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Author(s): Marie Rochelle

Ryan Lerner is constantly being approached by gorgeous woman because of his
job. However, none of them have drawn his attention like the spunky and
petite mocha-skinned Ajana Bennett that is begging him to help her clear her
name. He always thought he didn't want a woman's company for more than a
quick night of sex, but that all goes out the window when Ajana ends up
sneaking her way into his well-protected heart.
Yet, will her secret make him change his mind or will he do everything in
his power to prove her innocence and make her his woman. First in a series.

Ryan couldn't believe his luck. Standing not ten feet in front of him was
the woman he was supposed to hunt down. How in the hell had she planned all
of this? Was the entire police force asleep when she climbed into his car?
Damn, he was doing everything he could not to notice how her picture didn't
do her justice. Ajana Bennett was beautiful. His attraction for her only
heightened since she was positioned in front of him, displaying a killer
body in form fitting clothes.
He wasn't dumb. He saw that Ajana was a damn good-looking woman, but if he
let her sway him with her pretty face and centerfold body. He would end up
on traffic duty and he wasn't going to let that happen. He had to find a way
to get out of this cuffs and arrest Ajana.
"We can begin by you getting me out of these handcuffs. After I'm free I'll
call the station, then take you in. I won't press charges if you don't put
up a fight."
"Are you crazy? Half this town thinks I'm a jewel thief and the other half
probably doesn't care about what happens to me. I'm not about to turn myself
in to anyone. However, you will tell me why you gave an interview to that
Ryan tried to move his hands and get the cuffs loose, but Ajana was one
smart woman. She made sure they were tight enough that he wasn't able to do
it. He had to find a way to trick her into taking them off of him Then Miss
Bennett would be taken down to the station and booked on two separate
charges. His offer not to press charges ended the second she ignored it.
"I always talk to the press when I feel the leads are turning cold. I had to
smoke you out some way, and it worked." He smirked. "You came to me. I
didn't have to break out in a sweat to find you."
"Why aren't you listening to me?" Ajana snapped. "I'm not guilty. You have
the wrong woman. I haven't robbed any jewelry stores."
Jerking his arms again, Ryan was growing tired of hearing Ajana's lies. The
station had a videotape of her in action. She wasn't going to get away with
it. "Miss Bennett, you're guilty as sin and I'm going to prove it."
* * * *
Ajana didn't know how she was going to get herself out of this mess. Officer
Lerner was wrong. She wasn't the thief the cops had been searching for the
past two months, but it didn't seem like he was going to believe her.
Everything had been fine with her last hideout until Officer Ryan Lerner
decided to go on television and display her picture to the world. First she
was so captivated by how handsome Officer Lerner was that she hadn't heard
the words coming out of his mouth. But the second her picture flashed across
the screen the fog in her mind cleared. It took her all of five seconds to
get out of the restaurant and into her car.
All the way back into town her mind played out several ways to get Officer
Lerner to listen to her side of the story, but not once did any of her ideas
involve kidnapping him. God, she was already looking at twelve years in
prison for a jewel heist she didn't do. Now with the federal offense of
kidnapping an officer she would never see the light of day if she got
Sitting on the coffee table in front of Ryan, Ajana crossed her legs and ran
her gaze up and down the length of the hunk in front of her. Television
showed off how nice looking he was, but it diminished his thick and shiny
his dark brown hair. Or how the green flecks in his dark brown eyes made
them look more hazel than brown.
"Stop staring at me and let me go. I swear I'll do anything I can to help
you get a lesser sentence," Ryan exclaimed.
Ajana shook her head slowly. "No, I can't let you go. You're my only hope of
clearing my name. You should know the definition of a kidnapping. The
kidnappers never lets the hostage go until they are positive every demand
has been met."
"Your demands aren't going to be met because you're guilty. I have all the
proof I need in the file out in my car," Ryan tossed back at her.
"What proof?"
She watched as Ryan pressed his lips together, then turned his head away
from her. "Don't tell me then. I can go and get it myself. But you should
know, Officer Lerner, I'm not going to prison for a crime I didn't do."
Spinning on her heel, Ajana raced from the room back out to the car.
* * * *
"You idiot!" Ryan screamed at himself. How could you let her know about the
file? She's going to destroy it and where will that leave you? He had to
find a way out of these damn handcuffs, and soon. Ajana honestly believed
she was innocent, and a desperate person did desperate things to prove their
He hated that Ajana was on the wrong side of the law because she was one hot
little number in the eggshell sweater and jeans. He couldn't help but notice
how Ajana's butt was cupped nicely in those jeans as she ran from the room.
He twisted around in the chair to relieve some of the ache in his groin. Had
he really been without a woman for so long that he was lusting after the
prime suspect in an ongoing case? Shit, after this was over he would have to
dig out that little black book and find an old girlfriend to call.
"Hey, I know you aren't asleep, so why are your eyes closed?" Ajana came
back into the room with his bag in her hand. Sitting down on the couch, she
tossed the gun on the table and then unzipped his bag.
"I didn't tell you that you could go through my things," he retorted as
Ajana tossed confidential items from his bag onto the table.
"I don't need to ask your permission for anything, handsome. I want to look
inside here, so I did," Ajana answered, then smiled at him before reaching
back into his dark blue bag.
"Flirting with me isn't going to get me on your side," Ryan replied, not
liking how her compliment made him feel. Damn, he knew he was hard up for a
woman when a known criminal was turning him on.
"Just stating the obvious," Ajana countered. "You know, you're an attractive
man. If we had met under different circumstances I might have approached
Ryan sat silently as he observed Ajana lift her file and spread it across
the glass table. She didn't say a word to him as she read over her file and
looked at all the witness statements. He wanted to tear his gaze away from
her, but he couldn't. It seemed like a light was around her that drew his
undivided attention.
Ajana was totally different than he thought she would be. She was spunky,
border lining on tough, but there was a softness about her. She almost had
him doubting that it was her on all of the surveillance cameras. Shit, if
Sergeant Carelli knew he was thinking this way he would have an appointment
with the department shrink in five minutes flat.
"This isn't me in these photos. I have never been to any of these places,"
Ajana uttered, drawing his eyes down to her full bottom lip.
"Don't play that with me. It's you and we both know it," Ryan said. "Look,
you're holding a close up of your face. Are you really going to tell me that
isn't you?"
"Yes, I am. You have to trust me. Officer Lerner, I swear this isn't me in
any of these pictures."
"It's kind of hard to trust you and I'm still handcuffed to this chair."

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ISBN (Print):
ISBN (Electronic): 978-1-59426-732-1
Genre: Contemporary
Date Published: 05/04/2008
Publisher: Phaze Books

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