Tender Misdemeanors by Alana Lorens Genre: Romantic Suspense
Caryn Orlane has law enforcement in her blood; her father was a cop, and his father, too. She's a federal agent in northwest Montana, protecting the old forests and keeping the peace.
Levi Bradshaw also believes in protecting the forests, but has a very different MO. He's the leader of a group of eco-warriors, determined to save the trees of the Bitterroot by legal—and illegal—means.
When they meet in the woods at gunpoint, their encounter ignites a spark of interest, despite operating on opposite sides of the law. When their worlds turn on them, they only grow closer. If they don't work together, can either survive?
She ran a hand through the front of her hair, pulling the thick strands back away from her face. She had no need to keep it in the bun or the tieback she often wore on duty, so she let it fly loose in the wind. She had hardly a care in the world, as long as she looked through the window of her life with a narrow screen, only allowing a certain amount of light in.
Caryn broke into a run, calling them to follow her. “Come on Rose, Guildy…Pete?” She didn’t see Ophelia anywhere, but she could always come out the dog door if she wanted to join them. “Everyone, let’s roll!”
She let loose, feeling each point of contact her foot had with the ground, swinging her arms to increase her speed, taking in deep breaths that invigorated her. The downhill slope added momentum as well. By the time she reached the stretch of grass at the bottom of the hill, she was traveling so fast that when Rosie cut in front of her, she had no way to avoid her. She tripped over the dog, taking a jarring landing face down on the ground, her breath knocked out of her, and her arm and side burned.
The dogs came over to her, sniffing at her and licking her face, encouraging her to get up. Ribs aching, she caught the glimpse of blood pooling on her forearm. She must have scraped herself…no.
Studying the wound, she realized that it was not a scrape of any sort, and there was no object lying near her that might have caused a vicious cut. What the hell?
A flash of light near the top of the hill in the trees caught her eye. At second glance, she recognized it as the sun reflecting off the long barrel of a rifle. The shooter aimed, fired, and some turf four feet in front of her tore off as the shot echoed in the mountain air. Her stomach went askew. They’re shooting at me? Shot me?
Anger bubbled up inside her and it was all she could do not to launch herself from the ground and take off up the hill after him. Or her. But the shooter had the advantage here. She was in an open field at this point, and a clear target. What could she do?
Alana Lorens (aka Barbara Mountjoy) has been a published writer for over 35 years, including seven years as a reporter and editor at the South Dade News Leader in Homestead, Florida. Her list of publications includes the non-fiction book 101 Little Instructions for Surviving Your Divorce, published by Impact Publishers in 1999, stories in A Cup of Comfort for Divorced Women, in December 2008, and A Cup of Comfort for Adoptive Parents, in June 2009.
Perhaps it’s not one of the more famous coffee homelands, but northwestern Montana loves its coffee. I mean, LOVES. When my friend Kellie and I drove through there a few years ago, researching TENDER MISDEMEANORS, we discovered locally-based coffee wonderlands.
One of the most prominent is Montana Coffee Traders. With a roastery on Highway 93, and cafes in Whitefish, Columbia Falls and Kalispell, this business covers the area where our hero and heroine of TENDER MISDEMEANORS would get their morning java. The company has coffees from many different countries, but we liked the Grizzly Blend: Montana Coffee Traders donates a percentage from each pound sold directly to Vital Ground. With partners like Montana Coffee Traders, Vital Ground has helped enhance, restore and conserve 600,000 acres of homelands for the big, silver-tipped bears, and for other wildlife in the Mountain West, from elk and bull trout to swans and rare wildflowers. One may also mail order any of their many roasts, if not traveling to the area soon. Colter’s Coffee has a mix of organic and regular coffee beans and is said by some to be “the best coffee in Montana.” In business since 2003, the business is named after John Colter of the Lewis and Clark expedition.
I remember driving through Seattle and being overwhelmed by how many chain coffee shops were there—one or more per block! But while the chain shops are present, we much more enjoyed the ubiquitous small drive-through coffee shops that were locally-owned and full of personality.
If the FBI’s Agent Cooper had come through Kalispell, he would certainly have found his fill of “damn fine coffee.”
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