Down on her luck blues singer, Gabriella Santos, escapes her over-protective family, along with a series of bad relationships, for a gig in Chicago to prove she's not the flake her family believes her to be. But when she tangles with the sexy but aloof bar owner, Shane O'Neil, she starts to think she might have bitten off more than she can chew.
Ex-special forces guy turned private detective and reluctant bar owner, Shane O'Neil has a laundry list of things he doesn't like, starting with cops. He also doesn't like a too-beautiful-for-her-own-good blues singer trying to tell him how to run his bar. She's pushy, chatty, high-maintenance, and does everything she can do to get under his skin. But when he ends up beaten to a pulp in a Chicago alley, he has no choice but to rely on Gabriella for help. Despite the sizzling chemistry between them, finding the balance between trust and commitment is a formidable task.
I shifted, clumsily finding the right gear. The Porsche responded with a lurch, the wheels spinning for a second or two before taking hold on the slick pavement. At three a.m. on a Thursday morning, I-294 North, the highway connecting Illinois with Wisconsin, was nearly deserted. After a glance in the rearview mirror, I drew in a long, deep breath.
My passenger moaned in his seat, excruciating pain etched on his face. At least he was still alive. For a terrifying couple of minutes, I wasn’t sure he was still breathing.
Despite the circumstances, I nearly smiled envisioning the headline: Gabriella Santos Saves Shane O’Neil
I imagined the details that would follow: Gabriella Santos, stiletto-wearing blues singer, courageously saves big bad Shane O’Neil, all six foot four inches and two hundred pounds of him. Then again, I shouldn’t get ahead of myself.
G.I. Jane I wasn’t. But still, by some kind of miracle, I’d pulled it off. At least for the time being.
Apprehensive after everything I’d gone through in the last several hours, I peeked at his still form. He definitely needed a doctor. But before he passed out, I had promised him no cops and no hospital. Since we had both been preoccupied dodging bullets at the time, I hadn’t asked for an explanation. For the time being, I felt obligated to honor his wishes. Fighting the urge to poke him just to hear him moan so I’d know he was still alive, I settled for finding a centimeter of skin not bruised or swollen and touched it. When he felt warm but not feverish, I let out a sigh of relief.
Since leaving Florida a month ago, I’d been followed, mugged, threatened, and shot at. I wasn’t in law enforcement like my brothers. I wasn’t even gainfully employed most of the time. I was a blues singer, flitting from one gig to another, never quite knowing where I’d find myself.
But the very last place I would have expected to be during the early morning hours of August twenty-fourth was running from a carload of bad guys with a nearly dead man sitting next to me. How could I possibly take care of a half-dead guy when I couldn’t even take care of myself?
It had all started mere weeks ago when I entered The Blues Stop that humid August afternoon . . .
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About the Author
Most days you can find her pounding away at her laptop spinning tales and inflicting mayhem on her hero and heroine until they beg for mercy. She loves to write contemporary romance or romantic suspense all infused with a touch of humor and, of course, the happily ever after.
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