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Duty Bound by Jo Barrett

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  • Duty bound to protect and serve, Deputy Sheriff Michael McAllister is faced with the decision of whether or not he should turn Danielle Porter over to the authorities, or take her in his arms and never let go. His past taught him well the importance of abiding by the law, but when damning evidence points unfailingly to Danny, he isn’t so sure he can imprison the one woman who holds his heart.

    Rose
    PRINT ISBN 1-60154-097-3
    (232 pages) Spicy

    Excerpt

    Danny slid out of the seat onto shaky legs. She wasn't sure if it was due to losing her job or the intimidating authority figure in front of her. A very big authority figure.

    Quickly moving to the passenger side, she pulled out the box and located her registration in the glove compartment. Turning to hand him her papers, she noticed his impassive expression and idly wondered if he was trained to show no emotion whatsoever when dealing with civilians. Then again, if he smiled, she suspected he wouldn't look intimidating at all. Especially if he got rid of the dark glasses. As a matter of fact, he'd probably be extremely handsome. Almost dreamy.

    With a tiny moan, she closed her eyes and pressed a hand to her forehead as she leaned back against the car. One too many synapses must have fired in her brain. Why else would she be noticing how attractive the lawman was after being accused of stealing company property less than an hour ago?

    A strong hand clamped around her arm. "Ma'am?"

    Opening her eyes, she saw nothing but the brown of his shirt stretched across a massive chest, and the glistening deputy sheriff's star. Tilting her head back--way back--she looked up at the mountainous man.

    His face no longer shaded by his hat, she could see the shadow of his beard just beneath the skin, his full lips pulled into a grim line. Lifting her gaze to his eyes, she sucked in a breath. His sunglasses now dangling from his shirt pocket exposed illegally long dark lashes edging bright green eyes that sparkled like dew covered grass on a sunny spring morning.

    Danny shivered as he surveyed her face.

    His warm, strong fingers tightened. "Do you need to sit down, Miss Porter?"

    She opened her mouth, but nothing came out. Like a deer caught in headlights, she stared back at him, stunned by the sudden attraction and the overwhelming desire for him to wrap his arms around her and let her cry her eyes out on his shoulder.

    Funny, she thought hazily. She had a feeling if she asked, he'd let her do just that, but this was not something Danielle Porter had ever thought of doing before. She was self-supporting and immensely independent. Often more than was wise.

    The officer crouched down closer to her face, his amazing eyes level with hers. "Miss Porter?"

    She stood there like an idiot, barely shaking her head as new tears pooled in the corners of her eyes. Pressing her fingers against her eyelids to stem the tide, she silently wished he could make it all go away.

    Get it together, Danny. "I'm--I'm sorry," her voice broke. She cleared her throat and took a deep breath as she dropped her hands. "I'm all right. It's just been a really bad day."

    He smiled crookedly, stirring a faint memory she couldn't quite capture. "We all have those every now and then. Why don't you sit down and take it easy for a few minutes?"

    Danny sank down to the passenger seat, her eyes falling to her box of belongings on the ground. His perfectly polished boots reflected a ghostly image of the Philodendron leaves hanging over the edge. That's where she was, hanging over the edge waiting to fall. If only there was someone to catch her.

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Duty Bound

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