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The Spy Who Kissed Me

Author(s): Pauline Baird Jones

Dorothy Parker Award; First digital book nominated for Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award

A comedy romance suspense novel

Isabel "Stan" Stanley's mother has been hoping a man would fall in Stan's lap. But when a handsome spy dives through the sunroof of her car in a hail of bullets, Stan's sure this wasn't what momma had in mind.

Bad guys beware.

Stan's packing glue gun and she knows how to use it. Sort of.

Praise for The Spy Who Kissed Me:

“. . . . a remarkable new talent . . Pauline Baird Jones and her hilarious novel [The Spy Who Kissed Me] make their debut. Written in first person, this adventurous romp is a 14 karat gem, and I for one would love to see more from this vastly amusing author.” Romantic Times

“The Spy Who Kissed Me will entertain you, make you laugh, give your grey cells a bit of a work out, and lift your mood. This book is such a gem and I absolutely loved it. The Spy Who Kissed Me is FUN in book form.” Manic Readers

Excerpt


When the youthful hallelujahs faded into the frigid halls, I followed the hormonal herd to the kitchen for my earthly reward: the promised hot chocolate fix. At first the brew was too hot to drink, so I wrapped my hands around my cup and let the warmth seep into my chilled fingers. I sniffed, inhaling the fragrant steam of nature’s perfect food. After a time, I blew on the surface, took a tentative sip, then closed my eyes and savored the rich bouquet, the hint of hazel nut—
“Stanley!” Jerome Jeffries, oblivious to the finer nuances of hot chocolate consumption on account of his extreme youth, pulled me to one side. “We got us a job!”
I guess this is where I admit I play keyboard and sing in a band. Beneath my insignificant chest, lurks a powerful pair of lungs, the better to fuel a fair voice. Another one of God's little jokes, I've always thought, putting all the power where it couldn't be seen.
Jerome, cuter than Val Kilmer, a mere twenty years old, and the guiding light of the band, recruited me not long after I moved home. It wasn’t hard. I let myself be dazzled by visions of jiving to “Wild Thing” or “I Love Rock’n Roll.” I’d save Woolly Bully for the encore…
I know better now.
Jerome wanted to be a crooner like Harry Connick, Jr. or Frank Sinatra, so we played bubble music. I thought we should call ourselves “Sad,” but Jerome liked “Star Dust” better. So did my mother, who pointed out that I was too old for such nonsense. I told her that actually I was too young.
It was for this reason, I greeted Jerome’s announcement of a new gig with some wariness.
“Please tell me it’s not another anniversary?” Didn’t people know the divorce rate was up?
“This is totally not an anniversary.” His mouth curved into a grin that could have taught Tom Cruise a thing or two. My heart may have pit-a-patted a bit at the sight of it.
“It’s a rally in support of the troops of Desert Storm at Grant Park. You won’t believe this, but we’ve been asked to play back-up for the one and only Lee Greenwood.”
I waited a moment, but he didn’t grin again.
“Lee Greenwood. Wow.” I paused. “Who’s Lee Greenwood?”
Jerome laughed like I’d just been witty. Laughing kinked the area around his eyes, his mouth and my mid-section. I sipped my chocolate, the scientific equivalent of pouring gasoline on a fire and then tugged at the collar of my sweater. Perhaps the thermals were a mistake. Tommy, our bass guitarist and a dead ringer for Michael J. Fox, mistook this for a summons and joined us. Okay, so it wasn’t just the dream of playing in a band that made me agree to play bubble music on my weekends. I’m a Baptist, not a saint.
After more exclamations of mutual delight, we agreed to get together before the rally to rehearse. I downed the last of my chocolate, because it’s a Commandment—or should be—not to waste chocolate, and watched them leave. The combined heat of their cute and my hot chocolate surged through my body like the rising tide. I think my eyebrows were steaming. I was on my way to being my own weather system as the heat spread out, seeking those parts of my body encased in thermal and wool. I needed to remove some layers, but stripping in a church was the fast track to hell. I was all about the slow track.
I headed for the door, but got cut off at the pass by Reverend Hilliard. I was dripping in sweat and he looked like he couldn’t sweat and never would. His blinding smile featured two rows of gleaming, reverential teeth. He looked like he’d been born with the clerical collar around his neck. I fought back a sudden urge to confess something. It wasn’t a lack of material, you understand, but fear of bursting into flames. Didn’t seem like a good plan to incinerate a man of God.
“I can’t thank you enough for helping us out, Miss Stanley. I pray it didn’t inconvenience you too much?”
He probably had prayed. So glad he was keeping God updated on my movements.
“It wasn’t a problem. I’m glad to help out the kids.” I didn’t think he was actually interested me, because I’d seen me in the mirror, but it didn’t hurt to be honest. Just in case God was listening in. He smiled again, upping my guilt level by a factor of something times something else. I taught English, not math, before I quit to write roaches. I added, before he could pile on more guilt, “I really have to be going. I have Rosemary’s car and she likes it home by ten.”
He looked at me like I’d kicked a puppy but he forgave me because that’s just the kind of preacher guy he was. I fled because that’s the kind of girl I was.
Outside the cold air sizzled against my hot cheeks. Just prior to spontaneous combustion, I stripped off the jacket, hat and gloves, and tossed them into the back seat. I’d have taken off the thermals, too, but I didn’t want to get arrested in the church parking lot. I slid behind the wheel and started the motor. The heater blew cold. Before it could change its mind, I switched it to cold vent and opened the sunroof, welcoming the combined rush of frigid air across my steaming face and neck. As I kicked it into gear, cold began a slow seep into the thermal covered areas.
Earlier, snow had mixed with rain. Clouds still obscured the stars, but the air was now dry and devoid of flakes. In the fitful light of the street lamps, the road gleamed slick and empty. I drove with caution—because it wasn’t my car—enjoying the feel of fresh air, sweet solitude—a rare commodity in our over-stocked household—and a great car. Pleasantly tired and full of chocolate, I drove on auto-pilot, my thoughts drifting to my current romance novel with its impending love scene that I still didn’t know how to write.
“Get a better imagination or a lover, Stan,” my agent had advised, the one time I’d let her read a draft.
“Maybe I should get a new agent,” I muttered. About then I saw the stop sign and hit the brakes. Across the intersection, an unfamiliar street retreated into murk, lit only by the faint glow of the street lamps.
“Great.” I’d taken a wrong turn again. I crossed the intersection, straining to read the signs. The one I managed to pick out was sort of familiar, but I couldn’t place myself relative to home—
To my right, several firecrackers went off, one right after the other.
Then a man burst through the bay window of a house.

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Genre: Romantic Suspense
Date Published: 07/24/2013
Publisher: Pauline B Jones

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