I stared at myself in the mirror for what had to be the tenth time this morning, making sure that my pins were perfect and my shirt was pressed. The only things that weren’t sexy were the boots, but hey, I didn’t mind them since they were part of the standard uniform of all motorcycle deputies. Who would have ever guessed that I, Sadie Kathryn Lazar, would become a motorcycle deputy? I still got butterflies in my stomach just thinking about it. I mean . . . why wouldn’t I? I was getting ready to roll out on two wheels of county-owned property, and it would be up to me so save the people of Orange County Florida from danger. Okay, more often than not I was saving them from their own stupidity and I wasn’t doing it alone, but whatever. There were other deputies and city police officers and state troopers, but I was part of that team. I was twenty-eight fucking years old, and even though I wasn’t a kid any longer, this was a lot of responsibility. A lot of pressure.
I grew up watching Cops with my daddy. I was all about bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do thanks to that show, and I never wavered from my career choice.
My ten-minute warning alarm signaled it was time for me to get my ass in gear. After sliding my gun into its holster, I grabbed my helmet and marched out of my small duplex. I opened the door to my tiny garage door, which was truly meant for storage and rolled out my motorcycle before reporting in to dispatch.
“Thirteen twenty-two, ten-eight.”
“Orange County copies. 05:57 hours.” Dispatch confirmed that I was logged in and on duty.
I fired the engine on my bike and then rolled back on the throttle. To many, the roar of the engine might as well have been a foreign language, but to me, it was my native tongue.
As the early morning sun warmed my cheeks and the wind whipped against me, I hummed and maneuvered through the rush hour traffic. It wasn’t even ten minutes after beginning my shift that my call signal rang out across the radio.
“Thirteen twenty-two, go ahead.”
“Are you available to support a search at Mills and Colonial?”
“Ten-four, show me fifty-one, be there in under five.” After letting dispatch know that I was on my way and less than five minutes out, I upped my speed, only slowing when I spotted the three deputy vehicles along a side road. “Hey, what’s going on?” I asked Colton. The guy had been on the force about as long as I had.
“Hey, Sadie, this is one of those stories that is totally Cops worthy.”
“Oh, do tell.”
“It seems that Wanda”—he pointed to a tall woman in gold stilettos and a catsuit (the pleather kind, not the furry kind)—“and her best friend Pammy are no longer best friends.”
“Why?” I asked with all the fake concern I could muster, and Colton nodded with his own fake concern for their friendship.
“Wanda believes that Pammy stole her client.”
“Well, that isn’t a very best friend like thing to do, is it?”
“Nope. Not at all.” Colton was clearly trying to keep himself from laughing.
“Apparently, his name is John, and he’s a very loyal . . . client.” Colton raised an eyebrow.
“It’s six o’clock in the fucking morning. If that doesn’t say loyal, I don’t know what does. So, why the sudden change of heart from our friend John the Client?”
“Oh.” Colton finally lost it and let out a chuckle. “I’ll let them tell you. I don’t want to deprive you of any of the joy.” Colton gave me a knowing grin and I shook my head as I flipped him off and made my way over to the two women.
I walked over. “Oh, good, missy, you need to arrest her. She’s a thief.”
“I ain’t no thief, I’m a hooker.” I looked over my shoulder to Colton, who had moved to stand with Dan and Enzo. All three were watching me with bored expressions. I knew better, and would pay each one of them back for this nonsense. Three male deputies, and they called me.
“Ladies, since the dispute has to do with business, this is actually a civil case and not criminal. You need to get an attorney and sue through the courts. Perhaps you can even try to get loss of income.” Yeah, I said that last part with a straight face, looking for all the world to be nothing more than a helpful officer handing out helpful advice.
“Wanda, I ain’t taking no Johns from you,” Pammy said. “I’m gonna be truthful, okay? I stole some of your Oxys. But, girl, you got so many from that guy you blew, you didn’t even miss none.”
I wanted to groan. Fuck, I needed to do a search.
“Okay, ladies,” I said as I pulled out black plastic gloves. “I’m going to need you to step away from each other. If you could please face the car.”
“What you doing, bitch? You ain’t arresting her, she’s my best friend.” Wanda, who just seconds ago was claiming that they were no longer friends, looked ready to fight for said friendship.
Before becoming a romance writer, Danielle was a body double for Heidi Klum and a backup singer for Adele. Now, she spends her days trying to play keep away from Theo James, who won’t stop calling her or asking her out.
And all of this happens before she wakes up and faces reality where in fact she is a 50-something mom with grown kids. She’s been married longer than Theo’s been alive, and she now gets her kicks riding a Harley.
As far as her body, she can thank Ben & Jerry’s for that, as well as gravity and vodka. But she says that she could never be Adele’s backup since she never stops saying the F-word long enough to actually sing.
Danielle writes about kickass women with even better shoes and the men that try to tame them (silly, silly men).
Seven Poker Night buddies are very good with their hands…and are about to lose their hearts! Each one comes to learn that only great risk leads to great reward…
Eli King’s future looks bright. After a decade raising his orphaned sisters, the last are about to leave home and leave him finally able to indulge in a free-and-easy bachelorhood that’s always been out of reach. But one rainy night a knock on his door announces the arrival of a beautiful single mom in need…the very type of knot Eli’s sure he doesn’t want to get tangled in. But can he ignore Sloane Clarke’s smokin’ body and engaging smile, even though she comes with a little girl and responsibilities certain to tie him down?
Sloane takes her single parenthood very seriously and knows it doesn’t allow room for romance—or even sex. But when a leaky roof sends her to the hot and tempting man across the street, a woman can’t help her mind heading off in that direction. But her heart’s too smart to give itself to a guy who’s bent on playing the field…unless Eli proves to be the kind of irresistible that even the wariest can’t withstand.
Christie Ridgway is a California native and author of over forty-five contemporary romances. A six-time RITA finalist and USA Today bestselling author, she writes sexy, emotional reads starring determined heroines and the men who can’t help but love them. She has a Career Achievement award from RT Book Reviews and twice has received their Reviewer’s Choice award for best contemporary romance of the year. Married to her college sweetheart, Christie lives in Southern California in a house filled with boys and pets. She writes as an escape from sports equipment, football on TV, and dog hair.