Title: Breaking the Rules
Author: Katie O’Sullivan
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Beach Read
Jake Campbell hates rules. Undercover to stop a drug ring at a posh Cape Cod resort, he can’t resist the fiery head chef, Abbie Duncan. She may be on the suspect list, but he can’t keep his hands to himself. With a rising body count, he must keep Abbie safe…but can he trust her with his jaded heart?
A hand jostled her shoulder. “Earth to Abbie,” Ian said, laughter in his voice as she focused her gaze on him. “We lost you for a moment there.” He clinked his bottle to hers. “Don’t let the boss get to you. We’re here to relax, unwind.”
She gave Ian a half smile and sipped her beer. She had to put up with the pompous Frenchman for a few more months before she had enough in her bank account. After years of taking orders from others, she was ready – more than ready – to strike out on her own. Her goal was to open her own restaurant before her thirtieth birthday, a mere year and a half away. One final summer at The Inn wouldn’t kill her, but it certainly wouldn’t be a cakewalk.
Tipping the bottle to her lips, Abbie drained the rest of her Bass Ale. Swiping the back of her hand across her mouth, she locked eyes with the most delicious hunk of blond stranger she’d seen in… well, in forever. He sat at one of the high top tables along the back wall, his wide shoulders and solid biceps stretching his shirt in intriguing ways. The smallest of smiles played across sculpted lips while he held her captive with his eyes. The air seemed to whoosh out of the room as she struggled to breathe under the intensity of his stare, each second lasting an eternity. She licked her suddenly dry lips, trying to grab the reins of her runaway libido.
The guy’s dark-haired companion turned to follow his friend’s gaze. The second man’s lazy grin looked cocky as hell, raking his eyes up and down her body before giving her a deliberate nod and wink. Really? Abbie chuckled as she shook her head and turned away, the intensity of the moment evaporating like steam over a sauce pot. Ian nudged her with an elbow. “What’s so funny?”
Abbie had more important things to focus on than some blond in a bar, no matter how godlike his physique. She smiled at her coworker. “Nothing. Nothing at all.”
Jake Campbell frowned, his focus sliding away from the curvaceous redhead and back to his partner. “What do you think you’re doing? Jeez, Garcia, we can’t afford to screw up this job.”
The other man snorted in disbelief. “Yeah, right. I saw you checking her out when she passed by with that tray of drinks.”
Jake’s voice lowered to an angry growl. “She works at the restaurant, you moron. Didn’t you go through the case file?” Okay, so maybe he had been checking out her curves. A guy notices perfection when it walks by him.
“I don’t remember any of those uptight cooks looking like that. This op gets better by the minute.” Garcia tipped his beer bottle and leered toward the foosball table.
A surge of annoyance flared through Jake. “She’s a suspect, not your personal eye candy. Her bank turned her down for a loan last year. Money problems are always a strong motivator. Plus, you’re spending the next month working with her as your boss.”
“Technically, the pastry cooks work for the Executive Pastry Chef, who works in tangent with the Chef de Cuisine and reports directly to the Executive Chef.”
Garcia smiled. “My sisters both work in fancy Boston restaurants. I know the pecking order. Although working under that redhead sounds like it might be fun. Under her, on top of her… Hell, I can think of lots of interesting positions.”
“Are you taking any of this seriously? We’re chasing drug dealers, not one-night stands.”
“I’m getting into my undercover persona. My character’s a player, remember? Besides, one night with a woman who looks like that would never be enough.”
“Garcia, take this seriously. We can’t afford another op going south.”
His friend’s expression turned grim. “Dude, I’m acutely aware of our job responsibilities. You need to lighten up before you tank the rest of your career because of one stupid chick. You’re thirty four, not dead.”
Jake started to protest but Garcia held up one hand and shook his head. “Listen, Campbell, it’s time you move on. I know Tessa broke your heart but she didn’t chop off any body parts.”
Jake went still. “My ex has nothing to do with this.”
“She has everything to do with your crappy attitude, and everything to do with you blowing your cover on a job we spent three months setting up. Three months of me sitting surveillance in that cockroach-infested apartment, all down the drain. Because of her.”
Yeah, he couldn’t deny that. Getting arrested for assault and making headlines while undercover was not Jake’s most shining moment. “You should’ve put in for a new partner.”
“When the captain offered us this undercover gig with Chatham P.D., I told you this was our chance to hit the restart button. Together. Get out from under that black cloud that’s been dogging us. Plus, spring on Cape Cod is supposed to be awesome.”
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Why is your featured book a must-read?
When you’re talking beach reads, you need a setting that whispers “summer” in your mind. Have you ever been to Cape Cod? The sandy beaches and small-town ambiance paint a nostalgic picture of old-fashioned summertime memories.
I live here year-round, and set most of my books in this idyllic setting. I like to offer readers that warm vision with a slight twist, pulling back the curtain to give a behind the scenes glimpse of local people and places.
Especially this summer, with quarantines only slightly behind us and the uncertainty of what fall may bring, it’s fun to read for escape. To travel with a story to a new place, even if it’s only in your mind. Breaking the Rules is the first of a series about three friends who live on Cape Cod. They have rules about dating… until the summer they each meet the guy who makes them want to break all those rules.
This series also introduces the reader to the MacDonalds of Cape Cod, the hunky cousins who feature in all of my Hot Hunks, Steamy Romance books. So if you like my Cape Cod setting, I’ve got more beach reads for you! Happy Reading!
Giveaway – Enter to win an e-book bundle of all 51 books featured in the Beach Reads Bookish Event: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/92db775068/ Open Internationally. Runs July 17 – 22, 2020. Winner will be drawn on July 30, 2020.
Katie O’Sullivan is an award-winning writer with over a dozen contemporary romance and young adult books to her name.
A voracious reader, she loves to read and write second chance stories with strong female characters and hot alpha males. A recovering English major, she earned her degree at Colgate University and now lives on Cape Cod with her family and big dogs, drinking way too much coffee and finding new uses for all the sea glass she obsessively collects from the beach right down the road. She writes YA and romantic suspense novels, as well as working full time for a high tech company. Which explains all the coffee.
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