She’s off to see the killer…
Lawyer Ruby O’Deare might not be living the American dream, but it feels like it every time she visits her small town megamall. The shoes! The lighting! Prince Charming spotted in the food court! It’s a dream, right?
Title: Ruby’s Misadventures with Reality
Series: Emerald City Mystery
Author: Samantha Bohrman
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Length: 343 pages
Release Date: July 2015
Imprint: Select Suspense
Price listed is for the U.S. digital format. Please confirm pricing and availability with the retailer before downloading.
Ruby’s Misadventures with Reality
by Samantha Bohrman
Copyright © 2015 by Samantha Bohrman. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce, distribute, or transmit in any form or by any means. For information regarding subsidiary rights, please contact the Publisher.
But all dreams must come to an end.
Ruby’s does when she wakes up after a one-night stand with the town’s sexy zoning commissioner, Noel West. Actually, that part is good. It’s the expired Dollar Store condoms she finds that feel too real.
And then her favorite client Estelle turns up dead.
Ruby is determined to find out the truth behind the curtains of Ozcorp, the company that owns the heavenly megamall and has the most to gain from her client’s death. She just hopes the zoning commissioner she might be falling for isn’t caught up in the danger.
Dorothy and the Dollar Store Rubbers
Wearing nothing but a borrowed bathrobe, Ruby stood in Noel West’s high-end prefab kitchen and leaned against the granite countertop while smiling like an actress in a refrigerator commercial. Noel looked like he might speak, but he took a farm boy-sized bite of his blueberry Pop-Tart instead. She willed him to say something to explain last night—anything would do—but all he managed was a disappointing, “If you’re thirsty, the water from the fridge dispenser is ice cold.”
“Gee. Thanks,” she said, and they went back to smiling and sipping coffee like two wayward Old Navy mannequins. It was everything she’d ever wanted, if only she knew how she’d gotten here.
She remembered speaking in front of the Zoning Commission yesterday. She had been wearing her best approximation of a power suit while giving a local developer hell. Then, it all went fuzzy until this morning when she’d woken up in Noel’s Ethan Allen-inspired bedroom in serious need of a toothbrush and a shower. Under her borrowed bathrobe, her skin was covered in fine purple grit, as if she’d run through a sprinkler and then rolled in grape-flavored Pop Rocks. Waking up at the zoning commissioner’s house covered in what she could only assume was purple sex paste with a smooshed party hat under her pillow—it just didn’t add up, not for a temp attorney who spent most nights Facebooking in front of The Bachelor.
Ruby gave him a coy look and giggled self-consciously. “Is it just me or are you purple, too?”
He arched an eyebrow and chuckled, but he didn’t answer.
Just her apparently.
She shouldn’t have been surprised. Noel didn’t look like the kind of guy who would paint himself purple and roll around in the sheets, or admit to it, anyway. In his crisp white button-down shirt and flawlessly tailored slacks, he looked like money, like his weekend accessories might be a leggy model and a tennis racket. But he wasn’t snobby. Noel wore his fortune and looks as comfortably as Ruby might wear a leopard-print bikini and a fashion turban.
Of course she was thrilled that she probably, might have, almost certainly did sleep with Emerald City’s most attractive zoning commissioner, but her uncertainty stopped her from breaking into a touchdown dance in front of his fridge. She’d been lusting after Noel from across the room for years. She’d been waiting for the perfect moment to get to know him, the moment when her hair looked great and she knew exactly what to say. Waking up with him was almost too good to be true. Almost. It wasn’t like Noel was a shelf from IKEA—looked good in the store, but didn’t come with directions or any of the necessary parts and would never fit in her living room. She was pretty sure that they had a fabulous time last night. It took all her restraint not to continue probing about last night, but she decided to play it cool for another five minutes.
A crumb fell unnoticed from Noel’s lips. “When do you need to get to work, Ruby?” He’d said her name too deliberately, as if to remind himself of who she was. “You didn’t mention what time you needed to wake up…you know, last night after…”
After what? Was he hoping she would fill in the details or did he lose his train of thought? She pulled the corners of her mouth into a premeditated smile. “Mind if I grab some more coffee?”
“Of course. Let me.” Like a perfect host, he refilled her cup. “I’ve got a Pop-Tart in the toaster for you, too.”
She smiled graciously, playing Emily Post to his Prince Charming—Pop-Tarts and purple sex paste notwithstanding.
When he handed her the coffee cup, his hand brushed hers and all thoughts of gracious decorum evaporated. Her nerves stood on end and her fingers tingled where they had touched.
If Noel’s fingers tingled, she couldn’t tell. His face was inscrutable. “Sorry to leave you so soon, but I’ve gotta run. I have a hearing in an hour.” He glanced at the time. “I’d be happy to give you a ride, though. If you need one.”
“No, I’ll be fine.” As she said this, she realized she didn’t even know where his house was or how she’d gotten there. All she knew was that she needed a shower. “Mind if I stay and use your shower? That must have been a pretty wild night!” She gave him a wide-eyed “Please, tell me something about anything” look. The desperation must have radiated off her a little too strongly.
He shifted on his feet awkwardly and said, “Thanks for agreeing to keep it professional. It’s so important to remain impartial in zoning decisions.”
Ruby nodded, wondering if this was how he ended all his dates. She also wondered when the professional and impartial zoning decisions conversation had taken place. If she wasn’t mistaken, there had been two crumpled party hats in that bed.
With the uncomfortable zoning bias issue out of the way—he really did look relieved—Noel took her hand. He started to give it a squeeze, but must have thought better of it. He pulled her into an embrace instead.
With his thick butterscotch hair and chambray eyes, Noel looked like her vision of Prince Charming. He could have passed for Prince William, except he was even better looking, with a more outdoorsy vibe. More royal. More charming and probably even more daring when it came to helicopter rescue and such. When he took her in his arms, she didn’t want to be anywhere else ever. She tilted her chin up to meet his eyes and her heart began to race. The space between them sizzled with desire. Ruby stood on her toes and closed the distance. When she pressed herself against him, his breath hitched. Issues of zoning bias aside, when their lips met he reciprocated in a very un-business-like way. The kiss he had meant to be a good-bye felt more like a reason to climb back into bed and let the variance applications wait for another half an hour, at least to Ruby.
In a husky voice that made her wonder why they had to “keep it professional,” he said, “I’ll see you at work, Ruby O’Deare.”