This irresistible flirt would do anything to get his girl—but clearing his name could be out of his jurisdiction.
D.C. paramedic Hannah Paletti has just one problem: the ripped detective who’s starred in every romantic fantasy she’s ever had. Not only is longtime crush Conner Maguire her new partner on a community service project—he’s her brother’s sworn enemy. Hannah’s determined to raise enough funds for a community center to keep kids off the streets. And Conner, who denies betraying her brother, is all-in on her project. After one kiss, she can’t resist Conner anymore, and she doesn’t want to. But if her family finds out, she’ll lose more than just her heart.
Conner Maguire’s biggest problem has curves that make his hands itch, red curly hair, and enough sass to keep him hooked and booked forever. But to this day, he doesn’t know how her brother’s college sweetheart ended up in Conner’s bed, and he never cared to figure it out—until now.
Because choosing between family and love is tearing Hannah apart, so he needs to offer her both.
Hannah Paletti flipped open the visor in her car again. She should’ve put on makeup. Her freckles were popping, her eyes were too big, and her lips were chapped. Grabbing her cherry Chapstick, she spread a thick layer on before smacking her lips together and exiting her car. She hadn’t felt this nervous since high school, which made sense because she hadn’t seen Conner Maguire much since then. They’d both followed in their family’s footsteps to serve their community: he was a police officer in D.C. and she was a paramedic.
Although they worked in the same district, they rarely crossed paths. Occasionally, they’d find themselves on the same scene and have a brief awkward exchange. Then today she was informed that Conner would be the police department’s representative for the First Responders annual fundraiser. It was generally a sad attempt by the city to bring the first responders together and raise a little money for the local children’s community center, where Hannah volunteered regularly.
But this year was going to be different because Hannah was taking over. If there was one thing that she was good at, it was party planning. Walking over an overgrown stone path she smiled at the rundown warehouse along the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. It was the perfect location, it just needed some TLC and a gallon of WD40, she thought as the hinges whined when she rolled open the huge barn door to squeeze inside. Light cascaded through the massive glass windows that faced the river and dust twinkled in the rays of sunshine pouring in.
She’d finally beat out the old guard on the fundraiser committee with her pitch to the city council, and she had big plans for multiple fundraisers leading up to a big gala. The current community center was great for the kids who lived close enough in their district to use it. But there were underserved kids on the other side of the district with no center to get a hot meal, help with homework, or have a safe place to hang out until their parents got off work. The commissioner said as long as the events she planned funded themselves, Hannah could do whatever she wanted. And if she raised enough money, the city council would consider her proposal for a new community center.
So Conner’s selection as the police rep wasn’t going to work. The minute she looked into his emerald-green eyes or he used his dashing devil-may-care smile on her, she was going to have trouble staying focused.
But there was an even bigger problem, because Conner also happened to be her older brother Parker’s biggest enemy, and Parker was the designated fire department rep. There was no way they could all work together, which meant Conner was going to need to bow out.
She fidgeted with her notes on which fundraising tactics they could use this year while she waited. Each of the reps were supposed to meet at the old warehouse where she planned to host events. Had she known it was going to be Conner she wouldn’t have suggested they all meet together.
Her ideas were ambitious, but she had firsthand experience using the local community center almost every day after school when she was a kid. Her mom died when she was seven, and she and Parker would stay at their local community center until their dad’s shift as a fire chief ended. She knew Conner must have pissed someone off because there was no way he would have volunteered to work with her. She just hoped he would agree to find a replacement.
The sound of the barn-style double doors creaking open caught her ear. Conner’s tall frame dressed in the formal dark navy blue police uniform appeared. His muscular build was impossible to disguise even in his wrinkled, ill-fitted clothes. Thick, wavy brown hair that hung just above his collar gave him a rebellious look and his thick, overgrown beard covered half his chiseled face. But even now his high cheekbones looked carved from stone, and his full lips spread in a cocky smile she’d dreamed about for years when she was too young to know better. He knew he was a sight for sore eyes, and she pressed her lips together tight in an attempt not to give him the satisfaction of knowing how good it was to see him.
“It’s your lucky day. I’m here to make all your dreams come true,” Conner said, his deep voice like warm, soothing stones.
And just like that, her childish crush turned into a grownup fantasy with an ego that matched his kissable lips and masculine physique. Conner took over a room like a fire because he was H. O. T. But that still couldn’t burn away the fact he was the one bad boy she couldn’t forgive.
End of Excerpt
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