It Must Be LoveeBook - 2000
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Gabrielle Breedlove: Antiques dealer/artist; part owner of a shop called Anomaly. She's a big believer in Karma(and some other things). She doesn't like lying; she's not very good at it. Her mother Claire swears she's psychic, and predicted Gabrielle would meet a tall, dark, passionate lover with a tool belt.
Detective Joseph Shanahan: An undercover cop for the Boise, Idaho police department; works in the property crimes division. His latest case involves the theft of a Monet painting. When Joe's not catching criminals, he likes to unwind with a beer, good food, and his pet parrot Sam(the bird does "Dirty Harry" impersonations). There's no special woman in Joe's life, to the disappointment of his mother, who wants more grandkids(she already has TEN!).
HOW DO THEY MEET?
One morning, while out jogging in the park, Gabrielle sprays Joe in the face with hair spray, knocks him to the ground, and pulls a gun on him. Gabrielle has no clue Joe's an undercover cop. She thinks he's been stalking her. Joe's been tailing her because she's been implicated in the theft of the Monet, along with her business partner, Kevin Carter. The painting belongs to Norris Hillard(aka "The Potato King"), the richest man in the state. Joe's got both the Chief and Captain breathing down his neck to recover the stolen painting. So, when Gabrielle attacks him in the park, Joe has no choice but to reveal he's a cop. Gabrielle is relieved Joe's a cop and not a stalker, but he arrests her for assaulting a police officer and carrying a concealed weapon. At the police station, she claims her innocence(even Kevin's), but winds up a confidential police informant on the advice of her attorney. Now, Gabrielle has Detective Shanahan posing as her boyfriend/handyman around the store she and Kevin run. And Gabrielle dislikes Joe; she thinks he's got a "black aura", but there's definitely some sexual attraction there. See, Joe's HOT! Which doesn't help the situation because Gabrielle has given up on gorgeous men. Why? She equates them to "Snickers bars--they looked and tasted good, but could never pass for a well-balanced meal." So, I guess it sorta helps that Joe thinks Gabrielle is crazy(yet, he keeps checking her out). A recipe for romance and laughs.
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