The people we love are often those who could cost us everything.
For Detective Chase Guilliot, coveting a gangster’s girlfriend might just cost him his life. After months of staring at surveillance photos, Chase feels like he knows Shelby Brignac, the breathtaking beauty who’s found herself in his target’s bed. From everything he’s seen, Shelby doesn’t look like a stupid woman, but when she walks into his precinct to sell out a career criminal, Chase has to wonder. She’s either going to be the key to his case or the end of his career. Not that it matters since he’s tasked with keeping her alive.
Whether she wants him to or not.
The Beginning of Us (originally titled The Switch) is the second book in the Men with Badges series about sweet and sexy alphas who know what they want and go after it.
Shelby gives me the out I need to end this. I’m not delusional or stupid. It’s not like I think I’m in love with the girl or that I want to marry her. I’m infatuated, sure, but that was bound to happen after spending so much time watching her every move. She’s hot and she keeps throwing out the signals, and normally I’d be all over it. She’s got this smoking bod—I’m talking from her head down to the chipped nail polish on her toes, but she’s also a hot mess who might be facing serious time in a federal prison. Shelby Brignac is exactly the kind girl I’d meet in a bar, hook up with, and maybe even take out on a date. But we didn’t meet in a bar. No, we met when I was undercover and she was committing a fucking felony. And at one point, before I became a cop, that might have sounded exciting.
Now, though, I have bills to pay, and at some point I’d like to even be able to buy a house. Maybe even get a dog or two. Getting kicked off the force and blowing my chances at Quantico because I couldn’t keep it in my pants is going to land me working mall security. And no matter how hot she is, how naked, and how bad I want to yank that blanket off her smooth skin, it’s not bad enough to fuck up the future I just barely got a taste of.
“Why do you want this?” My voice sounds foreign to my own ears—rough and gravelly, with a slight pitch. I practically sound desperate. Maybe I am. Maybe I do want her enough to risk my future for her.
I trust this woman more than I should. I have to remind myself that I don’t know her the way I feel like I do. Watching her the past few months has been some of the best and worst times of my life. She’s beautiful and smart and loving. She gives people the benefit of the doubt and cares more about what people think than she should. How she convinced herself a guy like Victor Abraham was good enough for her, I’ll never know. Still, I don’t really know her. And she was dating a man who’s wanted by literally every federal agency in the US and is slick enough to have a clean record. I’ve been on the force long enough to know that people can be loving and thoughtful and still be ruthless criminals. No matter the face this woman is showing me now, I have to keep my guard up and not let myself confuse the fantasy I’ve built up in my head with the reality of who she might very well be.
I use my free hand to find a place to put my ass on the edge of the couch and I sit down. I keep my face close to Shelby’s, my hand ensuring she doesn’t create a distance between us, and I stroke my thumb just below the line of her jaw. She sucks in a breath, which excites me. I’ve been wanting to do this for months. Ever since she first turned up in the investigation. The thought that my simple touch sends shivers down her spine and sends her heart racing has me at half-mast. Seeing her reaction to my touch weakens my resolve, and for a split second, I let myself get sucked in.
“You’re good,” she whispers after a long pause. She speaks so quietly I can barely hear the words. “I’m not used to good, but I like it. I want more of it.”
I’ve given this woman more of myself than I had intended, and she’s given me practically nothing. Sure, I know things about her, but I don’t want to know them because I was watching her. I want to know them because she wants to share them with me. I need her to trust me enough to share things with me, especially because I suspect she’s in deeper with Abraham’s organization than she’s let on. The feds are looking to make an example out of her, despite the fact that her father’s the one who tipped them off to what she was doing. The only way I can save her and keep her out of jail is if she tells me how deep she’s really in this. Unfortunately, judging by the stubborn set of her jaw, I don’t think she’s just going to offer up what I want to know. All I want to do is save this stupid, beautiful girl and I already know that she’s not going to let me.
Brave heroes. Bold heroines. Extraordinary loves.
Christina Emery is the real-life alter-ego of dark contemporary romance author, JC Emery. While JC geeks out researching blood splatter patterns and assault rifles, Christina is a die-heard romantic who gets choked up while watching commercials, but sshhh– that’s a secret. Still searching for her very own hero, Christina spends her time creating men she wishes were real and heroines she envies. A Northern California native, Christina has an impressive collection of flip flops, but shelves them in the winter so she can build as many snowmen as possible from her home in Southwestern Illinois. Christina is the author of the Men with Badges series– standalone contemporary romances about sexy lawmen who know what they want and go after it.