1 Hot Cop + 1 Bad Girl = 1 sexy new enemies-to-lovers, opposites-attract STAND-ALONE romance from USA Today bestselling author Tia Louise…
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WHEN WE KISS
by Tia Louise
You’re too law-abiding for me.
What makes you say that?
That uniform. Those handcuffs.
Maybe I should put you in handcuffs.
Maybe I’d like to see you try…”
He’s a hot cop with a square jaw, a sexy grin, and a tight end.
I’m a bad girl, a “Jezebel”—just ask all the old biddies in town.
We’re oil and vinegar. We don’t mix.
But when we kiss…
All bets are off.
She’s got flashing green eyes, red-velvet lips, and luscious curves in all the right places.
She’s a bad girl all right, and after what I’ve lost, I’m not looking for trouble.
But when we kiss…
Oil and vinegar do mix,
And when it happens, it’s electric.
A full-length, STAND-ALONE, opposites-attract romance about heroes, bad girls, and what happens when you stop fighting and surrender to love. NO Cheating; NO Cliffhangers!
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★★★ EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT ★★★
© TLM Productions LLC, 2018
Chapter 1 – Tabby
August, last year
The air is electric when you’re being bad.
Little currents zip through your veins like lightning bugs grazing the tips of tall grass, and your stomach is tight. You’re right on the edge, holding your breath…
Or maybe it’s just me.
“Climb through.” Blade squints up at me, the devil in his blue eyes.
He’s holding the corner of a chain-length fence, and it makes a metallic screech as he lifts it higher.
Eleven thirty, and the night air is hot and humid—a warm washcloth on my bare skin. I duck through the opening, putting my hands up to protect my hair, my ears.
The space is just big enough for me to fit, hidden behind the tool shed. A rustling and a BANG! lets me know we’re both through the breach. My naughty escort stands grinning in the moonlight. His hair is dark, his skin pale, and shadows deepen his eyes, nose, and mouth. He’s like one of those scary-sexy vampires.
Or maybe I’m a little high.
“Let’s do this!” He lets out a whoop and jerks off his black leather jacket.
His white tee is next, revealing a coiled serpent tattooed on his upper back. Jeans off, I catch a glimpse of his tight ass as he runs straight to the pool and breaks the glassy surface with a loud splash.
I shimmy out of my calf-length jeans and unbutton my short-sleeved shirt. I’m buzzing from the pot we just smoked at my small house, the old parsonage in town near the church, before we got the idea to break into the Plucky Duck Motel pool.
The Plucky Duck is off the Interstate, too far from the beach to be a tourist attraction. It’s a million years old and completely deserted.
“Nobody ever stays here.” I walk slowly down the steps into the shallow end.
The water is warm as it rises up my calves, to my knees, to my panties, to my waist. Blade is under the diving board watching me, his mouth submerged like a shark or a crocodile. His eyebrows rise as the water reaches my waist.
Through a haze of pot smoke, he demanded we do something I’ve never done before. I said there isn’t much in Oceanside I haven’t done. Until I thought of this old place.
Skinny dipping with Mayor Rhodes’s tattooed bad-boy nephew is the perfectly spontaneous, irresponsible way to kick the last memories of Travis Walker from my heart.
Acid burns in my stomach. Tattooed Travis blew into town three months ago on a Harley, kissed me, and said I was the prettiest girl he’d ever seen. We screwed around for six weeks, until I caught him sneaking out of Daisy Sales’s bedroom window.
He didn’t even deny sleeping with her. He said Oceanside was getting “too restrictive,” then he hopped on that Harley, lit up a cigarette, and drove away.
Serves me right for letting my guard down.
Pushing off the bottom, I keep my head above water as I glide to where Blade waits at the deep end. It’s darker under the diving board.
“How long you planning to stay in Oceanside?” I don’t really care. Blade’s a fling I’m going into with my eyes wide open.
“Not sure.” He reaches for my waist, his palms hot against my bare skin. “Ma said Uncle John needs to straighten me out.”
He grins, and a dimple pierces his cheek. That bit of information makes me laugh, and I rest my elbows on his shoulders.
“I’ve been told something like that before.” I give the field where we came in a longing glance. I wish we had more pot or at least a six-pack.
“Who’s trying to straighten you out?” he asks, running his fingers up and down my sides.
My eyes return to his, and I do a little shrug. “My uncle’s Pastor Green.”
The way he says it with a laugh makes him seem young, like a kid. I don’t like the way it makes me feel, especially with the iron rod of his erection pressing against my stomach.
Twisting my lips, I reach up to hold the sides of the diving board, moving out of his arms. “I lived under his roof, his rules, until I was old enough to get out.”
“I hear that.” Blade reaches up to hold the diving board, mirroring my behavior.
We’re facing each other, and I admire the lines of his lean muscles. Another snake is tattooed around his upper arm, but it looks amateurish, almost like he did it himself.
“So you’re staying?” My red velvet lips purse, and he winks.
“That’s what they tell me.”
His muscles flex as he walks his hands forward, bringing our bodies closer together.
“Future’s a lot brighter now that you’re here.”
I don’t know if I’m sobering up or if his enthusiasm is killing the mood.
Blade had waltzed into the bakery where I work earlier this afternoon looking for trouble. The memory of Cheater Travis was looming large, and I decided I needed to do something reckless to blow off steam.
“You’re new in town,” I had said, cocking my hip to the side.
“My uncle’s the mayor,” he’d replied with a swaggering shrug.
“Good enough for me.” I’d trotted out the door behind him, down the steps, and into the beat-up old Buick he’d parked out front.
We started on the strip at Oceanside Beach, where the high-rise condos line the shore like a wall and the tourists block up the sand. Then we had a few beers at the Tuna Tiki, the local beach bar-hangout, before he pulled out a dime bag of weed and we went back to my place to smoke it.
All in all, it was a fun, reckless day, but my buzz is definitely wearing off.
He gives me a boyish grin, and I decide I’m not looking for some Grease-inspired Danny and Sandy summer romance.
He walks his hands closer until my boobs smash against his chest. His legs pull my lower half flush against his, and I feel him hard against my panties. It’s been a while since I’ve had a non-solo orgasm, and I’m not opposed to a fling with the town’s newest bad boy.
He flashes a cocky grin before tilting his head to the side and kissing my cheek. His lips are soft, and I turn my face, ready to kiss him.
Still, before I do, I issue a warning. “Don’t get attached.”
His laugh reminds me of a young James Dean, and I’m ready. Our mouths inch closer. Another second, and they’ll meet, tongues entwining. The space between my legs grows hotter, and I briefly consider I don’t have a condom.
There’s no way in hell I’m doing this without protection, when…
FLICK! It’s a loud switch, like the throwing of a main breaker.
The entire pool floods with light, and I let go of the diving board, lowering my body into the water.
“What the fuck?” Blade does the same, joining me at the side of the pool.
The water offers little protection, as the lights fully illuminate our half-naked bodies beneath the surface. Looking up, I see we’re surrounded.
“There she is! I knew I heard her voice.” Betty Pepper is on the side of the pool, leaning down. Her lavender bouffant glows around her aged head, and she’s wrapped in a peach terry-cloth robe pointing a bony finger in my direction.
“What are you doing in my pool, Tabitha Green?” Her voice is stern as always, the quintessential school marm.
“What does it look like I’m doing?” I snark. “Having a prayer meeting?”
“The pool closes at dark, Tabitha. And it’s for registered guests only.” She says it like I don’t know very well we’re out here breaking the law. “Who is that with you? Is that Jimmy Rhodes? Jimmy, is that you?”
My eyes flick to Blade. His face is downcast, and if it weren’t so dark, I’d be sure his cheeks were red.
“It’s me, Mrs. Pepper.”
“I told your mamma I’d be looking out for you today. Did you check in with Wyatt at the hardware store? What are you doing running around with Tabitha Green?”
She says my name like it’s a bad word.
Like I’m the bad influence.
I hiss at him. “You know Betty Pepper?”
He shrugs, and a male voice cuts through my irritation. “Tabby, did you take Jimmy to the bar at the Tuna Tiki?”
My brows tighten, and I squint up at Sheriff Cole. He towers over us from where he stands at the side of the pool, and his cowboy hat blocks the security light from blinding me. Otherwise, it’s pretty much a police interrogation.
I answer truthfully. “I rode down to the strip in his car.”
“We need you to get on out of the pool now,” Sheriff Cole says, tipping his hat.
I look down at my transparent bra and panties, and there’s no way in hell I’m climbing out in front of Sheriff Robbie Cole, Betty Pepper, and what I now see is a tall, quiet guy who’s also wearing a khaki uniform.
He’s quite a bit younger than Robbie, although he’s older than me, and he stretches that polyester in a way I’ve never seen before.
Muscled arms hang from broad shoulders, leading down to narrow hips. His dark hair is short, and from under his lowered brow, I can see he’s observing everything.
“Who’s that?” I jerk my chin in his direction. “A storm trooper?”
The big guy’s square jaw tightens as a muscle moves in his cheek. He gritted his teeth at me, and the heat in my panties reignites.
“Now’s as good a time as any.” Sheriff Cole, steps back gesturing to Mr. Tall, Dark, and Sexy. “Chad Tucker’s my new deputy sheriff. He’ll be working with me until I retire next year.”
My lips press together. No, thank you. No Sheriffs. I don’t care how square his jaw is or how well he fills out that uniform.
“Chad,” Robbie continues. “This here is Tabitha Green, Reverend Green’s niece, and this young man is Jimmy Rhodes, Mayor Rhodes’s seventeen-year-old nephew.”
“Seventeen!” The word is like a splash of water in my face, and I jerk off the wall, dog-paddling as fast as I can away from Jail Bait to the shallow end, humiliation burning in my chest.
“You hear that, Tabitha?” Betty shrills after me. “Not only are you breaking and entering, you’re contributing to the delinquency of a minor.”
Robbie continues introducing the baby wanna-be bad boy. “Jimmy is staying with his uncle until he finishes high school next year.”
Every word is a cringing flash of shame, and I stomp up the pool steps, scooping my shirt off the tattered lounge chair and over my shoulders. My tight jeans are next, but it’s a challenge getting them up my damp legs.
“What would your uncle say if he saw you?” Betty continues regaling me.
I stomp back to where Sheriff Cole and his new storm trooper stand, not even casting a glance at the kid in the pool. “Are you planning to arrest me?”
Lines form around the sheriff’s eyes as he suppresses a grin. “Well, Mrs. Pepper here has listed your potential crimes.”
“You’re turning into a Jezebel,” BP continues nagging. “If you’re not careful, you’re going to end up just like—”
My eyes flash at her, and her voice dies. She’d better not say my mother. If she knows what’s good for her, she’d better not say it.
Instead she tightens her robe. “It’s a slippery slope.”
“What do you think, Chad?” Robbie exhales, straightening his posture and tugging on his waistband.
Mr. Silent But Deadly’s eyes skim the front of my transparent bra before meeting mine. When they do, I realize they’re light brown. I also realize they’re hot, and chills break out over my skin in the warm night air. It strikes me this sexy future sheriff might be the real bad boy in the group.
His voice is a nice, low vibration. “I think you’re playing a dangerous game… Miss?”
“She’s single,” Betty interrupts, as if not being married is another of my offenses.
Chad’s eyebrows twitch ever so slightly. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t think my being single is a crime.
My stomach is tight, and I swallow the knot in my throat. Get a clue, Tabby. The last thing on God’s green earth I have any intention of doing is getting mixed up with a lawman.
“I don’t play games, Mr. Tucker.” My voice is higher than his, but just as determined. “And I don’t check IDs on people I’ve just met.”
“Maybe you should start.” I can’t tell if Chad Tucker is being a smartass or if he’s just naturally cocky.
Seeing as he’s a deputy, I’m willing to bet it’s the latter.
Robbie’s chuckle breaks the tension. “I think we can let you off with a warning this time. Do you need a ride home?”
I’ve managed to get my feet into my slides, and I see Jimmy standing on the side of the pool, pulling on his jeans and tee. He looks so skinny and young now. I wonder why I ever fell for his counterfeit tattooed bad-boy routine.
My phone is in my hand, and I tap the icons quickly. “No thanks. I just ordered an Uber. Looks like it’ll be here in two minutes.”
Gripping my shirt closed, I stomp up the sidewalk that leads to the front of the hotel.
Betty Pepper calls after me, getting her final jab in. “Consider your ways, Tabitha!”
I grind my teeth and fight the urge to flip her off as I round the corner. I’m saved by the headlights of a Dodge Dart with a white U in the windshield. It’s too late to call my best friend Emberly, but when I get to the bakery tomorrow…
A billboard on the Interstate catches my eye, and I get an idea. Not Robbie Cole, Betty Pepper, or even Mr. Tall, Dark, and Sexy will see this one coming.
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