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The subject of his grandmother’s enthusiasm to marry him off, Sherriff Jack T Swan is fighting dirty to save his skin and has sworn off women until further notice. So the very last thing he needs in his life is a beautiful damsel in distress. Despite initial appearances, Jack soon discovers Kate is anything but distressed. In fact, she’s more than capable of skewering him with her kitten heel.
Doctor Kate Marsden is handy with a scalpel, but she’s not quite sure how to deal with the local sheriff, who she inadvertently mistakes for a pervert while trying to report a crime.
Time and again their paths cross and attraction rages between them, but while Jack is adamant he’s not in the market for a serious relationship, Kate is definitely not interested in a one-night stand.
Shit. They’d sent him a stripper.
Jack raked his gaze along the woman’s just-got-out-of-bed hair, followed it down her slender body dressed in a cheap, wrinkled suit to where her messy plait stopped at her hips. God, he hoped she was only a stripper and they hadn’t sent him a prostitute. He almost leaned forward to check out the rest of her shapely legs, but he didn’t want to make her think he was interested in any way. Not in a prostitute or a stripper. Whichever one she was; this was beyond a joke. He thought he’d reached an understanding with his grandmother, but from the look of it, she’d got together with his aunts and had managed to find another one.
Perhaps this time they’d made a big mistake.
He took his time as he studied the woman, noted with satisfaction the nervous way she licked her lips, but he’d caught the quick flash of awareness when his half-asleep gaze first met hers. It wasn’t ego, but at his age he recognized that look of admiration in a woman’s eyes. Under different circumstances, he may well have returned that interest, but as it was, he needed to get rid of her.
It wouldn’t take long.
With a roll of amusement, he squinted at the woman across the room. What would be the best way to achieve it without enlisting Bill’s help?
Since the incident with the eighteen-year-old Lucy, he’d become a laughing stock. The little hoots of laughter and the sly digs from his deputies weren’t subtle. Couldn’t handle a kid, they snickered. Well he could handle this woman. He studied her a moment longer. She’d not been sent by his grandmother, he’d stake his life on that, but the boys may have clubbed together to send him a kiss-a-gram as a joke. From her willowy slenderness, she had to be a performer. Perhaps he should wait to see if she started to sing.
With slow indolence, he trailed his gaze back up her body, deliberately resting his hands back on his stomach so he gave the impression of being relaxed. He wasn’t relaxed. His nerves jumped and twitched. He could call Bill in to get rid of her, but if he did, they’d have even more to laugh about.
Damn, but they all thought he was frightened of women. They weren’t far wrong, but it was more that he was frightened of what he’d become for the right woman.
There was no right woman. Not for him.
He let his gaze continue to cruise over her.
Fine boned, her delicate face would have been perfection if not for the tell-tale worn-off makeup, black smudges of tiredness and mascara swiped under her lazily hooded eyes. Her drawn features hinted she’d already put in a full day. She may not have the energy to sing. As long as they didn’t expect him to pay for the pleasure of her shimmying her hips. He wouldn’t put it past them to land him with the bill too. That was if she could bear to push herself away from the door long enough to shimmy. Perhaps a little stagger would be more likely, if he was lucky enough for her to stay upright.
He tried not to laugh, but his lips twitched up at the edges, and the thick black flutter of her eyelashes warned that she’d noticed.
The way she leaned against the door, she didn’t seem to be in any hurry to start. He’d be willing to give her a moment longer, but from the look of her, there was the distinct prospect she was about to fall asleep. Perhaps she needed an invitation. Or some music.
“In your own time, sweet cheeks.”
Come back for Part Two ...