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Lorana Hoopes

Lawfully Redeemed

Lawfully Redeemed

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Suspect or man of her dreams?

Dani Higgins was looking for adventure when she joined the K-9 unit, but she never expected her first case to leave her stranded in the snow and pinned under a tree. Nor did she expect to develop feelings for the handsome stranger who cares for her. Will she be able to forget her past and give love another chance?

Calvin Phillips just wanted his brother to turn from drugs, but somehow he ended up smack dab in the middle of a police investigation when he rescued Dani from hypothermia. Will he be able to convince her he's innocent? Even more importantly, will he be able to open his heart and tell her how much he cares? Or will the fact that she's after his brother doom their relationship before it has a chance to start?

Find out in this exciting Christian romance from Award winner and USA Today best selling author Lorana Hoopes.

First Chapter

Calvin stared at the computer screen and rubbed his eyes. While he loved his job, the monotony sometimes got to him. Day in and day out, just him and his computer. He could really use some company. 

A knock sounded at the door, and Calvin chuckled at the timing. His good mood faded, however, as he opened the door and tried to suppress his sigh. His brother Chris stood on the other side, and from the slight twitching of his body, Calvin could tell he was using again.

“What is it, Chris?” Calvin hated the tone in his voice, but he had been bailing Chris out of trouble for the last few years.

Chris hadn’t always been this way. During his Junior year of college, their father was diagnosed with cancer. After a tough yearlong battle, the cancer won. Two months after that, a car accident took their mother's life. It had been too much for twenty-two-year-old Chris to bear. Heck, it had been too much for Calvin to bear at twenty-six, but at least he’d had a job to fall back on. A solitary, retreat-from-everyone kind of job, but still a job. Chris, on the other hand, hadn't quite finished college, having taken time off when their father got sick, and therefore wasn’t sure where to go.  

Unfortunately, he turned to drugs. At first, it had just been smoking marijuana at parties, which was legal in their state. Then, it had transitioned into smoking pot every night. From there, Chris turned to harder drugs like ecstasy and Oxycodone. Now, Calvin believed Chris was dabbling in cocaine or heroin, but he couldn’t bring himself to ask. Ignorance wasn't really blissful, but it kept him from going completely crazy with guilt. 

Chris twitched and rubbed his nose. “I just need a couple hundred dollars, Calvin. Enough to get me through the month. The landlord raised the rent again.” 

Calvin knew this was a lie. Chris had already used this excuse, along with losing his job, having to repair his car, and getting robbed. No, this money was for drugs and Calvin was done supplying his habit. Last month when Chris asked for money, he promised to attend rehab. Either he had not fulfilled that promise, or it hadn’t worked for him.             

“I’m sorry, Chris, but I’m not giving you any more money.” As hard as it was to watch his little brother go down this path, he needed some tough love. Calvin reached for the door handle to shut the front door, but Chris managed to wiggle his toe in to keep it from closing. 

“Food then?” he asked with another slight twitch. “I haven’t eaten in a few days. Can I at least have some food?” 

Calvin knew he should say no, but this was his brother and he couldn’t watch him starve to death. “Fine,” he said, stepping back and allowing Chris to open the door. “Lunch, but that’s it. Then you leave.” 

“You got it. Thanks, Cal, you always were a great brother.” 

Calvin sighed. He wished he could just be a brother instead of his brother’s keeper. “Have a seat,” Calvin said, pointing to the living room couch. “I’ll make a sandwich and pack you an extra one for later.” 

Chris nodded and grabbed the remote as he plopped down on Calvin’s couch. 

Calvin continued to the kitchen and grabbed the bread, meat, and cheese from the fridge. The sound of some football game carried across the room as he prepared the sandwiches. With a sigh, he thought back to high school. Back to a simpler time when Chris played football and his biggest worry was getting a date on Friday night. 

What would it take to get Chris back on track? Calvin wasn’t sure he could handle any more loss. If he lost Chris, he’d be all alone, but though he’d been praying for the last two years, God hadn’t answered his prayer yet. 

He grabbed two bags of chips from the pantry and added them to the plates. Then he sealed the third sandwich in a bag and placed it on Chris’s plate. 

“You weren’t watching the game?” Chris asked when Calvin entered the living room. For a moment, his eyes shone bright and clear. 

“No, I was working,” Calvin said. As a developer for a software company, he often worked from home and his work time and personal time mixed together frequently. “But I’ll watch it with you now.” He handed Chris his plate and then sat beside him, placing his own plate on his lap. 

“Thanks, bro,” Chris said, opening the bag of chips and shoving three in his mouth. “They’re down by a touchdown, but they might be able to pull it out,” he said around his mouthful of food. 

Calvin bit back a smile. It was nice to see Chris as he remembered him even if it only lasted an hour or so. As he bit into his own sandwich, he sent another prayer heavenward. “Lord, please reach Chris. Help him get clean and see the error of his ways before he ends up dead.” 

Chris’s sandwich and chips were gone before the first commercial break. Calvin would have made more, but Chris didn’t ask. When the game ended, Chris tucked the extra sandwich in his jacket pocket as he stood up to leave. 

“Hey, Calvin,” he said, digging the toe of his shoe into the carpet. “If I needed help, not financial, but, you know, other help, would you be there for me?” 

The stress on the word other led Calvin to believe Chris was asking for help in hiding, making, or selling drugs. All things Calvin would never do. He sucked in a deep breath as he thought about his answer. “I love you Chris, I do, but I won't do anything illegal, not even for you.” 

Chris nodded, his shaggy brown hair swishing against his pale skin. “Yeah, I got it. Thanks for the food though.” 

“You’re welcome.” 

After one final awkward stare, Chris shuffled to the front door. As the door closed behind him, Calvin leaned against it and sighed. Giving tough love was not easy, and he hoped he was doing the right thing.

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Lorana Hoopes

Lorana Hoopes is a USA Today Best Selling Author and now an Award Winning Author as well. She's had two books earn a Page Turner Award Finalist badge and she recently won the Reader's Favorite Book Award for Romantic Suspense.