Still the Best Woman for the Job, book 1 of the Jenkins Family Series
Joint heir to the largest construction company in the state of Ohio, master plumber, Toni (TJ) Jenkins has been groomed to behave in a way that is befitting of the respected Jenkins’ family name. But after she breaks up with the only man she’s ever loved, to protect a secret she holds close to her heart, poor decisions lead her down a path of destruction that risks ruining the reputation of the company her family has worked hard to build.
Cincinnati police officer, Craig Logan, knows Toni is the woman for him. They’ve been apart for months, but when they run into each other at a party, the passion between them sizzles stronger than ever. She says she can’t handle dating a cop, but he senses that something else keeps her from rushing back into his arms. Craig wants her to be his wife, and he’ll do whatever it takes to prove no matter what she’s hiding, she’s still the best woman for the job.
“Well, well, well, if it isn’t Cincinnati’s finest and I mean that in every sense of the word.” Jada stood and ran a manicured hand down the front of her black slip dress, smoothing out the wrinkles. She glanced at the wide mirror over the sink and turned her head back and forth before shaking her hair wildly. Craig almost laughed when she rubbed her lips together, smiled at her reflection, and struck a pose before turning to him. “Glad to see you, Officer Logan. I trust you can take it from here,” she said on her way out of the oversized bathroom.
With an amused grin, Craig shook his head and watched her stroll down the hall as if she didn’t have a care in the world. He got along well with all of Toni’s family, but Jada, known for her oversized ego and theatrics, always cracked him up. He turned back to Toni and the smile slipped from his lips as she scurried to her feet, dusted off her knees and adjusted her drool-worthy red dress. A ripple of desire surged through his body and catapulted straight to his groin the moment their gazes collided. He’d worked a twelve-hour shift and was dog-tired when he first pulled up to the Jenkins’ estate, but exhaustion no longer plagued him. Instead, his need to pull Toni into his arms and hold her close took root. Despite what he told himself when deciding on whether to attend her grandfather’s birthday celebration, there was no way he’d be able to walk away from her tonight – at least not without tasting her tempting lips.
His heart pounded loudly in his ears as his gaze traveled from her perfectly made up face down her curvaceous body and shapely legs until his perusal stopped at her red strappy shoes. The eight months of them being apart suddenly felt like eight years as he slowly took her all in, realizing just how much he had missed her. God she’s beautiful. So many days had come and gone when he wanted to call her, or just see her for a minute, but he’d kept his word. When she walked away from their relationship, she made him promise not to seek her out, telling him that she needed space. After seeing her tonight, all bets were off. No way could he be in her presence and not want what they once had.
“What are you doing here?” she asked, her sexy voice but a whisper.
When he didn’t speak right away, she nervously pushed a lock of her long, thick hair behind her ear and peeked at the big brute lying at her feet. Glancing down at him, Craig wondered what she was thinking. Was she seriously dating this guy?
“Peyton invited me,” Craig finally answered.
He leaned against the doorjamb and tucked his hands into his pants pockets. Eyes as warm as fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies on a cold winter’s day stared back at him, and he shifted his stance to hide the evidence of his sudden arousal. He wasn’t surprised by the ardent effect she still had on him, but right now wasn’t the best time to indulge in what his body craved from her.
She glanced away. Her gaze bounced from him to the jerk on the floor and then back to him again. Why was she nervous? Toni was one of the most confident women he’d ever met, and right now her behavior didn’t fit her usual self-assured personality. If anything, watching her actions now reminded him of a time, early in their relationship, when she was slow to let down her guard and unwilling to share her desires, needs, and even her fears.
“So what’s going on?” He nodded at the man on the floor. “I assume he’s alive.”
Her mouth dropped open and her hands flew to her hips as she narrowed her eyes at Craig.
“Of course he’s alive. He just had a little too much to drink.”
“A little? Hell, the guy is passed out on your grandparent’s bathroom floor. I’d say he’s way past drunk.” At that moment, her inebriated friend groaned and rolled to his side.
“Oh, thank goodness.” Toni fell to her knees, pushed him onto his back and patted his cheek. “Ronald, wake up. Come on, we have to get you out of here. I need you to wake up.”
Craig straightened and his body tensed. With a good view of her shapely butt as she leaned over her date, he couldn’t stop himself from zoning in on her smooth toned legs and dainty feet. He had always been a leg-man, but when it came to Toni, he loved everything about her, from her curvy, petite body to her smart mouth. And right now, her mouth was a little too close to this guys face.
“Come on, Ronald, wake up.” She shook his shoulders, but when that didn’t work, she went back to patting his cheek.
It wasn’t so much that she was touching this Ronald guy in an intimate way that bothered Craig. The fact that she had her hands on another man period sent his jealous meter into overdrive.
“Maybe you need to slap him a little harder,” Craig said, still standing near the doorway. “Or better yet, I’d be happy to do the honors.” He moved forward and burst out laughing when she glared at him over her shoulder.
“Better yet, maybe I should slap you for just standing there and not offering to help me get him up and out of here!”
Craig chuckled, glad to see the fire within her hadn’t burned out. Now this was the Toni he loved and missed.
“And why would I do that? He’s your date.” He snapped his fingers. “As a matter of fact, I should really get to the party, maybe grab something to eat, dance a little and get my drink on.”
He turned and walked back to the door.
“Yikes!” Toni yelped. “Ronald, let me go.”
Craig glanced back to see that Ronald had palmed Toni’s butt and had pulled her on top of him.
“Ju … just lay heeere with me, baby,” he mumbled, his eyes still closed. “Ne … need sleep ri … right now. Big da … daddy will gi … give you some lovin—”
“Ah, hell no!” With one long step, Craig reached for Toni’s elbow and pulled her to her feet. His first thought was to plant his size twelve on top of her date’s chest, but thinking that probably wouldn’t be the best idea, he lifted Ronald by the front of his shirt. “Get your a** up.”
About the Author
Bestselling author, Sharon C. Cooper, lives in Atlanta with her husband and enjoys reading, writing, and rainy days. She writes sweet and contemporary romance, as well as romantic suspense. Sharon is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), board member and member of Georgia Romance Writers (GRW), and a member of the Page a Day Writers Group. To read more about Sharon and her novels, visit www.sharoncooper.net
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