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The Hot Cop Next Door

 

A brand new, sizzlingly hot new romance from USA Today bestselling author Katherine Garbera!

 

Candy chef Hayley Dunham has vowed to own her thirties; she’s a successful business woman, good friend and dutiful daughter but she can’t help but want more. She wants passion… Fireworks… And one kiss with the hot cop-next-door shows her exactly who she wants those fireworks with.

 

Garrett Mulligan has always wanted to be a cop, he’s the kind of man who lives to protect and serve. But when an injury sidelines him and raises doubts about him returning to work, he’s at his wit’s end until cute, flirty Hayley shows up to provide the perfect distraction…

THE HOT COP NEXT DOOR

Harper Impulse

October 1, 2016

Excerpt

 

Busted!" Garrett Mulligan said in a strong voice.

 

He liked the view from where he stood.  Long legs encased in black hose with a seam running straight down the back.  Left leg slightly bent as she shifted off-balance and tried to jimmy open the ground-floor window.  As a man he could stand here all night especially as she bent forward and the hem of her tiny skirt rose revealing the fact that she was wearing hose and not stockings.  As a police officer he couldn't just let her break into his neighbor's brownstone.

 

It was early January, crisp and cool as the snow from the last storm had already melted.

 

Instead of jumping she giggled.  This party girl had had a little too much to drink tonight.  Nothing he couldn't handle.  Even with his busted foot and his suspension from the force he was still one of New York’s finest.

 

"NYPD, miss, hands where I can see them," he said.

 

She giggled again.

 

"Breaking and entering is a serious matter," he said calmly, stepping forward and putting his hand on the small of her back to make her realize he wasn't going away.  Her waist was tiny as his hand almost spanned her entire back.  "Miss?"

 

"I'm not breaking the law.  I live here," she said amongst her giggles.

 

“Hayley?”

 

"Yes, Officer Hottie.”

 

"Step out into the light," he said.

 

He took two steps back and she did the same.  She tipped her head to the side and smiled at him as she stopped in the circle of light provided by a street lamp.

 

She rolled her eyes and did a little pirouette.  "Satisfied?"

 

"Not even close," he said, stepping closer to her and taking her hand, but he recognized her smile and now that she'd stopped giggling she sounded just like his neighbor.  "I should be putting you in handcuffs and taking you down to the station."

 

She batted her eyelashes at him.  "Is that really what you want to do?"

 

"It's what I should do," he said, but the images in his head were hot and naughty.  Not at all what a cop on probation should be thinking of.

 

"Because I'm a bad girl?" she asked in a husky voice.

 

This playful, sexy version of his neighbor intrigued him.  It was the balm he needed after spending the night with his family once again declining to leave the NYPD.

 

Not even close to being really wicked, he thought.  It was the smile that convinced him it was Hayley.  Even behind her big glasses that smile had been a knockout and it still was.

 

"Why are you breaking into your own place?" he asked, crossing his arms over his chest.

 

"I lost my keys," she said, gesturing to her clutch handbag, which lay open on the ground with its contents spilling out.

 

He looked closer and saw that her bag was on subway grate.  Her keys were gone forever.  "And why didn't you just call a friend?"

 

She started giggling again.  Clearly she'd been out partying, but even so bending over to retrieve her clutch shouldn't have been a problem.

 

"My skirt," she said, gesturing to it.

 

Her hand fluttered to the hem of the skirt, briefly touched it and then balled into a fist.  He suspected she'd wanted to tug at the bottom of it.  It was short.  He took his time looking at her long legs and when he finally brought his gaze to her face, noticed her lips were parted as she stared at him.

 

"Ah, I see the problem..."

 

"Besides, who was I going to call at midnight?" she asked.  She tucked her hair behind her ear and glanced up at the night sky.

 

"Me," he said.

 

"You?  You're all into me right now, but yesterday you didn't even offer to hold one of my grocery bags when I was juggling them and my keys."

 

He hadn't even noticed her yesterday but he'd had been pre-occupied with the news that he'd be spending at least six more weeks in the ankle cast and on leave. "I'm noticing now."

 

"What's it say about you, hottie, that you only notice me when I'm breaking the law?" she asked, that teasing note back in her voice.

 

"My name's Garrett--not hottie," he said, ignoring her very accurate observation.

 

"I notice you ignored my question," she said with a little pout. "No matter.  Now that you're here, would you help me out?"

 

"How?" he asked.

 

"Could you pick up my iPhone?  I Googled how to break into an apartment.  I think I might be able to make this work."

 

He shook his head.  Bending down, he scooped up her purse and her phone.  "No, I'm not going to help you break in.  Besides you'd trigger the alarm and I don't think you want that."

 

"You're right.  So what are we going to do? I can't hang out here all night."

 

She stood there in the moonlight in her ‘bad girl’ clothes but her sweet girl-next-door attitude. And he was a cop even if he was on leave.  He’d taken an oath to protect and serve.

 

He wanted to protect her and serve her.

 

Damn.  He should walk away.  She wasn’t his problem.

 

But he knew he wouldn’t.  He’d never been able to resist a damsel in distress.

 

"You can sleep at my place and call a locksmith in the morning."

 

"Can't you break into my place for me?" she asked in that quizzical way of hers.

 

"Not with this bum foot," he said.  "What is with you and breaking the law?"

 

"I'm changing," she said.

 

"Okay, change tomorrow.  Let's go."  Lord knew he’d become a master of pushing change off.  He had mastered it with hours on the upper-body weight machines.

 

"I don't know if I should stay at your place," she said as he held his hand out to her.

 

"Why not?  Don't you trust me to keep my hands to myself?" he asked.

 

She gave him a smoldering look from under her lashes.  Her pixie haircut made her features seem almost ethereal.  She was temptation incarnate and there was something in her eyes that said she knew it.

 

"No, I don’t trust myself."

ONE NIGHT IN THE SPOTLIGHT

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