With: Angi Morgan
Congratulations to "Janet K.", the winner in Angi's giveaway. Please contact JUST ROMANTIC SUSPENSE to claim your prize!
Each month I’ve been looking back and sharing something special about writing each of my books. The Sherriff is not only a protection story, it’s also about father relationships. Pete is adopted by the local Sheriff and Andrea is a military kid. Each have strong fathers and good relationships, but they both have a couple of problems, too. In my life, strong parents raised strong children. And being one of those head-strong kids myself and passing it on to my own children, I wanted to show how the transition to adulthood is full of questions—even if you have a good head on your shoulders.
Although The Sheriff is all about keeping the heroine safe…it’s also about finding yourself. And once you do, keeping that true self and not being over-shadowed by a strong father.
Here’s one of my favorite excerpts from Pete’s POV, showing Andrea’s fearlessness:
A yawn escaped him. It was the first double shift he’d completed without a wink of shut eye in a long while. But he couldn’t head back to the ranch until DHS instructed them on what was to happen with Andrea. His dad would be at the scene awhile. That left him with nothing to do but catch up on paperwork and wait for their guests to finish. He’d be lucky if he could go home afterward.
“Since things are covered at the moment, I’m going to grab a quick shower in the back and wake up. Alert me if they,” he said, hooking his thumb toward his dad’s closed office door, “finish up.”
“I have a feeling they’re going to be there awhile,” Honey said. “Don’t you think it’s a bit strange that he’s here to interview a witness and didn’t even introduce himself?”
“I suppose you have a point. I’m not certain what protocol is for something like this. We normally don’t share murder jurisdiction with anyone.”
“You certain there’s not going to be another murder soon?”
Voices were definitely rising on the other side of the window, but the old building had walls thick enough that he couldn’t distinguish the words. Should he step inside and allow them to cool off? If he was closer, maybe he could understand what the argument was about.
“Do you think you should join them and referee?” Honey asked.
Pete took definite steps toward the arguing and stopped. It only took those three steps to realize he’d been waiting on encouragement from Honey so he could barge in and rescue Andrea again.
Son of a gun.
He was more interested in this fascinating woman than the murder and the disappearing body. He pivoted and headed into the back.
“Ten minutes. That’s all I need for a shower.”
“I could eavesdrop?”
“Get back to your writing, Honey.”
The door slamming had nothing to do with his actions. They’d been meaning to fix the mechanism that slowed the heavy door from crashing shut. He hadn’t thought about it until the loud crash echoed in the concrete hallway. He threw his stuff into the locker and jumped under an icy spray, not giving the water time to warm.
Holding cells and the jail were on a different floor. He needed to put some effort into this case. His thoughts were centered more on Andrea’s relationship with Homeland Security than getting his notes together for the investigation or why someone would steal the body of a dead man.
He’d offered to try to identify the missing man but had been specifically instructed not to even print pictures from the camera. Normally, he hated being shut out and treated like a wet-behind-the-ears rookie. Today, it had hardly crossed his mind. But it had, and soon after, he’d copied the pictures to a memory stick and stuck it in his pocket.
On the flip side, he couldn’t stop thinking about Andrea Allen. He had no reason to book her and no criminal record he could find. DHS had just asked her to be held until they arrived.
Who was she? Where was she going after the observatory? What was her life like? Where had she been? How had she gotten that jagged old scar under her chin and the small one just above her collarbone?
Three weeks wasn’t a long time to get the answers. Might be even less time. She’d mentioned three weeks total but had never mentioned how long she’d been here.
Pete toweled off and stuck his legs in his pants as quickly as a surprised rattler about to strike. He wasn’t about to miss the opportunity to speak with the officer when he left. He considered shaving, but it would take too much time.
Looking in the mirror one last time, he shoved his hair straight back and caught movement behind him. His weapon was still secure in his locker, so he spun, ready for–
“Andrea? How’d you get back here? I didn’t hear the door.”
“Some of us know how to close one without slamming it. They probably heard you come through it on Proxima Centauri.”
“Prox what?” He leaned against the sink, crossing his arms and just enjoying how she could look so dang sexy even in teddy-bear scrubs. The meek, insecure side of the woman he’d been admiring was gone. Spunky, speak-your-mind PhD candidate was approaching him one sure step at a time.
“It’s the nearest star to earth, with the exception of our sun, of course. But it’s not my favorite.”
“The sun? I’m sort of fond of it.”
“As I can see by your tan. No, Proxima Centauri. It’s such a stuffy name.”
She halted within arm’s distance. A dangerous distance. Close enough to see his attraction reflected in her soft blue eyes. The desire to put a hand on each of her hips and draw her to him was tremendous. He had to clear his throat to think of something other than the pink lacy bra he’d seen earlier.
“I should go speak with the DHS officer.” He took a step to move past her and ended with a slender hand on his chest.
“The Commander’s gone to the scene. He said to stay put until he returned. Looks like you’re stuck with me, Sheriff Morrison.”
“Acting sheriff. Why don’t you call me Pete.” Was he insulted? Or too dang excited he didn’t need to dart off to talk shop? Excited.
“I need to show you something.”
“I don’t think that’s appropriate.”
She threw back her head, laughing. He barely heard it as he admired the bend of her neck. “Silly,” she said. “Do you have any gel?”
“Huh?” Silly wasn’t the word filtering through his mind.
“I used it already.”
“Not enough to do anything.” She reached around him, brushing his arm as she squeezed goo into her hands.
Stunned into silence? Choking on his words? Cat got his tongue. He didn’t know which, and if she asked, he couldn’t hear her. He was focused on her hands rubbing together and then her arms lifting to reach his head.
“Get shorter.” She tapped the inside of his bare feet wider apart, leaving enough room between them to breathe without touching.
“So, what is your favorite star?” he asked, closing his eyes and enjoying her fingers lightly massaging his scalp as she liberally put gel on every strand. He couldn’t look.
“Wolf 359. Isn’t that an awesome name for a star?” She took the tube a second time. “Just a bit more. Your hair’s really thick and wavy.”
He was dang lucky he’d put his pants on quickly. If he hadn’t…
All he could see was the roundness of each breast under the thin layer of hospital garb.
“All you have to do is squeeze some on your hands and rub it around like this. Then it should stay looking deliberately messed up all day.” She wiped her hands on his towel and admired her handiwork. “That will look much better later when it’s dry.”
She twisted one last piece of hair and placed her hands on his shoulders. It seemed like the most natural gesture in his memory for his fingers to move and span either side of her waist. Drawing her closer to him was just as easy.
They were forehead to forehead. Her slow, warm exhale smelled sweet like the cola she’d insisted on before the officer had arrived. She’d called it her wake-up drink of choice. He, on the other hand, loved coffee and lots of it.
Concentrate on the job. What job? All he had to do was hang around here, keep her in sight till she was someone else’s problem. Maybe even escort her home.
“I’m not a rule breaker, Andrea.”
“Then why are your hands still around me?”
Kissing her was destined as soon as she’d told him they’d never get along. “What’s about to happen probably shouldn’t. But you won’t find me apologizing for it later.”
“You better not, Pete. Bad first kissers don’t get a second chance.”
He liked her. A lot. Too much. Too fast.
He leaned his lips to touch hers for the first time. Soft and wet, they parted just enough to encourage him. His hands spread up her back, noticing the firm muscles.
There wasn’t anything between them now except a thin layer of cotton. He stopped himself from getting the shirt out of his way. This was their first kiss but sure didn’t feel like it.
Their lips slid together, teasing, seeming to know their way without conscious effort. A perfect fit? Practiced. Confident.
He wanted his hands to wander but forced them to stay put. Andrea’s arms encircled his neck, shifting her body next to his. Her tennis shoes snuggled next to his size-thirteen feet. That one layer kept him both sane and drove him crazy at the same time.
He wanted it off. Wanted her bare skin under his flesh. Wanted to forget exactly where they were and remember everything much too late.
The attraction turned to mutual pure hunger and he liked her even more.
What others thought about The Sheriff:
“I really enjoyed this book. I loved the story line, action, suspense, and romance.” Paula on Amazon, 5 stars
“I read the whole series, back to back, as fast as I could.” Katie on Amazon, 5 stars
“Captivating from beginning... Don't want to put it down” Ruth on Amazon, 5 stars
“Read it and Smile. LOVED this story!!!!!! Loved it!!” Deana on Amazon, 5 stars
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Check out the posts about Pete & Andrea on Just Romantic Suspense:
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USA Today Bestselling author ANGI MORGAN writes Intrigues where honor and danger collide with love. Her work is a multiple contest finalist and Publishers Weekly best-seller. She drags her dogs –and husband– around Texas for research road trips so she can write off her camera. They now have a map with highlighted roads they’ve traveled. Every detour somehow makes it into a book.
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DON’T FORGET TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY
Giveaway on JRS ends at midnight June 23rd. Contestants enter drawing by leaving a comment on Just Romantic Suspense. Don’t forget to check back to see who won!
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