Deputy Will Knight and reporter Merry Warren couldn’t be more different—she’s the queen of questions, he’s the king of no comment. The inquisitive beauty drives Will crazy with her feisty attitude and sassy mouth…the one with the full lips just made for kissing. Not that he’s noticed. Much. He’s too busy working an arson case that may be tied to something bigger, helping his brothers prepare for the opening of their new flight-seeing business, and spending what little free time he has flirting with an online mystery woman.
Merry has enough to deal with without the sexy distraction that is Deputy Knight. She’s currently working undercover on what might be the most important story of her career, avoiding an unwelcome half-brother who’s invaded her life in Jupiter Point, and, oh yeah—her new boss wants her to do a story on a local cold case—the unsolved murder of Will’s father. A painful event he and his brothers are reluctant to relive. And then there’s that online flirtation…
A bossy alpha male with a protective streak a mile wide, and a fiercely independent reporter with a talent for trouble. The sexual tension is three years in the making, and before Will knows it, he’s in hot pursuit of Merry…and they’re both headed straight to danger.
“Let me ask you something, Deputy Annoying. Are you single?"
Will stabbed a fork into his coleslaw. "Why do you ask that? I'm not trying to hit on you. I'm trying to keep you safe."
"The reason I ask is because you really ought to think about lightening up. I'm a grown woman. Did you ever think maybe you're scaring away all the good ones with your bossy attitude?"
"Is that an honest question?" He laid his fork down and held her gaze. She nodded, though his sudden intensity made her draw back a bit. "Honest answer, then. No, I've never considered the possibility that my bossiness scares women away. For most it's a turn-on, as a matter of fact. I've never heard a complaint from anyone except you, out of all the women in Jupiter Point. So I guess that means we won't be going to bed anytime soon."
Her pupils widened and he caught the subtle sound of her breath quickening.
Jesus. It was a damn good thing he was off duty. He'd never talk to her like this if he was on the job. He usually kept himself under better control.
"Some men are sensitive to a woman's feelings," Merry was saying. "They ask, instead of issuing orders. Maybe you should consider giving it a try sometime."
He snorted. "Let me guess, you have some fantasy about a New Age guy who plays the flute and rubs your feet and listens to all your problems."
She gaped at him.
Ha. He'd hit the nail on the head. "Maybe that's why you're still single. Those guys only exist in, I don't know, ads for a juice cleanse or something."
Her nostrils flared. She looked like she was about to bonk him on the head with her tray. Maybe he'd gone too far.
He softened his tone. "I'm just trying to keep you from getting hurt. It's part of the whole 'protect and serve' mentality. Are we on the same page here?"
"Put it this way," she said in a voice that shook ever so slightly. "I accept the fact that I'm not getting rid of you tonight. Likewise, I accept the fact that you are the last man in Jupiter Point that I will ever go to bed with. So I guess we are on the same page."
"Good." Emphatically, he lifted his burger and ripped a hunk of meat off it. Cold. Damn it.
As he savagely chewed his burger, he knew one thing for sure. If Merry had disliked him before, multiply that by a thousand now. Maybe a lawman and a reporter were doomed to be at odds forever.
About Jennifer Bernard
Jennifer Bernard is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. Her books have been called “an irresistible reading experience” full of “quick wit and sizzling love scenes.” A graduate of Harvard and former news promo producer, she left big city life in Los Angeles for true love in Alaska, where she now lives with her husband and stepdaughters. She still hasn’t adjusted to the cold, so most often she can be found huddling with her laptop and a cup of tea. No stranger to book success, she also writes erotic romance under the name Juniper Bell.