Availability date: 02/10/2016
A Romantic Comedy
Hot Stuff takes on double meaning when klutzy Kate is faced with rookie cop Dallas looking for a stolen lawn statue. In her quiet, crime-free Wisconsin village, Kate has her hands full writing slogans for candy hearts and keeping her kleptomaniac brother with Asperger’s Syndrome inside the law. Even her grandmother’s famous snickerdoodle cookies can’t ameliorate the crime when a stolen lawn statue turns out to be a drug dispenser. Will Kate rise above her concern of what Dallas’s uniform represents and admit the charming Texas rookie is the man of her dreams?
“Just how old is your brother?”
“Old enough to hold down a bus-boy job to help pay for all this. Evan has Asperger’s, a form of autism with obsessive compulsive behavior. He wasn’t formally diagnosed until he was nine, after he upgraded his collection from smurfs to garden gnomes. Over the years, we’ve learned some lawn décor Evan brought home belonged to that category you call a 10-99…er…some might call it this.” He finally managed to smile when I pulled a handful of candy hearts out of my pocket and singled out the one that said Hot Stuff.
“Billington knows about all this?”
“Certainly. Our neighbors are aware of this, too. When something goes missing, they usually show up here first to see if Evan has it planted in his garden. If they can identify it, we simply have a custody exchange, then mollify my brother with a trip to a local garden shop for some kind of a replacement.” I popped a candy heart into my mouth and offered him one after flicking a strand of cat fur off the Kiss Me heart.
Screwing up his face, he cleared his throat. “Valentine candy in July?”
“I won a six-month supply after writing new imprints for the company. The candy has a long shelf life,” I added.
He declined my offer.
“That was one of my slogans. The candy boss wanted something modern. You Know was another one. Kids today can’t get through a sentence without sprinkling it with ‘you know’.”
He studied me with a lopsided grin. “Why didn’t Billington tell me all this?”
“I don’t think he knows I write slogans and ads for a living.”
Shifting on his feet, he pulled on his ear. “I mean about your brother stealing yard ornaments.”
“Oh well, I suspect Evan’s fancy may be an inside joke at the precinct.”
He shook his head and sighed. “With a rookie at the butt of the joke, I imagine. Mind if I check out the tent?”
I held open the tent flap for him to pass…so I could assess the fit of his jeans from the rear.
Confusion flattered his dark good looks from the front. His backside was just as fine. Hot Stuff could have been embroidered on the back of his shirt.
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