Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Read an Excerpt from O'Hara vs Wilder by Linda Wisdom



When Sheriff Tess O'Hara's former partner, detective Jake Wilder, roars into her small desert town and commandeers her house in pursuit of counterfeiters, he reignites temptations and passions Tess thought she had left behind. She'd surrendered to his temptation for one night long ago, and now he intends to prove that the passion still burns between them.


It took a few seconds for Jake to register the sig­nificance of the high-pitched wail of a siren and the flashing blue and white lights on the vehicle following him.  Jakee swore under his breath as he pulled over to the side of the road.  Drumming his fingers against the steering wheel, he kept an eye on the rearview mirror and watched the black-and-white Bronco slide to a stop behind him.

Humming under his breath, he watched the truck's door swing open. A pair of khaki-covered legs appeared and made their way toward him.

He looked up and found his angelic smile reflected in mirrored sunglasses under the pulled-down brim of a tan Stetson.  "Is there anything wrong, Officer?  Gee, great sunglasses.  I got a pair just like them.  They're wonderful for intimidating the bad guys, aren't they?"

The officer's face could have been carved from stone.  "Hey, Slick, we've got a big problem.  Now, I know how it is.  The sun's shining, you've got the top down, the Stones are blasting on the stereo.  What else can you do but cruise down the road at a leisurely eighty-five miles an hour?" A leatherbound folder appeared in one gloved hand.  "Thing is, Slick, the speed limit around here is only fifty-five.  So why don't you be a good boy and show me your driver's license, car registration, and proof of insurance."

Jake nodded in agreement as he shifted his hip from one side to the other to pull out his wallet.  "How do you feel about one law officer making a concession for another?” He flipped open the case with his badge and identification, holding it up for the officer's inspection.  "Sort of professional courtesy."

"Hate to tell you this, Slick, but that doesn't look like a license to operate this hot little number," the offi­cer drawled, indicating Jake's bright yellow classic Corvette Stingray.  "I'd really rather see that than your Junior G-Man badge and ID card."

He sighed and pointed to the glove compartment.  "I also have my weapon in there."

"Then take it out slow and easy, and we'll both be happy.  And while you're at it, why don't you turn your music down to a dull roar.  No use in scaring the wildlife."

Jake studied the officer writing up his ticket.  "You from Crater Rock?"


"Nice town." 

"If you like peace and quiet."

"City folk like it there?"

The pen continued scratching across the paper.  "Nope.  Occupation?" the officer asked, as if Jake hadn't already shown his ID.

He pulled out a cigarette and lit up.  "Badass fed."

The officer handed the folder to Jake.  "Sign down there, please.  You have twenty-one days to respond." Jake took the ticket that was handed to him.  "And if you intend to stick around, I suggest you keep the speed down to a tidy double nickel."

Jake carefully folded the ticket and stuck it in his shirt pocket.  "I'll think about it."

The officer tapped the side of the car with a flat palm.  "Have a nice day, Slick."

Jake watched the officer walk back to the wait­ing Bronco and climb in.  He was tempted to peel out but decided against it.  He whistled a tuneless melody under his breath and stared into the rearview mirror.

"I’m flattered, Legs. You remembered your term of affection for me. I gotta give you credit.  You acted the part of the small-town cop to a tee." He reached for the gear­shift, put the car in gear, and drove onto the road at a sedate pace worthy of a society matron.  He glanced again into the rearview mirror as he drove away.  "Did you honestly think that your threats would keep me from coming out here?  Since you've decided to be hostile about this, I guess I'll have to make a few changes in my game plan, and, honey, you are not going to be happy with it at all."

The Bronco remained in place for the next five minutes while its driver watched the bright yellow sports car finally disappear in the shimmering heat waves trailing across the road.

"Damn him." The voice belonging to the person in the uniform and mirrored sunglasses was unmistakably female.


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