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All or Nothing

Cover of All or Nothing

All or Nothing

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With the flair for sizzling romantic suspense that has made her books international bestsellers, Elizabeth Adler, whose work has been hailed by critics as "mesmerizing" Internet Bookwatch, "exhilarating" Publishers Weekly, and "sensuous" Kirkus Reviews, is at the top of her form with her latest novel, All or Nothing.

Lithe, leggy attorney and law professor Marla Cwitowitz is dying for some excitement in her life--that is, other than being the girlfriend of Al Giraud, private detective, sexy soul mate, and all-around best friend. So when she sees the potential for a crime-solving spree, she jumps at the chance to moonlight as a detective. According to the evening news, local real estate agent Laurie Martin is missing and presumed dead. Marla and Al happened to have seen her dining with an attractive man several days before her disappearance. The man is Steve Mallard, loyal husband, doting father, and prime suspect. But Marla senses that something is not quite right. And her intuition has never let her down. Believing that there's more to the story than meets the eye, she takes matters into her own hands, vowing to get to the bottom of what's beginning to look like a very complex case. Al wants Marla to stay out of the way, fearing for her safety. He knows what's involved in detective work, and he's not sure she can hold her own as an investigator. But she won't be warned off this case. Their relationship has never been more fraught with complications--or sexual sizzle. With little warning or preparation, the two find themselves crisscrossing the United States in frantic pursuit of a remorseless criminal in an effort to prove Mallard's innocence. Finally Marla's found the excitement she's been looking for. With her, it's always been all or nothing.

With the flair for sizzling romantic suspense that has made her books international bestsellers, Elizabeth Adler, whose work has been hailed by critics as "mesmerizing" Internet Bookwatch, "exhilarating" Publishers Weekly, and "sensuous" Kirkus Reviews, is at the top of her form with her latest novel, All or Nothing.

Lithe, leggy attorney and law professor Marla Cwitowitz is dying for some excitement in her life--that is, other than being the girlfriend of Al Giraud, private detective, sexy soul mate, and all-around best friend. So when she sees the potential for a crime-solving spree, she jumps at the chance to moonlight as a detective. According to the evening news, local real estate agent Laurie Martin is missing and presumed dead. Marla and Al happened to have seen her dining with an attractive man several days before her disappearance. The man is Steve Mallard, loyal husband, doting father, and prime suspect. But Marla senses that something is not quite right. And her intuition has never let her down. Believing that there's more to the story than meets the eye, she takes matters into her own hands, vowing to get to the bottom of what's beginning to look like a very complex case. Al wants Marla to stay out of the way, fearing for her safety. He knows what's involved in detective work, and he's not sure she can hold her own as an investigator. But she won't be warned off this case. Their relationship has never been more fraught with complications--or sexual sizzle. With little warning or preparation, the two find themselves crisscrossing the United States in frantic pursuit of a remorseless criminal in an effort to prove Mallard's innocence. Finally Marla's found the excitement she's been looking for. With her, it's always been all or nothing.

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    Al Giraud, Private Investigator, was sitting in the bar of the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, eating miniature pretzels and drinking a Samuel Adams dark ale, contemplating life and the fact that he couldn't have a cigarette while waiting for the always late woman in his life.It had been nine months since he had last smoked. Enough time to give birth to a pack of Camels, he thought, resignedly crunching down another pretzel. That was Marla for you. How come he'd let this woman have so much influence on his life? He glanced down at his old, faded jeans, short-sleeved plaid shirt, scuffed boots and the ancient snakeskin belt with the rearing mustang silver buckle, bought decades ago in his hometown of New Orleans. Then he grinned. At least she hadn't yet managed to change his style.

    Al had become a P.I. the hard way. The easier way would have been to become a criminal.

    He was raised by his mother in one of the poorer parts of town, along with her five other boys. Somehow she managed to keep them out of trouble, though later he wondered how. It would have been easy for him to drift over to the other side into a criminal way of life. "The easy life," his friends called it temptingly. He'd had a few scrapes with the law, hung in there, though, and finished high school, got a job immediately to help with the family's finances. Then one of his brothers was killed in a drive-by shooting. Al's sorrow and rage was such he wanted to go right out and kill the guy who'd done it, he wanted revenge so bad it hurt. His mom talked him out of it. "Two wrongs don't make anything right, son," she had told him through her tears. "Just get out there and try to do some good."

    The only way Al could figure out how to do good was either to become a minister or a cop. He was definitely more suited for the cop role. He was street-smart, athletic, ambitious and angry, with knee-jerk responses. He made his way up through the ranks to homicide detective, married, divorced.

    The day came when Al had finally had enough of the cop's life: the hours, the harshness, constantly seeing the seedy side with its tragedies and traumas. He took early retirement, packed his meager possessions in a small duffel bag, kissed his beloved mother good-bye, threw a raucous farewell party for his three remaining brothers and their wives and departed for L.A. "The land of opportunity."

    He had set himself up in a second-floor office on Sunset, with a glass door embossed with his name in gold and the words private investigator--with all work confidential in small print underneath. Purple bougainvillea trailed over the balcony, the busy traffic zoomed by on Sunset along with a constant parade of folk: smart businessmen, transients, hookers, record execs, dudes and gorgeous California girls. Enough to keep his mind off work, certainly.

    He made contacts in the LAPD, in the District Attorney's Office, in a couple of the legal firms, and work began to trickle his way. Divorces, fraud, embezzlement. Women who wanted to know what theirhusbands were up to. And men who wanted to know if they were being followed, and who was trying to kill them. Then he hit the big time with the case of a prominent man accused of attempting to murder his wife. Al was able to prove that the timing was impossible and the guy got off. Suddenly, he found himself in demand.

    The work was risky, often dangerous, but he was from the streets, he'd mingled with guys like this since he was a kid. Until his brother's murder he had called them his "friends." Now he was definitely on the side of right.

    Al worked hard for his clients. Some were guilty, some not: he just did his job and presented the...

About the Author-
  • Elizabeth Adler is the internationally acclaimed bestselling author of many previous novels. She lives with her family in California.


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