When Jack Trumps Ace
by Debbie De Louise
Genre: A Romantic Comedy Jewel Heist Novella
Jackie Riordan's in trouble . . .
When her jewel-thief father is caught in the middle of a heist, Jackie makes her getaway to his ex-jail pal’s apartment. a man called Ace, who lives in an upscale neighborhood of Chicago. What she doesn't count on is falling in love with him and becoming his partner in crime. She also doesn't expect to compete with Ace’s old flame or deal with his cat Roxie who causes her allergy attacks.
All bets are off . . .
After Jackie discovers clues left by her father which lead her to a treasure that Ace may have stolen, she contemplates her next move. Should she trust Ace and believe her father gave him the money, or head home to her mother, a religious hypocrite who would have no qualms about ratting out her own daughter to the cops?
Things that sparkle aren't always Diamonds . . .
Before Jackie can decide who the good guys really are, she finds herself atop the Willis Tower carrying her father's ashes in her pocket and aiding Ace in the largest jewelry heist of his life. Things go terribly wrong, and Jackie's only choice seems to be to walk away from Ace or face imprisonment.
Dodging to her right, Kayla sidestepped the fist aimed at her head as it passed close enough to feel the air move. Her auburn ponytail swinging as she danced around her opponent, Kayla watched with bright green eyes and waited for any opening, any weakness to exploit. She did not waste her energy on extra movements or attacks, preferring to let her adversary tire herself and present an opportunity.
Her opponent had a fierce look in her blue eyes as she came at Kayla with a strike of her left hand. Kayla stopped the blow. The hand latched onto her shoulder and dug into the flesh above her collarbone. Kayla staggered back at the pain. The hand released, then both combatants regained their balance.
As another blow came toward Kayla, she sensed that her foe had placed too much weight on her front foot. With a swift movement, Kayla slid to the side, grabbed the incoming arm, and sent her attacker tumbling to the blue padded floor.
“Enough!” said Olivia, with her arms up and palms facing Kayla.
“Next time, don’t let yourself get caught off balance,” said Kayla, as she extended her hand to help Olivia to her feet.
“Off balance? Naw, I just hadn’t done a somersault in forever,” grinned Olivia, her sapphire eyes twinkling. “Besides, I felt like taking a nap on this comfy mat.”
“Maybe next time I’ll give you that nap.” Kayla joked.
“Just make sure you tuck me in first,” responded Olivia as she brushed herself off.
“I believe that I’m two out of three this week. Hope you’re not losing your edge,” teased Kayla.
“Of course not. After kicking your ass all of last week, I thought you could use a couple of wins,” Olivia smirked.
Catching her breath, Kayla glanced around the gym where they held their morning training sessions. She saw other pairs finishing their own bouts and heading to the locker room. Training here required hard work, but Kayla always left feeling reinvigorated and confident about facing the challenges of being an engineering student. Besides, she always enjoyed throwing Olivia around a bit.
As the two of them walked toward the locker room, Kayla wiped the sweat from her forehead and Olivia shook her long blonde hair free of her headband.
“I’d better get ready so that I can head to the workshop to work on my senior design project,” Kayla said.
“Yeah, I need to head out, too. Class is in half an hour. See you for dinner?”
Debbie De Louise is an award-winning author and a reference librarian at a public library on Long Island. She is a member of Sisters-in-Crime, International Thriller Writers, and the Cat Writer’s Association. She has a BA in English and an MLS in Library Science from Long Island University. Her three published novels include Cloudy Rainbow, A Stone's Throw, and Between a Rock and a Hard Place (Solstice Publishing, 2016) that has been on the Amazon bestseller list for cozy mysteries. Debbie has also written articles and short stories for several anthologies of various genres. She is currently working on the third Cobble Cove mystery and a psychological thriller. She lives on Long Island with her husband, daughter, and two cats.