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Casting the Dice by @SueWardDrake is a Fall Into These Great Reads pick #romanticsupsense #giveaway
Title: Casting the Dice
Author: Sue Ward Drake
Genre: Romantic Suspense
This should be easy…
Former Navy deep-sea diver turned bounty hunter, Hal Guidry, needs to collar a fugitive now. Not yesterday. Right now.
But inside the New Orleans mansion, he instead finds a woman who fires his blood. A woman who knows only her name. A woman definitely in danger.
As her memory returns, girl-next-door librarian, Annie Swanson, questions how she knows the oh-so-handsome hunk calling himself a friend. Then she discovers he’s a bounty hunter like the men who killed her father, and she flees…
…only to be nearly kidnapped…in broad daylight…in the French Quarter.
Annie runs to Hal with questions, but when they’re both nearly killed in a fiery explosion, he needs answers of his own.
As the sexual attraction between them heats up, can Annie cast the dice in his favor? Or will they become victims of the deadly forces intent on keeping secrets?
Hal and his brothers have the skills to keep dangerous criminals off the streets and protect the women they love. They don’t need easy.
Three books fell off the bookshelf. Annie managed to catch them at the same time Hal called from the other side.
“Over here.” She walked around the end of the case and found him folding the mahogany step stool blocking his aisle.
Amazing what a clean T-shirt and washed cargo pants—hip-hugging cargo pants—could do for a man. He smelled clean, and the scent of his shaving cream set her insides dancing as she squeezed past him in the bookshop’s narrow aisle.
“The stool is here to remind me which bookcase wobbles.” She handed over the books and reopened the short ladder before tapping the bookcase to her right. “Don’t lean on the shelving.”
“I can fix it so it’s stable.” He followed her around the end of the case and loomed over her in all his masculine glory. Not by too much, but hard muscle packed every inch, and he easily crowded the small passage, overwhelming her with his muscular presence.
“There’s no point in fixing it.” She stiffened against the urge to lean closer. “I’ll have to clear out all these books before I can sell the shop.”
That was something she hadn’t considered when planning this trip to New Orleans. Along with kidnappers and exploding cars—and armed bounty hunters.
The overhead light gleamed on the butt of the gun Hal wore in a sling under his arm. She pointed to the pistol, keeping her hand as close to her chest as possible. “Be careful with that.”
His dark brows pulled together. “With what?”
“Your gun.” She grimaced. Simply saying the word caused her stomach to spin. “You need to be extra sure before you make a move that the guy you’re arresting is really your fugitive.”
“Thanks for the advice.” A corner of his mouth quirked, creasing one cheek.
She ignored his sexy dimple and straightened to her full five feet ten inches. “That was not a joke.”
“I wasn’t laughing.” He crossed his arms. “I wear a windbreaker to hide my Glock.”
Her heart thumped hard. He even has a name for the thing!
“But I can’t stop looking for my bail skip.”
“When you find him, I’m staying out of the way.” She squatted to continue searching the shelves. “Thanks for letting me use your phone again. I found the email from my aunt’s lawyer. I need to see him, but I doubt I’ll hear back from him before Monday. Here it is.”
She pulled a book and stood to show him the cover with the embossed gold title. “I’m recommending Pride and Prejudice to the senior class this year and want to re-read it.”
Hal nodded. “Good story.”
“You’ve read it?” Jane Austen wasn’t a guy’s usual reading preference.
“Saw the movie.”
Some chick had probably dragged him there. She probably would have, too, if they’d known each other then. Except he’s a bounty hunter.
She did not need to even think of fraternizing with him. “Let’s have the new keys.”
He pressed one bright, shiny key into her palm, brushing warm fingers against her skin.
She stiffened against the delicious shivers cascading through her. “Didn’t you get two?”
“I’m keeping one since I need to work with you.”
This big, handsome guy needed her? She clutched Pride and Prejudice to her chest. She needed him, too, if only for safety’s safe until her attackers could be arrested. “You sure? Being around me might cause another explosion.”
“You have to promise not to keep things from me.” He crossed his arms.
Her mouth dropped open. “I didn’t keep anything from you.”
He scoffed. “You could have mentioned you were being chased.”
“I figured that was my business, and…” She smoothed her hands on her hips. “Okay. From here on out. I’ll be more forthcoming.”
“More truthful.” She shooed him out of the cul-de-sac of bookshelves. “The first thing we should do is go back to the casino. I could have lost my purse there.”
“If you had money inside, you can kiss it goodbye.”
“I have to ask.” Her purse contained all sorts of essentials. “I need my wallet and phone, and I never got a chance to properly look the day you dropped me there.”
“You had a reason then? I thought you wanted to escape me.”
That, too, of course. “Things change.”
“Does that mean you trust me now?”
“I’m telling you the truth.” Couldn’t he be happy with that?
“All right.” He slapped his hands together. “First of all, you need to get your wrist x-rayed.”
“I’m wearing the splint only because it’s sprained.” She tucked the book under her arm and smoothed the adhesive straps on the brace. “I told you yesterday it’s not broken.”
“You won’t be able to do any rock climbing if the bones heal wrong.” Those dark eyebrows arched.
“I’ve given up rock climbing.”
“Why? Climbing down that brick wall do you in?”
“That brick wall has nothing to do with my reasons.” She wanted to avoid the possibility of running into her ex-boyfriend, but Hal did not need to know anything about her personal life.
“Get the X-ray as a favor to me.” The corners of his mouth rose. “I’m already having a hard time sleeping.”
“I can imagine. That couch is probably ancient.”
“The couch was fine. You’re the main reason.” The glint in his gaze set off sparklers inside her. She stepped closer. Then stopped.
Falling for this guy would be so easy—if he had a different job. Hal would need to be aggressive, maybe even violent to arrest anyone who resisted. Cold seeped into her core.
He was attracted, and he knew she was, too. But…
“We need to establish some ground rules if we’re going to work together.” She crossed her arms. “The first one is to remember our relationship is only temporary.”
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
All e-books on SPECIAL Sale through September for $1.99
BARNES AND NOBLE:
What’s your favorite thing about autumn:
Hands down my favorite thing is how the season paints the trees all yellow and orange and the air turns crisp enough for hot chocolate and cookies.
What inspired you to write this story:
After college I lived in the French Quarter of New Orleans for several years. The residential areas are like a little village, and across the street from my apartment, a couple had opened a used book store. I used the Old Mint Bookshop as a model for the one my heroine inherits.
One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon US or Canada gift card
Open internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon CA account to win.
Runs September 1 – 30
Drawing will be held on October 3.
Award-winning author, Sue Ward Drake, loves using her experiences living in a farmhouse in Greece and her years in the French Quarter as fuel for her stories as often as possible. She writes thrillers and romantic suspense and speaks at conferences on writing suspense and disabilities. For news of the next thrilling Big Easy Brothers romantic suspense, visit www.SueWardDrake.com.
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