When my daughter moved to Orlando, I insisted she buy a camping lantern and keep plenty of bottled water on hand – not to mention duct tape to criss-cross the window glass – in preparation for all the hurricanes I felt sure she’d have to endure. Orlando is pretty far inland, and hurricanes have only come close twice in the five years she’s lived there. At nearby Cocoa Beach, her favorite spot to get sunburned, it’s a different story.
Like my daughter, Stephanie Bryant, the heroine of Leigh Duncan’s sweet-and-sultry upcoming release, “The Officer’s Girl,” is an Ohio native transplanted to Florida. Her realtor, eager for a sale, has slightly exaggerated the safety of living on a barrier island, so Stephanie mistakenly thinks she is safe when storm clouds roll in. She worked hard for the promotion that brought her to Cocoa Beach, and endured a makeover to give her a look of authority. No way is she going to let a little wind and rain make her late for her first day at her new job.
Officer Brett Lincoln is doing a final pass through town to make sure no clueless tourists try to ride out the fast-approaching hurricane when he spots a pint-sized dynamo blithely stacking moving boxes outside her ocean-front house. He insists she must evacuate, but the expensively dressed “me-me” type – who reminds him of his self-centered ex-girlfriend – cops an attitude. What choice does he have but to slap on the cuffs? The woman is hot as blazes, but the last thing Brett wants is to connect with another woman whose whole focus is her career.
Leigh Duncan gives the term “beach read” a whole new meaning when she shows us Cocoa Beach as a cozy small town and not just a spring break destination. She makes you feel the sultry Florida heat, but the story – true to the Harlequin American Romance style – is heartwarming, sexy and sweet rather than steamy and graphically erotic. Whether you read this at the beach or in your living room . . .
Buy the Book!
Watch for “The Officer’s Girl,” winner of the 2007 Golden Rose Contest for Short Contemporary Fiction, in early April, 2010. In the meantime, let’s talk cops and cuffs – why are they so hot? Are you a fan of romances where the hero wears a badge and a gun?
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Friday: Cara Elliott -- debut author and half of the classy Yale romance class teachin' team you read about here first -- visits RBTB to chat! Her "To Sin With A Scoundrel" is getting lots of great praise! I've just started it, and I can see why...