Beautiful Lawman by Sophie Jordan is out today.
Beautiful Lawman (Devil's Rock #4) by Sophie Jordan
Series: Devil's Rock #4
Also in this series: All Chained Up (Devil's Rock #1), Fury on Fire, Beautiful Lawman
Published by Avon
Publication Date: December 26th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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From the wrong side of the tracks and with most of her family in jail or dead, Piper Walsh is used to everyone in town thinking the worst about her. It doesn’t seem to matter that she’s worked hard to build a good life for herself. So she isn’t surprised that when she comes into contact with Sweet Hill’s wildly irresistible, arrogant sheriff, Hale Walters, they’re instant adversaries. Piper has nothing in common with the town golden-boy-turned-lawman—and she refuses to be a notch on his bedpost.
Despite rumors, Hale avoids fooling around with the women of Sweet Hill, many of whom are hoping to get him to the altar. But staying out of Piper’s path is proving near impossible. The infuriating troublemaker clearly has no respect for his badge. As she continues to push his buttons, it becomes clear to Hale that he must either arrest Piper—or claim her as his own.
He didn’t reply right away. She stood there, not sure whether to bolt or step forward and punch him. Was this some kind of joke? The guy that sneered at this place, at her . . . was in this room as her first client? It didn’t make sense. The sheriff she knew—the sheriff she thought she knew—wouldn’t even think about stepping foot in this room. Not him. Not Mr. Stick-Up-His-Ass. He didn’t do strippers. His words. Jerk.
“My cousin insisted that I take a lap dance,” he finally said. She froze at that deep voice, goose bumps breaking over her skin as the gravel of his words rolled over her.
Nightmare confirmed. It was him. He was doing this. He was sitting there. It was happening.
She had to take off her clothes and dance for him. Heat flared inside her. It was anger. That was it. Nothing more. The fact that it was him in all his hotness did not affect her libido at all.
“Your cousin?” she asked.
“That jackass is your cousin?” She made a sound of disgust. “I should have guessed the connection.”
“Really?” He angled his head. “Should people judge people based off family connections?”
She sucked in a breath. That arrow was aimed directly for her. “You’re a lawman. Can you even be in here? Doesn’t this break some ethical code?”
“There’s nothing illegal about me being here. You’re just dancing.”
“And taking off my clothes,” she flung at him.
He settled his big hands on the tops of his thighs. His fingers were blunt tipped, the nails
trimmed and clean. He was quiet for a moment before that dark voice of his agreed. “And taking off your clothes.”
Her skin shivered. She couldn’t move. She felt like the clichéd deer caught in the crosshairs. She shifted her weight. “Well. You paid for half an hour.”
“Thirty minutes is the minimum.”
“Then by all means.” He fluttered a hand. “Do your thing.”
Right. Do your thing.
She squared her feet apart and focused, for the first time, on the music being piped in from the speakers overhead. It was classic rock. She closed her eyes and let it fill her. She rolled her head slightly and let her hips move, hands coming to her sides. Her palms drifted up over her abdomen and rib cage. She tried not to think of him, but she couldn’t help it. She could actually feel his eyes on her, his gaze crawling all over her.
The same pulsing tightness she had felt in her stomach when they talked at the park returned. Just like that. A match catching fire. She was turned on knowing he was watching her as she touched herself. It was so messed up.
She let her hands move of their own accord, dragging them across her breasts. She gave in to temptation and opened her eyes and met his gaze. And there was nothing. He watched her blankly. No reaction.
Damn it. This was humiliating. Her movements stalled and she heard his arrogant voice in her head again. I don’t do strippers. She felt foolish. All her efforts were wasted on him because he didn’t want this. His cousin insisted he take a lap dance. That’s why he was here.
A loud commotion sounded from outside the room. She turned and looked toward the door. The door opened and one of the girls stuck her head in. “Marty! We need you!”
Marty hesitated and glanced back at them.
Piper shrugged. “Go on. I’m fine.” She wasn’t in danger with the sheriff. The guy was a block of ice. Marty didn’t need to worry about leaving them alone.
The bouncer glanced at the sheriff. Clearly Marty knew who he was. Satisfied she was in safe hands with the lawman, he nodded and hurried out of the room. She turned back to face Walters.
“You sure about that?” he asked.
“Being alone with you in here?” She snorted. “Yeah, I’m sure it’s fine.”
He wasn’t going to pounce on her. He looked more interested in a nap than watching her take off her clothes. And that bugged her. Perversely, she knew, but she wanted this guy to be . . . affected. “Should I be worried?” she asked, her fingers curling around the hem of her dress, inching it up just a little.
“You work at Joe’s. You should always be on your guard.”
“Such a very correct answer, Sheriff Walters.” She stepped forward, moving into the shadows with him. “But why should I be worried about you? You don’t do strippers, remember?”
His gray eyes fixed on her face, but he didn’t answer.
In one move, she pulled her dress over her head. It whispered on the air before it dropped on the floor behind her.
She stood there in her heels. Chill air skated over her and her nipples puckered and tightened inside her bra.
“You’re a cop,” she murmured. “If I’m not safe with you . . .” She let her voice fade suggestively.
His eyes were still fixed on hers, but there was an intensity there now. His jaw was locked, face frozen as though he couldn’t look anywhere except at her eyes. As though he wouldn’t allow himself to look anywhere else but her face. Such a masochist.
And she wasn’t having that.
She ran her hands over her front, dragging them over her demicups and down the slope of her stomach. She arrowed her fingers over the tiny swatch of fabric covering her sex, sliding her fingertips sensuously against the silk.
Still, he did not look anywhere except her face. Ugh. Stubborn man. “What’s the matter? You knew I was going to strip. You don’t want to look?”
Something ignited inside her at the challenge he presented. He was a block of ice but she would crack him. With a growl of frustration she backed up several steps, offering him a wider view. She moved slightly with the music, letting it pump through her. She wanted him to want her.
She needed him to.
She fanned her fingers over her face, keeping them parted so she could still peer out at him. Her goal was to start where he was fixated—on her face—and work her way down, bringing him with her.
As her fingers reached her lips, she let impulse guide her and sucked a finger into her mouth.
And there it was. Something flickered in his gaze, cracking the frosty gray.
It was all the validation she needed.
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About the Author
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Sophie Jordan grew up in the Texas hill country where she wove fantasies of dragons, warriors, and princesses. A former high school English teacher, she’s also the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Avon historical romances. She now lives in Houston with her family. When she’s not writing, she spends her time overloading on caffeine (lattes and Diet cherry Coke preferred), talking plotlines with anyone who will listen (including her kids), and cramming her DVR with true-crime and reality-TV shows. Sophie also writes paranormal romances under the name Sharie Kohler.