Signed, Sealed, Delivered … I’m Yours by Naleighna Kai, Tanishia Pearson-Jones, L. A. Lewis, Joyce A Brown, D. J. McLaurin, Candy Jackson, Valarie Prince, Martha Kennerson, and Susan D. Peters
M-LAS, nine authors, including national bestsellers and award-winners, bring the romantic heat with stories featuring leading men who are at your service from the military, law enforcement, and civil service. The leading ladies, professionals who are successful in their own rights, are all posing the type of challenge that means love won’t come easy—these men are going to have to work for it. Will they succeed in winning their woman’s heart?
These nine stories are a little bit naughty and a little bit nice, but we hope you’ll find them every bit of enjoyable. Most women can appreciate a man in uniform … perhaps even more when it comes off.
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Excerpt from Signed, Sealed, Delivered … I’m Yours
“When did policemen start looking like that?” Elise Payne gasped, putting a tighter grip on the steering wheel.
She had been pulled over for speeding but she couldn’t believe that someone as breathtaking as Officer Friendly had stepped out of the cruiser. The man had expressive, dark brown eyes and smooth golden features—a proud nose and sensuously curved lips—carved into a ruggedly handsome face that was damn pleasant to look at along with a muscular body that was nothing but pleasure to watch. Elise normally enjoyed milk chocolate, but maybe it was time to give vanilla bean some consideration.
The fact that this delay would probably make her miss the train slipped her mind as she became totally smitten by the most handsome male since Jesus turned water into wine. She could picture those gorgeous lips doing wicked, forbidden things to her—the kind of things that made a woman start speaking in tongues, the kind of things that made a woman leave religion at the altar and dive headfirst into temptation, skinny dip in an overdose of sin, and—
“License, insurance, and registration, ma’am.”
Her fantasy circled the bowl and flushed right down the drain with those words. She let out a long, slow breath and said, “May I take my hands off the steering wheel?”
He nodded, grimacing as he did so.
Elise inched her hand into her satchel and produced a license, then leaned toward the glove compartment and froze at the thoughts whipping through her mind. Registration, no problem. Insurance, huuuuge problem. Expired. Five hundred dollars.
She tried to keep the despair from showing on her face as she slid the documents to him. Elise watched his every move as he snailed a walk back to his cruiser.
Seriously? Can’t you go any faster?!
Several minutes ticked by before he returned. She quickly put her hands on the wheel before he made it all the way to the driver side window.
This time, he sighed with impatience. “It’s safe to take your hands off the wheel, Ms. Payne. I’m a Burnham officer. It’s the Chicago police who are trigger-happy.”
Elise remained completely silent. Maybe if she zipped her lips, he would give her the ticket and let her be on her damn way.
“Do you realize you were going 77 in a 45?” he asked.
“Actually, I thought it was just 65, but 77 it is,” she shot back.
He paused for a moment, his right eyebrow lifting. Elise saw a sudden slight uplift at the corners of his lips. There was a fullness that made them the most kissable pair she’d seen in a long time. What was it about this man’s lips that invited her to give him a second and third look? What was it about those dark brown eyes that held a sparkle of mischief, but a smidgen of pain behind them? And how was that so easy for her to recognize?
“Why were you going so fast?” he asked.
“Because I was trying to catch that train riiiiight there,” she replied, gesturing to the silver and orange commuter whizzing past them on a black bridge overhead. Her heart sank. All hopes of landing that new position were gone.
“There’ll be another one coming along.”
The train disappeared from their view, and she returned her focus to him. “Not in enough time to make it downtown for my first day.” She slumped in the leather seat and whispered, “And this one had a chance to go permanent.”
The officer looked down at her, as though summing things up, summing her up. “Well, I’m not going to ticket you for speeding.”
Her grateful gaze locked on him.
“Or for the fact that you weren’t wearing a seatbelt.”
She opened her mouth to protest that she had only slipped it off because he had taken so long, but shut it and nodded her thanks.
“Or for the fact that your insurance expired last week.”
“Thank you, Officer Montgomery,” she murmured as he slid the items back to her. Their hands touched briefly, and a jolt of electricity whipped through her. She looked up in time to see his shocked expression. Ah, he felt it too!
At that moment, however, the only electricity she needed to worry about was ComEd. Her lights and power were about to become a distant memory if she didn’t dance into their office with something more than a handful of “give me” and a mouthful of “much obliged.”
He tipped his hat. “You have a nice day, ma’am. And leave a little earlier next time.”
When he walked back to the cruiser, Elise laid her forehead on the steering wheel. Tears she had been holding back for months finally had their reign. The energy to forge on, to get up and dust herself had never abandoned her—but everything happening at once had finally taken its toll.
Elise moaned as the tears increased. Her entire life was at a standstill and most wasn’t of her own making. All of her money was gone. Every single dime she had had been used to keep her twin sister alive, only to lose that beautiful soul to kidney and liver failure last month.
No sooner than she could breathe again without razor blades tearing into her lungs from that loss, did her rich ex-husband swoop down with a team of lawyers and manage to steal her baby boy while she was distracted with grief and the fallout of her family’s displeasure at what she’d done to keep her sister alive as long as she could. Yet, she had gathered up whatever resources she could, fought with everything she had, only to lose her son anyway.
Another blow, another setback, another harsh, bitter loss. The last being the one which left her so out of sorts—at least financially. The fact that Ameritech’s merger put her and 5,000 other people on the unemployment line was a wakeup call that blared in her ears every day.
Elise sniffled and blindly reached into her satchel for a tissue. She couldn’t even drive downtown and park because what she had left in the bank had been shelled out to pay mortgage, a few groceries, and get a train pass to carry her through the month. She didn’t complain because at some point, she’d catch her breath and a break—both at the same time.
Fighting for the life of her sister was something Elise would never regret. But the aftermath to her finances and the never-ending strain between her and the family was putting her closer to the edge of emotional bankruptcy.
A tap on the window startled her.
Elise absently patted her tears away with the tissue.
“Ma’am, is everything all right?” Officer Montgomery questioned.
She rolled down the window. “Your kindness was the nicest thing that’s happened to me in a long time.” She looked up toward the empty bridge. “Thank you. But the next train comes in two hours. By then, the agency will call someone else to take the spot I was going for.”
The officer scanned the area. Only a few cars zipped by them. “Traffic isn’t bad right now. You could make it downtown in about thirty minutes and still get there on time.”
“I could but …” Elise hesitated then abruptly added, “I can’ t …” She couldn’t voice the words—she had everything, down to the last penny budgeted—and parking downtown was an arm, a leg and a couple of someone else’s toes.
Officer Montgomery placed a hand over hers. “I’m really sorry.”
His touch was wonderful. She centered her self-control with a quickness. “What’s done is done. Recently my life has been hit with more curve balls than a dodge ball tournament. So I’m going home to regroup. I’ll be fine.” Her voice wavered on the last sentence, but she took a deep breath, tossed her hair over her shoulder, and held her head high. Seconds later, she turned the key in the ignition to start the car. “Take care.”
Officer Montgomery reached for her hand again. “No, you’re not,” he ordered. “You will park your car in that lot just ahead. Then you’ll get into my car and I’ll get you to work on time.” He stepped back and finished, “That’s what you’re going to do.”
She looked at him, her tears blurring her vision. “That’s what I’m going to do?”
Elise took a moment before whispering, “All right, then.”
Officer Montgomery headed for his squad car again and added, “I’ll be right behind you.”
This time, she did smile … a little.
( Continued… )
© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the authors from Macro Literary All-Stars (M-LAS). Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.
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Who is M-LAS?
Macro Literary All-Stars (M-LAS) is an author support group of Macro Marketing & Promotions Group clients which was founded by Naleighna Kai in May 2014. Our main purpose is to grow, learn to write new genres, and cross-promote each other.
Our mission is to build a broad base of mainstream readers and travel the country to events that will connect us with book clubs and avid readers. Our ultimate goal is to land on the national bestsellers lists—together. The group features: national best-selling author, Naleighna Kai, award-winning authors, J. L. Woodson, Janice Pernell, Susan D. Peters, and L. A. Lewis, bestselling authors: Joyce A. Brown and Candy Jackson, Martha Kennerson, D. J. McLaurin, Valarie Prince, and debut author, Tanishia Pearson-Jones.
Find out more about M-LAS members and upcoming projects on http://www.macrompg.com