BEAUTIFUL LAWMAN – Sophie Jordan
A Devil's Rock Novel
, Book 4
Avon
ISBN: 978-0-06-266656-7
January 2018
Contemporary Romance

Sweet Hill, Texas – Present Day

Raised on the wrong side of the tracks, Piper Walsh is raising her fifteen-year-old sister, Malia, and working a dead-end job in a strip joint. The last name “Walsh” only brings sneers in town, and Piper would move, but her brother is in prison nearby and she still cares for him. Piper has had run-ins with the local sheriff, but she's avoided trouble herself. But one night, Piper gets the call she's dreaded: Malia has been picked up and she needs to come to the jail. While Malia isn't charged, Piper does get into a confrontation with Sheriff Hale Walters that leaves her feeling…unsatisfied. Hale is arrogant and sexy, and he's way out of her league.

Out one night at a bachelor party at the local strip joint, Hale is stunned to see Piper being offered for “lap dances.” While he's aware that she probably strips and does other things, he feels a sudden possessiveness to keep her away from the greedy men who want to touch her. Hale ends up “buying” for her services and the resulting interaction leaves them both breathless—and an orgasm for Piper, though they didn't actually have sex. Both walk away from their encounter confused…and wanting more. But Piper's convoluted past hangs over any chance of there being any future for them.

Piper and her siblings were brought up by a no-good mother who finally died while drunk in a car accident. In BEAUTIFUL LAWMAN, Piper doesn't mourn the loss of their mother, but does remain loyal to her brother, Cruz, who is in prison for the murder of a teenage schoolmate of Piper's. She is trying to keep Malia safe from harm, but that's hard to do when they reside in a rough area of town and she works nights. Because of her family's reputation, the stripper club job is the only one she can get. After Piper's sexy encounter with Hale, she tries to avoid him, but when the jealous wife of a paying customer interrupts an almost lap dance, the cops are called, and it is Piper who's hauled out of the club. To her surprise, Hale is not arresting her; he's removing her to protect her.

Hale wants Piper, yet she resists him. He knows getting involved with a woman who is paid to bare her body isn't a good idea, but she intrigues him, and he can't stay away. To get Piper out of her bad situation (especially after her apartment is broken into), he offers her a job at the sheriff's office—and his place for her and Malia to stay. Piper knows she should refuse the offer, but after losing her job because of the workplace incident, she has no choice. Besides, the job—and the sheriff—are too tempting. She insists that there can't be anything between them, but with their sizzling chemistry, it's only a matter of time…

BEAUTIFUL LAWMAN is one of those books you won't be able to put down. Readers can't help but feel sorry for Piper and be appalled at what she's going through. Her loyalty to her brother might confuse some, but it's explained late in this tale. The chemistry between Piper and Hale is off the charts, and readers will know it's only a matter of time before they're making love. When it finally happens, it will result in some shock for both. While part of the Devil's Rock series, BEAUTIFUL LAWMAN stands alone on itself, even if prior characters from the prior three books show up briefly. BEAUTIFUL LAWMAN is all about the sensual, yet tender, romance between Hale and Piper. They prove that despite Piper's rotten life, she can still win the heart of her prince.

Patti Fischer

BEAUTIFUL LAWMAN – Sophie Jordan
A Devil's Rock Novel – Book 4
Avon Books
ISBN: 978-0-06-266656-7
January 2018
Contemporary Romance

Sweet Hill, nearest place to Devil's Rock Penitentiary - The Present

Piper Walsh comes from a family with a bad reputation in the town of Sweet Hill. Her father died in prison. Her mom was an alcoholic who died driving drunk, and her brother is in prison for murdering a young woman. This leaves Piper to bring up her younger sister, Malia. She wants Malia to have the opportunities she never had, and Malia is a good girl with the chance of getting an athletic scholarship. Piper works at Joe's Cabaret as a waitress only. She doesn't do any stripping or entertaining in the backrooms, and she takes enormous disrespect from the customers at Joe's and from the surrounding community. Yet, living in Sweet Hill allows her to visit her brother in prison. Paying the bills is difficult because no one wants to hire her. Tonight after ‘accidentally' fending off a groper with a serving tray landing on his nose, Joe chastises her. A call from her younger sister interrupts their confrontation. Malia calls from the sheriff's office. Joe tells her if she leaves work, she's finished, but for Piper, her sister comes first. She dreads meeting the sheriff again. Last time, on his only visit to Joe's, she dumped a pitcher of ice water in his lap, but Malia needs her. Even if she left the Thor-like looking sheriff with a bad impression of her after their one and only meeting (worse than the one he already held from town gossip), she must face his judgmental opinion and save her sister's reputation.

Hale Walters comes from an upright family and follows in his father's lawman footsteps. He knows Piper's reputation, and her working at Joe's only reinforces that bad-girl image, but she is, for him, an irresistible bad girl. While he can avoid all the women in town who hold hopes of capturing him in marriage, can he ignore the one alluring woman who avoids him?

Readers will sympathize with Piper as they realize the people around her have victimized and stigmatized her, but she refuses to back down. She and Hale share a seductive draw to one another, but how can they have a future together? Piper also has an incident from her past that she knows will change everything, even how Hale feels about her. This is a good story that will certainly touch readers' emotions as Piper changes Hale's views on the woman with the worst reputation in town.

Robin Lee