How do you pass the time handcuffed to somebody who gets on your nerves?
All journalist Roxie Diamond wants is the chance to ride out with the London night patrol. Reporting on women who sell their bodies to survive is her latest assignment and she’s on the case. Trouble is, the two hot cops she’s partnered with couldn’t be more different, Officer Rudy is displeased to have a tag-along, but he can brood all he likes while she admires his partner’s cute ass and broad shoulders.
Roxie doesn’t count on being mistaken for an accessory in human trafficking. Before she knows it she’s snatched, interrogated, and her world is turned upside down. Just as well her sullen cop takes her safety seriously. Though how much help he’ll be when she finds herself handcuffed to him in an abandoned warehouse, locked up for goodness knows how long, she doesn’t know.
Will he open up? Protect her? Will the anger in his eyes turn to desire when she confesses her lust? Will he admit to the passion she can feel brimming beneath his surface? And can they really do that, while in such a dangerous predicament? And just how close is he to his partner?
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Roxie Diamond shoved her phone, lipstick, and keys into her shoulder bag. Her stomach was tense with excitement and her chest held a fluttery feeling. She’d been waiting for this opportunity for months. Her boss at the newspaper had pulled strings and called in favors to get her out on the beat, and now, finally, it was going to happen. She’d be winning prizes for her real life insight into the women who worked the streets of London before she knew it.
She grinned and checked her teeth for lipstick in the mirror. She hoped she’d get a hot cop to ride with. But more than that she wanted a guy who was chatty, didn’t mind dishing the dirt, telling her how it really was on the streets of London with the prostitutes, the johns, and the crime lurking in the shadows.
Satisfied she was looking the part in black boots with a heel, red jeans, and a denim jacket over a black shirt, she headed out of her apartment. She’d wanted to look casual yet smartish. She needed to blend in, but not look like an officer because she wasn’t. She was an investigative reporter, an independent woman with a career on the up. If she was given the information, the insight, she knew damn well she was one of the best on the team for delivering quality, impartial, informative journalism.
It was dark and cold as she stepped outside. It was also nearing midnight. The air held a light mist that dampened her hair and cooled her cheeks. Without lingering, she headed for the Tube station, her heels clicking on the ground.
She wondered what it was like for the prostitutes who hung around on street corners on nights like this. They’d be cold and likely hungry and in need of a fix, but in spite of this, still touting for business, hoping to offer their shivering, skinny bodies in exchange for cash.
What was the city doing to help these women? Where did they come from? What became of their children? Who were the men who sought them out? Why did these woman risk rape, a beating, and murder on a nightly basis?
These were all questions Roxie wanted to address, those and many more. A couple of nights on patrol would hopefully give her the police perspective of the problem. One thing she already knew was these men were on the front line, the good guys with a tough job.
Before long she arrived at Hackney police station. It was a tall concrete building, a 1970s design, and covered in gray pebbledash that appeared black now the rain had gotten to it. There was a single light on in the entrance way that shone through the blue tinted glass window with POLICE written on it.
The door was unlocked, so she stepped into the warmth and up to reception.
“Can I help you?” a uniformed officer asked from behind a tall desk. A large black clock behind him showed that it was now nearly half past midnight.
“Hi, yes.” She smiled. “I’m here for Sergeant Vincent Taylor.”
“And you are?” He didn’t smile back.
Roxie tightened her grip on the handle on her bag, refusing to be intimidated by his steely stare. “I’m Roxie Diamond. He should be expecting me. I’m shadowing him on his shift tonight. Arranged by Phil Ray at News World.”
He continued to stare at her.
“If you could let Sergeant Taylor know I’m here,” she said, her patience wearing thin, but her smile still steady.
He frowned and picked up a black telephone to his right. Hit a button on the top left corner. “Vince. You expecting a…” He flicked his index finger at her.
“Roxie Diamond, News World.”
“Some journalist called Ms. Diamond. Says she’s going out with you tonight.” He was quiet for a moment. “Right you are.” He put the phone down.
“Well?” Roxie asked when he said nothing but bent his head to a ledger.
“Take a seat. He’ll be here in a minute to get you.” He didn’t look at her.
“Thank you.” She glanced behind herself. There was a row of orange plastic chairs bolted to the wall. She sat and put her bag on her lap. She hoped Vincent Taylor would be less grumpy than the guy on reception. He seemed as though he’d had his fill of humanity and was beyond disappointed with what he’d seen.
“Hey, you must be Roxie.”
She turned at the sound of a deep, but upbeat voice.
“Hi,” she said, taking in the sight of a tall, nice-looking police officer with blond hair and blue eyes. “Yes, that’s me.”
“Pleased to meet you.” He held out his hand, the material on his black top creasing slightly at his shoulder.
She took his hand, enjoying the warmth of his palm and the way his big fingers squeezed hers, just a little.
About the Author:
Lily Harlem lives in the UK and is an award-winning, best-selling author of contemporary erotic romance. After giving up a busy career in nursing she now spends her time enjoying her army of rescued pets and penning steamy stories. She writes for publishers on both sides of the Atlantic including, HarperCollins, Totally Bound, Pride Publishing, Evernight Publishing and Sweetmeat Press. She also self-publishes novels that range from emotionally charged erotic romance, to steamy ménage a trois and, with Natalie Dae, (Harlem Dae) dark BDSM that pushes all the boundaries.
One thing you can be sure of, whatever book you pick up by Ms Harlem and in whichever pairing or genre takes your fancy, is it will be wildly romantic and down-and-dirty sexy so make sure you hang on tight for the ride!
For more information on other books by Lily, visit her website: www.lilyharlem.com