The Law of Desire
2010 Emma Award — Best Romance of the Year
2010 Emma Nomination — Best Romantic Suspense
2010 Emma Nomination — Best Sequel
2010 Emma Nomination — Best Romance of the Year
5 out of 5 Top Shelf Review from Urban-Reviews
A TRR Favorite from RAWSISTAZ Reviewers
Four brothers on a mission to protect, serve, and love...
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Hightower Honors #3
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Read an Excerpt
Decorated police detective Lawrence Hightower's instincts click into high gear when a beautiful but suspicious stranger appears in his stakeout zone. Soon he realizes Minerva Jones is in danger and needs protection. He can't trust her. But he can't get this tough, feisty, stubborn siren out of his head.
Desperate to keep a low profile, the last thing Minerva needs is a sexy cop getting too close for comfort. Not that she's guilty of anything, except her own intense attraction to the too fine detective. But she's got a few secrets, and trouble is closing in. Dare she surrender to the promise this sensual hero holds in his strong, protective embrace?
Read the Reviews"The passion and desire between super-fine, decorated cop Lawrence and his spite-fire but charismatic Boo, Minerva, is nothing less than toe-curling. G. Bolton's witty play with suspense wielded me to the end, and the lip-biting, word-stuttering intimacy left me breathless at moments. I'm simply addicted to this series."
— Sistah Tasha, The Pink Reviewers of SistahFriend Book Club, 4.5 Pink Diamonds
"The author mixed lies, murder, daring intrigue, and sex in the third book of the Hightower series. THE LAW OF DESIRE is as blistering as MAKE IT HOT and PROTECT AND SERVE. I cannot wait to read book number four in the series Sizzling Seduction. Each book in the series stands alone. I suggest you read them all to receive the full impact of the Hightower brothers."
— Toni Bonita, The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers, 5 Stars
"THE LAW OF DESIRE is another installment of those sexy Hightower men. Bolton is a phenomenal writer that continues to bring her characters to life on the pages of her books. She has a style of writing that just flows. With THE LAW OF DESIRE, Gwyneth Bolton keeps you coming back for more."
— Tenecia, Urban-Reviews, 5 Stars
"The Allure of the Hightower Men Continues… Bolton has written another noteworthy romance. The love scenes are steamy and the descriptions are borderline erotic. The beginning of this romance is a bit hard core with murder, lies and deception against the background of an innocent Minerva seemingly to naïve to notice the truth. Even with this big leap the story evolves and the true romance takes over. The budding relationship will warm your heart and keep you reading to the end."
— Deltareviewer, The Real Page Turners, 5 Stars
"THE LAW OF DESIRE was my first time reading anything written by Gwyneth Bolton. I could kick myself now for waiting this long. Ms. Bolton is a great storyteller. The characters were so believable and likeable... I recommend THE LAW OF DESIRE to readers of romance and to anyone wanting to try an author they have seen on the shelf but were reluctant to buy a copy of her book."
— Jennifer Coissiere, APOOO Book Club, 5 Stars
"I really enjoyed THE LAW OF DESIRE. I read it in one sitting and even forgot to make critiquing notes, it flowed that well. The whodunit mystery portion of the book was obvious from the get-go, but this did not affect my enjoyment because the focus wasn't on the mystery anyway. It's very much a straight contemporary with a dash of action thrown in."
— Abi Bishop, All About Romance, Grade B
"THE LAW OF DESIRE, by far, is Ms. Bolton's best Hightower story. The connection between these characters is hypnotic. They are as different as night and day, but they compliment each other very well. Minerva is younger and definitely will keep Lawrence energized. Lawrence no doubt can teach Minerva a thing or two. The plot connects well to the characters and it flowed beautifully. I had a hard time putting THE LAW OF DESIRE down... The love scenes were explosive and Lawrence definitely knew how to satisfy a woman... Ms. Bolton did an excellent job and I definitely recommend reading this book."
— Keren Childers, Romance in Color, 4 ++ Stars
"Gwyneth Bolton delivers another awe-inspiring tale to her Hightower Honors series. I've fallen a little more in love with these men and this series in general with each new book that's been released. The Hightower family is so honorable and good natured that you just can't help but adore each of them. THE LAW OF DESIRE captivated me from the very first page because of Minerva's drive to make a respectable life for herself. She's grown up loved and protected but her brother's gang affiliation really puts her at risk. Ms. Bolton doesn't pull any punches with this storyline. It's full of passion, heated arguments, laugh out loud funny scenes and several heartbreaking moments that brought tears to my eyes. Exactly the sort of tale I've come to admire from this talented author."
— Chrissy Dionne, Romance Junkies, 5 Blue Ribbons
"Gwyneth Bolton presents with her greatest Hightower thus far. In the 3rd book of this series, Ms. Bolton entertains her readers with a solid and satisfying story which only serves to prove why she is praised as being a master of her craft... Readers will be front and center as this authentic romance captures the heart and demands your attention as Ms. Bolton guides you through a well crafted novel of love and suspense. After reading three of the 4 stories of this series, I am convinced that the Hightower's are the new first family of African American Romance."
— Eleanor Shields, Black Butterfly Review, 5 Flutters
"The third book in the Hightower Honors series, Gwyneth Bolton's THE LAW OF DESIRE, is a story of triumph over despair. At 26, Minerva Athena "Thena" Jones is sucked back into her past when her gang-banger brother is murdered. She heads to Paterson , N.J. , where she stays with reformed drug dealers. To fit in, Thena transforms into a "video vixen" with wild-colored hair extensions. When cop Lawrence Hightower meets "Minnie," he's sure she's up to no good. But when someone tries to abduct her, Lawrence takes her to his family's cabin in the Poconos. There, they get to know one another and realize that neither is what the other thought."
— Debbie R. Sims, Romantic Times Book Review, 4 Stars
Read an Excerpt
"Well, well, well... if it isn't Timothy and Thomas McKnight? What are you two doing here? I hope you're not scoping out the place as a spot for illegal drug distribution."
Minerva looked up and into the most intense brown eyes she'd ever seen. The man who had pulled up a chair, straddled it backwards and interrupted their conversation had a perfectly chiseled face with bold and strong features.
In addition to the seriously penetrating stare, he had a five o'clock shadow going on that gave him a rough and rugged appearance. His full lips didn't seem like they ever smiled, ever. But that didn't take away from the fact he was fine.
Fine with a capitol F.
Fine and he has cop written all over him.
"Detective." Tommy nodded and focused on the drink in from of him.
"Wow... if it isn't my favorite narc, Detective Hightower. I would ask if you would like to join us. But seeing as you already have... What can we do for you this fine evening?" Timmy, the older twin didn't seem like he was one to hold back.
The cop turned his direction toward her.
Great, was all she could think as the detective hit her with his x-ray vision stare. The last thing she needed was for some cop to get her in his radar.
"And who're you?" Detective Hightower watched her so closely she wanted to bolt.
Instead, she pursed her lips before rolling her eyes and letting out a deep overly dramatic breath. "Who wants to know and why?"
His eyes narrowed slightly.
She narrowed her eyes right back at him. She never liked bullies and this "detective" had bullying down to an art form.
He had some nerve just inviting himself to their table and grilling everyone like he didn't need a reason.
And then there was the stir in the pit of her stomach that seem to kick up to a high fevered pitched when he sat down.
It wasn't a fear, no, that would have been too much like right. No, the things she felt just staring in his eyes and having him so close caused her to feel things like want and need.
"This is Minnie Samuels, Detective Hightower. She's a good friend visiting us from California." Tommy offered the information a little too freely for her taste. And apparently Timmy's too because his twin brother turned and glared at him at the same time she did.
The three of them had decided to just change her last name and have her go by her childhood nickname of Minnie—which she hated more than she did her actual name—in order to keep things simple. But they'd also decided that her "name" would only be divulged on a need to know basis. She and Timmy clearly had different ideas about who needed to know than Tommy had.
She gritted her teeth in irritation. The cop annoyed her and caused her heart to flutter at the same time and she had just met the man. "I'll be back. I need to powder my nose."
She stood and went looking for the ladies room without so much as a second glance at the smug cop. She did take the liberty of cursing him out in her head as she walked away and imagining all the ways she could read him up down and sideways if he was still there when she got back. While she had never developed the unhealthy, hateful and distrusting relationship to cops that her brother and others in her neighborhood had, she could see herself heading in that direction fairly quickly if she had to deal with Detective Hightower much longer.
She really hadn't had to use the restroom or fix her make-up. She wasn't even wearing that much make-up. She was wearing a little foundation, eyeliner, lipstick and gloss. It was a lot more than she normally wore though. Typically, she couldn't be bothered with more than a little lip-gloss. But she figured a girl who wore hip-hop designer clothing like the hot-pink skin-tight Baby Phat denim mini dress she was sporting and rocking the two-toned hair-do she wore would have on foundation and lipstick at the very least. She drew the line at eye shadow and blush though. And there was no way she would get any long fake acrylic nails. There was only so much she was willing to do.
She looked in the mirror, surveyed her outfit and cringed.
This is so-oo not me...
Hoping the cop was gone, she decided to head back out to their table and try to talk the McKnight twins into calling it an evening. The sooner she was out of the flashy clothes and into some sweats the better.
She walked out of the ladies room and right into the nosy detective. He must have been standing in the narrow hallway waiting for her. He pretty much blocked the way back into the bar so she decided to lean against the wall and wait for him to be a gentleman and get out of her way. Heart thumping and pulse racing, she folded her arms across her chest and twisted her lips to the side.
A full minute must have passed with him just standing there staring at her like he was trying to figure out the great mysteries of the world. She huffed and moved to go around him. He grabbed her forearm and moved her back.
The tingle which raced across her arm and landed smack dab in her heart had to have been felt by him too. His proximity made it so that the masculine scent of him assaulted her nose and sparked a keening need in her gut. She took a deep calming breath that she hoped looked like she had an attitude and not like she had been shaken to her core.
"Can I help you with anything, Detective? I couldn't imagine what. But you must have some reason for making yourself a nuisance this evening, especially since you don't know me and have no reasonable cause to harass me." She tilted her head to the side partially for appearance sake but mostly because it helped with the sudden feeling of vertigo this man had her experiencing.
He looked puzzled for a moment before his lips formed a slight snarl. "You hanging with the McKnight twins is all the cause I need to keep an eye on you, Miss... Samuels."
"So the whole innocent until proven guilty thing is just a cute idea for a fairy tale to you or are you really an officer of the law?" She folded her arms across her chest and swallowed. She had no idea what had come over her, but she knew she refused to back down and let the cop punk her.
"Oh, so you're a little smart ass? You should ask your friend Timmy McKnight what happens to smart asses in jail.
'Cause that's where you're headed if you keep moving in the wrong circles. I don't know you but I know plenty of dumb little girls like you who get caught up, carrying weight across state, holding things they shouldn't be holding in their purses..." He glanced at the small leather handbag she carried.
"Tell me something, what do you think I'd find if I took a look through that bag of yours. Maybe something you used to powder your nose? Would that be foundation or coke?" He leaned forward and she instinctively leaned forward as well.
The nerve of this man! The amount of incredulity coursing through her only hinted at how shocking she found his entire demeanor.
They were standing so close to one another in the small hallway, it was impossible for her not to imagine his lips swooping down and covering hers. She licked her lips and swallowed as she thought about what that kiss might be like, taste like, feel like.
She noticed him swallowing too. Was he imagining the same thing as she?
She looked him up and down taking in every inch of his muscular physique as she did. She'd never found herself so attracted to a man before. The lean, hard frame in front of her wearing jeans, sneakers and a white t-shirt was just too sexy and too irritating for words... And certainly too fine to be a cop...
Why was the first man to make her pulse quicken and her heart race a member of the police force?
"Don't you have anything better to do than to harass people who aren't doing anything wrong? Or is that what cops are getting paid for these days?"
"You need to—"
"Hey bro, we've been looking all over for you. You need to get back over there so we can finish celebrating. You know I'm going to be heading out to make it home to my wife and Joel can barely wait to get back to his new fiancé..." The man who interrupted them trailed off when he noticed her standing there. He was a younger version of the detective and she got a cop vibe from him as well.
"You need some help here, bro?" The younger one gave her the once over. He had that penetrating gaze thing down and she wondered is it was a cop thing or a family trait.
They were certainly related. She could tell because they both shared the same ruggedly handsome looks and tall, fine, muscular frames. If that wasn't enough, they had the same bold brown eyes. But the younger one had a light in his eyes that hinted at immense happiness whereas her detective...
My detective? Oh brother... The annoying, mean and irritating detective had a hard impenetrable glare in his eyes. She couldn't see any happiness there.
"I'm cool, Jason. I was just trying to warn, Miss Samuels here about the company she keeps. But you know what they say... you can't save 'em if they don't want to be saved." He shrugged in a nonchalant manner. "So, I'll just leave you with this. Stay out of trouble or it will be my pleasure to show you what cops get paid for." He turned and walked away.
The younger one stared at her for a moment and shrugged. "I suggest you take heed and watch the company you keep. We're not soft on crime around here. And the fact that my brother warned you gives you a lot more than most folks get. Consider yourself lucky." The younger one spouted off his added warning with slight smirk and headed off behind his brother.
Lucky? Yeah right!
She leaned back against the wall to steady herself. Because no matter how cool and calm she might have appeared, just two interactions with Detective Hightower had her heart pounding in her chest and her knees weak. She had to catch her breath as she replayed the exchange. But most importantly, she had to get out of there and as far away from
Detective Hightower as she could possibly get.
The man screamed loud and clear without having to say a word: he would be her undoing...
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