The first book, that I released for a Kindle in December 2011, was this one. A contemporary, western romance about the border in Arizona, descendants of the O'Brian family (in my Arizona historicals) Desert Inferno has a rather non-traditional hero. Oh, this border patrolman has the expected 'hot' body, but he is considered ugly by himself and most who come across him-- with the exception of the artist he meets due to a dead body.
Before long, Jake Donovan finds he has a woman who would like to know him a LOT better and an old enemy who would like to kill him. This snippet also introduces a guy, operating at the time as a federal agent, who I then decided deserved his own book-- David Bannister. He gets that and a lot he wasn't expecting in Bannister's Way.
By the time Bannister had finished going through the files and Jake had written his stack of reports, they were both bleary eyed. Jake looked at his wristwatch and saw they'd worked past six. "Time to knock off," he said, rubbing the back of his neck.
"You got plans?" Bannister asked, as he loosened his tie.
"Burger, beer and bed in that order."
"Mind if I tag along?"
"For how much of it?" Jake asked suspiciously.
Bannister smiled. "Just food, Jake."
Jake stood up and stretched, trying to work the kinks out of his back. “If questions are involved, you’re out the door.” He grabbed his Stetson, tipping the brim low over his eyes.
"No problem." Bannister grinned, not intimidated by Jake's scowl.
Jake opened the door to his office, but before he could do more than gape, Rachel walked through. "Hi,” she said."You can see that we're leaving," Jake said.
Rachel looked up at him. "I came back to…” She stopped seeing Bannister for the first time. “I’m sorry I didn’t realize you were busy."
“Never too busy for a lovely lady,” Bannister said with an appreciative grin.
“Well, I…” She smiled up at Jake. “I felt bad about the way we had left it. What I said, but I see now is not a good time to talk to you.”
"Introduce us, Jake,” Bannister said, smiling smoothly.
Her kind of guy, Jake thought as he made the introductions, his mind more on the fact that Rachel was wearing a sleeveless white dress, which draped loosely over soft curves, suggesting more than it showed but implying plenty. Her thick black hair was loose down her back, falling in luxuriant waves. Jake wasn't surprised to see the admiration in Bannister's eyes.
"Glad to meet you," Bannister said, smoothly moving to cut between Rachel and Jake as he took her hand.
She smiled looking up at Jake, the expression in her eyes impossible to read. "I really am sorry I intruded."
"We were on our way to dinner," Bannister put in before Jake could say anything, "and could ask for nothing more than to have a charming, beautiful companion to eat with. It'll make the evening." He smiled broadly, his eyes skimming over Rachel's curves with what could only be described as masculine appreciation.
Jake stood back a little, wishing for another cigarette. Rachel looked up at him, "Is that all right?"
"Sure," he said with little enthusiasm and more than a hint of irony. "Why not?" Glumly, he resigned himself to spending a night with Barbie and Ken as they began a flirtation.
Bannister took Rachel's arm as they exited the office. "Where's a good restaurant, Jake?" he asked, looking back as Jake closed the door behind them.
"I usually eat at the golden arches," Jake quipped.
"I think we can do better than that." Bannister wrinkled his nose.
Rachel stopped and waited until Jake came up to them. "A hamburger sounds good to me."
Bannister looked from one to the other. "You're kidding, right? How about Thai food? Not that we are likely to find any. Or..." He shrugged. "You're not kidding. All right, I'm easy. Whatever the lady wants.
Jake studied him through narrowed eyes. He doubted there was anything about the agent that was easy.