Friday, February 11, 2022

Read an Excerpt from Don't Stop Believin' by Taylor Lee



She’s an accomplished attorney. He’s an arrogant District Attorney. When the sparks start to fly, her past rears its ugly head threatening to take them both down.

Kiera Burke is an enigma. The super-star District Attorney is thoroughly taken by the beautiful, Mensa-smart woman but can't figure her out. What he assumes is aloof superiority, he quickly realizes is painful shyness. Which he could have handled. It was when he saw worrisome signs of a much deeper trauma, that he admits he is facing his biggest challenge yet.

Fleeing from her prominent San Francisco law firm, Kierra hoped she could close the door on her past. Determined to maintain the iron-hard protective shell she’d constructed around herself, she runs into a formidable force. A devilishly handsome man who is as kind and intuitive as he is resourceful.

As Cole began to uncover the signs of the hideous crime perpetrated on the lovely woman, he vows to bring the perpetrators to justice. The question is whether even the powerful district attorney can convince the challenged woman that she is worthy of his love.

Don’t Stop Believin’ is the fourth stand-alone book in the Olive or Twist Saga. If you like smart characters, formidable issues and scorching passion, you'll love Taylor Lee’s sizzling thrill-ride.

Grab Don’t Stop Believin’ and restore your belief in the power of love to heal the most devastating wounds.


Chapter 1
“Who’s the Megan Fox look-alike?”
Mathis Cross followed his gaze to the tavern entrance and chortled. “Damn, Cole. You know
who Megan Fox is? I’m impressed. And you don’t even have teenagers in the house.”
“C’mon, Commissioner. You don’t have to be a teenage boy to like the Transformers
movies, or hell, how about Teenage Mutant Turtles?”
Taking a hefty swallow of his loaded martini, Garrett Drake agreed. “The commish is on-
target, Mr. District Attorney. Interesting that a sophisticated guy like you might have a
hedonistic side under all that charm. As for the teenage jerk-off instigator, her name is Kiera
Burke. She’s a girlhood friend of Zoe’s, from San Fran. She and Zoe went to St. Agnes, an
exclusive girls’ school.”
Cole laughed. “Tell me that they wore uniforms. The sexy ones with the pleated skirts and
bobby socks?”
“Don’t know about that, but Zoe said Kiera left when they were in middle school. They only
reconnected in the last couple of years. Apparently she’s a smart one. Graduated from Stanford
Law. While Zoe’s father was a Supreme, Kiera’s father was a union boss.”
“Interesting. Is she visiting?”
“Nope. Moving here. Joining the Sutherland firm.”
“Phew, she must be smart or at least connected to get recruited by the most prestigious firm
in the state.” Cole studied the tall, willowy woman crossing the room, then took a lazy sip of his
martini and said with a grin, “May as well ask the obvious. She married?”
Deacon chimed in. “I can answer that one or at least shed light on her status. According to
Tyra, Zoe ‘thinks’ she’s married to a California real estate magnate, Andrew Perpich. An older
guy some thirty-forty years her senior.”
Cole started. “You mean Andy ‘The Prophet’ Perpich? The mafia don?”
Deacon shrugged. “Some say as much, although as far as I know, he’s never been arrested,
much less convicted.”
The chief snorted. “Yet. Don’t know what to tell you, Cole, except that while Kiera is
sophisticated—some might say snobbish—she is some beautiful woman.”
Studying the dark-auburn–haired woman with the startling blue eyes approaching their table,
Cole nodded. “On that we can all agree.”


Kiera glanced up at the Olive or Twist marque. “Clever name. What’s with the martini
Zoe laughed as she linked her arm with Kiera’s. “I know. I never drank one until I came
here. Now I’ve become a tried-and-true aficionado. But this place is great. It’s our hangout.”
“Who’s ‘our’?”
“Our gang. To be more specific, and not to brag, it’s the guys and gals who make up the
political and law enforcement elite of this city, heck, the state. See that table in the back to the
left? Tyra and Gracie aren’t here yet, but it looks like all the guys have arrived.”
Kiera glanced over to where Zoe pointed. She recognized the formidable police
commissioner from his press releases and the dark-skinned, nationally known profiler-
psychiatrist who’d stunned the police world with his acumen. And while she hadn’t met him,
she’d studied the legal apparatus of the city and recognized the handsome district attorney who
was known to be a media darling. Pretending ignorance, she turned to Zoe. “Obviously, I

recognize Commissioner Cross and Agent Walsh from their pictures, but who’s the hunky GQ
cover model?”
Following her gaze, Zoe grinned. “He’s the district attorney, my boss. And yes, he is a hunk
and he knows it. As for the cover model gig, you aren’t far off. Albuquerque The
Magazine—which is as close to GQ as we get in this laidback southwestern city of ours—has
featured Cole Hunter more than any of our superstars. Although all of the guys at our table have
made their share of covers.”
Kiera smiled at her. “May I confirm that forbidding, dark-haired guy who lit up like a
Christmas tree when he saw you is the infamous police chief you are shacking up with?”
“Yes, that is Garrett Drake, although everyone calls him Chief. And yes, he’s mine. Soon to
be my husband.”
Kiera shook her head. “I still can’t believe that you are engaged. After your horrible
marriage and your ex being killed and that you—”
Zoe interrupted her. “I know it’s hard to believe. I’m just beginning to deal with the fact that
those horrible men killed Patrick . . . ”
“And could have killed both you and your father . . . ”
Zoe grasped her arm more tightly and frowned. “Let’s not talk about that now, Kiera. You
can’t imagine all the things that have happened in these last few months. But for now, I just want
to tell you how beautiful you are and how happy I am that you are moving to our crazy city. I
can’t believe that you and I are going to be able to pick up where we left off so many years ago.”
Kiera choked back a groan and said carefully, “A lot has happened in our lives since those
long-ago days at St. Agnes. But yes, I’ve missed having my best girlfriend in my life. Let’s hope
that a new chapter is starting for us both.”


All of the men rose to their feet as Zoe and Kiera approached the table. Garrett was at Zoe’s
side in seconds. Pulling her into his embrace, he crooned loudly enough for the others to hear,
“Finally, you’re here. I didn’t know how much longer I could suffer these arrogant men and their
shop talk . . . ”
At the hoots of laughter from his colleagues, Deacon stepped forward and bussed Zoe on her
cheek. “Says the most arrogant of this bunch of admittedly egotistical legal beagles. But given
his lovely woman, how could the chief not be conceited?” Turning to Kiera, who was standing
back, he reached for her hand. “Welcome. You can be none other than the famous Kiera Burke.”
Kiera smiled and tossed her head. “Famous isn’t one of the usual adjectives ascribed to me.
But I appreciate that you didn’t call me infamous as many others have. Particularly after they
faced me across the legal bar.”
Cole stepped forward and winked at her. “In that I may well be one of those who face off
against you, may I conclude forewarned is forearmed?”
Kiera shrugged. “As long as you don’t put too much stock in tired idioms. They can provide
unwarranted optimism as to the results of an encounter when pessimism would be the wiser
“I can see you have a way with words, Attorney Burke. At the risk of cementing your view
of me as an unrepentant optimist, may I propose yet another tired but true idiom: ‘Nothing
ventured, nothing gained’?”
Kiera was dismissive. “Far be it from me to instruct a recognized word wizard. I’ll merely
make it a point to keep my distance.”

Cole laughed. “Now, now, don’t be hasty. You never know, it might be instructive. Or at
least entertaining.”
“Thanks, but no thanks. I’m not that hard up for entertainment.” Acknowledging that she
was letting the grinning, much-too-handsome DA get to her, Kiera was grateful when Zoe’s
fiancé, the gruff chief, stepped into the fray.
“You have to ignore our district attorney, Kiera—if I may call you that. Cole is used to
dealing with his subservient ADAs, who spend their lives on their knees kissing his ring. Except
for a particular ADA who has both of her arrogant admirers, the district attorney and me, in
Cole put up his hands in defeat. “Hey, Chief, I might be able to handle you, but Zoe and a
woman who appears to be as tough and daunting as your, make that our, woman is? Only thing I
can do is throw in the towel. Once again, forgive my use of tired idioms, but the presence of
these gorgeous and may I add ballsy women have relegated me to the back bench, cowering in
the face of their chutzpah.”
Deacon grinned at him. “As if any of us would believe your mea culpa. We all know and
love the unrepentant egotist and extraordinary chameleon that you are. And thank God for that.
We’ve never had a more principled or more accomplished district attorney. My only hope is that
we can convince you that your skills would be wasted as an administrative pencil pusher.”
“That’s an interesting way of describing the governorship. I won’t tell my uncle, the current
governor, how you describe his role.”
Mathis agreed. “Don’t want to pile on, Cole, and not to cast aspersions on the current
governor, who seems to be uniquely qualified for the position. It’s just that as ornery and
flamboyant as you are, methinks your talents would be wasted in that administrative role.”
Seeing the affection his colleagues had for a man she considered an ostentatious media
whore, Kiera was somewhat chastened. Embarrassed that she’d allowed her disdain for too
handsome, always running for something candidates to flare, she struggled for an excuse to leave
this collegial bunch. She was self-aware enough to know that her animus to groups of any kind
made her an outcast in this chummy gang. After bidding her hasty good-byes, she shouldn’t have
been surprised when the charming shrink caught her at the exit, insisting that he walk her to her
Closing her car door, Deacon leaned into the open window. “Don’t judge us too harshly,
Attorney Burke. We are deeper than we appear on the surface. Our off-beat humor helps us deal
with the ugliness we face on a daily basis in our chosen professions.”
“I’m not judging you; it’s just that I’m not . . . ” Unsure how to explain her convoluted
feelings, she let her words trail off.
“Not what?” he prodded.
“I’m not good at small talk or witty repartee.”
“Don’t sell yourself short, Kiera. You knocked our never-flummoxed district attorney flat on
his ass. Keep it up, Attorney Burke. If anyone deserves to be taken down a peg, it’s my arrogant
buddy, Cole Hunter.”


Cole caught his gaze as the formidable agent settled onto his chair. “Did you get through to
Deacon smiled. “We’ll see. The test will be if she continues to cut you off at the knees like
she did tonight.”

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