Star Spangled Kiss is a Fourth of July holiday story for Liquid Silver Books’ 2010 Holiday Theme. I wrote it as a continuation of my Kissin’ Cops series. I would like to share with you an interesting tidbit about this book.
The reason I chose Independence Day for the setting came down to one vital scene. It occurs in the second half of the book when Tyler goes out on patrol. The deputies in Los Angeles County have an unwritten rule they stick to during fireworks. I wanted to write that occurrence exactly how the cops experience it. Not very many people know about this safety procedure, not even the heroine, Sophie. So, she is quite surprised when Tyler changes course and takes her somewhere unexpected. Soon though, she doesn’t mind the detour.
Another little fact about the story I am proud to have included happens during Sophie’s time at Century Sheriff’s Station. As she is leaving, she walks down a long hallway. She looks up at beautifully crafted portraits. I had an emotional moment when she views these photos because on the wall hang pictures of those who lost their lives on duty, including a close friend of my family. It is a pivotal point in the plot and one that was so very close to my heart.
"What do you think, Marshal? A divine sight, isn't it? Two hot women, wearing nothing but bikinis, are hard at work in the kitchen. Next stop, seventh heaven."
Sophie glanced over her shoulder. When had the two of them sneaked in? The big and imposing detectives stood there, leaning back against the stucco wall. This time, Sophie allowed her gaze free rein to roam over the chiseled perfection of Tyler's bare chest. A bead of sweat tracked down the midline, and she followed its path, captivated as it slid over the taut, steely bands cording his abs. It disappeared below the edge of his blue and gold board-shorts. She stole a glimpse a smidge lower, and her breath hitched in her throat. Tyler was doing nothing to hide his state of arousal.
Brazen, cocky fool. Sophie tore her stare away, quickly looking up at his face. Their gazes collided and heat flared in his eyes. The tip of his tongue darted out, swept along his lips.
"It makes a man hungry for what they’re offering," Tyler declared.
Gavin exhaled, drawing Sophie's notice. She saw his cheeks were flushed, his nostrils flared as all his focus centered on Cassidy.
"Yes, it does!" Gavin replied in a husky tone. Suddenly, he moved up behind Cassidy. He leaned in, his arms sliding on either side of her. He gripped the lip of the sink in both hands. Cassidy was trapped by Gavin's body. "Don't move, baby," the rough command echoed in the kitchen. When he pressed his mouth to her shoulder, Cassidy whispered his name, but she didn't budge an inch.
Sophie tried to divert her attention but their intimacy was titillating.
"God, Sophie. You like that, don't you?"
She jerked at Tyler's gruff, whispered words. He stood right next to her. His close proximity reignited the slow burn from earlier. She fumbled for a coherent reply but ended up saying, "I don't know what you mean."
Tyler moved even closer, the side of his arm brushed the curve of her breast as he brought it behind to the small of her back. Tilting his head, he spoke in a pitch that only she could hear, "The way you're watching them, sweetheart. Your beautiful brown eyes are focused on Gavin and how he's pinning Cassidy in place. You can lie all you want, but your body tells the truth."
Sophie opened her mouth to respond, but Tyler's fingers tangled with hers. He entwined them and squeezed.
"Be honest," he commanded.
Shaking her head, Sophie blinked and tried to quit staring. Using the wood grain of the china hutch as a focal-point, she said, "I don't know. I've never experienced it before."
His fingers tightened around hers as he hissed, "I promise, you will. Soon."
Summary from Publisher's Website:
Detective Tyler Mason always gets what he wants, until he tries to seduce unattainable social worker, Sophie Perez. Suddenly, everything he thought about women is turned upside down. Now, he will do anything to make her his. Sophie resists her attraction to Tyler. She knows he only wants one thing. However, at a Fourth of July barbeque, she is given a glimpse of the man he truly is.
Amidst the fireworks of the holiday, their passion ignites. Tyler must win Sophie's heart or risk losing the one woman who can teach him how to love.
Available now from Liquid Silver Books (ebook).
Note: This title is included in the list of giveaways for the ongoing contest.