No Rules (Harlequin Blaze #331) [NOOK Book]


But Cooper Maxwell and Joanna MacPherson are dangerously close to breaking all the rules when it comes to romance on the job. From the moment they are paired up as partners, Cooper's sexy charm and Joanna's steamy passion create a heated attraction that overwhelms them both. While they worry that their uncontrollable desire for each other might cost them their jobs, the real danger becomes clear—it might cost them their lives.

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No Rules (Harlequin Blaze #331)

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But Cooper Maxwell and Joanna MacPherson are dangerously close to breaking all the rules when it comes to romance on the job. From the moment they are paired up as partners, Cooper's sexy charm and Joanna's steamy passion create a heated attraction that overwhelms them both. While they worry that their uncontrollable desire for each other might cost them their jobs, the real danger becomes clear—it might cost them their lives.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426801938
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 6/1/2007
  • Series: Harlequin Blaze Series, #331
  • Sold by: HARLEQUIN
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 256
  • File size: 197 KB

Meet the Author

Award-winning author Shannon Hollis holds a master's degree in writing fiction. She is a freelance editor in the high-tech industry, where there's plenty of scope for her fast-paced, cutting-edge stories.
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Read an Excerpt

First Rule: Attraction is the first phase of the biological imperative to procreate. It is not an involuntary response.

Club Atlantis Santa Rita, California 22:27 hours

"DEEP DOWN, every woman wants to be seduced."

The words of his instructor echoed in his head like a mantra as Marvin Musselmann zeroed in on the brunette sitting alone at the table farthest from the dance floor. A sparkly, beaded handbag on the Plexiglas stool next to her told him she had a companion. A female companion.

He glanced at Cody Zimmer, fellow student of the Rules, who was his wingman. "It's not going to work."

Even if he got her phone number, he wasn't carrying any pens in the pocket of his new dress shirt. What was he going to write with? He could remember thousands of bytes of software code, but when it came to a woman's phone number, it erased itself from his memory faster than a virus could take out a hard drive. "It will work." It was Cody's job to spot him the way a trainer would spot a beginning athlete. "You know what to do. You just have to execute."

"I can't."

"You only have to do it once," Cody assured him for the seventh time. No, eighth. The seventh had been in the car, just before the valet had taken his keys.

No keys, no pen. Marvin felt naked. "Now, go on. By the time her friend comes back, you'll have scored and you can spot me."

"Okay. Okay." Marvin shook out his hands as if he were going to belly up to a video game, and blew out a few breaths to increase the oxygen in his blood.

Game face.

And for God's sake, don't forget the Rules.

The woman looked up as he approached. Before thatbored, "oh, no, not another loser" look seeped into her eyes and unmanned him, he smiled. His instructor had told him he had a good smile. he'd bought new clothes, since the gabardine trousers and 1976 Grateful Dead T–shirt he habitually wore to work at Applied Info–graphics were not, he had been informed, appropriate in a social situation.

The smile and the clothes, so far, had staved off that look he dreaded.

"You have beautiful eyes—I was admiring them from over there." His mouth was dry, so he swallowed and moistened his lips. "Do you mind if I sit down until your friend comes back?"

She shrugged, and relief flooded him. As he sat, he touched her wrist. "I hardly ever go downtown anymore, but I'm glad I did tonight."

Now her gaze was definitely interested. His fingers slid under her wrist to the pulse point, and his heart rate picked up. The moment of truth. He would either have to beat feet back to Cody and drown his humiliation in alcohol, or he'd clinch a companion for the night. He had two condoms in his wallet and enough money for a nice hotel room.

But no pen for her phone number.

Stop. Focus, he told himself. Don't lose your nerve. "They call this place Atlantis because it's supposed to look like we're underwater. I like all these undulating lines and the clear furniture." The woman leaned toward him, her gaze locked on his mouth. He forced himself to keep talking as he stroked her wrist with his forefinger. "And the way people are spread out over three floors, enjoying themselves. I really like that."

Her lips parted. "Me, too," she said. Was that a breathless note in her voice?

My God, he thought. This really works. "Celie, who's this?"

The sharp voice over his left shoulder made Marvin turn, startled. A blonde with a swimmer's smooth muscles picked up the beaded handbag he'd moved to the third chair at the table, caution and surprise in her eyes.

His fingers never breaking their electric connection with the brunette's skin, he said, "I'm Marvin. Celie and I were getting to know one another."

"He's my date," the brunette said dreamily. Her eyes never left his face.

"I thought I was your date." The blonde dropped into the third chair. "Honestly, I take two seconds to go to the ladies and you're—" "Marv, buddy, I thought I'd find you down here." Cody touched the back of the blonde's neck as he slid into the fourth chair, and she blinked. "Why don't you introduce me to these beautiful ladies?"

Marvin did—well, the blonde introduced herself when Cody put out his hand for a handshake.

And Marvin watched the Rules work their magic a second time.

It was a miracle, especially for a guy who hadn't had a date since his dissertation was completed. Surreptitiously, he patted his back pocket. Wallet, money and condoms. Still there.

Sex. The final frontier.

Marvin could hardly wait.

Carmel, California 17:35 hours

COOPER MAXWELL, Investigator Level II, member of the elite California Law Enforcement Unit whose personnel were handpicked from every police department in the state, hunched his shoulders under his tuxedo jacket and considered the horror of the situation before him.

"We don't really have to dance." He appealed to Danny Kowalski, narcotics specialist, who was standing next to him in a penguin suit just like his, cummerbund and all.

"If I have to dance, you have to dance," Danny said flatly. "Don't even try to fake a phone call and weasel out of it.At least you get the maid of honor—Linn's sister is a nice kid. I get the third cousin or whoever she is, and all I know about her is that she's available. Which I've heard at least fifty times from as many different people."

"We are dead meat, you know that." Cooper's tone reflected his sense of impending doom. "Once you dance with them, they've got you wrapped up for the rest of the evening. And even as big as this place is, there's no escape."

The two of them returned to their surveillance of the wedding reception. The lawns of software mogul Jay Singleton's Carmel, California, estate stretched down to his private strip of beach. White tents flapped in the gentle breeze, while tables loaded with hors d'oeuvres filled the space between two open bars. Behind them, on the patio, Kellan Black and his new bride, Linn Nichols, were in the process of cutting the cake. Cooper just had time to open his mouth to shout a warning when Linn mashed carrot cake with cream cheese frosting all over her beloved's innocently open mouth.

Good thing he knew Kell gave as good as he got. Linn better look out for her dress.

And he and Danny had better look out for predators disguised as bridesmaids in strapless plum silk. He didn't object to the maid of honor, Linn's sister Tessa, in principle. She was at this moment blowing in the ear of a guy he understood to be Singleton's director of security. he'd heard a rumor that Tessa was psychic, but he found it hard to believe that a girl as blond and funny and, face it, sexy as Tessa Nichols could do stuff like locate people by touching something they'd once worn.

He sighed. He could go for blond and funny and sexy right now. But she was off–limits. Instead, there was the third cousin and several others like her, all with a thirtieth–birthday deadline and deadly purpose in their eyes. Was this some kind of massive matchmaking scheme? Could Linn really be that evil? What had he done to piss her off?

"Paranoia will destroy ya," he muttered under his breath, and looked around. Not even six o'clock and he was already on his third beer. He needed to get the next one cued up.


He blinked and elbowed Danny in the ribs. "Hey. Look over there."

Obediently, Danny suspended his triangulation of each bridesmaid's current position and looked over at the bar, where the bartender was handing over a glass of white wine.

"That's no third cousin."

Cooper hoped she was no relation of Linn's at all. The less family gossip that got back to his fellow investigator after her honeymoon, the better. If he had his way, he wouldn't be heading back to his hotel room alone tonight.

The woman took the glass and turned to speak to her companion, a no–nonsense brunette whom Cooper dismissed from the radar immediately. Instead, his gaze traveled in an appreciative line from the crown of her red hair, which was bobbed at the nape of a neck as graceful as a swan's, to the toes of her strappy, high–heeled sandals. In between, he spent several seconds at rest stops: on the curve of a pair of breasts that would make a sculptor weep, on a waist that only served to accentuate a derriere that was just a shade curvier than perfect, and—thank you, ocean breeze—on a pair of legs, bare of stockings, that went all the way to the top of the side slit of her floaty green dress.

"I think I'm in love."

"Congratulations," Danny said gruffly. "I think I'm going to commit suicide."

"And leave the third cousin in the lurch?" "If this is the apex of my life and all I have to look forward to, yes."

"Cheer up. There's still beer. Good stuff, too. Single–ton's no cheapskate. We need a trip to the bar. Now."

"Lead on."

Cooper sidled up next to the redhead and flashed his very best "I'm totally harmless and great in bed" grin. When the brunette caught his eye, he downgraded it to

"I'm totally harmless," then turned to the bartender and ordered a couple of bottles of Sam Adams.

"Bride's side or groom's?" he asked the redhead when he and Danny were both armed with what they needed. Standard wedding question. The answer didn't mean a thing, but you could get away with asking anyone that and opening the conversation.

"Neither. I'm crashing."

Her tone was clipped and impatient when, from the look of her, he'd expected sultry and maybe Southern. As for the crashing part, that wasn't his business.

"Thank God. Someone has to improve the scenery around here."

Her gaze, as neutral as her gray eyes, rested on him for a second, then moved past him to the crowd. "Looks nice to me. I should be used to the ocean, but I'm not."

Was she a recent arrival from the Midwest? He tried to place an accent, but she didn't seem to have one. "I wasn't talking about the geography." He tried on another version of the killer grin.

"I was. Come on, Bella. At least we can get some food out of this."

She grabbed her friend by the elbow, turned on the ball of one slender foot and left him standing there.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2013

    Cloudfoot's additions

    No traing with df if u r a spy that is okay but if you go there and dont tell anyone the punishments apply. Its okay if you have an ancestor in df but you may not train there. Also if StarClan sends u a dream, tell someone. Even if it as kittle as the river overflowing

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2013

    Icetails additions to rules/punishments policy

    First things first, addition to violets rule aboutthe app. Pregnancy thing, can we jst have a no mate until warrior policy? And i think that the drama rule is a bit too harsh, so a bit of revision. Any unnecessary drama will b punished, but if a lot of cats agree that the camp needs some action, vi or edie (or mebbeh me if theyre not on) will say if someone can add some, or add their own. And for punishments, i hav a system where there is four levels. Level one punishment is a minor, trivial thing, correcte easily, punishe by two days banished from camp. Level two is a slightly more annoying thing that breaks at least one or more of the rules, punishable by a one to two week banishment. A level three is a serious offense, and brraks at least two rules. It is punished by a month banishment. All of those three can be made by a leader (or deputy if leader is not present) and then there is level four, which includes a selection of the clan population voting. This is an unforgivable offense punished by lifelong banishment. Thank you for listening, i will note; THESE ARE SIMPLY IDEAS, NOT ACTUAL RULES/PUNISHMENTS!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2013

    Oter rules that violetsong thinks are helpful :/

    1) NO POWERS. Wings, shape shifters, death bites or whatever arent allowed. If you want them you cant use them. You may be half df or whatever IF yoy dont attack us or make our clan look bad with ur df side.
    2) the young app - mother thing needs to cool. Im not sure about consequenses so just dont do it. Be mates.....dont get preggo ;/.
    3) IF U R LOCKED OUT! do not just mive camps! takk to me or edie and tell us. We will try to move ASAP.
    4) if u need a cereminy post in edenstarts den she will do it when she can. BE PAITENT! thanks !

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2012

    Blazeclan's new rules

    1) any cat that causes drama is to be banished for a week. "Drama" inludes: unnecessary fights, physical attacks, or rude jabs at certain cats. All unrrspectful comments and actions will be taken seriously and a week of banishment will be the result. 2) if you are banished, please do not get angry and try to attack us. You must understand that drama is getting to be too much and that certain precautions must be made. 3) to queens: once you have kits, please check the name list (will be located in the next result). I will type a large list of kit names so that queens do not choose names that have been used already. If you have a name that is not on the list, check with me before you name your kit that! Also, you must inform me of your kits names so that i can take the names off the list. 4) do not take out anger on other cats! Talk to me if you need to. 5) overall, be nice and understanding. 6) injuries are no considered as drama unless another cat causes them. ~Goldenstar

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