Blog Tour: A Fine Line by Jeanine Binder

A Fine Line
By- Jeanine Binder
Genre- Contemporary/Romantic Suspense

Undercover narcotics. Lori had no clue how dirty this business really was until Dr. Leigh Matthews walked into his life, late-night in an emergency room. She was blonde, beautiful, and intelligent – to Lori’s amazement she was just as happy with him and his job as he was. His father’s financial success meant nothing to her. She was a bright ray of sunshine in an otherwise dismal world.

But as Lori prepares to bring down the largest drug operation in the county, can their love survive the stress of his long absences, the dangers of his job, as well as ultimate betrayal? Can they keep their relationship alive and well when the whole world turns upside down?



When Leigh awoke, she found Lori asleep in a chair beside the bed. She suspected her sleeping so much was a product of whatever medication they were pumping through the IV in her hand. She watched him as he slept; he looked haggard and worn out and she knew Lori blamed himself. She didn’t like what happened either but she had been more afraid for him than herself. It was obvious Rafael was going to rape her – he had made his intentions abundantly clear and there was an implication that it was going to be more than once; that he planned to keep her as his prisoner for a while. Lori, though, she’d been afraid he was going to outright murder. She had told him back in the beginning of their relationship she was good with his being undercover – now she wasn’t so sure. She knew it would be something they were going to have to discuss very soon.
The plastic surgeon, Dr. Matt Singleton, had been in to see her earlier in the day and was fairly positive with his diagnosis. He didn’t see anything which would leave a physical scar on her face, boosting her spirits tremendously. He told her she was lucky her abuser hadn’t been wearing any large-stoned rings – it was usually what did damage when a person was beaten in the face. He squeezed her hand as he was leaving – Leigh had sent many patients his way from car accidents.
She watched as Lori stirred in the chair; his hazel eyes coming open and focusing on her. Even after all this time together, she still loved his smile – he gave her a big one as he got up to sit next to her on the bed.
Leigh didn’t have a family doctor – which was normal around ER doctors – so she was still technically Mark Patton’s patient. He had been up to see her earlier as well and told her he would let her go home in the morning if she felt up to it. Mark had laughed, saying he never imagined his boss as his own patient – she laughed easily with him. He had all the makings of a fine doctor and Leigh was glad she had been able to keep him in her department. She was starting to feel better; Mark had given her the rundown about what Montoya had done. She’d treated enough date rape victims to know how the drugs reacted with a person’s metabolism and they simply needed to just run their course. The rest would take some time. Hopefully, Lori had that kind of enduring patience. “How are you feeling?” he asked, softly. “Better,” she admitted. “What are you doing here? It’s after midnight.” “Not letting you out of my sight,” he told her, taking her hand in his, squeezing it gently. “Good luck to security trying to boot me out of here. I’ll just flash my badge at them, tell them you’re my prisoner, and are in my custody.” “You can’t stay glued to me, Lori,” she said laughing. “No, but I can stay reasonably close,” he said.
Lori shook his head. “It’s not because of you, trust me. If the word isn’t out I’m a cop, it will be soon. The Montoya arrest was immensely huge,” he told her, a half smile on his face. “We got Montoya and his number two, three, fourth, and fifth guys. And I’d told you it was all a matter of time before I had to find something else to do. New job, new life. Please marry me?”
He put his other hand in his pants pocket and pulled out a blue velvet box. Opening it, there was a marquis-cut diamond, flanked with sapphires on each side. “Marry me?” Leigh hadn’t been expecting this. She knew his views about marriage. “You’re serious?” “I love you, Leigh,” he told her, looking straight into her eyes. “And I’m not proposing because of what happened. I’d been thinking about this for a long time – I’ve had the ring for the better part of a month. I wanted to finish what I had been doing undercover so I could put the proper focus on us before I asked. It wouldn’t have been fair to you otherwise.” “This is a big step,” she said, still not taking the ring. “Marriage hasn’t been at the top of your list. Especially since all the hassle you had with your ex-wife.” “I know it hasn’t,” he agreed. “But I’m not that same person either. And I’m quitting undercover narcotics, if it’s what’s holding you back. I’m changing departments as soon as I figure out which one suits me.” “Not because of me, I hope. Last thing I want to be is a career changer for you.” Leigh smiled and nodded at him. “Yes, I’ll marry you, Lori,” she answered softly. She watched as he pulled the ring out of the box and slipped it on her finger. The fit was perfect and the sapphires matched the blue of her eyes. “Wow. This had to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever done,” he told her.
“There’s a whole class of people who would sell their mother if they thought they could make a buck or two,” Lori said, with a slightly sarcastic tone. “One of my informants called and told me Montoya’s people had taken the blonde doctor from Tri-City. Didn’t take a genius to figure out it was you.”
“It isn’t the first time you’ve proposed to a girl. What was so difficult?” she asked. “I really thought you’d say no. It’s my fault what happened,” he told her, his tone serious. “I’m still dumbly surprised that you even want anything to do with me. I fully expected you to order me out of here hours ago.” “It wasn’t your fault, Lori,” she disagreed, squeezing his hand. “You couldn’t have known someone was going to tell Montoya everything about you. Montoya knew Adrian Martin was Lori Winslow – I was so terrified at that point, I could barely speak. I was certain he was going to kill you because he knew you were a cop.” “He probably would have, had he been given the chance – after he’d tortured me first, of course. I was close to bringing him down anyway – my strike team had been on standby for three days. I’d been waiting for a drug shipment to come in from Venezuela. His kidnapping you just escalated it sooner. This morning was the earliest I could get everyone in place – I’m sorry it took me so long.” “How did you find out so fast? People disappear and are never found,” she asked, not touching on his apology. It wasn’t his fault – he had nothing to apologize for. “You paid for the information?” Leigh asked curiously.
“Montoya didn’t mess around,” he agreed. “Adrian had been working for him the past three months and I tried not to worry he would find out the truth. He could have wiped me out and no one would have ever known. And Mike giving him any information – it was a sure death sentence if I hadn’t already been prepared to take him down. My informant made sure I understood my cover was blown. He was a good guy – I got him cut loose on probation as a reward.”
“You bet,” he smiled. “My informants are usually spot-on – I can’t afford for one to be wrong and money is a big incentive. And this one especially so because he was a minor flunkey in Montoya’s operation. I got to your car and found your purse and keys in it. I have your stuff by the way.” “I never even thought about where it went.” “So I put everything in motion and we raided his main complex outside the city, as well as his four other depots before the sun had even started on the horizon this morning. I got all of his operation, a ton of drugs, which won’t be hitting the general public, and enough cash to start my own bank.” “Did you arrest the leak?” she asked. “Yes, I got him too,” Lori said pensively. “It stung a little because it was so close.” “Who was it?” “Mike Parker.” Leigh was stunned. Mike was Lori’s partner. “You’re sure it was Mike?” “Yes. And he admitted it when I confronted him,” Lori said grimly. “I don’t understand what his thought process was. It was about money, though. The DA will probably give him a plea deal to testify against Montoya and keep him out of prison. But his career in law enforcement is over. “ “That’s awful,” Leigh said. “He could have gotten you killed. The short amount of time I spent with Montoya told me he was ruthless.” “So Montoya paid Mike to sell you out?” “Hundred grand,” Lori answered. “He owed gambling debts he couldn’t pay – that’s what Stan, my boss, found out when they interrogated him.”

“I’m so sorry, Lori,” she said. “It’s okay,” he assured her. “We’ll get through this. I’m here for you every step of the way.”
“And I’m here for you,” she said, holding her arms out and he gathered her to him.

About the Author-
Jeanine Binder grew up in a small town in California on the outskirts of Palm Springs, where the Hollywood celebrities liked to vacation. After thirty years, she packed up, moved to Arkansas where she still lives today. Writing has always been a passion and hoping the next twenty years will bring many enjoyable books for others to read.

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