For the Love of Pete

By: Julia Harper

“No one’s looking for Pete.”

“We’re looking,” Dante said quietly.

Zoey bit her lip and dropped her gaze to her hands as if she couldn’t meet his eyes. “Are we? You’re not going to give up, then?”

He caught one of her hands and tugged gently until she looked up again. “I’m going to keep looking for Pete until we find her and bring her home.”

He watched those blue eyes search his own. Zoey must’ve found whatever she was looking for in his face. For a moment, she closed her eyes. “Thank you.”

He tugged at her hand, gently, so she could pull away if she wanted to. But she didn’t. Instead, she opened her eyes and leaned toward him. He watched her blue eyes come closer and then he closed his own eyes.

Kissing Zoey was a revelation. She kissed him open-mouthed, no hesitation, her lips soft and warm . . .


“A refreshing, funny, tug-your-heartstrings read that deserves a Perfect 10 . . . If you like HOT stories, this is just the book you need.”


“[A] delightful crime caper . . . the story line is fast-paced and jocular . . . Filled with terrific twists, fans will appreciate Julia Harper’s HOT thriller.”

—Midwest Book Review

“A fantastically written story filled with suspense, adventure, and—as the title suggests—steamy scenes. Julia Harper . . . has a flair for creating lovable and interesting characters who are hard to forget.”


“One of those books that is so good that it, unfortunately, is over long before the reader wants it to be . . . with unforgettable characters, slick dialogue, and a story that is both romantic and suspenseful. Julia Harper writes hot, sexy characters in fast-moving situations with searing realism.”


“A fabulous story! A truly exciting and intriguing book, this was one that could not be put down until the end.”

— “A rousing romantic adventure that is certain to bring Julia Harper a large fan base. Wonderfully witty dialogue, vivid sense of time and place, a hero and heroine like no other; all of these add up to a stellar debut.”


“A funny, romantic comedy with a bit of action-adventure thrown in . . . will appeal to fans of Janet Evanovich.”

—Parkersburg News and Sentinel (WV) “This one is cute with a likeable heroine.”


“A creative and even suspenseful story and a cast of quirky, small-town characters, HOT makes for a light and entertaining read.”




For DOROTHY SINHA, librarian extraordinaire, talented baker of lamby cakes, and the very best of friends.


Thank you to Mili Priyanka for her help with Indian culture and cooking—any mistakes are my own—to Susannah Taylor, the most patient of agents, to Melanie Murray and Amy Pierpont, wonderful and wise editors, to Anne Twomey and Claire Brown in the Grand Central Publishing art department for a lovely cover, to Tanisha Christie and Melissa Bullock for their outstanding publicity efforts, and, last but not least, to my copyeditor, Angela Buckley, for making me look good.

Thank you.


Had Charlie Hessler known the chain of events his stroke would set off, he would never have run that last lap around the Quantico track. If nothing else, stroking out was counter-productive to what he’d hoped to achieve by hauling his sorry middle-aged ass out every night at seven p.m. But Charlie had no knowledge of future events. As he closed in on the final mile a blood clot hit his brain with catastrophic effect and Charlie collapsed to the grass beside the track.

He wouldn’t be found for another fifteen minutes.

Halfway across the country and fourteen hours later, an email was opened on a government computer. The email said that Charlie Hessler was down. The recipient stared for a minute at his lit screen, slowly tapping a finger on his desk. Then a slight smile curved one side of his face and he hit the delete button. If Hessler was out of action, then Dante Torelli was without backup and wide open.

Time to take him out.