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A Limited Partnership

A Limited Partnership by Elisabeth Stewart
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A reporter with the local newspaper, Kate Sullivan’s on her way to a coveted Pulitzer Prize. Okay, maybe an award from the local Rotary group, but still, life is good. And then she hits a run of bad luck. Big time. An unplanned pregnancy, a husband who takes a hike (fatherhood wasn’t part of his portfolio plans) and a recent encounter with car thieves has her reeling. Kate figures she’s had her quota of the unexpected. Not so. Seems Kate’s success in thwarting the car thieves has put her life in jeopardy. She’s now the target of a mob hit. The cops have the perfect solution — police protection while using Kate as a decoy. The officer assigned “babysitting” duties just happens to be Detective Michael O’Connor, the “gentleman” who’d mistaken Kate for a prostitute at police headquarters. She’d pegged him as the arrogant pimp of the local “harem.” Not an auspicious start for the soon-to-be reluctant partners. Michael, a dedicated professional with a few rough edges, has the unenviable job of convincing the stubborn, impetuous Kate of the necessity for police protection. The gorgeous and sexy O’Connor may be a top notch detective with the expertise (and the gun) but he’s met his match in Kate. Although captivated by this feisty and beautiful young reporter, Michael’s hasty remarks during their first encounter will cause him more mental and sexual frustration than he bargained for. He could swear the physical attraction is mutual, so what’s holding Kate back? Perhaps her deliberately concealed pregnancy? When Michael inadvertently discovers he’s doing “double duty” he’s furious — both at Kate and himself. His assignment was offering protection. Being “overprotective” was not part of the job description. The committed loner wants out. The mom-to-be wants the tempting hunk gone and her life back in order. Forced to share the same premises, temperaments clash and tempers flare. Kate and Michael are at odds about everything but their common goal — eliminating the threat to Kate’s life. Michael, a dedicated professional with a few rough edges, has the unenviable job of convincing the stubborn, impetuous Kate of the necessity for police protection. The gorgeous and sexy O’Connor may be a top notch detective with the expertise (and the gun) but he’s met his match in Kate. Although captivated by this feisty and beautiful young reporter, Michael’s hasty remarks during their first encounter will cause him more mental and sexual frustration than he bargained for. He could swear the physical attraction is mutual, so what’s holding Kate back? Perhaps her deliberately concealed pregnancy? When Michael inadvertently discovers he’s doing “double duty” he’s furious — both at Kate and himself. His assignment was offering protection. Being “overprotective” was not part of the job description. The committed loner wants out. The mom-to-be wants the tempting hunk gone and her life back in order. Forced to share the same premises, temperaments clash and tempers flare. Kate and Michael are at odds about everything but their common goal — eliminating the threat to Kate’s life.
Awe-Struck Publishing; June 2006
185 pages; ISBN 9781587495533
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Title: A Limited Partnership
Author: Elisabeth Stewart
 
Excerpt
Michael was guilt-stricken and full of remorse. It wasn't the flu. Kate was sick with fright. Using her as a decoy in the investigation had reduced her to this. Without pausing to think of what he was doing, or of Kate's possible reaction, Michael put his arms around her forlorn and miserable looking figure. "Ah, Kate," he murmured softly. "You don't have to go through with it anymore." Kate, gratefully hiding her face and embarrassment in the warmth and comfort of Michael's bare chest, was confused. What was he talking about? Since when did anyone have control over morning sickness? "Michael, I don't think you understand what I was saying, what I was trying to explain." "Sure I do," he said soothingly. "No more decoy outings. You've done a great job and there's nothing wrong with wanting to stop now." Holding Kate like this and feeling her lips against his chest, Michael was suddenly and uncomfortably aware of being clad only in a towel, and of his entirely inappropriate response beneath that towel. Either Kate was oblivious or didn't give a damn. Fortunately for them both, she chose this moment to step back. Lifting a tear-stained and puzzled face, she informed him, "This isn't about the investigation, Michael." Now Michael’s face was a study in confusion and bewilderment. Kate figured her unexpected--not to mention gruesome--visit to the bathroom had to be explained. Better the truth than be thought of as a wimp, crying and sick with fear. Nor would she pass it off as the flu. And above all else, she was tired of the subterfuge, the effort it took to conceal what was, to her, the miracle of her pregnancy. It was time to inform Michael of her condition. His reaction couldn't be any worse than Jeffrey's. It would be a relief no longer having to keep it a secret. The truth would certainly clear up other aspects of their relationship as well. There'd be no chance of further passionate embraces once he knew--Michael would be running scared. As to what he or the police department thought in regard to using a pregnant decoy--well, she'd have to take her chances. Kate looked him squarely in the eye and in a clear, strong voice announced, "I'm pregnant, Michael. That was morning sickness you just witnessed." His face registered shock, horror and anger--in that order. Kate sat on the closed lid of the toilet seat and braced herself for the blast. It didn't take him long to find his voice. "Are you out of your mind?" he shouted in rage. "Have you taken leave of your senses? How could you have gone through with this knowing you're pregnant?" Pausing, he added hopefully, "Or did you just find out?" "I've known since the beginning," Kate admitted calmly. "And everything's been fine so far." "Hell, Kate," he exploded again. "You don't require a bodyguard--you need a keeper. You're crazy!"
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1587495538
9781587495533