Title: IRON COP
Author: Sally Booth
Genre: Romantic Suspense
How had a society girl from upstate New York ended up hiding out in a safe house waiting to testify against the murderer of her husband? Samantha Chadwick Thorne dreamed of the day when she would be free to run her own life. Spending weeks dodging bullets and being ordered around by a gorgeous, arrogant detective, who disliked her on sight, wasn’t part of the fantasy. She knew the secret weapon she carried with her would keep her alive. Then, why did she need a bodyguard?
An unwilling Detective Nick O’Reilly’s job is to keep the star witness alive to testify against the killer. The unwanted sparks she sets off in him are shot down by the suspicion that she might have aided in the death of her husband.
One major problem—The bad guys always know her location.
Nick took his time settling in the chair in hopes that Mrs. Chadwick-Thorne would plunk her well-shaped rear down. His captain pegged it correctly: she was a looker. The picture in her file should be tossed. Her strawberry blonde ringlets bounced and recoiled like little springs when she moved. She couldn't be more than five-two and her eyes were the most beautiful deep emerald green he'd ever seen. They’d been like a sucker punch in the gut the first time he looked into them.
Forget it man! You don't need to go down that road again.
Nick stood and offered her the soft chair. He opened his notebook and clicked his pen.
“Just have a seat.” He pointed to the chair he vacated. Nick’s style didn’t include begging. He felt uncomfortable getting this woman to talk to him. Her jumping at every sound or sudden movement and the constant entwining of her hands bothered him. No woman should be this scared.
What I wouldn’t give for a cigarette right now.
Instead, he pulled a miniature Tootsie Roll from his pocket and offered it to her. When she shook her head, he took the paper off and popped the candy in his mouth. He chewed and waited for her to speak. After several minutes, she moved to the chair and sat on the edge.
She fidgeted with a button on her stark white blouse. Silk, no doubt, he thought. The navy pants she wore looked like they had been tailor-made by some fancy designer. Nick blocked the bad memories to concentrate on his notebook and give her a moment to relax.
“I've got a few questions.”
Samantha straightened her back and looked him in the eyes. “I've told the whole thing over and over again to various police officials. Just read the reports I’ve already given?”
That’s my girl. Be strong. He’d rather have her sassing him than scared silly. He felt like a heel, but he needed to hear the details from her. That's the way he did things--the way he got a real feel for a case.
Nick shrugged his shoulder. “You didn't tell me, Mrs. Thorne,” he replied in a quiet tone. “Neither of us has a choice. My boss made me your baby-sitter until you testify. My orders are to make sure you keep breathing.” His gaze locked with hers. “And I always do my job,” he finished in a tone that left no doubt.
Samantha leaned back against the chair but avoided his eyes. “This is my third safe house. Ha. Safe house. What a joke. That awful man’s men tried to kill me in the first one, and to kidnap me from the second. Now you think you can protect me? What makes you think you'd succeed?”
Nick crossed his arms over his chest and stared at her. “Because…I know my job.” He remained silent until she looked at him. “And I'm good at what I do.”
“You're so confident, Detective O’Reilly.”
“Yep, I am.”
Those eyes. Jumping jacks in his mid-section told him he wasn't immune to her. Lust and key witness didn’t belong in the same thought. Not on this job. Not in this lifetime. He leaned over, and then placed a hand on each arm of her chair and looked her in the eyes. Big mistake he knew, but he did it anyway.
“You'll be safe with me. That's a promise.”
“I haven't been since--”
“You will be now,” he said in a no-nonsense tone. He studied her a moment. The doubtful look in her eyes said she didn't believe him. In her position, he'd wouldn't either. Two attempts on her life in official safe places would scarce the pants off even the bravest witness. The fact that she was trembling in her expensive designer shoes didn't escape him. She covered it well. Her ritzy boarding school training must be kicking in. Good! She'd need it.
Nick pushed away from her to grab a nearby wooden chair. Straddling it, he asked, “What happened that night?”
After several tense moments of him staring at her very pale face, he was relieved when she took a deep breath and let it out. She stared at the wall and appeared to have put herself some where else. Maybe back in time to that night. He cursed himself for putting her through this again. He didn’t abuse women. Why was he making her do this? Then she began to speak in a well-rehearsed monotone, what he knew to be her worst nightmare.
“I was awakened by loud voices about one o'clock in the morning.” She stopped. Looked at Nick. Tears filled her eyes. Her hands trembled. “I’ll n-never forget the t-terror I heard in Edward’s voice. He was p-pleading for his life.” A tear dropped down her cheek.
“Take it easy, Mrs. Thorne. I know this is hard on you.” He gave her a tissue from the dresser. He reached in his pocket. “Want a drink? Candy?”
“No. I just want this whole thing to be over.”
He wanted to tell her everything would be all right, but he knew otherwise. The next two weeks before the Grand Jury convened weren't going to be easy for either of them.
What’s your favorite way to combat stress?
I combat stress by painting ceramics and crocheting. They both relax me, and I love to make things for my family.
Why is your featured book a stress busting read?
My featured book is a stress busting read because it is easy and fun to read. The antagonistic behavior between Nick and Samantha is entertaining to the reader as they run from the men trying to kill Samantha.
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Runs May 1 – 31, 2021.
Drawing will be held on June 1, 2021.
A country girl at heart and the second of four children, I grew up on a small farm in upstate New York.
Working my way through college, I received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Education and a Master’s Degree in Advanced Classroom Teaching.
Married to the love of my life, we raised three beautiful children. One of my greatest joys is being with my grandchildren.
I enjoy reading (romances of course), crocheting, working with various crafts, and traveling to many different regions of the world.
Belonging to the Romance Writers of America, Saratoga Romance Writers of America, New Jersey Romance Writers of America, Sisters In Crime and Mystery/Suspense Romance Writers of America have been a guiding light in my writing career.
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Facebook: sally booth author page