Police Chief Travis Kincaid Has Rules…
· Never leave the door unlocked
· Never mix work and pleasure
· And Never, Never kiss the object of your affection
Years ago, the former Navy SEAL learned the hard way that breaking the rules only leads to disaster. Since then, he’s followed strict rules to stay focused on his career and keep his heart locked away where it won’t cloud his judgment.
Too bad the woman he’s fallen for was a born rule-breaker.
In spite of her shady past, Travis finds himself bending the rules… repeatedly, for single-mom Elaine Ryder. In the aftermath of Prairie’s devastating tornado, Travis must come to a decision about his future. More importantly, he’ll have to decide whether breaking the rules one last time will cost him everything he holds dear… or give him his heart’s desire.
I read this book as part of the Protected By A Hero Box Set. I enjoyed it so much I started reading the Cowboys of the Flint Hills, to get to know the characters who are mentioned in this story. If you’re following my blog, you’ll see yesterday I posted the book where this Tornado occurs, Prairie Storm. Don’t miss that one. It just made sense to review this one by itself here at this time.
Prairie, Kansas is rebuilding from a EF4 tornado. So much destruction and yet the town has come together to start the arduous process.
Dottie’s Diner now a pile of rubble has morphed into a food truck across from it’s original location. A place for folks to gather and share news it’s where we meet the main characters in this tale.
Chief Travis has a thing for Elaine, Dottie’s waitress. Of course he’ll never admit it, he has relationship rules, rules that his friend and deputy chief Weston thinks need to be broken. Weston also thinks Travis should run for sheriff which he eventually agrees to do.
This is a favorite scene when Travis announces he’s running to his opponent Lawson and pisses off Elaine in the process.
Lawson’s facade slipped a fraction as his eyes went cold. Travis had to hand it to him. The guy was a pro. He wouldn’t easily be provoked into doing or saying something stupid. The fake smile was back, as was the politician’s voice. “I was just introducing myself to the lady. Good opportunity to meet the people of this great town. You probably saw this morning that I’m running for sheriff.”
Travis’s stomach churned at the way the lie slipped out of the man’s mouth. He could stomach a lot of things, but lying wasn’t one of them. “I know who you are,” Travis answered, letting his voice get steely and focusing his gaze on the man. “I should have introduced myself this morning. I’m Travis Kincaid. Prairie’s police chief, and your opponent.”
Lawson’s eyes widened slightly, just enough to give away his surprise. Although, of the three of them, Travis was arguably the most surprised at the bomb he’d just dropped. What did Dottie always say? In for a penny, in for a pound? His stomach felt just like it had the first time he’d jumped out of a plane at twenty-thousand. He was damn well gonna make sure he landed in one piece. He gave Elaine a reassuring squeeze. “And this is Elaine Ryder, my treasurer.”
She squeaked and stiffened.
“Elaine, is it?” Menace flashed in Lawson’s eyes, and then, just as quickly, disappeared. Every cell in Travis’s body went on alert. Lawson was trouble. He knew it. So much so, he’d double down on his last dollar at a poker table with the Sinclaire brothers.
Lawson took Elaine’s hand, bowed slightly, and kissed the back. “A pleasure meeting you, Elaine.”
Revulsion slithered through Travis, and he clenched his fist at his side, refraining from forcefully removing the man only because he’d gone and jumped into a political campaign without thinking about the consequences. Not his best moment.
Lawson turned to him, his eyes glittering points. “I’ll see you on the campaign trail, Kincaid. Good luck.” He spun on his heel and stalked off, not bothering to meet the people.
Elaine turned to him, eyes sparking in anger, cheeks pink. He should be thinking of how to fix this, but instead the air in his lungs turned to ash and he couldn’t breathe, let alone think. He’d never seen Elaine this way, all riled up and intense. Awareness shot through him leaving a trail of fried synapses on the way to his cock. Holy smokes, did his cock like this side of her.
Elaine was the kind of woman who hated to be the center of attention. And for two years, she’d done an excellent job of blending in with the decor at Dottie’s. If he had to guess, he bet half the folks who came into the diner didn’t even know her name. Of course post-tornado, everyone knew who Elaine and Dax were, and he’d seen her discomfort at the attention. Seeing her outraged and not caring who saw, was a revelation.
“What do you think you’re doing?”
He couldn’t help smiling, even if it made her madder. She was so damned cute.
“Running for sheriff?”
She rolled her eyes and crossed her arms. “And apparently, I’m your treasurer,” she answered, lower lip jutting out. “How about you explain that?”
Her tone was meant to intimidate. She was as puffed up as an angry prairie chicken, and the only effect it had was to heighten his desire. Tingles raced down his spine, and he could only focus on that sweet lower lip.
“Well?” She tapped her foot.
Pull yourself together, asshole.
“Dottie and Weston both mentioned you’re a whiz with numbers, and I need a treasurer to file.”
“Then find somebody else.”
“But I want you.”
Layne, Tessa. Protected By A Hero (Kindle Locations 21328-21357). One Acre Press. Kindle Edition.
Even as Travis battles his feelings the sparks fly between him and Elaine. Her son Dex wins his heart as well as they work closely on the campaign.
Elaine does have a secret she’s keeping from him though and it’s one that could ruin his chances of winning.
Lots of fun, plenty of drama and a finish that has me wanting more of all these characters.
5 Contented Purrs for Tessa!
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Tessa Layne writes smokin’ hot contemporary cowboy and military romances filled with tenderhearted tough guys and sassy strong women who capture their hearts.She grew up in Colorado in the mountains at the edge of the Great Plains. There, she met her own smokin’ hot Cowboy and they had a whirlwind romance to rival any novel. She believes in Happily Ever Afters, loves fireflies, horses, and breathing clean country air. Her favorite thing to do is to sit on the porch swing with a glass of Rose, listening to her Cowboy pluck his guitar!
Feel free to drop her a line (links below) – She loves to hear from her readers!