Title: Unexpected Connection
Author: Sue Jaskula
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Confident and resilient homicide detective Jennifer Scott is instinctively suspicious when her best friend's life is disrupted by the arrival of an unbeknownst twin sister. When a murder coincides with her appearance, the mysterious twin becomes the prime suspect.
Adding confusion to Jen's organized life is another unexpected intrusion, her handsome and sophisticated new partner, Detective Luke O'Connor. As mischievous as he is charming, chemistry between the two intensifies, threatening Jen's reputation and testing her limitations.
As the murder investigation unfolds, the detectives are forced to back-burner their heated connection while they race against time to figure out what other long-lost family members may be involved, how they're connected to the twins and why they've surfaced now.
Barely logged into my computer and settled behind my desk in our mosh-pit of half walled cubicles, Luke appeared again. His casual perfectly fitted jeans and soft leather jacket certainly caught my eye on Friday night. But, dressed in a business suit and tie, flawlessly fresh-shaven, he was impeccable. I had to force myself once again not to stare. Without invitation, he sat down in the vacant seat beside my desk and smiled. “Good morning, Detective Scott; lovely to see you again,” he said.
I spoke quietly so officers around us couldn’t hear. “Cops here call me Jen, or Jenny or Scott. You almost had your tongue down my throat, for Christ’s sake, I think that entitles us to a first name basis. And wipe the smirk off your face. If we have to work together, we need to set some boundaries.”
“Okay, Jenny it is. How about we rewind to before Friday and start over?” He extended his hand, and I cautiously felt some relief. Maybe we could make this work.
“Sure.” I reached to shake his hand and shivered the moment we touched. “Jesus.” I jumped back, feeling ridiculous, and again wondered if he had some kind of magical power.
“Are you ill?” he asked innocently.
I was angry at myself for my body’s response that started the minute he walked up in his perfect suit. The return of his devilish grin didn’t improve my disposition. “It’s nothing,” I snapped.
“I’m good at reading people and that expression tells me you have something you’d like to discuss.”
Again, I hushed my voice, but I knew my irritation came across loud and clear. “Keep your voice down, damn it. I don’t need rumors starting from your asinine comments. We’re not going to play this cat and mouse game, Detective O’Connor. I am also good at reading people, that’s why we’re in this job. I’ve been around a few rodeos and met your smooth-talking type. The last one almost got me fired, so let’s establish a few things. I’m not a damsel in distress. I don’t need you to escort me or help me or hit on me or tell me how good I look on any given day. I don’t date cops and I don’t need you in my personal space every time I turn around. Are you picking up what I’m putting down here?”
His reply was also hushed, but other officers snuck curious glances our way. “Well, you are full of yourself, Detective Scott. I wasn’t hitting on you, I merely shook your hand and re-introduced myself, trying to make the situation between us comfortable since we will be working together. As your new partner, it’s my job to have your back, so to speak, so you have no choice but to have me in your personal space. I also don’t date cops and I would appreciate it if you would keep the “your type” comments to yourself since you know nothing about me, due in part to the fact that you can’t see two feet past your own ego that tells you every good-looking dude who walks by your blonde-haired, blue-eyed, pretty face must want to get into your pants.”
“Good looking? Now who’s full of himself? You think I can’t interpret the ‘lovely to see you again’ and ‘let me escort you to the ladies’ and ‘let me buy you a drink’ smooth lines? I’m sure you’ve never had to seduce a woman with more than your expensive jacket and your smooth skin and a wink and a smile.” I waved my hand at his face for emphasis.
“Well, perhaps I haven’t given you enough credit for being observant after all.” He stood and walked away.
I dropped my head with a thud on my desk. Damn it, why did I get defensive? And why the hell did sparks fly when he touched my hand? This wasn’t going to work.
Other officers gaped at me when I stood. I stared back at the few standing closest. “Don’t you have anything to do?”
Marson who reported in briefing held both hands up in a surrender position and shook his head. Ignoring them, I knocked and walked into Staff Sergeant Montgomery’s office after his “in” response.
“Scott, what is it? I’m busy.” He glanced up from his computer. “Oh, have they found any motive for your attacker?”
“No, sir. That is, I haven’t checked back. It’s not that,” I said, flustered, shaking my head.
He stopped what he was doing, gave me his full attention, and motioned for me to sit in front of his desk. “What it is, then? Are you all right?”
“Yes, I’m fine, well physically, no harm done. The thing is, I can’t work with this, this, pretty boy. He’s smug, a player. His damn suit costs more than I make in a month. He’s not the assignment I expected to replace Nick. Can’t you give me Hayley Walker? She and I get along great. Assign Detective O’Connor to, I don’t know, Wagner, the ball buster,” I pleaded.
“What’s got you so riled up? You know it doesn’t work like that; we don’t transfer cops around like players on a ball team. Detective Walker doesn’t have the rank or experience that O’Connor has. More importantly, she didn’t apply for the vacancy in homicide, she’s happy where she is in K9. I’m not moving her or anyone else. I need you to take Detective O’Connor under your wing, show him the way we do things around here. He’s been a great street cop with an exemplary record. I wouldn’t put you two together if I didn’t think you’d make a good team. You know you’re like family and I would do whatever I can to make you happy, but this hire is done. He’s a damn good cop, Jen and he’s your new partner. I expect you to be professional, get past the pretty boy assessment and—”
“He kissed me, okay,” I blurted.
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Unexpected Connection will draw you in and keep you on the edge of your seat with a realistic police procedural, office romance story that is hard to put down. The good twin/evil twin suspenseful plot has lots of action and intrigue with twists and turns you won’t see coming and characters you’ll love to hate and love to love.
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Runs August 10 – August 17, 2021.
Winner will be drawn on August 23, 2021.
My career has spanned many years in a mix of criminal and civil law and hospital surgical administrative work. Along with my work and life experience, I hold a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and a Creative Writing Certificate both from McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario.
I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to take early retirement and pursue a career in writing, a pursuit I have entered into with energy and enthusiasm. I am currently a registered member of Toronto Romance Writers and Crime Writers of Canada.
My husband and I share our home in Grimsby, Ontario, with our youngest daughter, her boyfriend, one dog and two cats. But I spend a great deal of time at our cottage in Kincardine, Ontario near my daughter, son-in-law and first grandson. On these shores of Lake Huron, with some of the best walking trails in the country, my imagination soars and my best stories come to life.
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