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 …
She grinned as she caught the full impact of Luc Moretti in uniform. "It is you. Oh my gosh, can I get a picture with you? My uncle's a cop, and he says you've done wonders to restore the department's prestige."
"Um," Luc looked pained, and Ava was surprised to feel a surge of sympathy. She still had her suspicions that he secretly relished the attention, but it was clear he embarrassed at the moment.
It was exactly the moment she needed to shake off the sexual tension.
Ava reached forward and plucked the cute brunette's phone out of her hand. "Here, I'll take it."
"Thanks," the girl said, her eyes never leaving Luc's profile as he turned with a grimace towards the camera.
"Okay, I'll count to three," Ava said pointedly to the girl whose hand rested on Luc's abs as she moved in close, apparently oblivious to the camera and Ava.
But the girl knew what she was doing. As Ava got to three, the girl turned her head towards the camera with a well-timed hair flip, and the result was a picture-perfect moment between a stoic cop and adorable groupie.
Ava handed the phone back to the girl, who took it back reluctantly, likely because the motion meant letting go of Luc.
"So, Officer ..." The girl's eyelashes fluttered. As in actually fluttered.
Ava stuck her tongue in her cheek to hide her smirk. This should be good.
"Can I buy you a drink?"
"I'm on duty," he says, gesturing down at his gun.
The girl all but salivated and pressed on. "Oh I know. I was thinking whenever you got off. Or another day, if that would be better."
Luc's smile never wavered, but Ava was surprised to see that the polite grin seemed almost pasted on his face, as though he'd rather be anywhere else. Which didn't make sense. The guy was gorgeous,
"Actually, I'm sort of seeing someone."
Luc's announcement caused more of a tug than it should, but when she looked at him more closely, she noticed the way he wouldn't meet the girl's eye.
Officer Moretti was lying. And from the guilty look on his face, he didn't lie easily.
Ava all but shook her head. As far as excuses went, it was merely okay. Not a good enough explanation for a girl who looked like a lingerie model and had confidence radiating off her in waves. Girls like this one would I'm seeing someone as more as a challenge than a rejection.
"Lucky lady," the brunette said, wiggling closer to Luc. "But look, it doesn't work out between you two, I can give you my--"
"Hear that sweetie? At least someone thinks you're a lucky lady."
It took Ava several seconds to realize that Luc was talking to her.
Oh no. No freaking way ...
But he merely grinned, reaching out a hand and pulled her closer. She opened her mouth to tell him off, but there was something in his gaze -- desperation, maybe?--that had her hesitating. Ava let herself be pulled to his side, even sliding her arm around his waist, but the pinch she delivered to his side said he'd pay for the lie later. At least she tried to pinch. The man had like zero body fat.
The way their bodies pressed together caused a shiver of awareness over Ava. A shiver she ignored.
At least until he slid his hand over the small of her back, down over her waist until his fingers splayed over her hip as though they belonged there. And damn it, it felt like they did belong there.
Like she belonged here. With him
Oh, this was so not good.
"Oh my god," the girl said, her hand flattening against her chest. To her credit, she looked genuinely dismayed. "I'm so sorry. When I saw you guys standing here I thought you arguing--"
"We were," Ava said.
"Foreplay," Luc interrupted huskily, as his gaze raked down Ava's body. "It really revs her motors."
"Revs my motors?" Ava asked, pushing against him in annoyance. Because annoyance was safer than arousal. "Are you kidding me right now with the woman-as-car metaphors."
"You like it," he said, looping his arm casually around her neck while giving the girl a boyish grin.
"You know what else I'd like?" Ava hissed. "If you took your police baton, or whatever it's called, and shoved it up you--"
His mouth was on her before she could finish the sentence.
It was a quick kiss.
Just a hard stamp of shut-the-hell-up. There was no tongue, just the press of his mouth against hers, lingering only slight, but the kiss rocked Ava all the same.
Luc, on the other hand, seemed completely unaffected, and as soon as his mouth left hers, his eyes sought his admirer who was already walking away.
With a look of relief, he released Ava, who was still feeling a little unready from the feel of his lips on hers, however meaningless and quick it had been.
"What the hell was that?" she asked to his retreating back since he was already walking away.
He stopped and turned back. "What was that."
He turned around, but didn't stop moving as he walked backwards. "That, Sims, was a test."
She started after him. "Yeah? What did it prove?"
"That I like your mouth a hell of a lot better when it's not yapping. Now you coming, or what?"
Ava glared at his retreating back.
Yup, it was official. America's Hero was a total ass.
But the man could kiss.
See why Sarah enjoyed Frisk Me in her review.
About the Author
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!