Strong Arms of the Law

Cerise DeLand
Strong Arms of the Law
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Ellora's Cave Publishing
Release Date
June 2011
Erotic Romance, Western Romance

Rex Martinez is one tough Texas Ranger who's always gotten his man. No woman has ever resisted him either. But the saucy little number currently under his protection makes him nuts. Makes him hard. And makes him eager to put her in her place…which is, of course, in his arms. And his bed.

Crime writer Skye Chamberlain chafes under Rex's rigid rules. He's too macho, too yummy to stay cooped up with while she's trying to remain celibate.

When Skye calls his bluff and demands they embrace their relationship now instead of later, Rex can't resist. But his need to keep her hot and happy makes him drop his guard—which is exactly when trouble comes calling.

Book Review by Rho (reviewer)
Jul 15, 2011   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
232 people found the following review helpful
Witness protection has never been so hot. STRONG ARMS OF THE LAW gives a whole new meaning to the words "to protect and serve", and if I am going to be protected by a guy like Rex Martinez, sign me up!

Skye Chamberlain has to testify in a trial that has put her life in danger. But right now she's in danger of losing her mind. Her sexy protector, Rex Martinez, is making her so hot with lust she's not sure how she's going to make it through the next few weeks until the trial. All she can think about is how bad she wants him even though she's trying to keep her hands off. Rex has told her that he can't touch her while she's in protective custody, but one day she's had enough and she demands him now, not later.

They begin a scorching hot affair and realize their feelings for each other are about more than sex. However, when trouble comes calling, their life together may be over before it even got the chance to start.

Sexy, hot, sizzling, erotic. Those are just a few of the words that I would use to describe STRONG ARMS OF THE LAW. Rex and Skye's tension-filled banter was a lovely build up to their smoking-hot chemistry once they finally got together. The two of them seem very evenly matched in all ways, so it was easy to see how they fell for each other so hard and so quickly.

The story was also very intriguing. How Skye got into protective custody, the backstory of how she got into writing, and the glimpses into their lives before meeting each other, truly rounded out the plot. It was easy to forget that Skye was actually in danger for a while, but then it all came crashing down around them. The part where the bad guys find Rex and Skye was very tense, but it made the plot that much better.

Overall, STRONG ARMS OF THE LAW was a steamy read with intriguing plot that had me hooked from beginning to end. This is my first Cerise DeLand book, but I know after this one, I'll be reading more.
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BOOK INTERVIEW on August 2011
Interview by Rho

Hi Cerise, thanks for taking the time to answer some questions for us. I'm excited to read what you have to say.

Q: STRONG ARMS OF THE LAW is a VERY hot read. There's no question about that, but it also has a great plot and interesting story. How did you come up with the idea for it?

Since moving to Texas, I have learned so much about this state and the people who live here. Because I grew up and lived always in large cities on the East Coast of the States as well as in Japan, I came to Texas very green about the West. But once here, I loved it. The people are innately funny. You have to have some humor to live and try to farm or ranch in a climate that is so harsh, so demanding. Texans exhibit more true grit than any other group I have ever met while maintaining their humor, integrity and ethic of hard work and hard play.

The idea for STRONG ARMS OF THE LAW came from a recent memory of traveling to west Texas with my husband and thrilling to the sights of vast plains, brilliant blinding high desert and the wildness of the mountainous Big Bend area.

STRONG ARMS takes place close to Big Bend National and State Parks where one can drive for hours and see no one, nothing, except an armadillo or a pack of ugly javalina pigs. Yet, the men who have kept this vast area civil for more than a hundred years are the Texas Rangers. A super-duper arm of the local state police, the Rangers have an impressive background of controlling the law. Even today with so many coming across the Mexican-U.S. border illegally, the Rangers maintain law and order. With the increased gang warfare of the past decade along that border, the incidence of gangs running drugs, prostitution and slave rings has increased many times over and destroyed many cities along our Border.

This story seemed timely to me and useful to many who really need to see and feel the problems that this lawlessness is causing us here in south Texas. I thought a romance between a Texas Ranger and a crime writer in witness protection would not only illustrate current conditions but be a scorcher of a romance. After all, what's more heroic than a man who has his principles--and saves his ladylove? What's more heroic for a heroine than maintaining her cool in a tough spot--and helping her man get the bad guys?

Q: Cerise, you have truly opened our eyes to the realities with this story. You have made this happen due to your characters, who were extremely believable. What sort of research went to writing this story?

Reading a lot about the Rangers for many years, I LOVE writing about them. They are the epitome of tall, strong and, in those big white ten gallon hats, they are handsome as sin. Recently, too, my pal Desiree Holt and I were invited to the opening of the new forensics lab of the Rangers in Austin, Texas. What a great day to rub elbows with Rangers and CSI types! She and I learned a lot for future reference!

I have also taken a Citizens Police Academy course here in Texas, which included a long introduction to the workings of the Rangers.

Q: I thought the chemistry between Skye and Rex was almost palpable. What makes them such a great couple in your opinion?

Rangers have a motto: One Town, One Ranger. (Meaning that one Ranger is all it takes to put down any kind of trouble. In a town. With a mob. Doesn't matter.) But based on so much I've read about how they marry later in life and choose one woman whom they cling to, I also gave them another motto: One Ranger, One Woman.

Rex Martinez is that kind of man. Accomplished, dedicated and wise enough to have waited for the right woman. That would mean, I thought as I wrote the story, someone who understood what he did for a living and would not have a fit every time he had to leave on assignment to lay down the law. A crime writer seemed like the best choice. And so I made Skye a compassionate woman, but an independent one. Someone Rex could admire for her own tenacity. Someone, too, he might question could hold up to the challenges she meets in the story, but then she was his equal.

I always believe a couple fits well together if they not only desire each other physically, but respect each other professionally and emotionally. This is true of Skye and Rex and all of my stories, especially my other Texas couples in I CAUGHT THE SHERIFF, HAT TRICK, ONE TOUGH HOMBRE and HARD DRIVIN' MAN.

Q: What's your favorite scene in this book? Why?

Before I wrote word one of this story (which I knew was called STRONG ARMS OF THE LAW, BTW), I "saw" the first scene where she crawls out of her bedroom window to go swimming just to cool her jets and her libido! I knew they had lived together for a long time, that the sexual tension was hot hot hot and that each of them knew they "fit" together intellectually. I knew she just had to get away from him, go for a cool swim in scorching Texas and ease her mind. Of course, he does not let that happen. Poor man.

I do believe that lust is possible without intellectual zing, but it can never be more than desire without compatibility of mind and the complement of humor!


Skye Chamberlain crawled out her bedroom window of the tiny house outside Alpine, Texas, before sunrise on a sweltering August morning, biting back a shout that she was finally escaping the strong arms of the law.

Who knew she had it in her?

Crime writer. Bookworm. Former ER nurse. Turned fugitive.

She grinned. Even—she thought as she stretched her dangling toes to reach for the ground—if it meant she'd be in hot water with her captor. I'm going swimming, Ranger Martinez, before you're up and learn I'm gone.

She felt the cool earth beneath the soles of her feet and stifled a sigh of relief. There was only so long she could stand this blazing August heat. "And the scalding gaze of Rex Martinez," she murmured to herself as she tucked her boobs back inside her cotton bra, hiked up her flimsy panties and flung her towel over her shoulder.

She headed for the pool behind the barn, picking her way along the pebbles and brush barefoot. She needed to do five laps, maybe more to get relief from the tension of wanting to jump the bones of the tall, dark Texas Ranger who had been her bodyguard for more than two months.

He was an ogre, a tyrant, refusing to let her go anywhere except prowl that teensy-weensy house like a caged animal. But she had to get away, do something physical, if only for a few minutes. She would melt like ice cream if she spent one more day enthralled by his gruff cowboy charm. Denying we're headed for bed.

Hell. She hurried along. Any exercise would be better than another twenty-four hours cooped up with the Texas lawman whoplayed cards like Godzilla, talked like smart-ass Indiana Jones and took charge like Pancho Villa.

"Your birdie, buddy, has flown the nest."

Q: You write across many different sub-genres of romance--historical, suspense, contemporary--just to name a few. What is your favorite type of romance to write, and why?

I love changing up my voice, my style and the conflicts between two lovers. I like the Regency voice and themes of drawing room play and angst. I like the medieval challenges that strong women had to overcome to not only run their households, but also control their families and their own lives. I like the contemporary period so that I can address those issues that matter to me and to other women. Each period requires a different mindset and a different approach to the work. It cleanses my mind to change from one period to another. I not only need that cleanse, I thrive on it!

But do I have a favorite period? Not really. I need Regency to put lift in my step. Medieval to give me gravitas and perspective about the condition of women over the centuries. I need contemporary to ground me to the realities of everyday life and to prove how far woman have come and how far we still must go, individually and collectively, to remain whole.

Q: What is next for you? Will you share some information on any upcoming projects?

I try to switch up my periods all the time! But often, as with Skye and Rex, a story comes to me and when I begin to see the characters, I must sit down and write them.

Thank you for having me over! I love this site and I'm tickled to be here.

Thank you, Cerise. We love having you here! Congratulations on your new release, STRONG ARMS OF THE LAW. I loved it. I can't wait to read even more of your work!

What's a gal to do if she hails from D.C., lives now deep in the heart of Texas and adores jaunting off on a whim to Paris, Florence, London, Tokyo and all points east and west?


She becomes an author who can write about those romantic places with depth and credibility. And if your sweet tooth craves spies, pirates, bodyguards and gutsy women of today and yesteryears of medieval and Regency England, then she is the author you crave for smoldering erotic encounters and delicious love affairs!

Her name? Cerise DeLand.

What's more is that Cerise is the award-winning author of 18 print novels of mystery, mainstream and romance with St. Martin's Press, Pocket Books and Kensington. Her books have been on every book club list you can name, including Featured Selections of The Mystery Guild, Doubleday and Rhapsody.

Busy lady. Happy writer.

Twitter: @cerisedeland


I Caught the Sheriff
Me And Mr. Jones
Hat Trick
One Tough Hombre
Hard Drivin' Man


Cerise Deland is having an awesome giveaway! One person chosen at random will receive a totebag of goodies to include:

1 copy of print EC book, IRRESISTIBLE FORCES (my 2 romantic suspense stories from EC, LAID BARE and CARRIED AWAY)
1 copy of print EC book, COUGARLICIOUS (antho of my HAT TRICK plus Jayne Rylon's and Amber Skyze's stories!)
1 pack EC playing cards
1 Cerise DeLand PINKPINKPINK nail polish (A Name Brand!)
1 2011 CAVEMAN Calendar (big pix of EC's hunky men, lemme just say!)
1 tote bag


Simply write a comment or ask a question in the comment box below to be entered into the giveaway!

Contest ends August 31.

Winners will be announced in September.
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