In Love, There's No Such Thing As A Simple Plan
Rule #1: Cops maintain their distance.
It was supposed to be your average stakeout. My partner and I would scope out both the coffee shop and Laurel Wilkins, the latest target of con man Trevor Dean's scheme to meet women online and bilk them of their money--and everything else.
Rule #2: Cops think fast on their feet.
So I went inside to get a better look. So she happened to be gorgeous with a body that made me temporarily forget how to order coffee. So she knew my name--Russ Evans--and hugged me like we were more than friends. So what the $#@ is going on?
Rule #3: Cops never, ever get involved.
At least she's willing to offer herself up as bait. All I have to do is keep her safe--and keep my hands off. Anything else would be against the rules. And oh so tempting...
Praise For The Novels Of Erin McCarthy
"Witty, sexy, and entertaining romance." --Booklist on Mouth to Mouth
"By turns comic and steamy...highly enjoyable." --Booklist on Houston, We Have a Problem
Showing 1-1 of the 1 most recent reviews
1 . Good storyline
Posted January 28, 2011 by Terri , Colorado SpringsI really liked this book. It was very intriguing with very likable characters and an interesting storyline. I want to read more from this author.
November 05, 2007
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Excerpt from Mouth to Mouth by Erin McCarthy
"He's not going to show."
Russ Evans didn't even spare fellow detective Jerry Anders a glance, eyes trained on the coffee shop and the woman inside sitting alone. "Ten more minutes."
Jerry didn't protest, but Russ felt him shift in agitation, the heels of his shoes crunching in the hard- packed snow. Russ knew Jerry was cold, because he was, too. Hell, cold was an understatement. His nuts were completely numb. January winds were creeping in under his nylon jacket, and his fingers were stiff wrapped around the binoculars he was using to watch the door of the coffee shop.
But discomfort was part of the job, and he wasn't going to be hanging his badge up anytime soon. In fact, he loved being in Special Operations, got a kick from the watching and the waiting and the thinking--cold nuts or not--because in the end there was nothing like slapping the cuffs on slimeballs.
"He's standing her up."
Thoughtful, Russ scanned the nearly deserted parking lot. Nothing. Their target, petty con artist and first-class bastard, Trevor Dean, was nowhere to be found and it didn't add up. There was no reason to think Dean had figured out the cops were waiting for him, but it wasn't like Dean to pass up a chance to meet a woman.
Women were Dean's source of income, and he liked to live well beyond his means.
"Not his usual type, is she?" Russ took another hard stare at the petite woman sitting in the shop with a cup of coffee in her hand, a thick pink scarf wrapped around her neck. The view of her face was obscured by the glass, the coffee steam, and the rich blond hair that fell over her cheek, but Russ could see enough to feel the prickles of intuition tripping up his spine. Something was off here.
"You mean she's not butt-ugly?" Jerry cupped his hands and blew into them.
Russ laughed. "No. Look for yourself." He handed over the binoculars. "And Dean's women aren't ugly, they're just . . . plain."
"Just plain ugly, maybe." Jerry studied the blonde. "But this one's not bad. Good hair, tight sweater-- I'm liking it. Hey, she just licked her lips, did a little nervous tongue thing. Do that again, honey."
"Glad you're enjoying yourself." Russ stamped up and down a little to get the blood flowing in his legs.
"Well, my pants are warmer anyway."
"But don't you think it's strange that this woman looks so different? I don't like it when a con changes a pattern without reason. He's been going after plain women, earning their trust. Letting them think he's in love with them, then stealing everything they've got--and it's been working. That we know of, he's hauled off a hundred thousand bucks so far. And there's probably been more. So why do anything different?"
Binoculars still stuck to his eyes, Jerry murmured, "Maybe this one isn't for business. Maybe this one is just for pleasure."
Russ hauled himself off the brick wall of the bookstore across the street and pitched the cigarette he'd been holding down into a snowdrift, where it sizzled. He'd been hanging onto the thing just in case they were spotted. It would look less suspicious, like he'd just stepped outside the store for a smoke. He dug a cinnamon disk out of his pocket, unwrapped it, and popped it into his mouth.
Crunching on his candy, Russ said, "Like a girlfriend, huh? A real one?" He bent over and picked the butt back up once it stopped burning and dropped it in the pocket of his jacket. "You could be onto something, Anders."
"What can I say? I'm a deep thinker."
"Bullshit." Russ grabbed the binoculars off of Jerry's face. "Pick your tongue back up off the ground before it freezes to the concrete."
"So if Dean's got a girlfriend, why's he standing her up?"
"Because you can stand up your girlfriend. 'Sorry babe, I got held up' and all that shit. You can't do that with a woman you're trying to con." You don't piss off the meal ticket.
Jerry snorted. "Maybe you can stand up your girlfriend and get away with it, but Pam would rip me a new one if I did that. Of course, you don't got a girlfriend, because nobody will put up with your ugly mug."
"I don't have a girlfriend because I don't want one. I'll stick to casual sex. You can keep all that other crap that goes with a relationship." Russ didn't have time for it. Between his job and raising his little brother, Sean, he barely had time to go to the john.
And he'd never met a woman yet who didn't make things more complicated than they needed to be.
"You're a cold man, Evans. But someday you're going to get knocked on your ass by some woman and I'm going to be there taking pictures."
Russ only half-heard Jerry razzing him as he puzzled over the blonde waiting for Dean. If this woman was Dean's girlfriend, was she in on the con? What did she know? And could she be coerced into talking?
Stuffing the binoculars in his pocket alongside the cigarette butt, he started across the street.
"Where the hell are you going?"
"Stay here a minute, Anders. I'm going in the shop, get a better look at this chick. I've got a feeling about her . . ."