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Mr. Cop (Small Town Protectors #3)
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12 Heroes, one small town, and a charity calendar that will give them each a chance at love. This is just the beginning…
From the moment I looked into her pretty blue eyes, I knew she was trouble.
She’s hiding something.
I’m determined to unravel this mystery, uncover her secret.
But I fall under her spell instead.
By her innocence. By her body.
But I fight her allure despite my desire for her.
Until the Hometown Heroes calendar happened.
And she took my breath away.
I no longer wanted her gone.
I want to make her MINE.
I just pray she can forgive me.
Because of me, her past is coming back to haunt her.
My tragic past led me to this small town.
I’m determined to live the life I’ve been long denied.
Everyone here has embraced me, made me feel welcome.
Well, everyone, except him.
Handsome. Distracting. And hell bent on pushing me out of town.
But I refuse to submit.
I refuse to go back to who I once was.
He wants to be my enemy? Fine. So be it.
Until I fall.
For the man who wants me gone.
What’s a virgin to do when faced with a man like Antonio?
Make him mine, of course.
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Looking around at the happy couples had my feet itching to get the hell away from them. From their happiness and big smiles, but most of all, from their desire to see everyone as happily matched as them. Ry had just asked Penny to be his wife and she’d agreed with all the excitement the whole town expected, and Ry looked as if he’d just won the mega lottery. They both looked happy and I was happy for them.
From a distance.
Thankfully my phone rang before I did something rude, like run out of the backyard while everyone else inched forward to offer congratulations and coo over Penny’s ring. “Vargas.”
“Antonio, we’ve got a stranded motorist by the new Welcome to Tulip sign and its your turn to answer.” Sherriff Tyson Henderson was a good, firm boss and he happened to be one of my closest friends.
“I’m on my way,” I told him with more gratitude than I intended.
Ty laughed down the line. “Since when are you in a hurry to rush away from a barbecue?”
It was no secret how much I loved to eat, and when it was meat slathered in barbecue sauce, even better. But not this one. “Since Ry just proposed to Penny and now all the old ladies are looking for their next unsuspecting victim.”
Ty groaned like I knew he would because he was even more anti-commitment than I was; no one had seen him with a woman in years. Like me, he ventured outside of Tulip when he was in need of female attention. “Glad that a sherriff’s work is never done.”
“Neither is his deputy’s.” I grinned and made my way to the happy couple. “Headed out now, Ty.”
The call ended and I sidestepped Ry’s mother, Betty. “Antonio.” She grinned. “You’re still single, aren’t you?” I wasn’t fooled for one second by that gleam in her eye.
“Aw, Miss Betty, are you flirting with me?” I gave her my slow smile—the one that’s been known to make women of all ages forget their names—and laughed as she blushed.
“I’ll let it slide for now, young man.” With a wink, she walked away, and I suddenly felt like I’d waved a flag in front of an angry bull.
Ry laughed and accepted my handshake. “Don’t worry about Ma. She’s determined that she and Helen Landon will match more couples than the Bell sisters.”
That thought made my blood run cold. The Bell sisters were the biggest gossips and meddlers in all of Tulip, giving Betty and Helen a run for their money. Being double teamed by either set of women was enough to make me want to book a long vacation far, far away. “I’ll keep that in mind, but I just came to say congrats to you both.”
Penny turned and offered me a kind smile, her green eyes beaming happiness. “Thank you, Deputy Vargas.”
“You can call me Antonio, but not now. There’s a stranded motorist I have to tend to, so have a beer for me.”
I took a couple steps back, keeping an eye out for matchmakers as I made my way out of Ry’s backyard and out onto the street. Tulip was a small town and most people had just walked over, so navigating my cruiser out of the neighborhood took no time at all.
Every day I drove the streets of Tulip, through the family neighborhoods and the big sprawling ranches on the edge of town, and it confirmed that coming back home had been the right choice. The years I spent in New Orleans had turned me into a top-notch investigator and I was happy to use those skills to keep the people of my hometown safe from the bad shit life doled out on a regular basis.
It wasn’t pretty, but doing my job meant that most of the people in Tulip would never know when danger moved in a little too close. Outsiders were easy to spot and even easier to keep an eye on, and I knew better than most just how crucial that was for effective law enforcement. I knew more than I ever fucking wanted to about that subject.
I spotted the dark green hatchback on the opposite side of the road and made an emergency U-turn in order to get to the motorist. A small trailer was hooked the little car. A giant multi-colored daisy decorated the door. I parked behind it and stepped out, releasing the snap on my holster just in case it was needed. Traffic stops were the most dangerous for deputies, thanks to cars whizzing by at high speeds and terrified drivers with outstanding warrants. I approached slowly with my hand at my side. Ready for anything.
“Son of a … damn!” The voice was soft and feminine, a husky but melodic sound that made me wonder who this newcomer was.
Rounding the trailer, I was met with a pair of shapely legs dangling from the hatchback. Miles of blue-green fabric hung off her body, skimming her legs and falling between them. “Ma’am, you need some help?”