Ryan Lerner is constantly approached by gorgeous women because of his job. However, none of them have drawn his attention like the spunky and petite, mocha-skinned Ajana Bennett, who begs him to help her clear her name.
Will her secret make him change his mind about having a relationship, or will he do everything in his power to prove her innocence and make her his woman?
A Phaze Books ReleaseContains sexual language and explicit sexual situations intended for the enjoyment of adult readers.
The Queen of Tease: If you want to read interracial romance stories that leaves you panting for more and turning the pages faster than you can read them. Marie is for you.
After reading her first “dirty” book as a teenager, Marie knew she had to become a writer. She started writing a few years ago because she wanted to reach for her dream. She writes her characters so her fans will believe in the Happily Ever After. She loves collecting bear figurines and reading a HOT book when she gets the chance.
Find out more about Marie here:
Official Site: http://marierochelle.weebly.com/
Official Blog: http://shopdiva28.blogspot.com/
Yahoo group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/marie_rochelle/
Yahoo discussion group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MarieRochelle2/?yguid=289462859
All Romance ebooks Best of 2008 Awards
All Romance ebooks Best of 2009 Awards
“Come on, Sergeant, don’t put me on leave now. I’m okay. I was transferred here for a reason. I swear I can handle this case without any help.”
“No, you haven’t been the same since you came back from your last undercover assignment. Do you think I haven’t heard the whispers from the other officers? I want you to take six weeks off,” Sergeant Carelli said, flinging the file down on his clutter-free desk. Leaning back in the leather chair, Ryan’s no nonsense boss stared at him. “You’re a young man. You need to get your life together. Maybe go out on a date or two. I don’t want you to become a workaholic like me.”
“I’m not a workaholic. I love being a cop,” Ryan Lerner swore. “When the right woman comes along I’ll settle down, but until then I want to stay busy, and working is the only thing for me.”
He didn’t want to take this bogus leave of absence that his over-protective boss tried to toss his way. He had to keep his mind off his last project. He knew what happened with his last case wasn’t his fault. It was time he put it in his past and moved on.
“I’m fine, Sergeant,” he stated. “Let me have this robbery case.”
Standing up, his friend and boss for the past six months placed his hands on the desk. “Stop asking me to take back your vacation time. You know it’s mandatory that I do this. At least I’m not sending you to the department shrink,” Sergeant Carelli said. “It’s Halloween night. Go home and pass out candy.”
His left hand shot up from the desk and a finger pointed toward the door. “Ajana Bennett isn’t your case or problem. Don’t add any extra stress to your life. I’ve noticed how you can’t take your eyes off her picture in the file. Yes, she’s a very attractive young woman, but she is more dangerous than two cobras loose in your bed at night,” Sergeant Carelli continued.
“But I was the one who figured out Ajana was stealing from all the local jewelry stores. It isn’t fair that another cop will get the credit for bringing her in.” He was tired of taking the backseat like Sergeant Carelli had ordered him to do since he got here. He wanted to be in front with the other men.
“Hell, it wasn’t your case in the first damn place,” Sergeant Carelli complained, falling back down into his seat. “Jones was all over this case until you talked to that reporter.”
Ryan shrugged. “Can I help it if she fell for my charm? Plus, who knew I would look so damn good on television?”
“Now isn’t the time for your humor. Miss Bennett stole a priceless jewel during her last robbery. We need to find both of them ASAP.”
“Good, I’m glad you see it my way,” Ryan said, sitting down and overlooking the hard glares tossed his way. “I’ve talked to some people who know Ajana, and I think she might be back in town.”
Ryan wanted to solve this case more than anything to prove he still had it. Sergeant Carelli had to give him another chance to prove his skills as a good cop.
“You aren’t going to let this go, are you?” his boss asked as his hand reached for the thick manila envelope on the desk. “I’ve always admired your persistence, but now I’m beginning to rethink that.”
“You know me better than that,” Ryan replied. “I’m the cop for the case. I know it’s the truth and so do you.”
“I’ll let you work on the case under one condition,” Sergeant Carelli taunted, waving the file in front of his face.
“What?” Ryan wasn’t agreeing to anything until he heard what the stipulations were.
Sergeant Carelli grinned at him like a cat that had swallowed a canary. “You take this file home and don’t open it for forty-eight hours.”
Was that it? He didn’t like the conditions, but he would agree to them.
“Deal.” Ryan reached for the file, only to have it jerked back from him. “What? Why did you do that?”
“Are you sure you’re up for this?” Sergeant Carelli arched an eyebrow. “You really had a hard time getting over your last case. I got the report how you believed that woman’s death was your fault.”
Ryan was touched that his friend was concerned about him, but there wasn’t any reason to be. He was fine and all he wanted to do was move on to a different case and leave the past in the past. “I swear if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t ask you to give me this case over Jones.”
It seemed like hours passed while Sergeant Carelli tapped the folder on his desk while staring him straight in the eye. Ryan fought hard not to squirm in his seat from the unrelenting look. It reminded him of something that his father would have done.
“Don’t make me regret my decision.” Tossing the folder at him, Sergeant Carelli moved from behind his desk over to the closed door. “It’s time for you to go. If you need any extra help you have all of my numbers.” Opening the door, his boss waved him out.
“Thanks for giving me a second chance.” Standing up with the file in his left hand, he walked towards the man he had a huge amount of respect for. It was one of the reasons he’d left his old precinct and got transferred to this one. Sergeant Carelli was known for being a hard ass, but underneath that was a compassionate man. “So, I’m going to take the leave and work on the case by myself. I’ll try my best to have this case solved before I get back from my vacation,” he promised as he strolled out the door.
Ryan smiled as Sergeant Carelli mumbled behind him, “If I didn’t believe you had the skills to handle it I wouldn’t let you have the Ajana Bennett case.”
“I doubt I’ll have to call you, boss. I can deal with this case myself, and then maybe I’ll earn some of my respect back,” Ryan replied quickly before Sergeant Carelli closed the door with a loud click.
Moving over to his desk, Ryan cleared off the top and shoved things into drawers as the sound of his co-workers on the telephones echoed around him. He had always loved the hum that came from the police station. It reminded him of the times he would come here with his father as a little boy. He tried to push the memory of his father’s death out of his head. The eight-year anniversary was coming up next month, and the wound was still as fresh as the first day it happened.
Out of all of the dangerous assignments his father worked on over his fifteen-year career, that his death was caused by a teenager running a red light and crashing into his cruiser still pissed him off.
“Did you finally do all of us a huge favor and quit?” a voice joked behind him.
“No, I’m going on vacation for six weeks,” he answered without turning around to look in Angelo Jones’ direction. He quickly shoved the Ajana Bennett file into a stack of other paperwork on his desk. The more time he got to work on the case the better. Since it was an open case he knew more officers would want a shot at it, especially the cocky Angelo Jones. He never had been a fan of his former partner. He was more than happy when Angelo asked to be reassigned.
“The boss thinks you need all that time to clear your head?” Angelo asked, resting his hip on the side of his desk. “You must be in bad shape. Usually the department only gives us three weeks to get our shit together after a hard case.”
Don’t let him goad you.
“Nah, that’s not it. I had some extra vacation time saved up, so Sergeant Carelli gave it to me now. I haven’t had any time off since I came off those last two undercover cases. It might be fun to do something just for myself.”
Ryan finished gathering up the rest of his items and shoved them into the bag hanging on the back of his chair. He had to get out of here before he said something about the Ajana Bennett case to Angelo.
“Well, have fun while I’m gone and please don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.” Ryan patted Angelo on the shoulder, then brushed past him. He was halfway to the door when he heard:
“Lerner, do you know if the sergeant has made any decision about who’s on the cat burglary case? I want that case so bad I can taste it. Miss Bennett is hot. I wouldn’t mind a few hours alone with her in the interrogation room.”
Keeping his back to his ex-partner, Ryan answered back over his shoulder, “I don’t know, we didn’t talk about that while I was in his office. You know how the boss can be. He always wants to be sure he assigns the right man for the case. Like I said, I’m outta here so I’ll see you next month sometime.”
Pushing open the door, Ryan strolled to his car at the end of the parking lot. He loved how the stars shone brightly in the dark sky. He had to admit it might be fun going home and passing Halloween candy out to the little kids in his neighborhood. He had bought a bag and it was sitting inside in a cabinet by his front door.