In the Shadow of the Shield
Carolyn LaRoche grew up in snow country but fled the cold and ice several years ago. She now lives near the beach with her husband, their two boys, two finicky cats and one old dog. When she is not at the baseball field cheering on big hits and home runs, she is busy teaching science to unwilling teenagers.
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When a police officer falls, justice must be served.
Donnie Massey was an honest, skilled police officer. That’s probably what got him killed. When his wife Diana watches him die in front of her, the worst part is going to be telling their son, Jackson.
After a year of mourning, Diana decides it’s time to move on with their lives. The first step to getting closure is to visit Donnie’s grave. But when she gets there, she’s not alone…
Good cops are rare. Carter Ryan is one of them.
Mentored by Donnie, Carter is at the grave when his widow shows up. It may not be the best timing, but he needs her help. Carter admits the fallen shield may not have died in the line of duty, but was likely murdered while involved in a secret investigation with deep criminal ties. Diana agrees to aid in unveiling the truth. Donnie deserves that much.
The definition of insanity…
As the two work side by side, a new and delicate romance begins to bloom. But would falling for another cop be the worst mistake of Diana’s life, or the best decision she’s ever made? When the investigation leads them to an underground meth ring, their mission goes from risky to down right perilous.
After a brush with death hits too close to home, will Diana risk loving another cop? Or will their chance at happiness be forever buried in the shadow of the shield?
They were standing very close. Too close. She could smell that musky soap of his again, and it was all she could do to stay where she was. He sure looked good in that uniform. Too good. She moistened her suddenly dry lips with the tip of her tongue.
“Don’t do that.”
“Lick your lips that way. I have to get back on the road in a minute, and that might make me quit my job so I can see you do that again.”
She giggled like a schoolgirl. “Oh, you can’t do that. Your uniform is half the appeal. Don’t you know, once a badge bunny, always a badge bunny?” She tapped the badge on his chest with one finger. “Badge bunny, huh?”
In one smooth move, his arm slipped around her and his lips pressed to hers in a quick kiss. “I hate to leave, Madam Bunny, but the streets of Virginia Beach are begging to be kept safe.”
“What kind of crime is there in a resort town in the middle of the winter?”
“You’d be surprised. Hookers still got pimps to pay, no matter how cold it is. Crack heads still need a fix, and drive-bys are very popular this time of year. The discerning gangster prefers not to freeze the family jewels to get the weekly quota of shootings in.”
“I suppose that makes sense, since it was this time last year when Donnie got mixed up in that supposed meth case.” No sooner had the words left her mouth that they heard the ringing of a cell phone.
Carter let her go and dug into one of his pockets. “That’s the Louie phone number. A text message.”
“What’s it say?”
“He says he wants a pizza with his Snickers and his Mountain Dew.”
“Hold on. Another message is coming in. It’s a photograph.”
“A photo of what?”
“Hard to tell. It’s pretty dark, but it looks like three people. He says he caught them leaving the house, and they are the same guys he saw the other night.”
“Ask him who they are.” Her heart rate picked up at the thought of a possible lead. “Are they cops?”
Carter tapped out a message and then waited for Louie to reply. “Okay, he says they left and locked the place up tight. He doesn’t know who they are, but he is certain they are the same guys he saw the other night.”
Carter typed in another message, then set the phone down on the counter by his radio. It buzzed almost immediately with a message from Louie, promising to let them know the second the men returned, as long as he could have an extra-large double cheese pie. “All right, as much as I hate to go, I need to get back out on patrol. Lunchtime is over.”
“Lunch time? Was I supposed to be a quickie on your lunch break?”
Carter grabbed his radio and clipped it back on his belt. “Trust me, baby, if that was why I was here, there would be nothing quick about it.”
please tell us a little bit about your current projects?
I’d like to thank Romance Junkies for allowing me to return once again with my new release. If you didn’t catch my visit last month, I was here with the debut novel in my Secret Lives Series, Undercover in Six Inch Stilettos. This month I am super excited to share with all of you the second book in the series In The Shadow of the Shield. The girls are back in this book, as snarky as ever while Diana deals with the unexpected loss of her husband and the possibility of new love.
When was the moment that you knew you had to be a writer?
Who gave you the one piece of writing advice that sticks with you to this day?
Describe the “perfect” hero. What about the “perfect” hero for you?
What I have found is that my “perfect” hero evolves with each book I write. In Undercover in Six Inch Stilettos I loved the way Jason was so protective of Cyndi and their daughter in one moment and totally sensual and sexy in the next. With In the Shadow of the Shield, Carter Ryan is serious, with a bit of past to overcome yet Diana seems to melt him from the inside out. In the third book, not yet ready for publication, the hero is dedicated to his job but he is light-hearted and fun on his own time. What they all have in common is their loyalty to the women the love or are falling in love with.
What are some of your favorite pastimes? Do you have any hobbies or collections?
I’m not really a collector of much aside from books. If you ask my husband, he will tell you I have way too many of those. I love baseball, going to the beach and spending time with my family and close friends. A wild Saturday night in our house might involve a deck of cards, a bottle of wine and some friends.
What has been your biggest adventure to date?
Today I’d have to say it is motherhood. Raising two boys, one that has recently become a teenager is an adventure like no other. The things that come out of my mouth You hit your brother where? Why would you even think to do___? Yeah, it’s a new adventure every single day.
If your fairy godmother waved her wand and whisked you away to the location of your choice, which place would you choose, and why?
When it comes to food, are you the adventurous type who will try anything once, or do you prefer to stick to tried and true foods and recipes?
I love this question! Every time I visit with Romance Junkies I have just experiment with some new recipe. Recently I made my first ever bread pudding (mmm…it was to die for!) and a tomato parmesan soup that even the kids will like. I love food, and aside from weirdly exotic things, I’m always happy to try something new.
What is the one modern convenience that you cannot do without?
I absolutely could not live without the internet. I am a complete and total addict. I could write books on paper but I could never have the access that the internet provides any other way.
How do you describe yourself? How would your family and friends describe you?
What is your favorite comfort food?
Currently it is pizza. I am on a total pizza binge kick lately. It could be the Italian genes or the New York routes, not really sure…
What is your favorite season? What do you love about it?
Summer is my favourite time of the year. I’m totally a beach girl and the warmer the air, the better. On the flip side though, Christmas is my favourite time of year. Everyone just seems to get a little kinder.
What is this romance writer’s idea of the “ideal romantic evening”?
What project are you working on next?
I am currently working on a new series set in Cape Cod. It is a summer romance series with a sports theme. I am an avid Red Sox fan so writing romances about baseball players (they look so sexy in those pamts!) is a great fit for me.
Any place we can find you in person or on the net this month or next?
I’m currently on a blog tour promoting In the Shadow of the Shield. If you visit the link for my blog or Facebook page, you’ll find links to the various stops. Every stop has something different and interesting about me or the book.