Contemporary Interracial Romance
Beautiful Trouble Publishing
Detective Layla Owens, after shooting a perp during a drug raid, was placed on mandatory administrative leave, with an “extended vacation” according to her old-fashioned captain and lieutenant. An “extended vacation” to think about her position and all the “things” she could do to make the problem “disappear.” Apparently catching the bad guy and shooting a drug dealer meant you had a problem—if you were a female cop. Disgusted by the captain’s obvious lust for her body, Layla took the leave and hightailed it to Montana. But once there, Layla didn’t expect to run in to someone far more dangerous to her body than criminals or the Maryland PD: Chase Daniels.
Chase Daniels had been around long enough to know that good women don’t just fall in your lap. Women desired him, and he didn’t have to run after any woman—except the day Layla Owens showed up at Stone Ridge. From the moment Chase saw her, all bets were off, and he couldn’t wait to let this detective to frisk him! Why didn’t she drool over him or at least try to get his attention? Chase isn’t used to being the one doing the chasing, but he will pursue the elusive but captivating Layla all up and through Montana just to make her his.
“Ranger!” I yelled, coming around the corner at full speed. I skidded to a halt, the tips of my running shoes turning green in the lush grass. Ranger, the damned traitor, was lapping the face of someone. The dog’s tail was wagging like he’d just found his best friend. Then, the someone spoke.
“Okay, okay lil’ buddy. Since I just fed my girls, I guess I can feed you too. Where’s your papa?” The man’s melodious voice flicked a switch in my body. His tone was a deep and rich vibrato with a hint of a Southern drawl. Yes, his voice was like whisky, and I was already drunk. I bit my lower lip to get myself into check, or to stop the moan that rose to my throat. Five years of celibacy and this man had me wanting to throw my panties at him, and he was only talking to the dog. He could have a face only a mother could love, but his voice alone made me want to pant and drool. Damn.
I cleared my throat and walked over to the man as I watched him scratch Ranger behind his ears. His hair was a darker black than Ranger’s coat. His back was broad, straining against the plain gray t-shirt he wore. His blue jeans looked well worn, and he was wearing them well. As I checked out his jean-clad bottom, I crossed my arms in front of me.
“Ranger has a mama, not a papa,” I said slowly. The man didn’t jump at all; he wasn’t surprised by my voice, as if he expected me to be there. Then, he slowly rose from his hunched position. I think I now know what that little boy Jack must have felt when he was watching the beanstalk grow. Holy Mother was this man large and in charge. I thought he was broad? No, he was a barn. I could see just how muscled his thighs were. He made a proud, tall six-foot woman like me feel like a pocket toy. He had to be at least six foot seven. I must have been drooling, because I felt a gnat fly in my mouth. I smacked my mouth shut and tried to pry my eyes from his chest to his face.
Big mistake. The cerulean glare pinned me to the spot. This man was dangerous. I don’t know who he was, but my cop instinct was telling me to be careful. I had to get back in control. I wasn’t in high school anymore; I was thirty-four, damn it which meant no drooling over guys, barns…whatever the hell old blue eyes here was, I shouldn’t be drooling!
He didn’t have on a hat, or a Stetson like many of the men I’d seen passing by, but he touched his two fingers to his head and nodded just the same, and then he smiled. He had the nerve to have perfect white teeth against that tanned skin of his.
Please God, don’t let him work here!
He walked toward me with an extended hand, a sure smile on his face. Taking my hand in his much larger one, he gave it a firm shake.
“Well hello, Mama.” His voice was more dangerous than the criminals I locked up back home. Whatever it was this man was made of, they needed to bottle it and sell it to us lesser mortals. The combination of his warm hands and even warmer voice had me weak in the knees.
I was here for a vacation, not to get caught up in sinful pleasures with whatever his name was. I tried pulling my hand from his grasp, but he just held tighter. I just stared at our hands entwined his tan skin against my chocolate hue; it was definitely a huge turn-on. Damn, I had only been around this guy for two seconds, and I’d thought about sex for most of it. I am in deep shit.
“It’s not Mama, it’s Detective Layla Owens. Nice to meet you,” I said, giving another tug and getting my hands returned to me. I had to put my hands back in my jean pockets or I was going to be rubbing his chest like he was a magic lamp and I was trying to get a genie to pop out. Yeah, his pants’ genie. Ranger didn’t seem to be ready to make a move as he stood by the man as if I were the stranger.
His inky eyebrows knit together as he folded his arm in front of his chest. His smile disappeared.
“Is one of our boys in trouble? I told Grant that a couple of these newbies would be a handful, but I don’t think I’ve heard Sherriff Jim talk about a beautiful chocolate truffle working for him.” His voice dipped to a whisper as he looked me up and down. This man knew how to play the game; every move he made seemed deliberate and attuned to my need. Or maybe it was my need that was attuned to his movement?
I shook my head and widened my stance, as if he were just another perp I was questioning. I held up my hand in order to stop whatever he was going to say next.
“I am not on duty; I am on vacation, from out east.” There came that smile again.
He walked closer still until he was looking down at me with those mysterious pools of blue.
“So then it’s Layla Owens, and we can drop the ‘detective’? Unless, of course, you would like to frisk me…”