This bounty hunter always gets his man. And if he's lucky, he'll get his woman, too. Into bed, that is...
When Linc Stone agreed to help an irresistibly sexy wedding planner track down her louse of an ex-boyfriend, all he'd really intended to do was keep a spitfire looking for payback out of trouble. But being around Georgia Hart and keeping his hands off her was hard--the chemistry was explosive, hotter than even a dedicated, lean, mean hunting machine like Linc could withstand.
Especially when each night they spent together promised a new "thrill" of the chase
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October 31, 2007
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Excerpt from Feeling The Heat by Rhonda Nelson
Four days later...
"She was here again," Marlene Duncan said as Linc Stone strolled into the office of AA Atco Bail Bonds, Inc., a greasy sack of Memphis's best barbecue in one hand and a six-pack of bottled Coca-Cola in the other.
Linc grimaced. Though a few particularly pissedoff ex-girlfriends had been known to track him down at the office, he instinctively knew that Marlene wasn't talking about one of them. He swore under his breath.
She was talking about her.
Georgia Hart, the wedding planner from hell who was having a little trouble with the English language--recognizing the word "no," specifically.
"What did you tell her?"
His father, evidently lured by the smell of barbecue, emerged from his office in the back and snagged a bottle of Coke, then popped the top off using the scarred edge of Marlene's desk. "Tell who what?" Martin wanted to know.
At six-foot-six, his father was a mountain of a man with a patience for fools the size of an anthill. He drove American cars, would only drink Coke out of the bottle--because "plastic was for pussies"-- preferred Johnny Cash to Elvis, practically sacrilegious in their neck of the woods, and ate his steaks cooked rare. He'd never met a woman he couldn't charm, and at sixty-two, he could still arm wrestle his sons and win.
Galling, but true.
Marlene frowned at her desk, but refrained from saying anything. Despite the fact that she'd installed a bottle opener on the paneled wall next to Martin's office door, he still refused to use it. Just to annoy her, Linc imagined, smiling. Curiously, it was becoming one of his father's favorite pastimes.
"Ask your father. He's the one who eventually talked to her," Marlene told him. She doled out sandwiches and pulled a bag of gourmet chips from the filing cabinet behind her desk, which doubled as their pantry. He caught a glimpse of chocolate-mint cookies and made a mental note to help himself to a sleeve before he took off again. Cade's trail mix was in there, too, but Linc wasn't interested in that. He grimaced. Cade's "healthy" was Linc's "bird food."
Knowing that his father was a sucker for a sad case and female face, Linc inwardly winced with dread and let go a sigh. "What'd she have to say this time, Dad?"
"Same thing she's been telling you," he said gruffly, crowding onto Marlene's side of the desk. He nudged the paper aside, frowning at another political ad gracing the cover. It was that time of year again. "She just wants to tag along while you look for Carter Watkins. I don't see what the big deal is. She seems smart enough, and I know she's not pinup material, but she wouldn't point if a quail flew through the room, Son." He pulled a shrug. "What would it hurt to let her go with you?"
Marlene heaved a disgusted breath and glared exasperatedly at Martin. "You're a pig, you know that?"
Martin smiled, unrepentant. "I've been called worse."
Linc snagged the nearest chair and commandeered a corner of Marlene's desk, as well, moving her beloved picture of Bear Bryant to the side in the process. A die-hard Alabama fan, Marlene was damned hard to live with during college football season. He unwrapped his sandwich and, ignoring the quail comment, pretended to consider what his father had said.
Pretended being the operative word.
There was no way in hell he planned on letting Georgia Hart "tag along" with him.
"Why don't we let Cade take this one and she can tag along with him?" Linc suggested wearily, knowing the outcome.
Martin mopped a bit of mustard slaw from the corner of his mouth and scowled at his son. "Aw, hell, you know better than that."
Sadly, he did know better. In order to keep everything equitable between him and Cade, his father insisted on a strict case divvying system. Cade took one, Linc took the next one, Cade, Linc, Cade, Linc and so on. It didn't matter if Cade got two back-to-back high-dollar skips and Linc got stuck with two that would barely cover his utility bill. Fair was fair, according to the skewed logic of Martin Stone, and this was the feast or famine nature of the bond business. They could not trade files and, in most cases, couldn't help each other.
Or so they'd been told.
Fortunately, he and Cade were of the same mind that Martin's system wasn't fair and had privately agreed to work together on any file with a ten-grand or higher payout and split the difference. What their dad didn't know wouldn't hurt him and it sure as hell had helped them on occasion.
Linc had actually considered asking Cade to take the Carter Watkins case just so he wouldn't have to deal with Georgia Hart anymore, but it smacked too much of cowardice--of being scared of a girl, for chrissakes--so he'd abandoned the idea.
Frankly, he didn't know why she managed to bother him so much. He selected a chip,