Authors: Lee Rose
When Elizabeth "Liz" Daniels meets Ethan White at a dance, she instantly falls in love with the sexy deputy of Appledale. Ethan admits Liz is one sexy lady, but what can a successful businesswoman like her have in common with a small-town deputy like him? Unwilling to risk his heart yet again, he walks away from her, breaking her heart in the process.
But there is someone else who wants Liz and wants to take her away from everyone in the process forever. When Liz realizes she has a stalker, her friends rally around her to protect her, including the handsome deputy, Ethan. While protecting the beautiful Liz, Ethan realizes he was wrong about her and falls in love with Liz.
Despite their best efforts Liz gets kidnapped. Will Ethan and the others save Liz in time for him to declare his love for her, or will it be too late for them?
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IMPRINT: Erotic Romance
Copyright © 2013 by Lee Rose
E-book ISBN: 978-1-62242-644-7
First E-book Publication: March 2013
Cover design by Christine Kirchoff
All cover art and logo copyright © 2013 by Siren Publishing, Inc.
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Copyright © 2013
Elizabeth Daniels stared out of her shop window, putting her arms around herself as if to keep away the cold. It was a gloomy day outside. Liz’s mood today matched the weather. Thanksgiving had just passed and Christmas was right around the corner and it would also be her thirtieth birthday. She had always imagined herself to be either married or in a serious relationship by this age yet here she was all alone. Was it so wrong to want to love and be loved? She wanted her own happily ever after, but it was proving to be harder than winning the lottery.
Liz had even joked with her friend Lacy about being an old maid with cats after a blind date had not gone well. Gary Peters had been an obnoxious jerk from the beginning of the date till the very end. Her friend Stella had set them up. He did take her to an elegant restaurant in St. Clair.
“This is a nice place. I have never been here before Liz remarked as she sipped her glass of wine, looking around the elegant French restaurant and admiring the décor.
Gary puffed out his chest. “I only go to the best places, Elizabeth, as you will see if you stick with me.”
“Call me Liz.” She smiled politely, looking across the table at her date. He was very handsome she had to admit with his gel-slicked blond hair and blue eyes, but when he opened his mouth to speak she forgot about his good looks and had to grind her teeth to stop herself from being rude.
Gary shook his head. “Elizabeth sounds sophisticated. Liz sounds so common. Did Stella tell you I run the bank? This is only a small step of my big plan. Otherwise I would go crazy in a poky little town like Appledale.” He continued to talk about owning his own bank and having the best of everything.
After an hour of listening to him put down Appledale and its people Liz had the beginnings of a headache. Gary had hardly let her get a word in edgewise. On the way home he complained about the service of the waitstaff and how the food could have been better. By the time Liz arrived home she had a major headache and had made up her mind to stay single. Lacy assured her that would never happen but she couldn’t help but wonder.
Then she had met someone at a Halloween party a few weeks ago. Ethan White, a sheriff’s deputy. He was not classically handsome like a model but his strong, rugged features were very striking. Ethan had sex appeal with his sandy-brown hair cut very short and beautiful hazel eyes. He was tall, at least six three and husky with wide, broad shoulders and a trim waist. You couldn’t miss him in a crowd, that’s for sure. But his looks weren’t what drew her the most. He had a serious demeanor but Liz sensed he also hid a wealth of fire and strength inside. She could see it when she looked into his eyes. She thought they had connected. She felt something with him that night. When she looked into Ethan’s eyes as they danced closely she felt heat run through her body and her legs got shaky. He had acted like he was attracted to her too. But at the end of the night he had left her with a gentle kiss on the lips that left her lips tingling. At first she was confused because she knew he was attracted to her. Then the confusion turned to hurt. She had run into him a couple of times. It was hard not to since Appledale was a small town. If he noticed her he’d smiled casually, nod his head politely, and keep on going like he barely knew her. It had really hurt her feelings.
Her business, on the other hand, was thriving. What was that old saying, unlucky in love but lucky in cards? That seemed to be her motto these days. Three years ago she had opened up Liz’s Boutique here in Appledale. She carried women’s clothes both dressy and casual, accessories, and she even added lingerie last year. She was so busy that she had hired a young high school girl, Amy Johnson. Amy came in three days a week. Liz loved running her own business and discovered she was good at it. At least she had inherited something good from her father. Her father ran a multi-million-dollar hotel business. It was his whole life with his wife and daughter coming in second. She had grown up traveling all over the world and never having a home.
Her father’s main headquarters was in Chicago and they spent a lot of time there so she got a job as a fashion buyer for a major department store. The hours had been long and tiring. The pay had been great but she had been burned out from putting in ten-hour work days six days a week. She never had the time or energy to socialize. She had lived at her dad’s hotel because she traveled with her job and it didn’t make sense to rent an apartment she wouldn’t use much. When a coworker had told Liz she had visited a charming little town named Appledale and described it in vivid detail, Liz had been intrigued by the description. It sounded beautiful with lots of trees and nature. It was peaceful and calm and the people friendly she was told.
On a whim she took her vacation and visited the little town and had quickly fallen in love. By the time her vacation was over she had formulated a plan to open her own business. She desperately wanted a change of scenery. She didn’t want to spend sixty-plus hours a week killing herself for a job. She wanted a normal life filled with time and friends, maybe even a man. The men she met and dated in Chicago only dated her because she was Roger Daniels’s daughter and wanted something from her father. Her mother, Claire Daniels, occupied herself by shopping and organizing charity events, which was how Liz learned about clothes, but Liz wanted to make her own way in life. When she told them about her move they had just wished her luck and her dad had given her money but never tried to stop her. Her mother didn’t understand why Liz couldn’t be happy to shop along with her and marry one of her dad’s business associates. She spoke to them every week but they were quick calls since her parents were busy people. She had just spent a weekend with them on Thanksgiving in New York. They might not have the closest relationship but she loved them just the same.
Maybe a visit with her two best friends was just what she needed to cheer up and shake off this melancholy mood. She had a good business going in a peaceful little town, which she loved, and good friends. She was content with her life, but today she had woken up feeling blue. One of her friends, Stella, had just found out a few weeks ago that she was expecting her first child. She and her husband, Stanley, were thrilled. Lacy had had some trouble with a crazed killer around that same time and had been kidnapped and rescued but was now planning a Christmas Eve wedding with her lover, Ryan Clark, the town sheriff. Since her two friends were settling down she couldn’t help but feel a little left out.
It was chilly outside so she grabbed her coat and decided to walk instead of drive. Maybe the fresh, crisp air would blow away the depression she was feeling. She couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her. She never let herself get into such a funk and especially not over a man. Men had always come and gone in her life and she had never let it bother her this much.
She ran her brush through her short platinum-blonde hair and fixed her makeup before locking up the store and putting up the out to lunch sign. Today she wore black wool pants instead of her usual skirt and a purple cashmere sweater and comfortable boots.