Tender Misdemeanors by Alana Lorens

Caryn Orlane has law enforcement in her blood; her father was a cop, and his father, too. She’s a federal agent in northwest Montana, protecting the old forests and keeping the peace. Levi Bradshaw also believes in protecting the forests, but has a very different MO. He’s the leader of a group of eco-warriors, determined to save the trees of the Bitterroot by legal—and illegal—means. When they meet in the woods at gunpoint, their encounter ignites a spark of interest, despite operating on opposite sides of the law. When their worlds turn on them, they only grow closer. If they don’t work together, can either survive?

Alana Lorens

Give us the one to two sentence tagline for your book.

They can’t help falling in love. But should the cost be murder?

What surprised you the most while writing this book?

That my own divorce would short-circuit this love story. It took me some time to feel the feelings I needed to have to get the book back on track. Fortunately, they came back, and here it is!

Why did you pick the setting you used for your book?

I had written several books about the section of Montana north of Missoula, where I lived years ago. The mountains and deep forests are beautiful and a perfect place for a love story….and a war.

What is the sexiest trait of your hero(s)?

He is a true lover–thoroughly devoted to his woman.

What is your favorite scene/moment in your book?

I love when Caryn comes to visit Levi in the hospital, after he is nearly killed by the supremacist militia people. Even though she is supposed to be professional, he’s so hurt, she can’t help but melt at his predicament.

Tropes get a bad name, but they’re often the biggest draw for readers. What tropes do you love to write and read?

Friends to lovers, opposites attract

What are your favorite genres/sub-genres to write in? Are there any you love to read but cannot write in?

I write romantic suspense, mostly, and some sci-fi romance under the name Lyndi Alexander. I prefer a plot line not just driven by sexual heat, but that there are real stakes in the character’s lives they must overcome.

Which do you love to write best: dialogue, setting, action, love scenes, or other?

Definitely dialogue.

Which do you hate to write: dialogue, setting, action, love scenes, or other?

Action scenes can be hard–the step by step whose hands go here and who kicks who when, and all that.

Excerpt from Tender Misdemeanors

“So who was she, Levi? Homeland Security? FBI? 8 BLM?”

A rumble of voices followed that first question, and everyone turned to Levi Bradshaw for answers. Unfortunately, he had none.

Levi cleared his throat. “I didn’t wait around to ask. She wasn’t wearing a uniform, and she didn’t have a police vest, so maybe none of those. The important thing is that we all got out without being pinched. We’re mostly done with that sector, anyway. If she was establishment, she can bring her people all over that ground. We didn’t leave anything. It’s a sign we should move on to the job in Billings.”

Alex moved on to his plan for Billings. Levi’s thoughts traveled back to that woman. Their encounter had lasted less than five minutes, but her face stuck in his mind.

He hadn’t noticed much about her clothes beyond the lack of uniform. That face, though, he remembered. A tanned complexion showed that she spent time outdoors, her cheeks a healthy pink. Her eyes were a peculiar shade of hazel green that hardened into the color of a peridot gem when she was agitated. Hair streaked like a California girl, blonde and loose around her shoulders. The way she held her gun whispered that she was a professional. But she hadn’t shot him when she’d had the opportunity. What were the chances they’d meet again? None, if you head off to Billings with Alex.

“Look, Alex, I’ll handle this. Take the team on to the next site, and I’ll scope out this woman, find out if we should be worried. It is possible she just packs because of wild mountain men and kidnappers.”

When the others had gone, wondering if thirty-five years old was too old for this game, Levi shoved his arm through the strap of his backpack and hurried after Rosie.

He didn’t have to go far. Ron leaned against the left front fender of Levi’s black Avalanche. His boots were fine-tooled cowboy style, not work boots, and the denim jeans he wore came from a high-priced specialty store, not the local Big-Mart. His square-jawed face was set in disapproval.

“Did you forget something, Ron?”

Ron’s beady dark eyes focused on him like laser sights. “Not me, Leev. But I’m really wondering about you. I remember a time that you would have put up a fight when someone stood in the way of the group’s mission.”

Where was Ron going with this? “‘Stand in the way’? Who’s standing in our way, Ron? We did exactly what we set out to do out by the dam. That logging company won’t dare harvest those trees—not as many as we spiked and marked.”

“What about the woman?”

Again with the woman. He tried not to roll his eyes. “What about her?”

“Oh, come on, Leev. She was clearly law enforcement. We could have buried her out there. Who would have known?”

Levi’s throat closed up. Murder? Cold-blooded murder? Not on his watch. He’d never killed as part of his eco-activities, and he didn’t intend to start.

Alana Lorens has been a published writer for more than forty years. Currently a resident of Asheville, North Carolina, she loves her time in the smoky Blue Ridge mountains. One of her novellas, That Girl’s The One I Love, is set in the city of Asheville during the old Bele Chere festival. She lives with her daughter, who is the youngest of her seven children, three crotchety cats, and four kittens of various ages.

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