Blue Jeans And A Badge by Nina Bruhns released on Mar 22, 2005 is available now for purchase.
About the Author
Nina Bruhns credits her gypsy great-grandfather for her love of adventure. She has lived and traveled all over the world, including a six-year stint in Sweden. She has been on scientific expeditions from California to Spain to Egypt and the Sudan, and has two graduate degrees in Archaeology (with a specialty in Egyptology). She speaks four languages and writes hieroglyphics!
But Nina's first love has always been writing. For her, writing for Silhouette Books is the ultimate adventure. Drawing on her many experiences gives her stories a colorful dimension and allows her to create settings and characters that are out of the ordinary. Two of her books won the prestigious Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award. She also has written two bestselling novels under a pseudonym, Nikita Black.
A native of Canada, Nina grew up in California and just moved to Charleston, South Carolina, with her husband and three children. Expect some scorching southern settings in her novels in the near future!
Nina loves to hear from readers. She invites readers to visit her two web sites: NinaBruhns.com and NikitaBlack.com.
Read an Excerpt
Blue Jeans And A Badge
By Nina Bruhns
Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.Copyright © 2005 Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
All right reserved.
Chapter OneApril Pinon Lake, New Mexico
This was almost too easy.
Peering through the chilly April New Mexico darkness, Luce Montgomery watched with satisfaction as the silhouette of a man emerged from the Tafota Salvage and Engine Repair Shop office in Pinon Lake, and glanced around before closing the door quietly behind him.
"Gotcha," she whispered, flipped her ponytail behind her shoulder and fingered the Walther holstered at her hip. Why did they always go home? "Clyde, my man, you're toast."
It was all good. She pushed off the carcass of the burned-out '79 Chevy she'd been leaning against and prepared to confront her quarry. Their stupidity made her job easier.
Clyde Tafota had been a very bad boy. He'd jumped bail. Though no one could figure out exactly why. He'd been involved in a cousin's drug buy while on a visit to St. Louis during which two dealers were killed, but SLPD forensics had recently nailed down who did it - and it wasn't Clyde. He was sure to be exonerated for the murders. So why had he run?
Luce didn't care. Her job was to bring him back to St. Louis, period, for which she would be paid a nice chunk of change. Twenty percent of thirty-five grand, to be exact.
Illuminated by the bare bulb burning over the silent repair shop door, the man turned and quickly walked toward the yard where a black Jeep was parked in the driveway. She could see there was something in his hand, but it looked like paper, not a weapon.
Luce stepped out from the shadows, drawing her semi-automatic. "Stop right there, Clyde. You're -"
Tafota looked up in surprise, and the paper flew out of his hand, skittering away on a breeze.
"Damn it!" he exclaimed, and took off after it, completely ignoring her.
With a single, succinct curse, she holstered the Walther and started to sprint, launching herself at him in a running dive just as he caught the paper.
They hit the dirt in a tangle of limbs, him with a loud "oof" and she with an expert roll so she landed sitting on his back, her gun once more out and pointed at his neck.
"I wouldn't recommend trying that again, sport," she drawled.
She really hated it when they ran.
"What the hell -" Clyde sounded mad.
Tough. "Like I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted -" She moved her knee off a sharp rock and shifted back a few inches so she ended up straddling his butt ... and was momentarily distracted by how nice he felt under her. His backside was firm, his thighs hard and muscular. She frowned. Tafota's file had said he was an older guy, sixtyish, and in his mug shot he appeared downright skinny.
Her musings were interrupted when Clyde tried to turn over.
"Don't move. You're under arrest."
"Really," he said as she grabbed his arms and twisted them up behind his neck.
"Yeah, really. And I'll take that." She plucked the paper he was holding and stuck it in her windbreaker pocket, then snapped her handcuffs onto his wrists below his jeans jacket sleeves.
"Don't lose that," he admonished, but didn't resist being restrained. They usually didn't. Fleeing justice was an act of desperation an offender rarely thought would actually keep him out of jail. As a rule they came pretty quietly in the end.
"I won't, Mr. Tafota. Now, if you'll just -"
A low, rumbling chuckle interrupted her. "Tafota? I'm not Clyde. I'm -"
"Sure you're not," she went along good-humoredly.
"That's why you were sneaking out of Clyde's office in the middle of the night. Because you're not Clyde."
"Check my ID," he calmly suggested.
"I intend to." That was always one of her first moves after cuffing a suspect. Wouldn't do to get the wrong guy. But so far she'd never been wrong; she did her homework.
She pulled Clyde's arrest sheet and a flashlight from her windbreaker and illuminated his mug shot. He looked just like she remembered. Unfortunately, this guy's face was still in the dirt, impossible to see in the dark.
"It's in my pocket."
"What is?" She shone the flashlight at the side of his face that showed. Shortish black hair and a well-shaped ear. Inconclusive.
"My ID. It's in my pocket."
That might be easier than having him turn over. "All right. Hold still."
She scooted back a smidgen and ran a hand over his jeans pockets, feeling for his wallet. But the only thing she felt was his tight male derriere. She felt again for good measure - for the wallet - trying not to enjoy it.
After a moment he cleared his throat. "Um, my front pocket."
She lifted her hand and squeezed her eyes shut for a second. "Very funny, Clyde. I'm going to lift up and I want you to turn over. Slowly. Remember I have a gun."
"So do I," he said, and she swore she saw a flash of white teeth as he followed her instructions.
She almost groaned out loud. Hell. What was she thinking? Not searching first thing for weapons was a real rookie mistake. And she'd been in the bounty-hunting business for eight years, more than long enough to know better. This guy's butt must really have scrambled her brains.
She shook her head to clear it and ordered herself to focus. She found his weapon tucked in a shoulder holster under his jacket. A Beretta .38. Which struck her as vaguely odd, since that was the kind of gun cops carried, not druggies or engine-repair-shop owners. She relieved him of it.
"Do I get a receipt for that?"
"A real comedian," she muttered, and reached for his front pants pocket. "I'm getting your ID."
That pocket was empty, so she switched hands and stuck her fingers into the other one.
He squirmed. And her fingers brushed against something that was definitely not a wallet.
Her mouth dropped open. "Are you enjoying yourself, sport?" she asked dryly.
She felt him shrug. "It's not every day a man gets to lie on his back with a beautiful woman sitting on his lap." His voice was strong and smooth, like a shot of good bourbon.
An involuntary shiver sifted through her body at the sound of it. She scowled. Attraction to a voice? That had never happened before. Especially with a skip.
"I am not beautiful," she snapped. "And if this turns you on, you are one sick puppy."
"Hey, I'm the one in handcuffs here, and you're the one with your hand in my pocket," the soft, gravelly voice pointed out.
She snatched her hand back and counted to ten. This recovery was not going at all as she'd planned.
"ID's in my shirt pocket, by the way."
She should know by now that when things seemed too easy, it was usually because fate was about to kick you in the -
No. She was not thinking about that particular bit of anatomy.
"Get it for me," she ground out. "Now."
"Yes, ma'am." He lifted his head and brought his cuffed hands around to his front pocket, pulled out a thin wallet and handed it to her. "I just gotta warn you ..."
"Yeah?" she asked, flipping it open.
"I'm, uh -"
"A cop?" she blurted out, staring incredulously at the badge and credentials revealed in the beam of her flashlight.
"You're a damn cop?"
Excerpted from Blue Jeans And A Badge by Nina Bruhns Copyright © 2005 by Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd. . Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
## I absolutely loved this book. It was fabulously romantic and funny. The hero and heroine have amazing chemistry. Their dialogue was so fun and witty. I like how the heroine was strong, capable yet still vulnerable at times. And don't even get me started on the hero. Damn, he's 'fine'. I loved when his alpha came out now and then. Hot! Great read indeed.
Getting the jump on the wrong man is a career first for bail enforcement officer, Luce Montgomery. It would have been nice if Piñon Lake's Chief of Police, Philip O'Donnaugh, had told her who he was before she felt the rear pockets of his jeans for his wallet or ID. But Luce has to admit, she enjoyed her hands-on confrontation with Chief O'Donnaugh.
Apparently, he enjoyed it, too, and has made his interest known on more than one occasion since their late-night tussle in the dirt. As luck would have it -- bad lucky, really -- they're after the same man, but for different reasons. Clyde Tafota is a bail jumper and Luce has come to New Mexico to bring him back to St. Louis before his bond expires. Philip, on the other hand, is looking for Clyde in relation to a local office robbery.
Their shared interest in Tafota is going to make her job kind of difficult, Luce acknowledges, but not impossible. She needs to get this 'skip' in her custody or else risk losing a large chunk of change that will help her open her own P.I. business. Working side-by-side with Chief O'Donnaugh isn't going to further her cause; not when he's likely to claim jurisdiction and insist she go through proper channels.
Time is running out on the bail jumper's bond, damn it! Philip is conscious of an entirely different timeline, however. If he hopes to get Luce in his bed before she leaves the state, he has to be quick -- and ruthless -- about his plans for seduction. Which is why he has done something he has never done before: let an outsider work on a case with him.
Hell, the peace and quiet of Piñon Lake has become a thing of the past. And while he doesn't want to get burned again, Philip is mightily attracted to the pretty bounty hunter. Their joint investigation of Tafota's whereabouts will keep her in the state for a little while longer...but will it be long enough to make a difference? Luce appears to be on the run from something, so Philip can only hope that she will eventually run straight into his arms.
BLUE JEANS AND A BADGE is a super sexy, intrigue-laced romance from Nina Bruhns that will thrill readers with its taut suspense and lush levels of sexual tension. Silhouette Intimate Moments has a star in this author, so if you have yet to pick up a novel by Ms. Bruhns, I strongly recommend that you do so. Now. Right this very minute. Philip is a very special hero, and Luce is a very unique heroine (whom is commitment-phobic, to a certain extent).
Philip is more of the picket-fence sort -- even though he's had lousy luck with relationships in the past -- while Luce would prefer to run for the hills (or scale mountaintops) than contemplate any sort of permanency with a man. Philip, in particular. When chemistry is this potent, this overpowering, though, we all know she'll be fighting a losing battle. It seems strange that she would even try to fight this attraction (and its resultant temptations) when Philip is so mouth-watering, but there are influences at work here that will lead to some very shocking discoveries for Luce.
I don't know how Nina Bruhns does it, but each and every release from this author is a 'keeper' in its own right. Her books are always chockfull of adventure, romance and lavish love scenes, and BLUE JEANS AND A BADGE is no exception to this rule. It's intelligently plotted and curl-your-toes romantic; it also seems to draw upon the author's 'gypsy' roots, her fondness for Indian culture, and her ability to make a reader want to step inside of the pages of her novels. The New Mexico landscape, for example, is described with colorful, vivid prose. Even more colorful and vivid, however, is Philip and Luce's relationship and the sparks they shoot off from their very first encounter...Er, is it hot in here or is it just me?Reviewed by Cheryl Jeffries
Nina Bruhns Blue Jeans and a Badge April 2005 Left on her adopted parents¿ doorstep at a young age, Luce Montgomery grew up with a loving and happy family. Knowing she wasn¿t their biological daughter made no difference to her, she loved them just the same for taking her in when no one else would. But through the years Luce had been searching for something. She felt incomplete, even with her adventurous job of bounty hunter; something was still missing in her life, what it was she didn¿t know yet. Luce¿s career kept her traveling and away from home a lot, but that never deterred her from her life back home in St. Louis. Her latest assignment lands her in Sante Fe, New Mexico looking for a criminal that had recently jumped bail, one she needed to apprehend in order to get paid and open her new PI business. Luce wasn¿t about to let any obstacle stand in the way of collecting her bounty. One thing was for sure; even a case of mistaken identity wouldn¿t cause her too much grief. Although, the shiny, metal badge he was wearing did cause a minor problem. Sheriff Phillip O¿ Donnaugh has handcuffed a lot of people in his career, he could truly say he¿d seen it all, up until now. He may be on the wrong end of the handcuffs this time, but the beautiful woman leering over him intrigued him more that he wanted to admit. Phillip might not be the man she was looking for, but he was more than willing to be exactly what she needed. He hoped she felt the same way, only time would tell, but first he had to get out of the handcuffs. After speaking with Luce for a short time, Phillip decided he was just what she needed on a personal and business level. Realizing they were searching for the same man, he decides that they should work together. After all, two heads were better than one. Now the feat was trying to convince her of his plan, but as he soon finds out, female bounty hunters can be the most stubborn people in the world. Hesitantly, Luce decides to go along with Phillip¿s idea, they could make a lot more progress with both of them tracking the perp, and at least Phillip new his way around a lot better than she did. As much as she begins to enjoy his company, Luce isn¿t as easily swayed or seduced as he seemed to think she was in the beginning of their adventure. Through trial, error, and dead ends, Luce and Phillip finally get some leads they can use in their search for their mutual target. What they find is a whole lot more than either of them imagined, in more ways than one and more levels than just business. Will their growing attraction cause them to lose site of their top priority? Or will it help them in the long run to trust each other and maybe even pursue a relationship outside of their jobs? And can the two of them concentrate enough to solve the case, or are they headed for yet another dead end and secrets that were better left unknown? Nina Bruhns is a joy to have in the world of romance. I¿ve read most of Nina¿s other work, and just like Blue Jeans and a Badge, I¿ve enjoyed them thoroughly. Blue Jeans and a Badge is a refreshing change from the reality of today¿s world. Its life like characters speak to you making you long to join in and climb the same mountains in their fictional world. Blue Jeans and a Badge is not my normal genre of reading. Contemporary romances were never really for me. Not until I discovered that some contemporary romances can hold my attention almost as much as a good vampire or paranormal novel. I put Nina¿s books and ability right up there with the likes of Nora Roberts and Deb Stover. Blue Jeans and a Badge is one for my keeper shelf and should be part of yours as well. Maybe with enough coercion, we can all get a vampire or paranormal romance from Nina as well. I¿ll keep my fingers crossed. If you¿re searching for a good novel to read that can make you laugh,
Blue Jeans and a Badge by Nina Bruhns is an emotional, sexy and intriguing read.__ Bounty hunter Luce Montgomery had her man in her sights. But the man she captured wasn¿t the bail jumper but was the local law. Luce was attracted to him from the word go but she didn¿t get close to anyone.__ Phillip O¿Donnough loved working as a cop in his quite little town. The beautiful woman who cuffed him really turned the tables on him. Phillip and Luce realize that her bail jumper and his latest case are related. As they work together their attraction explodes. __ Blue Jeans and a Badge really delivers. The chemistry between Phillip and Luce sizzles. You can really feel the sexual tension as well as the friendship and love that develops. The suspense really kept me involved from page one. I really enjoyed how you were made to feel like you were there with them in the desert.__ Nina Bruhns is a keeper for me.
Bounty Hunter Luce Montgomery is in Pinon Lake, New Mexico tracking down Clyde Tafota, a man who has skipped bail. She¿s hoping to find Clyde quickly and take him back to St. Lois. After staking out his shop, she sees him coming out and immediately grabs him. But, Luce is in for a major surprise when her man turns out to be Philip O¿Donnaugh, the Chief of Police. Luce intrigues Philip, and after a sleepless night, he decides to learn more about the sexy woman. His body won¿t let him stop thinking about her, and Philip plans to see more of Luce one way or the other. And, the best way to do that is by working with her to find Clyde Tafota. Luce grudgingly agrees to let Philip help her in the hunt, but she sure doesn¿t want or expect the raw sexuality that attracts her. Soon, they are learning secrets about Clyde that they never would have guessed. And, Philip and Luce are definitely heating up the pages of this novel with their explosive passion. This is an exciting, entertaining and engaging romance that you will NOT want to miss. Philip and Luce are two characters that readers will find charismatic, emotional and pure fun. I certainly had a wonderful time in their world, and it definitely ended to soon for me. But, it will be kept on my keeper shelf to be enjoyed again in the future. Author Nina Bruhns has been known to create fictional stories of romance that are well written and witty, as well as captivating and creative. BLUE JEANS AND A BADGE is no exception. This love story abounds with engaging characters, witty dialogue and a plot that will keep you quickly turning the pages. Once again, I¿m totally impressed with Ms. Bruhns writing talent, and she¿s definitely an auto-buy for me. I highly recommend buying a copy of this Silhouette Intimate Moments book, out in April 2005.
Rhiannon O'Brannoch is a woman all too familiar with loss. Cancer had taken her mother and the IRA had stolen her father and fiance. Most shocking of all, the father she barely knew had inexplicably cut her off and left the family farm to others. When her Uncle Fitz sends her a one-way ticket from Ireland to Arizona and asks her to come and live with him at Irish Heaven, his million-dollar ranch, Rhiannon knows this is her chance for a fresh start. Filled with rosy visions of the future, the first inkling of her true situation arrives in the form of a dead cow in the middle of the road and a tall, gorgeous cowboy accusing her of rustling. Actually, the steer (not a cow) turns out to be alive (barely) but that's about the only good news awaiting Rhiannon. Irish Heaven is only worth a million on paper. In reality, the ranch is struggling financially and beset by cattle rustlers, and it's just the foreman, Redhawk Jackson, and her uncle left. Even more troubling, Hawk is letting her know in no uncertain terms that he considers the ranch to be his inheritance, not her's. As for Uncle Fitz, he is slowly succumbing to the insidious effects of Alzheimer's disease with no inclination to reveal who he intends to leave the ranch to. Determined to ease his mind and make a place for herself at Irish Heaven, Rhiannon rolls up her sleeves and dives into ranch life. Now, if only she can cry peace with the surly cowboy who makes her pulse race. Redhawk Jackson is a man all too familiar with loss. A lost childhood followed by troubles with the law, Hawk's life would probably have been much different if not for Fitz O'Brannoch. Hiring Hawk on his ranch when no one else would, Fitz became his mentor, the father he never had. Fitz proudly saw Hawk make a name for himself on the rodeo circuit and gave him a refuge when an accident left him with a bum knee. As foreman of Irish Heaven, Hawk finally knows where he belongs ¿ caring for his fading friend and minding the struggling ranch with the understanding it will be his someday. Now comes this Irish temptress out to steal his inheritance from under him. Hawk isn't having any of it and is determined to ship her back to Ireland. If only he can convince himself that's what he really wants. It's not long before Hawk and Rhiannon find themselves soaking in a water trough and getting under each other's skin. Hawk even proposes a marriage of convenience which Rhiannon vehemently turns down. This battle of the sexes is just beginning and, in the meantime, there's Fitz to care for, rustlers to catch and the emergence of a plot against Irish Heaven to unravel. It is the main characters that bring this story to life. Rhiannon and Hawk have each known loss in its myriad forms and it motivates them to grab what they want, exposing their flaws to each other and their humanity to the reader. The tale starts with the pair squaring off against each other but one can see their characters mature and evolve as the various subplots blend together and the story reaches its climax. Other characters provide contrast and texture, especially Fitz' poignant battle with Alzheimer's and the secrets he eventually reveals. Part battle of the sexes, part romantic suspense and pure emotional rollercoaster, HARD CASE COWBOY is one satisfying experience readers won't soon forget.