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THAT MAN OF MINE
Whispering Bay #3
BY MARIA GERACI
When Mimi Grant becomes mayor of Whispering Bay, she gets a whole lot more than she bargained for. Her biggest concern? The city’s annual festival is in financial ruin and the former housewife doesn’t have a clue how to fix things. But, she’s determined to bring the sleepy beachside town into the twenty-first century.
Hunky Police Chief Zeke Grant isn’t happy that his estranged wife Mimi has just become his boss. But for the town’s sake, he’s willing to swallow his pride and let her order him around—to a point. Everything aside, he doesn’t count on someone from his past coming back to haunt him, forcing him to reevaluate what’s really important.
While Mimi and Zeke continue to butt heads on how to get things done, there’s one thing they can’t help but agree on: their chemistry is hotter than ever. However, when a robbery threatens to derail the annual festival, some of the town’s residents question Mimi and Zeke’s ability to keep Whispering Bay safe—as well as keep their war-torn personal life out of civic business. Mimi and Zeke must team up to solve the crime, and decide once and for all if it’s time to move forward with separate lives, or if true love really does conquer all.
THAT MAN OF MINE
Whispering Bay #3
BY MARIA GERACI
Mimi sat on her living room couch. Tears streamed down her face and dripped into her bowl of popcorn. If only Ilsa would suck it up and tell Rick the truth, then he couldn’t still hate her. She was married to Victor Laszlo, for goodness’s sake, and it was up to him and his freedom fighters to keep Hitler out of Europe (although we all know how that ended). No matter how many times she watched Casablanca she always hated that look in Rick’s eyes, that mixture of hurt and anger that came from thinking the one person you loved most in the world had betrayed you.
The familiar sound of Zeke’s police car pulling up in the driveway caught her attention. Toby, sensing her momentary distraction took advantage and snuck his head into the bowl of popcorn and slurped up a mouthful. Yuck. Did he leave doggie drool in her bowl? No matter, she was stuffed. No more popcorn for her. She was still full from the burger and fries she’d scarfed down earlier.
The door opened and Zeke and the kids walked in. Cameron immediately ran to Toby’s side and dug his face up against his fur. “Hey, boy, did you miss me?”
Mimi grabbed a napkin just in time to catch a long stream of drool. Most dogs wagged their tails when they were happy. Not Toby. He had other skills to show his affection. Mimi’s damp floors were proof of that.
Claire plopped herself down on the other end of the couch. “Casablanca? Again? How can you stand to see something that’s not in color?”
“Don’t get your mom started,” Zeke said. He stood with his hands in his pants pockets like he wasn’t sure whether or not he was welcome to stay. How awkward was that when this was his own house?
“Did you get to ride in the patrol car?” Mimi asked Cameron.
“Yeah, it was pretty cool.”
“I’ve got homework to catch up on so I’m going to my room,” Claire announced.
“On a Friday night?” Mimi glanced at Zeke who shrugged in response. It shouldn’t bother her that Claire was doing homework. As a matter of fact, she should embrace it. It just seemed strange.
“Yes, on a Friday night. Tomorrow’s the big basketball game and I have to be at the gym early and I want to get it finished.”
“Can Toby sleep with me?” Cameron asked, already pulling the dog off the couch. Toby eyed the rest of the popcorn with regret, but he took off eagerly behind Cameron.
“Only if you wash your sheets tomorrow,” Mimi called out.
With Claire and Cameron tucked away in their rooms it left her alone in the living room with Zeke. “How was your night?” she asked.
“It was good.”
“Did you and Tom get a chance to talk wedding plans?”
“You should take him out for a beer. After all, in a few months he’s going to be your brother-in-law, and hopefully one day soon, he’ll be the father to Allie’s kids.”
Zeke made a resigned face.
“There’s beer in the fridge,” Mimi offered. “If you want to stay a little bit.”
“No beer for me, thanks. But I’ll stay. Maybe watch the end of the movie with you?” He sat down next to her and automatically reached his hand into the popcorn bowl.
“Um, I wouldn’t if I were you,” Mimi said, trying not to laugh.
Zeke stared down at the popcorn. “Let me guess, Toby baptized the bowl?”
“Your detective skills amaze me.”
“Next time we go to the pound for a dog, we specify no drooling.” He sounded confident that there would be a next time. He dumped the popcorn from his hand back into the bowl and took it into the kitchen.
Mimi watched him as he came strolling back toward her. He wore jeans and a light blue button down oxford shirt with the sleeves rolled back, exposing his forearms. He sat down on the couch again, only this time he sat a little closer and Mimi caught a whiff of cologne. Zeke wasn’t normally a cologne wearing kind of guy, so when he did splash a little on, she always took notice.
Maybe she shouldn’t have had those two glasses of wine along with the popcorn. And maybe she shouldn’t be watching Casablanca, because all she could think about right now was the way her blood had taken up speed, like it was racing through her veins, trying like hell to get to some unknown destination. Okay, so she knew what this feeling was. She was horny. She was a thirty-five-year-old red-blooded woman and she hadn’t had sex in over three months and here she was sitting on a couch next to her husband. Her very sexy husband. Why not let nature take its course?
It was legal.
It was natural.
But was it a good idea?
Maria Geraci writes contemporary romance and women’s fiction with a happy ending. The Portland Book Review called her novel, The Boyfriend of the Month Club, “immensely sexy, immensely satisfying and humorous.” Her fourth novel, A Girl Like You, was nominated for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA ® award. She lives in north Florida with her family, which includes a very needy chihuahua, an extremely needy dachshund and a not-so-needy cat (guess which one she likes best?). You can reach at her www.mariageraci.com
Links to Maria’s website, blog, books, etc.
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