THE WHO’S WHO CAPER
DOUBLETAKE SERIES, Book 1
Everybody has a double somewhere.--Mother
Samantha Smith is a con artist who's trying to reform but finds that the straight and narrow path has more twists and turns than a fortune cookie.
Jayne Roberts, Sam's mousy lookalike, is a presidential archivist and "good girl" who longs to go bad—or at least go to bed with Sam's hunky husband.
Sam and Jayne: They don't know what they want but get it anyway.
How They Met: Two women who look enough alike to be twins—and so different in personality that they might be from different planets--meet by chance in Chicago’s O’Hare Airport during the snowstorm of the century. Each is faced with a task she dreads. While on terminal layover, they agree to trade places with disastrous results. Among them: Samantha falls for Jayne’s dynamite half-brother and Jayne finds herself in bed with Sam’s hunky estranged husband. Going from bad to worse, they soon find themselves dodging someone with evil intent but who’s he after, Sam or Jayne?
They're just a mistaken identity away from love, lust, danger and other natural disasters. And they don’t even like each other...much.
Story excerpt: I didn’t know exactly what you wanted here so since the book is in two separate first persons, I decided to let each of them speak to give you a feel for the characters.
HAD MY FATHER’S CAR not broken down on the way to the hospital, I would have been born in Beverly Hills. Instead, my mother gave birth to me on the unpaved shoulder of Sepulveda Boulevard, next to a patch of weeds and a broken beer bottle, and less than fifty feet short of the Beverly Hills city limit.
The circumstances of my birth were a sign of things to come. I deserve to be in the Guinness Book Of World Records for having the dullest childhood on record. I was the only one on my block—in my entire elementary school for that matter—whose parents weren't divorced. Talk about growing up a deprived child!
In contrast, my best friend, Ginny, had two fathers, three mothers and an assortment of grandparents. On her twelfth birthday, her birth father sent her to Europe for the summer. Not to be outdone, her adopted father—or maybe it was her stepfather—bought her a horse, and one of her grandparents gave her stock in a blue chip company. For my twelfth birthday, I got my ears pierced.
I've lived in California all my life and have never been abducted by a UFO, experienced an earthquake, or been asked to join a cult.
Even more amazing, I've never even witnessed a shooting. I was close once, but when the victim got up and walked away full of bullet holes, it was obvious they were filming a movie.
Fifty feet short of the action was the story of my life. All that changed the day I met Samantha Smith.
SOMEWHERE IN THE DARK, a man groaned.
The sound shot through me like an electric prod and I realized I'd been holding my breath and waiting for some indication that he was dead or alive. Bravado to the contrary, I was just as glad I hadn't offed the guy. No way did I want to try to explain to the police what I, Samantha Smith, was doing impersonating a plain little gray field mouse like Jayne Roberts.
So where the hell was that flashlight? I'd hit the groaner so hard that the shock of it had sent my weapon flying. Dropping to hands and knees, I scuttled around looking for it in the pitch blackness of that strange Victorian mansion. One hand touched the cold metal cylinder just as the other touched warm human flesh.
I yanked back and fumbled to switch on the yellow beam of light. It illuminated the T. Howard Gladwell tote…the bottom of a stairway…and just below the first step, a hand limply connected to an arm. Slowly I guided the light up the arm, across a bare shoulder, down over a smooth naked chest—
Yanking the beam up, I looked into the unconscious face of a grubby Greek god. He was badly in need of a shave but I saw very little else to complain about.
Under those circumstances, I supposed it behooved me to determine the extent of his injuries. Shining the light this way and that, I checked his head for damage and found some: the hair was matted with blood above his right ear. Other than that, he looked...fairly close to perfect. I crouched beside him to ponder, knowing that I didn't want to call for an ambulance or get involved with anyone who might ask too many questions.
But I couldn't let him die, either. Holding the flashlight with the beam directly in his face, I patted his cheeks and uttered a brusque, "Wake up, okay? I didn't slug you that hard."