Ticket to Romance

Ticket to Romance

by Sandi Haddad

Paperback

$14.50

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781592799664
Publisher: Amber Quill Press, LLC
Publication date: 01/28/2003
Pages: 202
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.51(d)

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Oh no, not a cop! Veronica Dowling's good mood vanished as she instinctively hit the brake pedal, even though she was already driving under the posted speed limit. Her stomach quivered with uneasiness when a quick glance around the near empty suburban street revealed she had to be the targeted victim of the flashing blue light behind her.

With her heart racing, she obediently pulled over to the curb and shut off the engine of her purple Camaro. She watched in the rearview mirror as the policeman parked behind her and swung his booted leg over his motorcycle. After speaking briefly into his radio, he stalked toward her.

Hoping she just had a missing headlight or something, she fumbled in her purse and withdrew her wallet. As the officer approached, Veronica rolled down her car window, wincing at the blast of humid Florida heat that gushed inside. She had no idea why the policeman had pulled her over, but she mentally prepared for a lecture, or even a ticket.

She wasn't prepared for the jolt into the past that occurred when he appeared at her side.

Julian!

Even under his helmet and behind his dark sunglasses, she instantly recognized the man she'd loved ten years before. Time had added a few lines to his now clean-shaven face, and his lean teenage body had filled out with solid muscle. He looked sexier than ever.

Taking a firm stance at her window, he growled, "Don't you believe in obeying traffic signs?"

When a quick glance at his nametag verified his identity, a smile tugged at her lips as she opened her mouth to greet him. But she saw no sign of recognition in the deadpan expression on his face. Apparently,he'd forgotten her. A little twinge of pain lanced through her, but she raised her chin.

"Sorry, I don't even know what sign I missed."

"You failed to stop at the intersection of Highland and Main," he informed her.

"There's a stop sign there?"

"Has been for the last five years. May I see your license and registration?"

Veronica reached for her wallet with a shaking hand. Thankfully, he didn't seem to notice. She passed him the requested items and wondered if her first name would jog his memory. She doubted he'd recognize her married name.

"Miami, huh? Are you driving home this evening?"

Frustration fought with hurt, but she managed to keep her tone polite. "I recently moved back to Flamingo Springs." Temporarily.

"I see." Stepping away from her car, he walked backwards to the rear of her vehicle, then turned and strode purposefully toward his motorcycle.

Watching him in her side mirror, Veronica groaned as she leaned back against her seat and took some deep calming breaths. She wondered if she was more shaken by being stopped by the police–or by the identity of the policeman.

She glanced at him again in the rearview mirror. He still had the same self-assured walk she remembered, and he certainly looked good in the form-fitting motorcycle breeches. In high school he'd been a rebel, following the beat of a different drummer. He was the last of her classmates she would have expected to go into law enforcement.

Stopping at his vehicle, he rested a foot on the bike and took a clipboard out of his saddlebag. Everything about him implied a confident attitude, from his haughty stance to his impeccable uniform with spit-shined boots. She used to find his self-assurance admirable, but then he'd never used it against her before. Today he was a royal pain in the–

She shook her head with amazement. Running into Julian had been the last thing she had expected when she'd turned down the once familiar suburban street. Although the oak and palm trees appeared taller and some of the formerly vacant lots sported new homes, the neighborhood still had the small town atmosphere she remembered. A nice place to visit.

But she could never be independent here. As soon as her dad got back on his feet after his surgery, she'd be glad to leave this town behind–again.

Veronica wondered why her father hadn't mentioned that Julian was still in Flamingo Springs. She'd checked the phone book not long after coming back. When her high school crush hadn't been listed there, she'd assumed he'd moved away sometime in the last ten years. Now, knowing his occupation, she understood that he might not want people he'd arrested to know where he lived, especially if he had a family.

It felt strange to think Julian could have a wife, two-and-a-half kids and a dog by now. He had certainly changed his bad-boy image, replacing his leather jacket with a police uniform. Maybe he'd even traded in his own Harley for a mini-van.

Copyright © 2002 by Sandi Haddad

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