Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Hot Time in Texas by Ann DeFee Excerpt

A Hot Time in Texas by Ann DeFee

A sexy Texas Ranger and a classy, sassy heroine…
That’s all it takes for a hot time in Texas!

Etta Morrison had vowed never to get involved with another man in law enforcement, but she broke that vow when she fell for Texas Ranger Rafe Claiborne. Her reward? He left town without even a goodbye. But now Rafe’s back—and he wants to pick up where they left off.
Two years after Rafe skipped out on her, Etta’s over the moon with her new job as manager of the exclusive Sparkle Plenty costume jewelry store. In the world of synthetic diamonds, Sparkle Plenty is king—and this year, they’re providing the crowns for the San Antonio Fiesta Coronation. Except the crowns have gone missing. Next thing you know, people start dropping dead and a couple of jerks shoot up her store.
When Rafe hears that Etta may be a target, he decides she needs a bodyguard. Him. In addition to keeping Etta safe in the middle of murders and a diamond-smuggling conspiracy, Rafe has to convince her to forgive him. Not an easy task, but Rangers are tough and Rafe is tenacious.  

Excerpt -

Etta was sitting under a bright red umbrella, sipping sweet tea and delighting in her lunch.  Life was good, but that optimism deflated like a balloon at a kids' party when a deep male voice interrupted her reverie.
"May I join you?"
Under any other circumstances she would have ignored the dude, but when it came to this man that wasn't possible.  Her brain took a few seconds to engage, and when it did she defaulted to sass. 
"My goodness, if it isn't Rafael Claiborne in the flesh.  I assumed you had amnesia, since I haven't heard from you in at least three years.  Obviously that's not the case, or do you make a habit of intruding on visitors to our fair city."  She pointed at a nearby table.  "Fortunately, there's an empty seat, over there."
The first time they'd met the chemistry had been overwhelming.  Etta had never encountered anyone quite like Rafael Claiborne.  He had a sophistication that far exceeded her experience.  She was a small-town girl who enjoyed a milk shake at the Dairy Treat.  On the other hand, Rafe knew his way around a wine cellar and could order off a French menu without accidentally requesting goat liver. 
            His sun-streaked hair and athletic build gave him the aura of a billionaire playboy, more at home on a yacht than chasing bad guys.  But nabbing the worst of the worse was his expertise. 
            Etta knew he'd accepted a position in the Texas Rangers, yet she was surprised to see that he'd ditched his designer linen jacket and replaced it with the unofficial Ranger uniform of a starched white dress shirt, a tie, white Stetson, a Mexican five peso coin badge and a gun the size of a cannon strapped to his hip.
            Good Lord!  The man almost took her breath away.  The attraction she felt hadn't diminished one tiny bit.  Rafe Claiborne was charming, handsome, and completely at ease in his own skin.   But life-and her desire for self-preservation-had changed Etta's outlook.  Not in a million years would she fall for another lawman.  They lived in a world where danger lurked around every corner.  Nope!  She couldn’t endure that kind of heartbreak again.  She could be polite to him, and perhaps she’d make the quantum leap to being cordial.  However, and this happened to be a huge caveat, she didn't intend to jump into any type of relationship, especially not with Rafael Claiborne.  In the dark of night, when sleep refused to cooperate, Etta longed for a warm, male body in her bed.  She fantasized about the touch, the smell, the feel of someone she loved.  But Rafe Claiborne was not that man.

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