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Other titles in the Avon Light Contemporary Romances series:
Next Stop, Paradise (Avon Light Contemporary Romances)
Synopses & Reviews
Chapter OnePolice Officer Samantha Bartlett was bored. Paradise Beach wasn't that big, and she'd spent most of her shift cruising up and down the boulevard looking for drunk drivers, which seemed to be ninety percent of the trouble on the island. This night she'd picked up her last one at around two A.M. In the four hours since, she'd had nothing to do except commune with the night air and trade an occasional comment with the dispatcher, Harv Neilson.But that's why she had chosen to join the Paradise Beach Police Department, rather than some larger organization. Six years after graduating from college with a degree in psychology, she'd realized her corporate job was unfulfilling. An urge to do something more important had begun to plague her, and community policing had struck her as the perfect way to meld her education and her desires.She'd chosen this place because here she wouldn't have to face an unending stream of drug dealers, murderers, thieves, but would be dealing for the most part with good people. She would get to know those she was sworn to serve and protect.And she had. Unfortunately, that meant a lot of boring shifts. A wild Saturday night usually meant picking up a half dozen DUIs, ejecting a few obstreperous patrons from bars, and settling a handful of fights. Thievery usually amounted to shoplifting.Most nights, she wondered why they even needed a police force here.On the other hand, she got a lot more respect wearing a 9mm Glock on her hip than she'd ever gotten in the corporate world. Without the gun and the thick gun belt that concealed her waist with all its pouches and accoutrements, she was a slender woman, a little over five eight, who boasted curves in all theright places. Those curves and her auburn hair with its shiny red highlights had, she was convinced, caused her to be taken less seriously in the business world. Even now, people sometimes wanted to dismiss her, but all she had todo was settle her hand on her belt, reminding them she was a cop. Boredom had its perks.She was yawning hugely, her gray eyes watering, when the call came from the dispatcher. The early birds were just beginning to pull out of their parking spaces beneath their raised condo buildings, heading for their jobs across the Intracoastal Waterway in St. Petersburg or Clearwater or Tampa. Traffic was on the rise, little by little, and there'd probably be a fender bender before her shift ended.She half-heard what the dispatcher said. Her yawn checked in midstream and she blinked, sure she must have misheard."Say again, Harv?"His sigh was audible. "I'm just telling you what I've been told. Down by Seaview the DustBuster Brigade found some footprints on the beach. Strange, very large footprints. According to Lester Mankin, they must belong to a T. rex.""Good grief.""Yeah," Harv said, reading her tone correctly. "Somebody's been tippling again. Anyway, you gotta check it out.""Sure. I'm on my way." T. rex footprints on Paradise Beach. She turned her patrol car around in a hotel parking lot and headed south and half-wished they "would be dinosaur footprints. At least it wouldn't be boring.Derek Peter Todd, known as Derek Diche to his millions of television-viewing fans, was also bored to tears. Which was why he was listening to the police scanner at six in the morning, local time. Although for Derek it was eleven A.M., biologically speaking, since his home was inEngland.After years of traipsing around the world, first as a news correspondent and now as the host of his own mystery-debunking TV show, he'd learned one thing: to leave his biological clock alone. If he stayed in a locale long enough, as he had sometimes as a correspondent, his inner clock gradually came into alignment with local conditions. If he was just there for a brief period...well, it was better to eat his breakfast in the evening in Nepal, and film in the middle of his biological night because the sun happened to be up, than it was to do it the other way around.So, when he was on short jaunts like this, he obeyed his inner imperatives. Which had his aunt, Mary Todd, remarking that he was an odd guest indeed. Not to mention a little troublesome.But Mary said it as if she rather approved, so he didn't let her complaint bother him. Besides, as he'd learned in only two days, his aunt owned the patent on "odd."Which was how he came to be listening to her police scanner — a rather odd thing for a woman in her eighties to own, he thought — and heard about the T. rex footprints.Right up his alley. Just the land of thing he was forever on the lookout for. A ray of interest in the boringness of a quiet sun-filled beach community. Not that Derek was an adrenaline addict or anything; he just loathed boredom.Ignoring his stomach's demand for a midday repast — he'd breakfasted at one in the morning — he picked up his microcassette recorder and digital camera and headed out to his rented Range Rover. The Seaview Condominiums were down south, he seemed to recall, not far from here.He paused just long enough to pull a fake mustache and some adhesive out of the glove box and paste thestrip of fur to his upper lip. His strongly etched features, his handsome face, were entirely too well known on this side of the pond, where his program captured a significant share of the ratings when it aired six times each year.He didnt want to be identified. At least not until he decided whether it was worth getting his crew down here.The eastern sky grew...
Samantha Bartlett has vowed never again to fall for a smooth-talking hunk. So it's hate at first sight when the lovelypolice officer meets Derek Diche, a TV exposjournalist she instantly decides is short on hard facts — even if he is long on hard pecs. But then Samantha's appointed as Derek's town liaison, which means they're up-close and personal.A lot. And though she swears she'd never trust a man who specializes in Illusions, she begins to think maybe hiscool fapde is just an illusion, too...
Burned out on reporting warsand disasters, Derek arrives in Paradise Beach determined to debunk a mysterious phenomenon. After all, there is no real magic in the world, and he's going to prove it. Having sexy Samantha around to tease out of her seriousness is just more of the fun, at first. But as Derek begins to bring out the woman beneath her defenses, and she begins to show him it's safe to long for enchantment, he wonders: maybe love is the best magic of all.
About the Author
Sue Civil-Brown has been writing romantic stories since childhood. Now, having published two dozen books under the pen name Rachel Lee and won numerous awards, she is delighted to turn her attention to the light-hearted and humorous in love and life.
Sue lives with her own knight in shining armor on Florida's Gulf Coast, where the weather provides almost as much excitement as her dearly beloved, their children, and their Siberian husky.
Boredom, she says, is never a problem.
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