Big congrats to my friend Caroline Fardig! The second book in her Java Jive series, MUG SHOT, comes out tomorrow!! The first book, DEATH BEFORE DECAF, is a USA Today bestseller!!
Full of humor and suspense, the bestselling Java Jive series heats up as the irrepressible heroine of Death Before Decaf faces off against Nashville’s upper crust to solve a shocking murder.
Former musician Juliet Langley has barely had a day off since taking over management of the coffeehouse owned by her best friend, Pete Bennett. But there’s always more to be done—such as prepping for the annual Holiday 5K Race organized by Pete’s snobby socialite girlfriend, Cecilia Hollingsworth. This year, Java Jive has a booth right at the finish line, and since Juliet and Cecilia don’t always see eye to eye, everything has to be perfect. Nothing can go wrong. Nothing . . . like Juliet stumbling over Cecilia’s dead body on the morning of the race.
When Pete is arrested for Cecilia’s murder, Juliet sets out to clear his name. She’ll do whatever it takes—even if it means standing up to the police, her ex-boyfriend, and the grande dames of Nashville. But there isn’t enough espresso in the world for the greatest challenge in her path: infiltrating Nashville’s high society to uncover the hidden hotbed of scandal without running afoul of the law herself. With her last dime staked on Pete’s bail bond and her staff growing jittery, the last thing Juliet needs is for her trademark temper to land her behind bars. As time drips away, Juliet needs to crack this case before the killer comes back for another shot.
And because I begged and pleaded, Caroline sent me an excerpt of her book! Something sizzling hot to get energized for the week! Thank you, Caroline!
* * *
There was a knock at Java Jive’s office door, and when I answered it, Ryder was standing on the other side.
“Ryder. Hi,” I said, surprised he’d dropped in. “Um . . . why did you come down here?” I asked.
He closed the gap between us in two strides, encircling my waist with one hand and threading the other through my hair. He pulled me close, and his mouth was instantly on mine, kissing me with more passion than I’d ever felt out of him. That was saying a lot, because a normal kiss from him was practically heart-stopping. I guessed this meant he’d changed his mind about us trying to date again. I inadvertently let out a little moan as his hands started roaming over my body.
Breaking our kiss, he pulled back and looked me in the eye. “Did Stan ever make you feel like that?”
I frowned. That was kind of a dick-ish thing to say, even though he wasn’t wrong in his assumption. “I don’t think that’s any of your business.”
His mouth curved up into a smile. “I’ll take that as a no.” He backed me up against the wall and pressed his body against mine.
“What makes you think you can just come in here and stick your tongue down my throat?” I asked, knowing if he kissed me again I wouldn’t have another coherent thought for a while.
“The way you look at me. You’re always undressing me with your eyes. It’s like I’m a piece of meat to you.”
“Oh, whatever. Don’t flatter yourself.” Hell yeah, I always mentally undressed him when I looked at him. But I was appalled to find out he knew it.
He had moved his attention onto my neck and began nuzzling me as he said cockily, “Don’t try to deny it, Juliet. You want me.”
Shivers shot through me as he kissed my neck, his five o’clock shadow scratching my skin. I was starting to get light-headed. “Be that as it may, I don’t know if I can get past how much of an ass you are sometimes.”
He looked down at me, smirking. “I’m willing to overlook the fact that you’re a pain in the ass sometimes.”
“You shut up.”
He planted another kiss on me that made me weak in the knees. Luckily, he had me pinned against the wall. I kissed him back with the force of the two months of pent-up desire I’d harbored for him. When his hands snaked their way up my shirt, I came back to reality and put my hands on his chest, pushing him away.
“Down, boy. I know where this is going.”
“You mean to the couch?” he asked, nodding to the tiny sofa next to us.
“Having sex in a restaurant is generally frowned upon by the health department.”
“They won’t hear about it from me.”
I shook my head. “Still not happening.”
“Let’s go to your place.”
I’d never seen him so horny, but it was totally adorable. “Let’s see if we can make it through one date without getting into an argument first.”
“We did, the night you got thrown in jail.”
“That doesn’t count. I was too tired to fight that night.”
Ryder grinned at me. “You’re playing hard to get this time. Lucky for you I don’t mind a challenge.”
I glared at him. “I’m not playing anything. If we’re going to do this, I don’t want a repeat of last time. I’d prefer it last more than a week.”
“Yeah, but you have to admit it was one hell of a week.”
I shook my head tiredly in response. He was wearing me out.
“What about if I take you out on a real date tonight and am a complete gentleman?”
“That’s a start, although I won’t believe you can be a gentleman until I see it.”
* * *
Buy link for MUG SHOT
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