After a photograph of Luc Moretti saving a tourist hits social media, he instantly becomes New York's most famous and beloved cop. When a major network decides to run a special on the "American Hero," Luc's boss gives him no choice but to cooperate in the name of good exposure for the department. Luc doesn't mind the celebrity status-what he does mind is the gorgeous brunette journalist who's been assigned to follow his every move. Especially since she also happens to be the same knockout that rejected him rather publicly the week before.
Ava Sims is a woman who gets what she wants. And what she wants is to be CBC's lead anchor-but to get there, she'll need to nail the fluff piece on the playboy cop. Luc Moretti is everything Ava knows to stay away from: a stubborn charmer with a hero-complex. But the more Ava gets to know Luc and his oddball family, the more she realizes that beneath the swagger and the blue uniform is a complex man who makes her heart beat too fast. Soon, Ava's doing the unthinkable, and falling for the best of New York's finest …
A long-time romance reader, Lauren Layne thinks the only thing better than reading about happy endings is writing them. She now pursues a full-time career in Happily Ever After, a job she's naturally suited for after marrying her high school sweetheart. A bit of a nomad, Lauren's lived everywhere from Orange County to Manhattan, and currently lives in the Seattle-area. Her hobbies include coffee by day, wine by night, and lots of writing in between. She's also a total website nerd and insists you check out laurenlayne.com!
Ava Sims reached out and gave his arm a smug little pat, either oblivious or indifferent to Luc's inner turmoil.
"We start Monday. What time do you get to work?"
"Sorry?" he said.
"Your work day. When do you start?"
He shook his head. "Why does it matter? Don't you just tell me what day and time to show up at your studio?
She rolled her eyes. "We can't just have three hours worth of face-to-face interviews in cushy chairs. This is an inside look at America's Hero."
"Hold on now," Luc said, his irritation escalating to panic. "Three hours? And America's what?"
"America's Hero. It'll be the name of the series."
Oh sweet Jesus.
"Now hold the hell on," he said. "There's not going to be a series. Just ask me a few questions and be done with it."
Her grin had gone beyond smug to full out gloating. "It's already approved. It'll be a three-hour special, divided up over three nights. Pretty standard."
"Standard, my ass," Luc snapped. "How the hell are you going to stretch four minutes of amateur video into three hours?"
Ava gave an expectant look at the captain who cleared his throat nervously before explaining. "Ms. Sims and her team will be shadowing you for a while, Moretti. A day in the life of a New York's Finest, and all that."
"Just think, two whole months together!" she said, with a mockingly bright smile meant to annoy him. "Won't that be fun? You can show me all the lives you've saved with those parking tickets."
Luc was too busy grinding his teeth to reply. Ava dug something out of her purse, slapping it against his chest before sweeping towards the door in her sexy high heels.
"See you on Monday, Officer."
Luc swallowed against the surge of panic. He couldn't do this. He wouldn't do this. It was one thing to be a local hero. Another thing entirely to become a "household names" as Ava had indicated. The last thing Luc needed was an even brighter spotlight on him, shining in places that should remain in the dark forever.
"I don't like it either," Brinker said gruffly, displaying a rare perceptiveness. "But I can tell you right now, there's no point in fighting it. Your father's replacement made it clear that this was an order. Not a request."
Fuck. Fuck. If he were Anthony, or even Vincent, he would have pushed back. Would have shoved his principles down Brinker's throat, superior or not.
But Luc wasn't his brothers. Luc wasn't a hotheaded hotshot. And he had far too much respect for the NYPD to pull a tantrum.
He would do his duty. He always did his duty. With pride.
Still, he couldn't stop the groan of dread in anticipation of what lay ahead , Luc glanced down at the crumpled piece of paper that Ava had thrust at him. There was a coffee stain in one corner, and something that looked like lipstick smeared across the front, but there was no mistaking what he was looking at.
It was a three-year-old parking ticket.
She'd never paid it.