COMING FRIDAY 7 PM PST TAMRA BAUMANN AUTHOR OF: TAMRA BAUMANN
7 PM PST
Brent Keiser, a certified genius, and forensic accountant works for the FBI mostly because of their awesome retirement plan. Growing up homeless with a ditzy mother can make a guy be a little obsessive in the saving for the future department. But just once, he'd like to get out in the field, maybe actually fire a gun or chase after a bad guy like the other agents. Although, solving crimes with his calculator is statistically much safer, and he'd live to enjoy that house on the beach he saves for each payday.
Sara Chapman used to be a card-carrying member of the Hollywood rich kid pack, but after serving community service, she said goodbye to her spoiled friends. Seeing the plight of the homeless up close and personal gave her new direction. But that doesn’t deter the annoying paparazzi. Her parents were the famous ones, not her. Sara’s only recent claim to fame was for having the most embarrassing public break up in the history of the entire world. Unfortunately, they don’t give Oscars for those, so she is trying to keep her head down and to stay as far away from single men as possible.
But then Sara becomes unknowingly tangled up in Brent’s money laundering case against her father. When it becomes hard to tell the good guys from the bad, she turns to Brent for help. While on the run for their lives, the built, nerdy accountant with magnificent abs, transforms into her personal superhero. Opposites in almost every way, will Brent see her as his Kryptonite or his Lois Lane?
They passed by a darkened house with tall weeds and a For Sale sign in front. Brent said, “Wonder if that’s empty? Let’s go on the side and look into the windows.”
She followed him up the driveway. They walked along the side, where Brent stopped and handed her the bag and drink. He cupped his hands on the window and leaned close. “Kitchen light is on. No furniture in the house. Let’s go.”
They opened the gate and circled around to an outdoor fire pit with wood benches surrounding it. They sat and opened up the bag. When she spotted her change, she asked, “How much cash do you have on you?” She put the money into her wallet while he dug out the box.
“About a hundred bucks.” Brent held out the opened box for her to choose first. “Dibs on the cinnamon twisty things.”
“Forget it. Those are the best part. We’ll share.” She grabbed a taco and unwrapped it. “Without a phone, we won’t be able to check train and bus fares, but I’m guessing we don’t have enough for two tickets.”
Brent unwrapped the burrito and then poured hot sauce in a neat puddle on the paper. “So, you’re going to ditch me?”
“No. My mother would kill me. We need to find a car. And hair dye. Clothes, tennis shoes, and hats wouldn’t hurt.” She finished off her taco, then went for the chalupa. “You want half of this?”
He shook his head. “Do you have any Malibu Barbie friends who live around here?”
In the middle of a deep draw from their shared tea, a thought struck her. “Scott! We can walk from here. I just asked for my things back while we were dancing, and he said he hadn’t changed his codes. Let’s hurry before they get back from the wedding.”
They both stuffed the rest of their food into their mouths and took the cinnamon twists with them. There was an empty trash can beside the house where they dumped the bag and wrappers inside. Her heels were just going to slow them down, so she laid a hand on Brent’s broad shoulder and slipped them off. Just as she was about to toss them in the bin, Brent’s hand covered hers.
He grabbed the shoes from her and turned them over. “They have red bottoms. That means expensive right?”
“Yeah. Are you thinking we can sell them for cash?”
“Maybe. Best to keep them for now. Especially because I don’t want to have to carry you if we have to cross a bunch of stickers.” He crammed her shoes in his suit coat pockets as they walked down the drive.
By the time they hit the sidewalk, she was still offended about the “have to carry you” remark. “I think a man who can bench press over two hundred pounds shouldn’t be a big baby about having to carry a person who weighs half that.”
Brent’s eyes cut her way as they walked uphill. “Half of two hundred?”
She lifted her chin. “Half and then a third again. Maybe a smidge more, but only because of the six drinks at the wedding. And then the chalupa.”
He patted his flat stomach. “You gotta learn to just say no to those chalupas. You’re not twenty-five anymore.”
“Very funny.” She took both hands and tried to playfully shove him off the curb, but it was like trying to move a brick wall.
“When you’re done trying to throw me into oncoming traffic, can you tell me why Scott is going to happily lend us a car?”
A car hadn’t passed by them yet on the dark, quiet street. “Scott wants to get back together with me—because apparently he doesn’t think I’m fat—so maybe we can use that. We’ll leave a note so he doesn’t call the cops. Cross fingers we don’t run into them.”
“If we do, you’ll have to lose the scowl to be convincing.”
She hadn’t realized she’d scowled at Scott earlier. “Or, maybe we could just shoot him in the foot with your gun and run?”
Brent’s lips twitched, and he almost smiled. “What makes you think I have a gun?”
“It’s why you always wear suits to work, isn’t it? To cover up the gun? Because you’re my bodyguard?”
“Maybe I just like to look professional at my job, Nancy Drew.”
She smiled at his evasion. And that he’d made another joke. “If you were aiming to look like a professional bodyguard, then you nailed it.”
Dani Botelli has vowed to step out of her demanding movie star mother’s shadow and is determined to start a new chapter in her life. But two men vying for her attention are making for double the trouble. There’s Jake, her police detective almost-ex who wasn’t so hot as a husband but still has the hots for Dani. And as usual, he needs her intuition and visions to help him solve a crime. Then there’s her high school crush, Michael, a former NFL pro who’s now her mom’s hunky lawyer.
Working alongside Jake, while keeping her special gifts under wraps, is proving to be more dangerous than Dani realized. She needs to stay out of harm’s way—and out of Jake’s flirtatious path—long enough to find out if Michael is the one. But will her hard-to-explain hunches be the secret that comes between them?
Having prophetic dreams on a regular basis wasn’t nearly as fun as one might think, especially when only half of them made sense, but Dani Botelli wasn’t complaining. Instead, she intended to make the next thirty years of her life better than the first thirty had been. Wasn’t thirty the new twenty-five anyway?
As she raced for the courthouse steps, she vowed that this time around she’d search for a more compatible man, she’d hold down and thrive at her job, and she’d do her level best to stay out of harm’s way for more than a day or two at a time. When a person was on a firstname basis with most everyone at the police station and the emergency room, it probably wasn’t a good thing. Unless you actually worked
The first item on her self-improvement list involved convincing her detective almost-ex-husband, Jake, to sign their divorce papers. She’d finally gotten serious about the divorce and cut off the sleeping-together part about three weeks ago. They’d never gone that long before, so it was a new record, but he still hadn’t signed.
Next, she needed to make a success of her job as a Realtor and stop living off her famous mother. The living-off-her-mom part wasn’t going to be so easy. Shopping in designer boutiques and traveling to exotic places had become commonplace in her past life.
Actually, it had been the best part of her former life, but she’d been too young to appreciate it before she got married. Paying her own Visa bill that first time had been a life-altering experience. Those statements should come with some kind of health warning like cigarette packs do: “Your risk of a heart attack may increase after you see how irresponsible you’ve been this past billing cycle.”
But in order to keep her job and earn enough money to move out of her mother’s guesthouse, she planned to ignore the unwanted visions that kept popping into her head, the ones compelling her to share them with her ex.
Let Jake figure out “who done it” all on his own.
Jake never missed an opportunity to take advantage of her odd dreams and mostly right hunches about things, but sometimes her visions, ones that seemed to come out of nowhere, could be as confusing as sudoku puzzles to the math impaired.
Her little “extra abilities” were an unwanted burden, and keeping them a secret had always been a daunting task. But, by ignoring her secret woo-woo skills, she’d be able to put some distance between herself and Jake and stay out of the crosshairs of the criminals who loved to hate her after she helped throw them into jail.
Dani lengthened her stride as she approached the courthouse in downtown Albuquerque—yes, the same place Breaking Bad was filmed—to testify for the prosecution in another, and hopefully the last, of Jake’s stupid cases. A glance at her watch showed she was late.
Being on time was absolutely not on her self-improvement list because everyone needed a few vices to keep them interesting, didn’t they? But judges tended to be picky about that sort of thing, so she needed to get a move on.
Just as her stiletto landed on the bottom step, a familiar voice called out, “Dani?”
Crap. Now what?
Michael was the first man she’d ever slept with—to her undying regret—and in a strange chain of events, he had become one of her mother’s many lawyers.
It was something they never talked about. The sleeping-together incident, not the lawyer aspect.
He looked like an extremely buff Ben Affleck, and she’d always been insanely attracted to him. But their complicated past threw a bucket of cold water on those desires.
Most of the time.
Tamra Baumann is an award-winning author of light-hearted contemporary romance. A reality-show junkie, she justifies her addiction by telling others she’s scouting for potential character material. She adamantly denies she’s actually living vicariously in their closets. Tamra resides with her real-life characters—her husband, kids, and their allergy-ridden dog—in the sunny Southwest. Visit her online at www.tamrabaumann.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/author.tamra.baumann.
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