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For Better or Hearse by Ann Yost

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  • Jewel of the Night Series

    When Daisy Budd and her slightly dysfunctional sisters decide to turn a mortuary into a fashionable wedding boutique, they expect some opposition. After all, towns like Mayville don't care much for change. But when a body shows up in the mortuary's fountain, Daisy knows it's time to leave the bridezillas behind and solve the mystery. Nick Bowman, disinherited son of the town's leading family, is back after a seven-year estrangement. He's determined to protect his late grandfather's reputation by locating some loot supposedly hidden in the mortuary's cellar. But Nick's quest is complicated by the new owner. Daisy doesn't trust his motives and she's uncomfortable with the sparks the two of them generate, especially since Nick used to date her sister. When a second body shows up at the mortuary, Nick and Daisy need to work together to find the truth--but what happens when their inconvenient sparks become flames?

    Rating: Sensual
    Page Count: 272
    Word Count: 6337
    978-1-5092-1026-8  Paperback
    978-1-61217-204-0 Digital

    Excerpt

    Daisy melted and burned. It was hot enough to blister the paint on the walls. Inferno hot. She tried to push the heat away, but it was always there, like a second skin. Was it coming from her? Did she have a fever? Malaria? Early menopause? Desperate for relief Daisy twisted until a steel bar clamped across her chest. Panic attacked her. She arched backward, and her hips slammed into a new barrier. This one was hard and hot and, in spite of her relative lack of experience, she identified it immediately.

    An erection. A big one.

    Daisy screeched and launched herself skyward, breaking the hold. She felt like a smashed piñata as the floor slammed into her hip and funny bone.

    “Ow!”

    An artificial light flared in her eyes.

    “You okay?”

    She gritted her teeth and waited for the flare of pain to recede before she opened one eye.

    Nick leaned over the side of the bed, his dark hair tousled from sleep, his eyelids heavy, his cheeks bristled with dark whiskers. Gray eyes glittered at her.

    “Damn you felt good. C’mon back to bed, honey.”

    Honey? Honey? She struggled to her feet and planted her fists at her waist as righteous anger ignited the adrenaline in her system. Her words were clean, crisp rifle shots.

    “Get. Out. Of. My. Bed.”

    He squinted at her as if he didn’t know what to say, as if it were inconceivable that she wouldn’t want to get back into his bed. Her bed. The man was in her bed.

    He rolled to his feet in a coordinated move and stood before her unconcerned about his nudity. But why should he be concerned. He was magnificent.

    Daisy’s injuries receded as she struggled for breath. “Happy now?”

    Her gaze fixed on the body part nearest her face, the same part she’d felt pressing against her earlier.

    A terrible thought occurred. “Tell me we did not have sex.”

    He glanced down at himself, a rueful smile on his lips. “I think I can safely promise you we did not have sex. At least, not recently.”

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