Spotlight: The Detective’s Dilemma by Kate Rothwell


Check out a new gaslight historical by Kate Rothwell, out July 24.

 For now, the book is only available at Amazon

 Kidnapped by his own target, this crooked cop is having one bad day.

 Detective Caleb Walker is foiled by his own industriousness. Determined to capture a criminal, he plants evidence—and is discovered by his higher-ups. Now blackmailed into being the strong-arm for a corrupt politician, he visits a poor widow he must convince to surrender her son. Yet something about her stirs his memory, and long-submerged desires. When she pulls a gun on him and demands he switch sides, he’s stunned, annoyed…and intrigued.

 No one will take her son from Julianna. Least of all her sinister ex-father-in-law whose abuse damaged her late husband. With the handsome detective smirking in her sights, Julianna must convince him to help her keep her baby safe from the very people holding Caleb in their powerful grip. In a desperate bid, she kidnaps the cynical Caleb—and struggles to ignore the heat sparking between them.

As they pursue answers, secrets are uncovered—including Julianna’s and Caleb’s. Two imperfect hearts together may be enough to win the day. If their enemies don’t destroy them first.

A gaslight historical set in New York City. This version includes an excerpt from Powder of Sin.

 “With colorful images, engaging characters and a fine eye for detail, Rothwell recreates the era beautifully.”-RT Bookclub (for Somebody Wonderful)

 A new excerpt from The Detective’s Dilemma:

 Julianna’s laughter seemed loud, almost raucous for a young lady. Had she laughed like that as a debutante?

Perhaps Walker could have noticed her at one of those endless gatherings or picnics, though he had barely touched that part of his family’s life. And by the time she had a season, he’d have begun his training, fleeing the privilege of his family—the privilege they’d lost only a few years later.

If he’d seen her in the crowd of young beauties, would he have asked her to dance? He did dance, on occasion. And he’d escorted several young ladies to lectures in the city. He smiled, thinking of those lectures he’d sat through, aching to be up and doing.

Now he wished he’d met her in that innocent time. They’d talk, and she’d smile at him without suspicion or the haggard fear of a woman pushed to the edge. Although perhaps the very fact that she stood at that edge constituted his attraction.

“I wonder…” She spoke so quietly, he had trouble hearing her.


“If we’d met under different circumstances…”

She stood near him, and he glanced up. The woman had to be a mind reader. Their gazes held, and his breath caught. He put down the journal and rose to his feet slowly. She took a step back.

He reached out, moving as slowly as he had when approaching a stray dog. She wouldn’t bite, but she might flee.

“Do you know what they say about widows?” she asked.

Walker had a fair idea but he shook his head.

“We are lecherous women who take our pleasure with other people’s husbands. I, at least, have my terrible reputation based on living with one of my parents’ ex-servants. And now you know the truth of that. He would never touch me.”

She folded her arms and glared at him. “I have missed touching another adult. My baby gives me a sort of affection, but I have missed the skin and taste and bulk of a man.”

“I have never met a lady as direct as you before,” he said.

“Only here and only at this moment.” She raised her chin, challenging him even more. “Only with you, a stranger, nearly.”

He’d enjoyed the fantasy, but the reality? It seemed far too significant.

She narrowed her eyes. “Come now, Mr. Walker, you were all suggestive comments and sly smiles before. Now you’re backing down? Why is that? Oh, for heaven’s sake, Mr. Walker…” She fell silent.

“What?” he asked, then berated himself. No, you fool, don’t talk. Kiss her.

She shrugged. “I’m tired of being strong. Just a…a few kisses.”

And then she astonished him—how many times in a day? She grabbed his hand and examined it, palm up, then she turned his hand over as if checking it for flaws. Her fingers chilled his skin until she lowered her mouth and pressed her lips to his knuckles. Her lips warmed his skin—heated his whole body.

He gasped with surprise and the startling, fierce hunger that surged through him.

He pulled his hand away—his fingers trembled.

“Strong is good,” he whispered as he grasped her shoulders. “Usually.”

A faint smile showed on her face, briefly, but as he leaned forward, it was replaced by a more serious expression.

Her mouth was warm, soft, and tentative under his. He’d planned to sweep in and grab her up in a strong kiss—to show her passion, because God knew he felt hot and urgent enough, and she’d opened this door. But now her nervous small touches and sounds slowed him. He didn’t plunge his tongue into her mouth, but only teased and gave light pressure.

She twisted in his arms, and he loosened his grasp. She gave a throaty whimper and pushed close. Her breath washed over his neck and jaw, fast puffs of air.

Now, please. He went back for more, and deepened the kiss almost at once, putting his arms around her, tightening his hold, pulling her close.

The hours of tension had twisted him tight, and these kisses, the warm, lithe body in his arms, the smell of cinnamon and taste of woman was the cure. He could move her to the sofa, lay her down, slide his body down onto hers. More kisses would be perfect.

He pulled back, ready to pick her up and carry her. Just two or three feet to the sofa—he could manage that. Hell, he’d lie on his back and let her come after him. Again. Yes.

* * *

Kate Rothwell is an award-winning author who also publishes under the name Summer Devon. She writes romances of all sorts, including some historical m/m books with Bonnie Dee. You can find her at


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