eBook Details

What's in a Name?

By: Terry Odell | Other books by Terry Odell
Published By: Terry Odell
Published: Jan 11, 2011
Word Count: 94,000
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Categories: Romance>Contemporary Romance>Suspense/Mystery/Thriller Mystery

Running for the wrong reason can still get you killed.

Kelli Carpenter has changed her name, her appearance—her life—to avoid being connected to a crime she committed in self defense years ago. But just when she thinks she has nothing to fear, handsome stranger Blake Windsor shows up.

He claims to be the handyman her boss sent to help complete the project she's working on—Camp Getaway—a place where inner city kids will get respite from concrete and drive-bys. Being a loner has kept her alive, and Kelli's instincts tell her to leave. But without Blake's help, the refuge for inner city children won't be completed on time. Against her instincts, she accepts his help.

Blake Windsor, a corporate executive, accepted his boss's request to find out if Kelli Carpenter is really a woman his boss thinks he knew years before. He begrudgingly returns to the blue-collar construction lifestyle he vowed to leave behind, hoping doing this favor will advance his career. The woman he meets bears little resemblance to the woman he's supposed to find, but something about her mystifies him, and he decides to continue with his deception to learn more about her.

When someone makes an attempt on Kelli's life, she runs—but she takes Blake with her. Keep your friends close but your enemies closer is her philosophy. And Kelli is convinced Blake knows something that will link her to her former lover's death, ending her life as she knows it.

What's in a Name? is full of twists and turns as Blake and Kelli try to keep one step ahead of whoever is following them—while they try to figure out why.
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In this scene from Chapter 19, Blake and Kelli (who's pretending to be Blake's cousin, Emily) are returning from lunch, when eating somehow no longer seemed important.


Blake handed the cabbie two twenties, which was as much tip as fare, but he didn't have anything smaller, and no way he was going to waste a second waiting for change. He wasn't sure if the cabbie's snaggle-toothed grin was a "thank you" or a "way to go".

Strategically holding the doggie bag in front of him with one hand, Blake held Kelli's with the other. Small, with slender fingers, it almost disappeared inside his larger one. He'd seen the way those fingers whirled over a keyboard and the thought of them touching him— Stop. If he thought of it any longer, this might be the shortest encounter of his life.

"Great day," Lamonte, the doorman said as they walked past the door he held for them. "Makes you want to be outside enjoying the sunshine."

Good grief, was there sarcasm in that comment? He gave a polite nod in agreement and hurried Kelli toward the elevators, which, of course, were both on the top floors. Hell and damn. Why didn't he live on three instead of sixteen so they could walk up? He heard the clacking of tiny toenails on the tile behind him and smelled a cloud of rosewater. Great. Mrs. Feldman and her poodle. Barely topping five feet and almost as wide, Mrs. Feldman wheezed into place beside him, her curly blue hair taking a moment longer to come to a halt. And she lived on twelve, so she'd be with them almost all the way.

"Good afternoon, Mr. Windsor." She made no pretenses about giving Kelli the once-over from behind her round spectacles.

"Hi, Mrs. Feldman. How's Skeeter?"

"Fine. She just got back from the groomer."

That would explain the pink toenails and matching ribbon on the dog's topknot.

Kelli let go of his hand and crouched by the dog, making kissing noises. "Hello, there, cutie." She looked at Mrs. Feldman. "I'm Emily, Blake's cousin."


Skeeter, who had never regarded him with anything more than a bored sniff of his ankles, writhed with pleasure under Kelli's touch and flopped down on her back for a belly rub. He curbed the temptation to join the dog.

By the time the elevator arrived, so had four more tenants, including old Mr. Norris from eighteen. Although Blake's frustration level had escalated, his arousal hadn't diminished in the least. He pulled Kelli to the corner of the car and turned her so she stood in front of him, her backside against him. Fire surged through the fabric of his trousers. She leaned into his erection and he slipped a hand around her middle and pulled her tighter. He glued his eyes to the lighted floor indicator over the door.

The elevator stopped at five and the doors opened to let out a woman with a toddler. Kelli started to step aside and he tightened his grip to keep her in front of him. He had no doubt Mrs. Feldman suspected Kelli was hardly a cousin, but there was no need for him to stand on display at full attention. When the car stopped at eight, Kelli wriggled her hips and he almost dropped the doggie bag. "Stop that," he hissed in her ear.

She craned her neck around and grinned. "Stop what? This?" She ground her buttocks against him some more. He glanced at Mrs. Feldman and Mr. Norris, who quickly averted their eyes and stared at the floor display.

When they stopped at twelve, Mrs. Feldman, cradling Skeeter, gave a wink to Kelli as she exited the elevator. "Enjoy your visit, Emily."

"Thanks," Kelli said.

The doors closed before either could say anything else. Mr. Norris moved to the other corner of the car, Kelli resumed her grinding, and he thought he might die. "You have any idea what you're doing to me?" he whispered.

"Hmm. You mean this?" She pressed harder. "Maybe."

"Well, stop it, or there's not going to be anything else happening when we get home."

What's in a Name?

By: Terry Odell