allow the “real Daphne” to shine?



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A rugged body-builder, Prosecutor Grayson Smith is dedicated to the law and to getting justice for victims – perhaps too dedicated. He is devastated to learn that he has prosecuted an innocent man, obtaining a conviction for a murder the man did not commit. He commits himself to aiding beautiful PI Paige Holden in making this right, but as the death toll climbs, he realizes the manipulation of the law – and of Grayson’s own dark secrets – goes much deeper and broader than he ever could have imagined.



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Former Army Ranger JD Fitzpatrick has a charming smile and a winning way - when he wants to. Tall, dark, and handsome, his dimple is deep and his dark blue eyes are almost black. A former Narcotics detective, he transferred into Baltimore Homicide to save his own life and maybe the lives of his partners. Haunted by past deeds and the loss of a love he'd never really had, he yearns for a family of his own. In Lucy he finds compassion and soul as lonely as his own. Her music soothes the restless parts of his own heart, her mind intrigues him, and her curves leave him wanting much more.


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Tall, dark, and broody, widower Joseph Carter started his career with the FBI after serving with the US Navy. An electrical engineer by training, he’s a whiz with security and gadgets, but it was the tragic loss of his first wife that had fueled his passion for reuniting abductees with their families. Now fueled by his feelings for Daphne Montgomery, finding her kidnapped son has become even more critical. She’s suffered so much during her life – he doesn’t want her to lose her son, too. Can he find Ford before it’s too late? Can he protect Daphne from a madman who wants her dead? And can he make her fall for him the way he’s fallen for her?



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Dr. Lucy Trask is a medical examiner with a lot of secrets. Tall, blue-eyed, and strawberry blonde, she is two different people by day and night and keeps her two halves firmly separated. Confident both in the lab and on the stage, she finds her footing in untried territory less sure. She fiercely loves the family she's made for herself but opening her heart to new love means opening old doors and old wounds, both of which terrify her. Fortunately for Lucy, JD is good at breaking down doors... among many other things.


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Lethally fierce, black-belt Paige Holden has lost her confidence after a traumatic attack that left her injured and killed one of her self-defense pupils, but she hasn't lost a single iota of her loyalty, compassion, or courage. Having recently moved from Minneapolis to Baltimore to start over as a PI, she takes on a pro-bono case to prove her client’s husband innocent of the murder for which he’s been convicted. But the case rapidly becomes a nightmare as her client is targeted by a sniper and dies before Paige’s eyes. Prosecutor Grayson Smith might be involved in her client’s murder, or he could be her best chance at happiness – and staying alive.



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Small and compact, Stevie Mazzetti has suffered the loss of her husband and five-year-old son at the hand of a thug robbing a convenience store. Determined to go on for the sake of the child she carried in her womb at the time, Stevie has built a productive life. A single-mom, she managed to juggle the responsibility of raising her daughter, Cordelia, with her work with grief therapy groups and her career as a respected Baltimore homicide detective – until she was shot in the line of duty. Her near-death experience has changed her in too many ways. Learning to walk with a cane is hard, but even harder is dealing with disability leave – sitting on the sidelines when she’s accustomed to running after criminals. But hardest of all is the toll her career has taken on her daughter, who continues to have nightmares after being held at gunpoint by Stevie’s old homicide department partner, a cop gone very, very bad indeed. Now Stevie must also deal with the reappearance of PI Clay Maynard, a man who affects her in ways she’s not ready to accept. He’s worked with her, saving her life when she was shot, and he loves her. He’s told her so. But because she knows that she’ll hurt him and because Cordelia thinks Clay is a cross between Captain America and a guardian angel, Stevie has sent him away. But when her old partner’s associates start shooting at her and Cordelia, Clay is the only one she can trust to keep them safe.



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St. Petersburg, FL

Tall, dark, and delightfully nerdy, Christopher is a chemistry professor in St. Pete, Florida. Divorced and raising his teenaged daughter alone, he is devastated when one of his graduate students is found dead in the lab, the cause of death considered suspicious. Dealing with his student’s funeral and the police investigation has him tied up in knots, and now he must also deal with Emma’s shocking return into his life. She wounded his heart all those years ago, but he picked up the pieces and moved on. Now, fully grown with hurts of her own, she has the ability to destroy him - or to give him everything he’s ever wanted.


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Petite and blonde, psychologist Emma Townsend is a grief counselor who, when faced with the sudden loss of her husband, is not able to follow the advice she gives others. She’s been burying her grief until a trusted friend intervenes, forcing her to deal with her late husband's memory. As Emma digs into the past, she discovers she’d inadvertently broken the heart of Christopher Walker, a trusted old friend from high school. Emma can’t bring her husband back, but is determined to fix this damaged friendship. But when she meets Christopher again after so many years, she wonders if she’s been given a second chance at happiness. 



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Cincinnati, OH

Special Agent Deacon Novak is physically unforgettable with his bright white hair, his unique, bi-colored eyes, and the leather coat and wraparound shades he wears for dramatic flair. He uses his differences to his fullest advantage, throwing witnesses and suspects alike off their game so that he can expose their secrets. But it is Deacon who is thrown when he meets Faith Corcoran, a redhead with shadows in her eyes - eyes that see him far too clearly.


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Dr. Faith Corcoran is a green-eyed redhead on the run. A psychologist who’s counseled victims of assault, she never thought she’d become one. But she is, the scar on her throat a constant reminder of the sociopath who nearly succeeded in taking her life once and who has stepped up efforts to finish the job. Her recent inheritance of her grandmother’s old house has provided her with a place to hide - if she can get past the nightmares the house represents, nightmares she’s kept secret for twenty-three long years. Having changed her name, moved halfway across the country, and taken a new job, Faith is determined to start a new life - but a sadistic killer has other ideas. Agent Deacon Novak is on the killer’s trail and she must trust him to keep her safe - but can she trust him with her deepest secrets?


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