by Stan Crowe
Clint Christopherson’s love life is a running joke. When a crazed gypsy curses him with the best wish he could ever ask for, the punchline stops being funny. Now, even his barest touch drives girls mad for him. Desperate to reverse the curse, he turns to his last hope: an attractive private investigator who may be able to locate his missing gypsy. If only Clint knew who it was he just hired...
It was all Lindsay could do to not kick the front door of the police station off its hinges. Okay, so she wasn’t that angry, but it felt good to think it. As she exited the Seattle P.D. building, she kept her pace steady, her head erect. Treat her like some ignorant civilian would they? Fine. But to blow her off despite her credentials and connection to Uncle Tom? That was almost infuriating.
I’m sure that one station doesn’t represent the whole department, she thought coolly. Certainly most of them must know how to treat a lady.
But no matter. She’d tracked Fey this far, and jurisdictional issues aside, she’d follow the old woman to her grave if necessary. Seattle P.D.s lack of cooperation was a minor setback.
She found Clint planted on a grassy patch in front of the station, lost in doodling as he had been for most of the trip. Lindsay stopped to admire him, privately wondering how much she could stare without unleashing the stalking animal that had exploded to life inside of her when she’d first touched his shoulder. She hated the fact that his very presence compelled her to want to do the kind of things she’d only learned from tenth grade health class. Unfortunately, ignoring him had only worked while he was asleep. However, she found that a better antidote was constantly forcing herself to hate him, and so she did, speaking as little as she dared.
Whatever it was, Clint’s bizarre condition had done something to her. The way her heart raced whenever he glanced at her, the way she stopped whenever a breeze played with his hair—all of it was entirely unwelcome. Yet even as hatred seethed in her veins she couldn’t help remembering how charming he was once he’d started acting like a gentleman during the drive into Seattle. It was as if she’d found the grown up version of the boy he’d been in high school. Maybe there was something more to the new Clint after all. Something he’d hidden from her—from everyone—all this time. Could it be that under that abrasive interior a scared little boy was hiding, waiting for someone safe to come along and help him? And would she want to help him?
Perhaps. If he smiled his smile more often.
Lindsay shook her head clear, and gracefully stepped up to get a view of whatever he was drawing. A remarkably well-drawn portrait of a woman with darker hair done up in a bun, a lovely (if aquiline) face, and glasses perched somewhat seductively on the edge of her nose was posing against a wall. The mouth hadn’t been added yet, but Clint seemed to examine the sketch with adoration. Lindsay’s internal lioness growled at the image. Lindsay herself simply looked away and pretended not to notice.
“Sully, hey,” Clint piped up. “How’d it go?”
She turned back to him, and noticed him pause as she caught his eyes.
“Oh,” he said. “That good. Well, I guess we get to nose around Seattle some, hmm?”
She glared at him for good measure.
“Hey,” he said mock-sternly, “we’re playing nice now, remember? Your cute little self, er, person and mine? And let’s not forget how psyched you were to come here in the first place. I recall you mentioned something about a joint that sells excellent chowder?”
Her frown deepened. “For someone who is potentially mere miles and minutes away from having the supposedly greatest problem of his life fixed, you don’t seem all that eager to get moving. Is there something you’re not telling me?”
Clint hopped up and tucked his sketchpad back into the leather carrying case he never seemed to part from. “That was some excellent alliteration there, Sully. I’m impressed. Have you thought about taking up poetry?”
She grimaced further.
“Yes, of course I’m eager to get this wrapped up.”
He stepped up to her. The faint scent of his aftershave sent an involuntary tremor through her, and she slinked a little bit closer, wondering if her own perfume might convince him to let her even closer.
“I was testing the water temperature of my favorite private investigator is all,” he said. “You looked like you could use some cheering up, and since I just so happen to be available…” He shrugged, and then gestured to her car. “Anyway, after you. I’m sure that detective sense of yours will get this done in no time.”
She smiled despite herself, and when she reached the door of his—her—car, he quickly opened it and gestured inside with one of the grand flourishes he seemed to enjoy. “After you, milady.”
Lindsay smiled again, and she slid into the driver’s seat and started the engine.
There was no stopping her this time.
Author Stan Crowe
Stan had a pretty normal, middle-class American youth. He was lucky enough to change that by convincing an exceptional woman to marry him in 2000, setting him on a much more fulfilling life course. Four years later, Brigham Young University awarded him with a Bachelors of Science in civil and environmental engineering. He then he spent several years designing homes, prescribing work for bridges, and even exploring the mortgage industry. In the midst of all this, he produced two science fiction anthologies in 2006 and 2007. In 2012, Breezy Reads Publishing picked up his romantic comedy The Cinderella Project. And thus he transformed himself from Captain Kirk into Don Juan. Stan lives with his wife, children (final count to be determined) and two cats in Utah.
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