Sweet Danger is my first contemporary romantic suspense novel. Up until this point, I have stuck with writing western historicals, though Time Plains Drifter was a bit of a departure from that, being a time travel/paranormal.
Sweet Danger is the story of Jesse Nightwalker, an undercover cop, and Lindy Oliver, his beautiful next-door neighbor. They’ve been very much aware of one another for the past year or so, but have never formally met, until one fateful Friday morning when they both come into the local deli and end up next to each other in line.
But things turn deadly as a gang of criminals takes over the deli in what seems to be a robbery. Unfortunately for Jesse, the leader of the pack is Tabor Hardin, a vicious cop killer that Jesse helped put behind bars. Hardin’s purpose changes instantly. The robbery was only a façade for a much more heinous crime—kidnapping the governor’s children from the adjoining daycare. Now, Hardin swears to make Jesse pay for his part in Hardin’s imprisonment before anything else takes place.
As if things couldn’t get worse, one of the other children in the daycare is Jesse’s own son, Nash. Jesse has to walk a fine line to figure out what he can do to save his son and Lindy, as well as the other hostages—even though it means certain death for himself.
When his wife died four years earlier, Jesse cut off all romantic feelings, immersing himself in his undercover work. Now, Lindy Oliver has reawakened those feelings at a most inopportune time, and Jesse is incredulous at what’s happening between them, now that he stands to lose it all at Hardin’s bloody hands.
I loved the premise of this book, and especially loved figuring out how to make it all “come around” so that Jesse and Lindy could have the HEA they so richly deserved. But y’all know me–I always have to write a wounded hero, so…<G>
Sweet Danger will be available through TheWild Rose Press on October 1, 2010. I’ve posted the blurb and an excerpt below for your reading pleasure! Please leave a comment for a chance to win one of two ARC copies of SWEET DANGER. I always love to hear from readers and other authors. Visit my website at http://www.cherylpierson.com
SWEET DANGER BLURB:
When undercover cop Jesse Nightwalker enters Silverman’s Deli, he doesn’t expect to find himself at the mercy of Tabor Hardin, a sadistic murderer he helped put in prison five years earlier. Now, Hardin’s escaped, and he’s out for more blood—Jesse’s.
Lindy Oliver has had her eye on her handsome neighbor for several months. Fate provides the opportunity for them to finally meet when they both choose the same deli for breakfast. Becoming a hostage was not in Lindy’s plans when she sat down to share a pastry with Jesse, but neither was the hot kiss he gave her when bullets began to fly. That kiss seals both their fates, binding them to one another with the certainty of a vow.
But Jesse’s got some hard-hitting secrets. With both their lives at stake, Lindy has a plan that just might save them—if Hardin takes the bait. Will they find unending love in the midst of Sweet Danger?
This excerpt takes place in the first chapter. Jesse Nightwalker, an undercover cop, runs into his neighbor, Lindy Oliver, in the local deli. Though they’ve never met, they are very aware of one another. The deli owner introduces them officially and points them toward the only available booth. But their Friday morning takes a quick nosedive in the next few minutes. Here’s what happens.
Jesse looked past her, his smile fading rapidly. As the flash of worry entered his expression, Lindy became aware of a sudden lull in the noisy racket of the deli. Jesse’s dark gaze was locked on the front door, a scowl twisting his features.
“Damn it,” he swore, reaching for her hand. “Get down! Under the table, Lindy…”
But she hesitated a second too long, not understanding what was happening. In the next instant, the sound of semi-automatic gunfire and shattering glass filled the air.
Lindy reflexively ducked, covering her head. The breath of a bullet fanned her cheek as Jesse dragged her down beneath the sparse cover of the small table. He shielded her, his hard body crushing against her, on top of her, pushing her to the floor. The breath rushed out of her, and she felt the hard bulge of the shoulder holster he wore beneath the denim jacket as it pressed against her back.
Her heart pounded wildly, realization of their situation flooding through her. A robbery! But why, at this hour of the morning when the take would be so low? The gunfire stopped as abruptly as it had started. From somewhere near the counter, a man shouted, “Come out and you won’t be hurt! Come out—now!”
Lindy looked up into Jesse’s face, scant inches from her own. What would he do? They were somewhat concealed here at the back of the deli, but these men were sporting semi-automatic weapons.
“There’s a back door,” Jesse whispered raggedly. “Get the hell out of here. I’m gonna be your diversion.” She didn’t answer; couldn’t answer. He was likely to be killed, helping her go free. He gave her a slight shake. “Okay?”
An interminable moment passed between them before she finally nodded. “Get going as soon as I get their attention.” He reached to brush a strand of hair out of her eyes, his own gaze softening as he leaned toward her and closed the gap between them. “Take care of yourself, Lindy,” he whispered, just before his mouth closed over hers.
The instant their lips met shook her solidly. Every coherent thought fled, leaving nothing but the smoldering touch of his lips on hers, burning like wildfire through her mind. Soft, yet firm. Insistent and insolent. His teeth skimmed her lower lip, followed by his tongue, as he tasted her. Then, he pulled away from her, their eyes connecting for a heart-wrenching second.
“Safe passage,” he whispered.
Lindy didn’t answer, more stunned by the sudden sweet kiss than by the madness surrounding them. Jesse pushed himself out from under the table and stood up, directly in front of where Lindy crouched. Only then did she hear his muted groan of pain, his sharp, hissing intake of breath. The blossoming red stain of crimson contrasted starkly with the pale blue of his faded denim jacket as his blood sprang from the bullet wound, soaking the material.
He’d been shot!
Lindy gasped softly at the realization. How could she leave him now?