Recently divorced kindergarten teacher Jazz Shepherd is starting a new life in the quaint lakeside town of Bluegill. After taking a summer job at the local marina to help make ends meet, she's stunned when the chief of police enlists her help in solving a crime.
Money has been disappearing from the city coffers, and a trail leads from Bluegill's mayor to Damien Cerberus, a rich boat owner--and possible killer. The police chief is short-staffed and in need of someone to keep tabs on the suspect. Jazz's job at the marina puts her in the perfect position to help--and puts her in the path of Kurt Reynolds, the hottie who mans the fireboat.
When things with Kurt start heating up, how can Jazz keep her investigation undercover while enjoying time under the covers with her summer flame?
The school safety fair turned out to be the most dangerous thing I'd done all year. I should have known better than to play with fire.
The heat was mostly to blame for what happened. If it hadn't been so damned hot, I might have kept my nice teacher cardigan on. Little Timmy might not have been so tempted by that fire hose. And I might have been able to keep my cool when I met the sexiest public safety official ever.
As usual, though, the Fates were against me. A victim of heat, circumstances and a lifetime of bad luck, I couldn't help myself.
I lined up my twenty-three kindergarteners on the edge of the parking lot with the other classes and watched the fire trucks and patrol cars drive onto the hot blacktop. The wailing sirens reverberated against the brick walls of St. Peter Catholic Elementary. The kids were ready to burst and my flesh rippled with excitement.
"Dear Lord, I love this." Sister Mary Doris leaned down nearly a foot to speak close to my ear. "Wish they'd let me drive one of those trucks."
One look at the fire in her eyes explained how the six-foot-tall gym and religion teacher had earned the nickname Sister Intimidoris from some of the more clever eighth graders.
The sirens and air horns silenced, and Sister Mary Alice popped around her other side. Mary Alice and I shared the bond of women everywhere who hoped to reach five feet tall someday. Our height was the end of our resemblance. She was pleasantly plump and round all over under her black dress. I was pleasantly plump and round only under my blouse—a set of DDs I'd been trying to manage since puberty.
"She's an adrenaline hound," Sister Mary Alice said, rolling her eyes in the direction of the overgrown nun. She whispered so the kids standing in groups near us couldn't hear. "Same reason she's addicted to NASCAR and professional wrestling."
"It's good for the children to learn about safety." Mary Doris grinned. "I'm thinking of them."
"We used to have a whole week of fire safety at my former elementary school," I said. "Poster contests, drills, the whole deal."
"It's usually a bigger affair here, but it's all out of kilter this year," Mary Alice said. "It got bumped out of April because of Holy Week. The mayor usually judges a coloring contest and takes the lucky winner out to lunch."
"He couldn't do that this week?" I asked.
"Tied up with a family problem," she explained. "His daughter's best friend was killed in a terrible crash. The funeral was yesterday."
I'd read about that in the newspaper. A young woman who worked as a clerk in the city office had been out late with the mayor's daughter, Mary Margaret. They lost control somehow and went off the road. Miraculously, Mary escaped without a scratch, but the poor other girl's body was burned almost beyond recognition. I shuddered just thinking about it.
Burning up in the heat radiating from the black asphalt, I took off my conservative cardigan and looped it over a nearby railing. I hoped the principal wouldn't notice. Old Lady Clark always looked at me like she thought I was looking for trouble. I blamed the boobs.