Some kids inherit a family business; Jo Ward inherited a badge. Once voted Most Likely to End Up in Jail, the town wild child has become sheriff—hell-bent on uncovering the truth about her father’s mysterious death. Life is quiet in rustic River Bend, but Jo longs for something beyond her small hometown and the painful memories it holds. All that keeps her sane is the support of her best friends, Melanie and Zoe.
But when Jo signs up for an expert law enforcement training seminar, she meets Gill Clausen, whose haunting eyes and dangerously sexy vibe just may challenge her single-minded focus. Commitment-phobic Jo can’t deny her attraction to the arrogant federal agent, and when odd things start happening around River Bend and danger surrounds her, she realizes she’ll need his help to discover who’s out to remove her from River Bend…permanently.
As Jo and Gill work together, it’s clear they make a great team. But can Jo loosen her grip on the past enough to let love in and reach for the future?
Gill sat beside Shauna at a bar not far off base.
“So, Sheriff Ward?” Gill opened the conversation over a beer.
Shauna glanced at her watch, huffed out a laugh. “Less than two minutes, Clausen. Not bad.”
He twisted his frame on the supersmall bar stool and glared. “What?”
“Jo. Sheriff Ward. Keep up!” Shauna tilted her glass back with a grin. “Go on . . . you want to know something about Jo?”
Right. He wanted to know something about the mirage that shimmered out of his weekend and walked into his week. “What’s her story?”
Shauna studied the inside of her glass. “I already told you. River Bend’s sheriff, had a steady head when I was there investigating the disappearance of the girl. We chat once in a while.” A look of concern crossed his partner’s face before she took another drink.
She shook her head. “I think she’s bored in that small town. Probably ready to find something new to keep her in law enforcement.”
He and Shauna hadn’t been partners for very long. In fact, he’d moved to Eugene to help the West Coast arm of missing persons a few months after the Hope Bartlett case. He knew where River Bend was on a map, but he’d never been there.
“She grew up there, right?”
“Yeah, her dad was the sheriff before her.”
Shauna lifted both hands and made quotation marks in the air. “‘Accidentally’ shot himself ten years ago. Jo joined the academy and the town voted her in as soon as they were able.”
“She’s a little young to be the sheriff.”
“Not for River Bend. They adore her.”
He could see why. Honey brown hair, snarky grin, with enough spice under her skin to make him think about her long after she’d left his bed. He knew when he pulled her into his room it would be a onetime thing. But when she’d been gone in the morning, he’d craved.
Gill never craved.
Lost in his thoughts, he felt his partner’s stare and met it.
“I have her cell number.” So did he; he pilfered it off her paperwork.
“She’s single,” Shauna said again.
“I don’t remember asking.”
Shauna laughed and turned back around in her chair. “She’s a smart cop. Level headed . . . too good for where she lives, if you ask me.”
“You think this week is an exercise to see if she’s ready for something else?”
“I think there are a couple of things eating at Jo, one of which is her desire to move on to something bigger than Nowhere, Oregon.”
Gill waited for Shauna to elaborate.
Only his partner took another pull on her beer and didn’t.
“What would the other thing—”
She interrupted him. “If I thought you were interested in Jo for professional reasons, I’d tell ya, but since I think this is a boy girl thing . . . I’m going to play the gender loyalty card and suggest you call and ask her yourself.”
About the Author
New York Times bestselling author Catherine Bybee was raised in Washington State, but after graduating from high school, she moved to Southern California with the hope of becoming a movie star. After growing bored with waiting tables, she returned to school and became a registered nurse, spending most of her career in urban emergency rooms. Now, she writes full-time. She has penned the popular Weekday Brides series as well as the beloved Not Quite series. She resides in Southern California with her two sons.