Glory, NC, Book I
Do Blondes Have More Fun?
Newly divorced Roxie Treymayne is dying to find out. After years of being the perfect Southern lady, all she ended up with was a cheating husband. So she goes bombshell blond, gets a provocatively placed tattoo, and prepares to live it up as a Bad Girl. But then her mother falls ill...and Roxie is forced to return to Glory, North Carolina.
He'd Love to Know.
Once the town bad boy, Nick Sheppard is now Glory's highly respected sheriff. When the hot blonde he stops for speeding turns out to be formerly prim Homecoming Queen Roxanne Treymayne, Nick doesn't quite know where to look -- though he'd like a much closer one at the tattoo peeking from her shorts.
But It Takes Two to Tango.
Roxie and Nick had a steamy fling in high school, but a love affair between a Southern princess and a boy from the wrong side of the tracks was doomed from the start. Now they have a second chance. Can they get it right? Or will they just end up...the talk of the town?
REVIEWS for TALK OF THE TOWN
"I had a heck of a good time with this book (Talk of the Town). It’s full of laughter and fun, and I chuckled out loud a number of times. Ms. Hawkins has a wicked sense of humor!"
– The Good, The Bad, and The Unread
"Displaying her vast talent, Karen Hawkins leaves the historicals that have made her popular and writes a lighthearted wonderful regional investigative romance. The lead couple is a delightful pairing."
– Genre Go Round Reviews
"Full of wonderfully understated humor and some laugh-out-loud moments, this is a fun and engaging tale."
– Romantic Times Bookclub
"The humor in this book is delicious (and) the characters are really great. It is just plain fun!"
– Realms on Our Bookshelves
"This was an entertaining romance with a mystery thrown in which I thoroughly enjoyed!"
– Dru’s Book Musings Reviews
Excerpt from TALK OF THE TOWN
My new girl cheated on me with the guy who came to check the perk on our septic tank.
That's the third girlfriend I've had who's done me wrong. Where can I find one who won't?
Signed, Ain't Perking No More
Dear Ain’t Perking,
Join the bowling league. It's where I met Mavis and I've never been sorry.
A woman who can bowl without making a single gutter ball will be true to the end.
Signed, Dear Bob
The Paradise Examiner
August 6, section B4
Deputy Sheriff Nick Sheppard knew the little town of Paradise better than any human should. He knew every car and pickup, every house and shed, and every last tree for a ten-mile radius. He could recite names, relationships, and even birth dates for every person living within the city limits. He should be able to – he'd been born and raised in Paradise and, except for a 15-year move to Atlanta, he’d never lived anywhere else.
He’d left Paradise all of those years ago under duress, running from himself, more than anything. But it didn’t matter as his absence, for whatever reason, didn’t sit well with the long term residents of Paradise and they spared no expense to let him know that he was now considered just an ion short of being a complete ‘outsider.’
That irked him, though he was still glad old Sheriff Turner had retired and the position had opened up; Nick’d badly needed a change from the madness and mayhem of working undercover in an urban jungle.
Now, he was here, in the middle of nowhere, basically filling a job description that would accurately read, “Just call and I’ll be there.” If one liked sleepy Southern towns with an indescribable charm and nothing much happening, it was . . . well, Paradise. Nothing ever happened in Paradise and that was the way everyone liked it.
Still, it had been a huge shock to realize that his new position as Sheriff included rescuing various over-fed pets from potentially harmful predicaments, helping little old ladies find their lost car keys, and jump starting any car with a dead battery within calling distance.
It was the exact opposite of his experience in Atlanta. Here, being sheriff was a personal sort of job. Just this morning, he’d had to personally answer a call when Mrs. Clinton's fat pug had gotten his head stuck between the spindles of the front porch railing and then personally had headed to the other side of town to investigate a report of a stolen lawnmower over on 5th and Elm, which later turned up in a neighbor’s garage, having been borrowed but forgotten. After that he’d had to personally answer yet another emergency call from Deloris Fishbine, the city librarian, about a supposed noise she’d heard in her attic late last night.
That was the third call she’d made this week and he’d already half way decided that the old woman just had a thing for men in uniforms when he’d caught her at the bottom of her attic ladder, shining a flashlight up at his ass.
It didn’t get more personal than that.
Life was slower in Paradise, and far easier. Now, if something needed done, he did it – without the weight of wondering what might go wrong, just as they’d gone so horribly wrong in Atlanta two years ago--
He scowled. There was no need to think of that; he’d come to Paradise to forget it.
The sound of a car approaching made Nick lift his radar gun and squint down the road.
A red hot ’68 Mustang roared into view. Oh, yeah. That was a good one. He clicked the trigger and was rewarded with a rising squeal. He looked at the display and grinned. Twelve miles over.
Nick reached into his squad car and flipped on the lights, then waved the car over. Immediately, the mustang’s rear lights flashed on and the car whipped to the side of the road, spraying gravels. Nick caught just a glimpse of the driver, a hot blonde wearing huge hater-blocker sunglasses that would look less out of place in L.A.
He noted the Raleigh plates, then tucked his ticket book into his back pocket and walked to the open window. The driver seemed frozen in place, her hands white on the wheel, staring straight ahead. His gaze dropped to the space between the woman and the door, instinctively looking for a weapon. Old training, that, from a time when he’d worked somewhere far, far busier and far more violent.
As he expected, he didn't find anything of interest. Well, that wasn’t entirely true. He found a few things of interest, a long expanse of smooth thigh and the hint of a tattoo on her hip. His gaze lingered appreciatively. Whoever she was, she definitely wouldn't fit in with the gray hairs and shiny domes that sat around Micki and Maud's Diner, complaining about the weather.
Nick bent down to the open window. “Ma’am, I’m going to need to see your driver’s license and registra--”
The woman flipped her sunglasses to the top of her head and in one blinding moment, Nick forgot everything he was going to say. Sitting before him was the one reason he’d left the idyllic little town of Paradise in the first place -- Roxie Treymayne. “You changed your hair color.”
It was a stupid thing to say and her reaction was immediate.
Hot color flooded her cheeks and she put a hand to her hair in a defensive gesture. She caught herself though, and lifted her chin to say in a cool, faintly sarcastic way he immediately recognized, “You think?”
Nick flicked a glance at the creamy blonde hair lifting up into a ponytail, hair that had once been such a deep brown it had bordered on black. He might not know that blond hair, but he did know those wide, blue-gray eyes, thick black lashes, and same pouty, kissable mouth, just as he knew that too-stubborn chin.
"Roxie Treymayne," he said again.
Her chin lifted with a pugnacious tilt he was all too familiar with. Her gaze met his, defiant, and faintly mocking. He found his own gaze drifting, noting the low cut halter-top and something else . . . the twinkle of a naval ring above the waistband of her short shorts.
Instead of a brunette ice queen, Roxie Treymayne had returned to town as a hot blonde. A hot tattooed blonde, at that.