Cade’s Dare

Crime Tells, Book 5
Jory Strong (June 09, 2014)

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He’s wanted her for years, loved her for years, avoided her for years, but now Cade Benson is ready to claim Grace Montgomery. She’s his one, or more accurately, their one—if only Mace will commit.

A future that doesn’t include sharing Grace makes Cade break out in a cold sweat. Desperation makes him issue a challenge. Take her with me once, I dare you.

Mace has every intention of refusing, but one look at Grace after a night spent with Cade and there’s no way he can deny himself, not when he’s craved her sweet submission for years. He’ll take Cade’s dare, gambling he can survive the misery that’ll come afterward—when he walks away for his brother’s sake.

Connected Books: Crime Tells

Mystery, family, and finding love while working as private investigators come together in a contemporary world. The stories in the Crime Tells world don’t need to be read in order, though like any series, the enjoyment is deepened for having met the characters who overlap from story to story.

Book 1

Book 2

Book 3

Book 4

Book 6

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Braden polished off the beer, set it on the table. “My work here is done. Now to reward myself.”

He headed straight toward a table of five women. Cade held for a count a ten, used fingers on the rim of the empty glass to spin it on the table.

He met his brother’s gaze. Waited for another ten count, for Mace to say what they were both thinking, that Grace shouldn’t be working this case to begin with. That it was time to step into her life and take charge, keeping her safe.

The cold sweat returned when Mace didn’t say anything.

Come on, Mace. Don’t make me do this. You want her as badly as I do. I’ve seen the way you look at her when you think no one is watching.

Mace didn’t break the silence.

Cade nearly signaled the waitress. Didn’t.

A spasm went through his chest. Okay, if that’s the way you want to play it.

He stood. “Are you in or out?”


Ache dead-centered in his heart. Desperation made him say, “Take her with me once, I dare you.”

A muscle jerked in Mace’s cheek. “What is this, high school?”

“No. It’s the rest of my fucking life.”

Mace lifted his glass. “Then have at it. Enjoy yourself.”

It was too flip. Too casual. And they were too close, too tight for him not to understand just how hard Mace was fighting answering the dare, fighting against a future that centered around Grace.

He’ll come around.

Or he won’t.

Cade steeled himself, accepting the possibility if that’s what claiming Grace meant. “See you when I see you,” he said, leaving the bar.

His blue Porsche Boxster was parked next to Mace’s dark gray Tesla Roadster. Cade got in, grimaced at seeing it was a few minutes past midnight.

Bright. Real bright leaving it so late. But the time didn’t deter him from going straight to Grace.

She was home, her silver VW Beetle parked in the driveway and a light on in the house. He heated up the closer he got to her door, wondered if she’d ended up with one of the dachshunds Lyric had rescued a while back and if it was going to bark loudly enough that whoever was living in Bulldog’s other houses would see him and start a betting pool.

Didn’t matter. Hell, by morning this was going to be a done deal. Grace would have a permanent man in her life, though he could always hope big brother didn’t get wind of it until things were completely settled.

He rang the bell. Heard a muffled bark and smiled.

The outside light came on. The door opened.

Fuck. She was even more beautiful than the last time he’d seen her. Or maybe it just seemed that way because he was finally here to stake his claim.

“Cade,” she said.

The sound of her voice fisted his dick. Desire scorched through him, nearly dropping him to his knees.

He wasn’t alone in feeling it. He’d always been able to read her desire, though she’d tried to hide it and denial had allowed him to ignore it—for a while. Not any longer.

The funeral in Los Angeles today might have been the catalyst. Braden’s showing up at the bar might have given him an added excuse for arriving at Grace’s door, but this moment had always been coming. It’d been coming since the day they’d laid eyes on each other.

The same want he’d first seen three years ago was there in the flush across Grace’s cheekbones, in the parting of her lips, in the way she looked at him, in the softening of her body beneath loose sweats that did nothing to downplay her beauty.

She practically vibrated with the need to submit, to give herself over to a dominant man’s keeping. He intended to be that man in Grace’s life. One of two men. If Mace would stop fighting the inevitable.

“You going to invite me in, Grace?”

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