Ethan Price thought a job as a small-town police detective in Willow Haven would be easy after five years as a pilot in the Air Force. Then a rash of break-ins puts the entire department on alert and the woman he loves at risk.
Anna Taggart is smart, stubborn, independent, and doesn’t think she needs anyone. Having her heart broken before she refuses to give in to her feelings for Ethan no matter how hard he pursues her.
Will Ethan be able to convince Anna life is too short not to love?
With one more quick pass through the house, Anna was satisfied it was ready. Time to put out the sign on the front lawn. Stopping at the front door and turning to check on last time at the view the prospective buyers would have as they entered, she pulled open the front door and stepped outside and face first into a rock hard t-shirt clad chest. Backing away on instinct alone, it took her brain a moment to register that she knew that chest. Very well, in fact.
“Damn it! Ethan. You scared the crap out of me.”
“Sorry. But I didn’t expect you to open the door as I was about to knock.” He might be saying he was sorry, but his wide-ass grin told her otherwise.
“How did you even know I was here?”
“I stopped by the office. Jenny said you were covering Adria’s open house. Don’t you have enough on your plate already?”
“It’s not a big deal. And you know Adria would do anything for me. Scotty’s team made the finals. I thought I told you last night?”
Ethan Price, ex-Air Force Pilot, Willow Haven Police Detective and Anna’s boyfriend, rolled his eyes and shook his head. She knew the look. It wasn’t the first time she’d seen it, and it definitely wouldn’t be the last. “You run yourself ragged.”
“It’s my company.”
“No, it’s your father’s company. He just lets you do all the work.” He was right even if she didn’t want to hear it. Her parents had semi-retired four years earlier and left her in charge as they hit every golf course in the world.
“That’s not entirely true.”
“C’mon, it’s true, and you know it.”
With a sigh, she pushed past him to set up the sign. She didn’t have the time or the desire to rehash their standing argument. She had work to do, whether he liked it or not.
“Why are you here, anyway? Damn, that sounded harsh, sorry. I thought you were working today too.” Every inch of his six-foot three-inch frame oozed sexy as he leaned against the doorway.
“Nope, this is my weekend off. Which is why I figured we could sneak in a little afternoon fun. Or I did until I realized you weren’t in the office.”
“Oh, you did, huh? What makes you think I’d have time for some afternoon nookie?”
“Hmm. I think I’d have found a way to convince you.”
Seeing the gleam in his steel-blue eyes, sent a shiver of desire racing down her spine. Damn. She’d tried so hard to keep him at arm’s length, but he was just too—everything. Everything she wanted, everything she needed, but everything she was afraid of. After Ryan’s death, she promised herself never again. It just hurt too much.
His quick smile proved he knew how he affected her. “So, I brought lunch. We both know you never remember to eat, and I figured since I couldn’t have you, we could at least have lunch together. You do have to eat.”
Unable to resist his smile, she grinned. “Oh well, you win some, you lose some.”
“I consider this a win; I still get to spend time with you.”
“I don’t have a lot of time. Buyers could show up at any minute, and it’s not really professional to be eating on the job.”
“Then I guess you’ll have to eat fast. Jenny said you should have time.”
“Good thing I don’t employ Jenny to keep secrets.”
“She just can’t resist my charm.”
Snorting, she shook her head. Yeah, I’m sure that’s exactly why.”
“Hey if you don’t want what I’ve brought…”
“What did you bring?” She couldn’t see the writing on the bag but from his huge grin she’d bet anything he’d gone to Dixie’s.
“I stopped at Dixie’s. You know you can’t turn down one of her roast beef sandwiches.”
“That’s so not fair!” Her mouth watered just thinking about the thin-sliced rare roast beef, provolone, fresh tomatoes from Dixie’s garden, and of course the homemade sour dough bread she’d have made that morning. Dixie’s food was like a little slice of heaven.
“Why not? I promise I won’t tell the boss.” Anna laughed, she couldn’t help it. His eyes sparkled with mirth. Yup, he was trouble with a capital “T” and he had been from the first time she’d met him. He was the first man who had even gotten close to breaking down the brick wall she’d erected around her heart after Ryan was killed in action. Between his death and Tag’s injuries she’d made the decision focus on work.
“Fine. But we have to make it quick. People could show up any minute, there’s no way I’m going to be picnicking while they are trying to look at the house. I do have a reputation, you know.”
About the Author
Lynne St. James is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America and has been writing for as long as she can remember. Her first book was published in 2012 and has since written four different series. Lynne lives in the mostly sunny state of Florida with her husband, two dogs, and two cats, and at least one is always hanging out with her in her office aka “writing cave.”
When Lynne’s not writing, she’s reading, taking pictures, and sometimes even cooking—to the relief of her hubby. She’s usually in her office surrounded by books, stuffed animals, and post-it notes, writing her next happily ever after, but she’s been known to come out for coffee and chocolate.