Say It Like You Mane It
Boys of the Bayou Gone Wild series
by Erin Nicholas
What happens when a hellraiser turned hot cop is stuck with a headstrong heiress he’s determined to protect…and resist?
A run-away bride, wearing a freakin’ tiara, and carrying a stolen lion cub, of all things. This was not how rowdy, bad-boy-turned-small-town-cop, Zander Landry expected his day to go.
He really didn’t expect his night to end with her sleeping in his bed after her near-kidnapping.
But his intense attraction to her and the feelings of protectiveness she stirs up? Oh, yeah, he knew those were coming.
She’s stunning, whip-smart, and trouble with a capital T.
Which means, he needs her to head right back the way she came. ASAP.
His town is exactly the way he wants it . . . crazy and trouble free.
Well, the crazy trouble he’s not related to anyway.
Stranded in a tiny town in her half-million-dollar wedding gown with no money and no place to go . . . today is going pretty much exactly the way Caroline Holland expected it to.
But the grumpy, tattooed, oh-my-god hot cop being the answer to all her problems isn’t at all what she expected.
Now that she’s turned all the criminal (and obnoxious) info about her exotic-animal-dealing ex-fiance over to Zander, she can kick back in a hammock with some sweet tea and relax.
Turns out Caroline’s not the spoiled heiress Zander thinks she is. The gorgeous hellion wants in on the action and soon discovers just how dirty things can get in the bayou. And the bedroom.
More and more, Zander just wants her safe on the sidelines. But Caroline isn’t going anywhere until justice is done.
It’s a clash of wills that’s gonna get hotter than a crawfish boil in July. And the most fun the Landry family has had watching sparks fly since . . . well, the last book.
Fall in love today!
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Zander turned to look at the woman with a brow up. “Anything else you’d like to tell me?”
She met his eyes directly. She studied him, seemingly thinking over his question. Finally, she nodded. “Yeah, I think so.”
“Okay. What’s going on?”
“It might take a bit. Want to buy me a drink?” She glanced back toward Ellie’s.
Did he want to take the gorgeous woman in a wedding dress with another man’s ring on her finger who had almost been kidnapped right in front of him back inside his grandmother’s bar where most of his family and a lot of the town was gathered?
He most certainly did not.
“No,” he said simply.
Caroline looked surprised. “Can we”—She looked around—“at least go somewhere else?”
That seemed like a good idea. She was very conspicuous here and his family could, at any moment, come out. And start asking questions. Not to mention that the would-be kidnapper now knew where she was.
“Is there a chance your fiancé is going to come back?” Of course there was. A man didn’t just let this woman go.
She bit her bottom lip and looked up the road. Then she nodded. “Yeah, there’s a chance. Or that he’ll tell someone else where I am.” She looked at Zander again. “But that was my brother. Not my fiancé.”
Oh, that was interesting.
No, it fucking isn’t. Knock it off.
“So, will your fiancé be coming after you?”
Right. She’d mentioned that.
“Okay. Will he come after you?”
She didn’t answer right away. Which Zander also found interesting. Though he shouldn’t. He did not want to be interested in this woman. At all. He didn’t want anyone getting kidnapped while they were in Autre, though, either. Okay, he didn’t really want anyone getting kidnapped, period. But especially while they were in Autre.
“There’s a chance,” Caroline finally admitted. “Or my dad might come. Or my ex-fiancé’s dad might come.”
“And you don’t want to go back with any of them? Is that right?”
Well, fuck. He had to at least be sure she didn’t get taken anywhere by anyone against her will.
She studied him for a long moment. “So, you’re willing to help me, Officer Landry?”
Her question—and her voice and her eyes and her everything, if he was being honest with himself which he decided to not be—sent a shot of something through Zander’s chest.
It was the familiar streak of adrenaline he often felt with his work. It primed his gut to act on instinct when necessary, it made him ready to take on people intent on doing bad things and face potential danger, and it focused his mind. But he also recognized the sliver of trepidation. It wasn’t fear or reluctance. It was…awareness. Like knowing he was about to open a big old can of worms.
But he nodded. “Helping people with problems is kind of my job.”
“Then I would love to tell you what’s going on.”
He wanted that. And it wasn’t the cop in him thinking that.
Fuck. Dammit. Hell. Sonofabitch.
“Okay. Let’s go…someplace your brother doesn’t know about.”
“Like your place?”
Yes. He wanted her at his place. That was the safest. He could definitely keep her safe there. His property was at the end of a dead-end road so the only traffic was trucks he knew. His neighbors were his brothers and cousins. His backyard butted up to the bayou.
But fuck no. He wasn’t taking this woman anywhere near his house. Where his bedroom was.
She was dangerous. He couldn’t sort through all the reasons why at the moment, not while looking into her eyes and wondering how soft her skin was and how silky her hair was, but he had enough self-preservation instinct to keep her away from his house.
“I’m thinking the B & B.”
He grabbed her suitcase and started for his truck.
“But he might think to look there,” she protested. She gathered up her enormous skirts and followed him though.
“I’ll tell Heather not to tell anyone anything about you,” Zander told her, storing her bag behind the front seat and then turning to face her.
Again with the eyes. And hair. And lips. Okay, he hadn’t included the lips in the earlier inventory, but they were great too.
So he liked female lips. Big deal. These were not that exceptional. What the hell was wrong with him?
She’s probably your damned soulmate or some shit and the second you touch her hand you’re going to feel sparks.
I’m not going to feel sparks. That’s a stupid cliché. But I have to get some war biographies. Or maybe something about Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Something about women who are amazing but not sexy. It doesn’t have to be about sexy all the time. Get away from those romance novels.
The thing was, smart, bold women like RBG were sexy in their own way and if Zander had been Ruth’s age and run into her at a bar when she was single, he absolutely would have hit on her.
“Are you okay?” Caroline asked, stepping forward with a slight frown.
He jerked out of his stupid thoughts. “Yeah. I’m fine. You’re the one with the problem.”
Well, that had sounded rude as fuck.
Her eyes widened, but then she nodded. “Yeah. I am. We should definitely work on my problem. It’s going to keep getting bigger if we don’t.”
Zander sighed. He didn’t even know what that meant but…of course it was.
I love the Landry clan – every quirky, charming, grumpy, loving, boisterous part of it. Zander is the protector and his love for his family means he has to keep things going as smooth as possible & try to keep everyone out of trouble (ha!). So a beautiful woman in a wedding dress carrying a lion cub definitely doesn’t work for him. Caroline is just as fierce and strong, with a big heart. She’s spent most of her life trying to make sure that those doing wrong pay and her latest project has her in Autre for help, putting her right in Zander’s sights.
These Bayou books always bring a chuckle, a good bit of heat, and a lot of emotion. Nicholas knows how to bring characters that are entertaining & relatable and her writing is both humorous & heartfelt, combining to give readers a story that’s fun, low angst, easy-to-read, and quite satisfying.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Erin Nicholas has been writing romances almost as long as she’s been reading them. To date, she’s written over thirty sexy, contemporary novels that have been described as “toe-curling,” “enchanting,” “steamy,” and “fun.” She adores reluctant heroes, imperfect heroines, and happily ever afters.
Erin lives in the Midwest, where she enjoys spending time with her husband (who only wants to read the sex scenes in her books), her kids (who will never read the sex scenes in her books), and her family and friends (who claim to be “shocked” by the sex scenes in her books).
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