Friday, June 3, 2022

Read an Excerpt from Tanya (The Trouble Sisters Saga Book 1) by Taylor Lee

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She’s a brash deputy. He’s an undercover agent. When sparks start to fly, a murderer might be the death of them.

Deputy Sheriff Tanya Trouble can't help being pushy. In her dusty border town, being a polite cop could get her killed. When a fifteen-year-old girl is murdered, Tanya turns up the heat to track down the killer. She’s convinced one of the town’s white supremacists killed the girl, but when she starts lining up suspects she can't help but be sidetracked by a sexy new ranch hand.

Ryker Thompson is smart and more than a little cocky. The FBI agent figures that's why he's been sent undercover as an arrogant right-wing ranch hand to investigate a sophisticated human trafficking operation. But he never could've anticipated that a brash deputy sheriff would name him as the prime suspect in an ugly local murder. And he’s surprised by how arousing he finds her suspicion...

When Tanya discovers Ryker’s true identity she immediately tries to think of him as off-limits, but Ryker gives as good as he gets and soon enough hot sparks are flying between them. After their cases collide, can Trouble and Thompson surrender to their attraction while putting a ruthless killer behind bars?

Tanya is the first standalone book in The Trouble Sisters steamy romantic suspense series. If you like smart characters, tough-talking cops, and scorching passion, then you'll love Taylor Lee’s sizzling thrill-ride.

Excerpt:

“Who’s Captain America?”
Tanya Trouble looked up from her double-decker, four-inch high cheeseburger and glanced in the direction of her sister’s gaze. Swallowing a mouthful of the greasy, charred meat, she upped the ante.  “Don’t you mean Thor?  Damn, if I’ve ever seen a Chris Hemsworth double, it’s that hot piece of ass.”  Taking in the newcomer’s rowdy companions, she qualified dismissively, “But, seeing the scurvy company he keeps, looks like Sledge Perkins managed to suck in another n’er-do-well to protect his land.”  She added with a sneer, “No doubt he’s a race-baiting, supremacist like the rest of them.”
  Tatiana frowned at her. “You’re getting more cynical by the day, Tanya.”
Their older sister concurred.  “Tatiana is right, Tanya.  You’ve been around the bad guys so long that you can’t even enjoy a prime piece of beefcake like that.”
Tanya snorted.  “Hey, without even seeing it, I said he has a hot ass.” She reached for one of the cheese-covered French fries sharing the plate with her mammoth burger.  Swathing the deep-fried delicacy in catchup, she shrugged as she chomped on it.  “Besides, all chick magnets are the same.  They know what to do to attract attention.”
“Which is?” Tara persisted.
Tanya nodded at the subject of their attention three tables over and conceded with a wink, “All they have to do is look like that.”
 
As she craned her neck to get a better look at the object of their attentions a man’s voice broke into their conversation.
“Do you mind if I join you ladies?”
Tanya turned to see Bram Courtland approaching.  As the slim man reached for the chair beside her, Tanya didn’t have to wonder what caused the frown tightening his stern face. Brushing his lips across her cheek as he sat down, Bram focused on her heaping plate then glanced meaningfully at her sisters’ salads.  Not able to keep the annoyance out of his voice he said with ersatz humor, “What am I going to do with you, Tanya?”
Knowing what was coming, Tanya decided to cut him off.  She smiled at him and said disingenuously, “What makes you think you need to do anything with or for me, Bram?  As you can see I am in hog heaven. But then how could I be anything else in that I’m digging into my all-time favorite meal.”
Bram’s attempt to smile got trapped in his sneer.  Obviously forcing himself to be civil Bram turned to her sisters and put up his hands in supplication. “Please, Tara, Tatiana, help me. Tell your little sister that not only does her unhealthy entre clock in at well over a thousand calories but also contains artery-hardening red meet and fat-laden cheese.”  He added with a grimace, “And that doesn’t even include those French fries.”  Before either of her sisters could respond, Bram glared at her.  “Really Tanya, who but you would put cheese on French fries?”
Tanya shrugged, “Hey, don’t knock ‘em before you try ‘em. You might find out you like them.” She added, “You know, Bram, once in a blue moon, you might consider doing something different, if for no other reason than to add a little excitement to your life.”
Apparently seeing her disdain, Bram made an obvious attempt to soften his criticism.  “I don’t need food to do that, Tanya.  You bring all the excitement I need into my life.” Unable to let go of his pique he added, “It’s just that I care about you. You have to know that food is bad for you in so many ways not the least making it impossible for you to lose that weight you’ve been trying ….”
Before he could finish his sentence, Tanya rose to her feet shoving back her chair with a loud scrape. Turning to her sisters both of whom were fighting to contain their grins, she said, “Don’t know about you two, but my dinner is crying out for a beer chaser.”  She added, “Although you probably prefer wine with your salads. How about it, Tara? Tatiana?  White, red or maybe one of Dante’s ‘porn star martini’s’?  Come to think of it, that’s what I prefer.  I’ve already had a beer.”
Ignoring Bram’s obvious displeasure, Tanya began to make her way through the crowded tavern to the bar.  Not bothering to look back, she knew Bram was furious although he’d be doing his best to appear merely understandingly aggrieved.  She thought to herself for the hundredth time what a stupid name ‘Bram’ was.  Granted it was better than ‘Bramford’ which was his full name.  God, Bramford Preston Courtland.  Jesus, how pretentious could anyone get?  Granted it was his parent’s fault not his, but he could have chosen a nickname.  Maybe, called himself “Ford” which was marginally better than Bram--ford.  Unfortunately she knew the only thing Bram liked better than his name was his title.  And yeah, Dr. Bramford Courtland had a nice ring to it.
 Or at least she’d thought so when she’d agreed to marry him.  At the moment that agreement seemed long ago and not for the first time--questionable. Rubbing at her bare ring finger, she was surprised that Bram hadn’t focused on that omission.  Apparently her eating habits concerned him more than her sartorial ones. She guessed she should be thankful.  The flamboyant ring had surprised her from the first time she saw it. But knowing how expensive it was, it seemed tacky to question Bram’s showy choice.  And she had to admit that all of her girlfriends had been appropriately wowed with the multi-carat wonder. The problem was given what she wore to work, the blindingly bright rock frankly looked out of place.  
Putting aside her irritation with her fiancé--which she admitted was not an uncommon state of affairs, she shoved her way through the crowd surrounding the bar and motioned to the bartender. Holding up three fingers, she hollered, “Three porn star martinis, Dante, for me and my sisters.”
The cheerful bartender shot her an open grin and hollered out, “You got it hotstuff, I mean Deputy Trouble.  What about the doc?  What does he want? His usual milk and cookies?”
Tanya shrugged and shot the grinning bartender a cheeky smile. “No, hold the cookies, Dante.  The doc is on a diet.  The better to berate me with.”
Dante chuckled and added with a wink, “Don’t you dare let that huffy pill-pusher talk you into a diet, hotstuff.  I wouldn’t want you to lose an inch of those bodacious curves filling out that uniform of yours.”
Tanya laughed at his description given that her uniform consisted of blue jeans, a long-sleeved t-shirt and leather jacket that couldn’t have hidden her curves if she’d wanted them too.  At least the badge hooked on her belt gave her some much needed gravitas, or so she hoped.  That hope was shot to hell when Manny Davis, sitting a couple tables over, said loud enough for anyone who chose to hear, “Yeah, little deputy copper, we wouldn’t want the tiniest of the Trouble sisters to lose an inch of those suckalicous curves of hers, would we, men?”
At the chorus of grunts and catcalls from his table companions Tanya thrust her chin in the air.  Pointedly looking at the leering man who was leaning back in his chair, his legs stretched out in front of him, she pinned a dismissive squint on his crotch.  “Be careful, Manny who you’re calling tiny or I might have to get out my ruler to prove a point.  By the way, that’s my dick ruler, buddy.  The one I use for assholes like you.  It measures in millimeters.”
At the shouts of laughter from the men close enough to hear their exchange, Tanya tossed her head accepting the cheers from the rowdy crowd at the surrounding tables, many of whom were her drinking buddies.  As she saucily surveyed Manny’s group, she saw that the newcomer she and her sisters had been ogling was studying her. Hoping that her surprise didn’t show on her face she met his gaze refusing to look away.  Swallowing hard she admitted that the sexy stranger was even more gorgeous up close than she’d thought from her across-the-room appraisal.  
Now just a few feet away, she acknowledged that the sun-streaked, dirty-blond hair shagging his collar and the rough beard shadow on his tanned face only underscored the startling blue of his eyes.  Jesus, Tanya thought with a groan, even Chris Hemsworth would have to go a piece to keep up with this hottie.  Given his muscular body apparent in his casual pose, Tanya decided she’d need to toss in Charlie Hunnam and Brad Pitt to capture the entirety of the compelling stranger.  It didn’t help that it was clear from his narrowed gaze and half smile he was appraising her as openly as she’d been checking him out earlier. When he flicked his fore-finger and nodded confirming that he’d had seen her interest, Tanya shrugged and looked away.  She hoped the heat she felt storming her cheeks wasn’t apparent to him although she knew that it was.
Saved by Dante calling out that her drinks were ready, Tanya pushed through the crowd to retrieve the tray of over-sized martini’s that fortunately required her full attention to make it across the bar with all three intact.  Conscious of the fact that her tight jeans hugged her curvy bottom, she decided to give it a little more sway than usual. Knowing that some men, a group that didn’t include her fiancé, actually liked bodacious women, she decided it didn’t hurt to flaunt her wares. For the millionth time in her life, she wondered why she had to be the runt of the family.  Like her, both Tara and Tatiana had curvy butts and impressive tits. But unlike her five-foot-four frame that screamed her curves, Tara’s wares were spread out on her willowy five-foot-eight inch frame. And Tatiana’s impressive accoutrements were featured on a body a scant inch shorter than her older sister’s. Tanya breathed out a hard sigh. She’d concluded years earlier, that by the time her parents had her, the figure gods were past worrying about the details and assured that her parents copulated just long enough to produce the kid.  The hell with the end-results measurements.  
Ignoring her aggrieved fiancé who was pointedly staring at the table, Tanya unloaded her tray of drinks and acknowledged her fellow officer who’d joined their group. “Sorry, Gunnar, I didn’t see you or I would have brought a p. s. martini for you.”
The blond headed giant’s twinkling blue eyes that spoke to his Swedish heritage chortled. “Hell, Tanya, who needs a porn star drink when I can feast on the three of you.” Glancing at the unsmiling physician, he pressed, “Don’cha agree, Doc?  Hell, man, don’t know how any tarty whore could come close to any one of these three.  But then you know that better than anyone since you’ve captured the only one of the Trouble sisters that’s been corralled to date.” Acknowledging Tanya’s snort, Gunnar chuckled.  “Although knowing Deputy Trouble, I imagine corralling her is a full time job--plus.”   
Ever the peacemaker, Tatiana spoke up before Gunnar Sorenson could continue to tease the clearly annoyed physician. “Thank you, Tanya.  This is probably the last thing I should drink but given that Arnold has the kiddies tonight, I need to celebrate when I can.”
Hearing the strain in her sister’s voice, Tanya exchanged a glance with her older sister.  She knew Tara was as concerned as she was about her ex-brother-in-law.  The dissolution of that marriage hadn’t come soon enough for Tanya. While Tatiana was closemouthed about the issues that finally drove her to seek a divorce, it was hardly a family secret that Arnold Loomis was a cheating skunk if ever there was one.  It was hard to believe that along with her beautiful sister, the disgusting man had produced two of the cutest kids alive.  Which did nothing to redeem the scoundrel in Tanya’s unforgiving eyes.
At the obvious chill that had descended over the table at the mention of Arnold’s name, Gunnar sought to change the subject. Turning to Tara, his eyes sparkling with mischief, he prodded, “Tell me lissome lass, what poor benighted souls do you have in your crosshairs lately? Environmental criminals?  Those rascals out to destroy the endangered Javen Rhinoceros?   Which I admit I didn’t know existed, much less that they’re on their way to oblivion.”
Tanya wasn’t surprised that her impressive sister, who happened to be the hard driving editor of the Sierra Vista Gazette, and a determined rabble rouser, refused to take the grinning Swede’s bait.  “No Gunnar, the Javen Rhinoceros are not in my crosshairs.  However, some greedy land grabbers are.  More on that later.”  Apparently trying to take the spotlight off Tatiana and her challenged marriage she turned to Tanya.  “Tell me little sis, were you able to suss out that major piece of beefcake who chose to sit his fine-looking ass down at our favorite watering hole?”
Seeing Bram perk up in interest, Tanya qualified her response. “Not personally. But the fact that he was parked next to Manny Davis, without a doubt the beefcake is one of Sledge Perkins’ enforcers. The degenerates Sledge hires to free our border of those pesky illegals determined to take over the good ole USA.”  She added with a dismissive snort, “You know, the brown-skinned mamas, papas and their babies that Sledge and his henchmen are after and won’t rest until the ‘white is might’ creeps control the border.”
Gunnar shook his head. “C’mon, little sister. You know it’s more than racism. Yeah, Perkins is a crusty old goat.  And for sure he don’t cater to illegals.  But you gotta admit that his property has become a four lane highway for the coyotes.  And no matter how you feel about the illegals, those coyotes are criminals through and through.”  
Tanya wasn’t surprised when Tara took issue with her partner.  “We all agree with that, Gunnar, but surely you don’t support Sledge Perkins’ campaign to get rid of anyone who has a spec of non-white blood flowing through their veins.  And, in that my livelihood involves words and using them properly, I prefer ‘undocumented’ immigrants rather than ‘illegals’”
Gunnar shrugged.  “Coom si, coom sa.  Whatever you call ‘em, I don’t blame Sledge for not wanting them on his property.”
Reaching for her vibrating cell phone and seeing Gunnar grab his, Tanya saw the message on her screen from her father indicating a Code 901-h. Meeting Gunnar’s gaze as they both rose to their feet, she said to her sisters and Bram, “Sorry guys, I hate like heck leaving that gorgeous burger and fries not to mention my untouched martini, but we’re gonna have to skedaddle.  Seems that our illustrious sheriff has been notified of the presence of a dead body. On Sledge Perkins’ land, no less.”


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