by Carolyn Elizabeth
Hot-headed and soft-hearted Street Crimes Detective, Lucy “Lucky” Sorin, can’t seem to stay out of trouble. She even manages to get kicked off the task force working to bring down the Rat Lords, an outlaw motorcycle club in town.
Instead of taking a demotion she turns in her badge, grabs her stick and goes looking for a level table with fast cloth—at the Rat Lords’ clubhouse. While all eyes are on the ex-cop turned pool hustler, Lucky only has eyes for Mira Allen, the club president’s lover.
With her smooth stroke and smart mouth, it doesn’t take long for Lucky to find trouble again. Tempers soon flare and nothing is quite what it seems. Everyone has a secret someone else is willing to kill for—and Lucky is dangerously behind the eight-ball.
FROM THE AUTHOR
"I wanted to get a little dirt under my nails with this story. It's unapologetically grittier—physically and emotionally. But still fun and entertaining? You be the judge."
The Lesbian Review
Audio Book Review - As good as the book is, listening to the audio version propelled it into a much higher level of enjoyment. Amy Deuchler narrates with a breathy voice that immediately raises anticipation for what’s coming next.
Diane W. - 4.5stars! …Readers looking for an exciting, euphoric, and remarkably well written story, look no further—Carolyn Elizabeth's Kiss Shot should be at the top of your must-read-list. It's that good. A highly recommended book!
Della B. - …Carolyn Elizabeth has given us a thrill ride of a seventh novel made up with intriguing characters and a storyline which keeps you guessing until the end.
Kaye C. - Carolyn Elizabeth delivers a thrilling, action packed, police story with a smidge of romance.
Cheryl S. - …Carolyn Elizabeth is an interesting author. All her books cover different genres. They span from medical examiner, pirates, ghosts and now pool shark undercover agents. All are mysteries full of interesting characters, clever dialog, and a hot romance. You can always count on this author to entertain.
Betty H. - Kiss Shot by Carolyn Elizabeth is a fast-paced adventure novel with an intricate plot, striking characters, and a slow-burn romance between two unlikely characters.
Mackenzie C. - 4.5 stars!! An action-packed page turning that had me stressed out for the characters until the very end! I am a huge fan of Elizabeth's books and always have so much fun being thrown into her worlds she creates.
Anne M. - Recommended if you like crime stories that are full of action and tough women with strong morals. I will continue to read books by this author as I haven’t been disappointed once yet. Ms Elizabeth knows how to tell a story.
Bonnie A. - Wow, this was AMAZING. The characters were great, the story ran smoothly, and the plot was spot on. This was action packed and full of angst. I read it in one sitting because I just could not put it down until the end. What a journey. Well done Carolyn Elizabeth, I can't wait for your next book. I recommend and promise you won't be disappointed. 4.5 stars
…I was captivated by the first lines and almost couldn’t put the book down. The plot is exciting with many twists and turns and picks up speed from page to page.
The Lesbian Review
… is a slow burn romance packed inside a flash bang crime thriller.
J. Beebs - …Kiss Shot is a not to be missed action-packed crime thriller that you won't want to put down. I absolutely loved every single second of this incredible read!
Natalie T. - Carolyn Elizabeth writes some of the best adrenaline-racing action packed lesfic novels and this was another to add to her list.
“Where the hell are you?” I muttered.
Leaning toward the windshield and squinting into the setting spring sun was in no way helping me find the young woman I was looking for, but it did help me to not run over the woman crossing the street in front of me. I screeched to a stop and waved an apology. She gave me the finger.
Turning the radio down didn’t locate my quarry either, but having it on was against regs, so maybe I could do one thing right today. I cruised through the industrial area of Albany, New York, again. The same streets I’d been over twice already in the last half hour. “Where the hell are you?”
At every stop sign, at every street corner in front of every mini-mart, groups of young men and women pulled up their hoods or lowered their hats, jammed hands into pockets and scattered. An unmarked black police-issue Ford Taurus wasn’t nearly as subtle as the city officials liked to believe. The low-profile puck antennae on the back helped, but there was no hiding the driver’s side spotlight and bull bar on the front grille.
What definitely didn’t help was that my self-imposed work uniform looked like I raided Olivia Benson’s early SVU seasons closet. I got pegged for a cop a mile away even without the car. Even so, I didn’t mix up my wardrobe. I couldn’t imagine anything worse than actually deciding what I was going to wear to work every day. Department store charcoal chinos and V-neck sweaters over fitted white T-shirts—every damn day.
Turning east gave me a break from the sun just in time to spy the pale, skinny girl in ripped jeans and stained gray hoodie shuffling along. She was hunched over as if the oversize canvas bag slung across her chest weighed a hundred pounds.
“Gotcha.” I blooped the siren to get her attention.
She whirled around and stared wide-eyed before taking off down the street much faster than her previous gait would have suggested she could move.
“Shit, don’t run.” I gunned it up the road, bouncing through potholes deep enough to rattle my teeth, and barely making the stop to follow her when she darted down a narrow alley.
“Come on, kid, gimme a break.” I jumped the curb and threw the car in park, actually remembering to close and lock the doors this time before taking off down the alley after her. If I lost another two-way radio or got another laptop smashed, the captain was gonna have my ass.
My boots pounded over the cracked pavement as I gained ground, my right hand on my sidearm at my hip to keep it still, not because I had any intention of drawing it. She ran down the alley toward a high chain-link fence. She probably hadn’t had a decent meal in days and was slowing fast. “If you make me climb that fence, I’m gonna be pissed!”
She leapt for the fence and scrambled up, but wasn’t anywhere near the top when I caught up to her and dragged her off by the ankle. “That’s enough, we’re done!” I was more winded than I would ever admit. Butch black logger boots were great for kicking in doors and kicking asses, not so much for a full sprint.
“Get your damn hands off me, pig!” She got her feet under her and took a wild swing, connecting solidly with my ear.
“Ow, Jesus! What the fuck?” I gripped her by the arm and spun her toward the fence, pushing her up against it and kicking her legs apart.
“You told me to play hard to get, Lucky.” She snickered while I pulled her bag off her and gave her a cursory pat down.
“You punched me in the ear, Sky.” I shook my head and pulled handcuffs from the case clipped at my lower back and cuffed her loosely with her hands in front. My ear was hot and throbbing.
She scowled. “Really, Lucky, cuffs? You’re the one who told me to make you work for it.”
“There’s no one even watching right now.” I marched her back down the alley with a hand around her arm.
“There’s always someone watching,” she said under her breath.
As was our usual custom, I drove twenty-five minutes to Schenectady and pulled around to the back of the Mattress Warehouse a block from Denny’s. Sky got out at the empty loading dock and walked the rest of the way to the restaurant while I took a lap around the block, making sure there was no one we needed to worry about. She wasn’t wrong. There were eyes everywhere and no such thing as being too cautious. She was already at a table at the back of the restaurant, near the restrooms and away from the windows, when I caught up to her.
Denny’s was packed with teenagers and seniors. No one noticed us besides our server, who was paid to pay attention to us, but even then, I doubted they could give an accurate description. I ordered a club sandwich, fries, and a water which was the only thing I could stomach here and Sky Kingston ordered her usual, T-bone and eggs with a side of bacon and pancakes. Probably the only time she ate any meat was when I paid. She was not shy about taking full advantage of free refills on her Coke either.
She disappeared to the bathroom for a long time, no doubt washing up more than just her hands and her face, stuffing her oversize bag with anything that wasn’t nailed down—toilet paper, paper towels and liquid soap from the dispenser. She kept a small plastic bottle in her bag just for that. She was even thinner than usual and probably didn’t weigh much more than a hundred pounds. Her skin was pale and tight over her cheekbones, but there were no visible lesions. Her lank blond hair could use a wash, but her eyes were clear and her teeth still intact. I didn’t have to worry too much today.
She looked in better shape than I had when I’d first been rousted by the cops. Spending any amount of time with Sky always brought up the memories of my blessedly short time on the streets. I was fourteen when my drug-addicted mother’s third boyfriend in as many years tried to put his hands on me and I took off with nothing but the clothes I was wearing. Six months later and I got busted in a flophouse drug raid—filthy and infested, high as a kite, going down on some lowlife for half a bag of Doritos and a warm beer.
The detective who found me, Angela Curran, wrapped me in a blanket, got me a hot meal, a toothbrush, and a desperately needed shower. Instead of just handing me off to Children’s Services she made sure I got placed in a decent group home. She told me repeatedly how lucky I was that she found me before something worse happened. And how the word was only one letter away from my name, Lucy, as if I couldn’t spell. The name stuck and I was more than happy for one less thing to remind me of my old life and the woman who called herself my mother.
With Angela’s help I got my GED, associate’s degree, and went on to do a four-year degree in three years at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Next came the academy, patrol, and detective by thirty. I now called Angela Curran, Captain.
Sky Kingston may have a tougher time of it being an adult and having the hurdles of her criminal record to overcome, but I wanted the same chance for her and was going to do everything in my power to see it happen. At least for now, I could get her help from the department as long as she stayed signed on as a confidential informant and produced some actionable intelligence.
Be cool. Be cool. Sky returned at the same time as our food and I forced myself to wait until she got something into her belly before checking in with her. “How ya been, Sky?”
“Good, uh-huh,” she said around a mouthful of pancakes drowning in syrup and butter.
“Yeah? You been using?”
Her eyes narrowed and she dropped her fork with a clatter, sitting back against the booth. “What the hell, Lucky? You want me to dig in with the fucking Rat Lords MC for you, but ’spect me to stay clean? Sure, yeah, no problem. Dudes be sittin’ around blowin’ rails and I’ll be all ‘Nah, not feelin’ it, thanks though.’ You tryna get me killed?”
I raised my hands in apology. “No, of course not. I’m sorry. I just worry about you.”
She stared at me for another long moment before shrugging and going back to her food. “No one’s worried ’bout me for a minute.”
“Well, get used to it.”
“What about you? You been playin’ at all?”
“Pool? Just at the bar. Since making detective last year and being assigned to Street Crimes, I’ve been tits deep in the Rat Lords task force. I don’t have time for anything else.”
“That time you took me to Golden Cue in Troy. That was dope. Wish we could hit that again. Those motherfuckers’ faces when you beat ’em. So dope.”
That night had been fun and nice to see her smile and laugh for a little while. Almost looking like the young woman she could have been if not hardened by her circumstances. “I’m glad you had a good time. We can totally do that again. Whenever you want.” I let her eat in peace for several minutes but couldn’t hide my anxious tension.
“What?” she asked without looking up from her plate.
“You know what. Did you get it?”
She wiped her mouth and sat back. “Got somethin’ for me?”
I slid a fifty-dollar bill across the table.
She eyed it. “That it?”
“No. What’s the address?”
“It’s in Mendanville. Forty Baldwin Street.”
“See how easy that was?”
“Yeah, fuckin’ right. Know what I had to do for that addy?”
I handed over three more fifties, making a note to myself to write up the paperwork to get reimbursed from the department, though they’d probably only approve half of the two hundred I gave her. “I can imagine.”
“No. You really can’t.” She jammed the bills in her pocket.
Whatever it was, I suspected it involved a whole bottle of mouthwash after. As much as I hated thinking about that time in my life, I sure had to draw on it a lot to do my job. Maybe not the most well-thought plan to go into Street Crimes. But it was where I felt I could make the most difference. “You know I’ve been where you are.”
She snorted, her right hand going to her necklace, her fingers worrying at the gold S hanging from the short gold chain. I’d never seen her without it. Fiddling with it was the tell that she was getting agitated. “You played at it a few months. It weren’t your life.”
“It doesn’t have to be yours either, Sky.” I reached across the table for her hand but she moved away. “I’m just trying to help you. You know that, right?”
Her jaw clenched. “As long as I help you, first. That it?”
Her words hit home and I jerked back as far as the booth would allow. She wasn’t wrong. I was single with no family to speak of and I lived simply. I was doing okay on a cops’ salary, but I didn’t have the resources to really help her on my own. It had to come from the department. “It’s almost over, I promise.”
“Heard that before.”
That stung. She knew how to get at me. Every damn time. “I’m sorry. I wish I could do more.”
Her expression softened, her mouth twisting into the beginning of a smile. “It’s all good, Lucky. I know you tryin’. More than anyone else ever did for me. Hey, um…”
She grew uncharacteristically emotional and started rubbing at the necklace again. “I been thinkin’. You think maybe, um…You think you could help me find my sister?”
“Your sister?” I didn’t know she had a sister.
“Yeah, um, she’s three years older. Half-sister. Different dudes. When my mom got busted we got split up. An aunt or somethin’ on her dad’s side took her in, I think. I was only six.”
“What’s her name?”
“Brooke. Don’t know her last name. She gave me this necklace. It’s real gold, maybe. Sure she lifted it, but whatever. She looked out for me though, when things got real bad at home and I just…”
Her story just drifted off and her expression turned hard again. I wasn’t going to get any more out of her. If she even knew. Without a last name, I’d have to start back at her mother’s arrest record or maybe Children’s Services could help me. It would be a slog. “Yeah, sure, Sky, I’ll see what I can do.”
“Thanks, Lucky. I gotta go.”
“Let me pay and I’ll give you a ride back to the city.”
“Nah, thanks. I’ll bus it. I got some stops to make.” She slipped her bag over her shoulder and grabbed a triangle of sandwich from my plate. I pretended not to see when she slipped the steak knife up the sleeve of her hoodie. “Thanks for the eats.”
“Any time. Hey, you wanna catch up in a couple of days? See if you learned anything more and I’ll tell you what I can about the stash house plans.”
She smirked. “Why don’t you see if you can hunt me down at the underpass.”
“Oh, no.” I grimaced. “Anywhere but—”
“That’s where my peeps at. Gotta work for it remember?” Her smirk grew.
“Fuck. Fine.” I shook my head in resignation. “Hey, Sky. Thanks for the address. It’s the break we’ve been looking for.”
“Yeah, well, do some good. For once.”
I laughed. “Listen, Sky, maybe lay low this week and see where this goes, okay?”
“Thought you just said you wanted me to learn more.”
I winced. More information was always better. “Just…be careful, okay?”
“Sure. See ya when I see ya, Lucky.”