Karen Hawkins Lois Lane Tells All

ISBN 13: 9781501104411

Lois Lane Tells All

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9781501104411: Lois Lane Tells All
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When a trio of enterprising octogenarians open their own CSI lab at the assisted-living center, and bizarre accidents start happening around town, reporter Susan Collins must convince her boss, Mark Tremayne, that this could be the story of the century in their sleepy town of Glory, North Carolina. Original.

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About the Author:

Karen Hawkins is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of many wickedly funny historical romance novels set in Regency Scotland, including the wildly popular MacLean Curse series, the enchanting Hurst Amulet series, the funny and charming Duchess Diaries series, and now the romantic Oxenburg Princes series. Karen is also the author of two sassy contemporary romances set in the little town of Glory, North Carolina. Find out more at Facebook.com/AuthorKarenHawkins and KarenHawkins.com.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter 1

Dear Bob,

My new boss is impossible to get along with. He acts like I don’t know what I’m doing, though I’m the one with the degree and far more experience.

How can I tell this jerk to back off and let me do my job? He is the boss, after all.

Signed,

Angry and Determined

Dear Determined,

Recognize your boss’s problem for what it is—an attempt at compensation for having a small “member.” Men who boss women in such a fashion usually need a good kick in the ass and a healthy dose of that medicine they sell on late-night TV that promises “instant satisfaction.”

If neither of those work, then quit. He’ll miss you and come crawling back.

Sincerely,

Bob

The Glory Examiner
June 24, section 2B


“What is this?”

The newspaper landed on Susan Collins’s desk with a thud, slapped down by a large masculine hand.

Susan leaned back in her chair and faced her pain-in-the-ass and thankfully temporary boss, Mark Treymayne.

Fortunately for the readers of The Glory Examiner, their new editor-in-chief wasn’t intimidated by men—not even hunky, dark-haired, blue-eyed ones.

She smiled at him. So the column hit the mark, did it? Her Ways to Irk the Boss List was growing quickly. “You’ll have to be a bit more specific, Treymayne. What is what? The font? The layout? Give me some specifics.”

She reached out and rubbed the edge of the paper between her thumb and forefinger. “If you mean the stock, I’d call that thirty-pound newsprint with low-rub black ink.”

His mouth thinned with displeasure, probably because he had no idea what thirty-pound stock was, let alone low-rub black ink.

“Damn it, I’m talking about the Dear Bob column, and you know it.”

“Oh, that. Hmm. I probably wrote that two or three weeks ago. Let me see.” She tugged the paper from beneath his fist. Then, with a great deal of exaggeration, she read the column as if she couldn’t quite remember it.

Finally, she tossed it back onto her desk. “Yup, that’s a good one.”

He placed his hands flat on her desk and leaned forward. “Don’t push me, Collins.”

“Why on earth would I do that?” She met him gaze for gaze, mainly because she couldn’t look away from his eyes. They were such a vivid, sexy blue, with thick, black lashes framed by rimless glasses. Smoky, sooty eyes that were still unmistakably masculine.

Why, oh why had God put such a damnably sexy man in charge of the paper? Things would be so much easier if she didn’t have a boss who made her stomach flutter just by glaring at her.

And he did a lot of glaring. You’d think she’d be used to it by now, since they’d been working together off and on for almost ten months, but no. One laser lock from those brilliant blue eyes, and she had to fight to keep her thoughts straight.

Which was a real problem. Here in Glory, North Carolina, where everyone knew everyone else, she’d never met anyone who sparked such outrageous chemistry, and she had no idea how to react to it. She wasn’t used to feeling hot and bothered, and in defense, she found herself lashing out in a way that surprised her.

Mark’s temper was none too even, either, which kept them at loggerheads. His idea of running the newspaper was a complete anathema to her and she was pretty sure he felt the same about her theories. Their ideas were as different as their personalities; he was precise and neat, she was more general and creative. He was the big city and she was small town. He prized organization, while she prized the freedom to create. He was all about crunching the numbers and nothing but the numbers, while she understood the value of the newspaper within the community.

No two people could be more different or have more diverse opinions on how to accomplish the same job—namely, to make The Glory Examiner the most profitable, healthiest newspaper possible.

He scowled now, which was nearly as potent as his glare. “You wrote that Dear Bob column about me, didn’t you?”

She pretended to be shocked, which was hard to do when a grin was threatening to break through. “Why, Mark! Why on earth would you think that?” She leaned forward. “Was it the part about ‘compensation’ for having a small member? Did that strike too close to home?”

She seriously doubted her annoying new boss had any “compensation” issues; he was a walking billboard for virility—which was utterly annoying at times.

His jaw tightened. “No. It wasn’t that. The article uses the word ‘jerk,’ and you called me that at last Monday’s staff meeting, when we were arguing about why we weren’t getting a new copier.”

“We didn’t argue about anything; we discussed it.”

“I would say ‘argued,’ seeing as how you threw your notebook onto the table so hard it overturned my coffee cup.”

She wrinkled her nose. “I forgot about that. OK, I’ll let the word ‘argue’ stand. But, I did not write the Dear Bob column about you.” I wrote it about my issues with you. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have work to do.” She picked up a random folder and pretended to study its contents.

Glancing over the edge, she could see him standing with his arms crossed over his broad chest, feet planted as if ready for a fight. She had to stifle a giggle because he unknowingly stood adjacent to a poster of Superman, who was in the exact same pose, only wearing a cape and blue tights.

Ever since she’d read her first comic book at age six, Susan had developed a thing for Superman, so much so that she’d decided to become Lois Lane, which was why she’d gotten her degree in journalism. It was also why her office was decorated in what she liked to call “Early Krypton.” Not only was there the almost-as-big-as-life Superman poster by Mark but also framed rare Superman comics, a hologram of Lois Lane shaking her fist at Lex Luthor while supporting an injured Superman, a vintage Superman lunch box, and other items that had once decorated her bedroom.

She wondered how Mark would look in tights, then decided she’d rather see him without tights. Under those khakis, did he wear boxers? Briefs? The man was hot enough for the cover of GQ, though the thought of him au naturel was far—

“Prove it.”

Susan almost jumped at the sudden demand. “Prove what?”

“Prove you didn’t write that damned column about me.”

“How?”

“Show me the original letter.”

She sniffed. “Sorry, that’s privileged information. I never reveal my sources.”

His jaw tightened and she could see he was getting more irritated, which was kind of fun. Susan enjoyed seeing Mr. Perfectly-in-Control a bit out of control. Every clipped, well-thought-out sentence he uttered begged for a quip of some sort and she’d found she was just the woman to deliver. “I receive letters throughout the week, I select the most promising one, and I answer it.” If there weren’t any letters, then she made one up. But that was her business and no one else’s.

“Collins, the legal definition of a source is—” He began a stiff-lipped speech.

Susan let him lecture as she enjoyed the view. He had great arms, which one wouldn’t expect of an accountant. They weren’t bulging with muscles like the arms of her next-door neighbor and poker bud, Ethan; even Ethan’s muscles had muscles. But she liked a man with a bit of finesse. Someone like Clark Kent here, only with a sunnier disposition. Someone who was muscled but smooth, like Lance Armstrong or—

“You didn’t hear a word I said, did you?”

“Sorry, your arms—your arguments—distracted me.”

Oh God, did I really say that?

“Stop trying to change the subject,” he said gruffly. “Show me the letter that spawned this Dear Bob column.”

Why couldn’t Mark ask for things instead of demand them? She’d been in charge of her own life since she was twelve, and she wasn’t about to allow someone else to tell her what to do now, especially not in such an odiously superior tone of voice. She might not be the most sophisticated woman around, but every inch of her was independent and she liked it that way.

In fact, before she’d accepted the position of editor of The Glory Examiner, she’d been the county dispatcher and had worked with the sheriff, Nick Sheppard. They’d gotten along fine, since Nick knew her limits and never stepped on them. Mark, meanwhile, pushed them every chance he got.

She showed her teeth in a not-so-nice smile. “Ask nicely and I’ll let you see the letter.”

He grimaced out a “please” that had a damn you tone to it.

Sheesh. He was so uptight. Which was a pity, as he was so intriguing in a Clark-Kent-nerd sort of way. The trouble was that there wasn’t enough common ground between them to strike a match. When Mark’s sister, Roxie, had asked Susan to become editor of the newspaper, she’d jumped at the chance. Little did she know then that the job would come with the caveat that Roxie’s big brother would oversee the financial side of the paper until it began to operate in the black.

Susan cast a glance at Mark from under her lashes, noting the way his dark hair fell over his forehead and made his eyes seem bluer. While she admired his looks, he remained stubbornly aloof and she knew very little about the actual man. She knew he owned an accounting firm in Raleigh and that he was divorced, but everything else was pure speculation. Rumor had it that Mark’s ex had been as wild as she was beautiful and—if rumor was to be believed—he was still pining after her even now, two years after the divorce.

Perhaps he thought all women were unstable, which was why he didn’t trust Susan’s instincts with the newspaper.

If only he understood that she loved her job and was good at it, everything would go smoother. She was an excellent editor, a good writer, a thorough investigator, and she knew everyone in town. People trusted her because she’d been the calm voice responding to every 911 call to the sheriff’s office. Now she was wearing a different hat, but one that still served her town.

She waved her hand at Mark. “I’ll find the letter and bring it to the next staff meeting.” That would give her time to write one.

“Collins, while I may get on your last nerve, I’ll thank you to remember that I’m a licensed accountant.”

“So?”

“So I’m not a pushover. Not for the IRS and not for you.” He rubbed his chin, his eyes suddenly glinting with sardonic humor. “In fact, I’ll wait while you locate the letter from ‘Angry and Determined.’”

Now, that could be a problem. To buy some time, she said “Fine!” and opened a random drawer and dug through all the pens, rubber bands, and a variety of Post-its.

He crossed his arms. “You don’t have it, do you?”

“Of course I do,” she replied in a lofty tone. “I just haven’t filed it yet, so I can’t lay my hands on it at the drop of a hat.”

He glanced around at the piles of papers and books. “You file?”

“Once a year, whether my office needs it or not.”

He grinned and shook his head. “I couldn’t work like this.”

“And I couldn’t work at your desk, either. It’s too sterile.”

He stiffened, his smile disappearing. “My office is not sterile.”

“There’s nothing on your desk. Not even a pencil holder.”

“I like it clean.”

“You like it barren. Deloris Fishbine came in yesterday to talk about the new library reading room and thought your office was a spare. She even asked if we’d donate the space as a call center for the next library fund-raiser.”

He pointed to her desk. “Find. The. Letter.”

She sighed and opened another drawer, this one filled with coupons and recipes she’d been meaning to take home and transfer to her cookbooks. As she pretended to search the drawer, she looked at Mark from under her lashes.

He was so attractive, his dark hair mussed and his glasses slightly off center. She felt an almost physical pull to lean across the desk, straighten his glasses, and plant a kiss right on his firm lips. Her cheeks warmed at the thought.

She looked up from the drawer. “Wait. I just remembered ... I think I filed it already.”

He lifted a brow. “Just find it.”

She pulled a random stack of files forward. “Do you know that Dear Bob is one of the most popular features in the paper?” She was extraordinarily proud of that, since she’d come up with the idea for the column three years ago and had worked hard to convince then-editor Ty Henderson to give her a chance to make it work. And he had, too, until he’d been arrested for kidnapping and extortion and a bunch of other charges.

“I know the Dear Bob section is popular,” Mark said. “I’ve seen the results from the focus group. That doesn’t make you less responsible for the content. If anything, it makes you more so.”

She opened a drawer and picked out a thick file and slapped it down on top of the newspaper. “I’ve kept every letter that’s been sent to Dear Bob over the past two years.” She eyed the folder. It was thick, but not that thick. She reached back into the drawer, grabbed another fat folder, and tossed it on top of the first one. “That’s all of them.”

“Good God, there must be hundreds.”

“Thousands.” She stood and collected her interview notepad and pencil. “The letter I answered in this week’s column is in one of those files ... somewhere.”

“I don’t have time to read through all of these.” He pushed the files her way. “Find it.”

She used her hip to close the drawer. “I would, but I have an interview with the mayor about the budget cuts that may affect the local animal shelter’s no-kill policy.”

“Right now?”

“Very shortly.”

Mark shook his head. “What kind of a filing system do you have?”

“A very private one that only makes sense to a trained journalist.” What was in those two folders, anyway? She eyed them for a moment. Ah, yes. One held her office expense invoices, while the other contained ... she wasn’t sure what, but the folder was dusty so it couldn’t be anything important. She gave a fake sigh. “Before you go through those files, I should warn you about certain women’s issues.”

He removed his hand from the top folder, his blue gaze suspicious. “What women’s issues?”

“Lots of women write to Bob requesting information on lumps, cysts, periods, menopause—that sort of thing.”

He looked at the folders with a mixture of horror and fascination. “No way.”

“Yes, way.”

He shoved his hands into his pockets. “You know, Collins, I think I’ll let you find the letter after all.”

Thank you, God. She scooped up the folders, dropped them into a drawer, and slammed it shut. “I always have to cull the letters to find something that might make a good interpersonal sort of story.”

His suspicious look returned. “For some reason, I feel like I just got played.”

She lifted her chin and said in a cold voice, “Sir, I am not a liar.” I’m a bluffer. And if you weren’t such a starched shirt wh...

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Book Description SIMON & SCHUSTER, United States, 2014. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Hawkins delivers a sparkling, sexy sequel to Talk of the Town, featuring Roxie's brother Mark Tremayne and Susan Collins, the smart and sassy reporter. Original. Seller Inventory # APC9781501104411

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Book Description SIMON & SCHUSTER, United States, 2014. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Hawkins delivers a sparkling, sexy sequel to Talk of the Town, featuring Roxie's brother Mark Tremayne and Susan Collins, the smart and sassy reporter. Original. Seller Inventory # APC9781501104411

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Book Description Gallery Books. Paperback. Condition: New. 416 pages. New York Times bestselling author Karen Hawkins returns to Glory, North Carolina, for another delightful story of love and laughter. She thinks shes Lois Lane . . . Susan Collins always wanted to be a hard-hitting reporter, but theres not much call for her talents in sleepy Glory, North Carolina. Then the Murder Mystery Cluba trio of enterprising octogenariansdecides to open their own CSI lab at the assisted-living center. And when strange accidents begin to happen around town, Susan senses she could be on to the news story of her dreams. He doesnt want to be her Superman . . . Mark Tremayne has returned to Glory to take over as CFO of The Glory Examiner. His job is to keep the newspaper profitable, which means covering the annual Baptist Church Bake-Off and selling ads for the county fairnot allowing his too-sexy-for-her-own-good reporter to hare off after a wild story that could alienate some of the townspeople. Together . . . theyre Kryptonite. Marks and Susans viewpoints could be from different planets, but their mutual attraction is in total alignment. Despite their arguments, the indomitable redhead and the hot accountant are a sexual explosion waiting to happen. And when it does, Glory had better watch out! This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9781501104411

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