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First Chapter: Rising, Freestyle

Rising, Freestyle comes out March 13th, enjoy the first chapter of the book!

Stuck between a rock-solid man and a hard place…

Melanie Dixon’s body may have recovered from a horrific climbing accident, but her nerve is long gone. So is the natural enthusiasm for life she took for granted. Tired of being scared, beyond ready to conquer her fears, she pulls up stakes and moves to her brother’s new hometown to start over. Her first step is the most terrifying—to tackle the wall at the local climbing center.

Derrick James is mesmerized by Melanie’s dark beauty, and equally impressed with her climbing abilities and determination. Watching her re-tune rusty skills spurs a desire to partner with her—on and off the ropes. Melanie’s a compelling mix of wit, sensuality and vulnerability, and it’s his delicious task to convince her the scars on her body are no match for the heat rising between them.

Then a man from Melanie’s past shows up, pushing their relationship to the edge. Nathan King wants photographs for a “where are they now” series, but his side agenda is more personal in nature. A proposal that brings her out of her sensual shell and onto a precarious sexual ledge. Where trust is crucial…and too easily shattered.

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Chapter One

Beta: Climbing slang that means to gather information about a route.

 

“Go on, you can do it.”

Melanie remained immobile, gaze glued to where her fingers wrapped around the holds on the climbing wall. The dark Adonis holding her safety rope had been nothing but positive and upbeat with her since she’d signed up for the private climbing lessons. Even without looking she could picture him, his wide smile bright against his tanned skin. Dark hair slightly messed, chocolate-brown eyes that made her think all kinds of naughty things.

“The next hold in the route is that blue one, off to the right. Match your feet, transfer your weight and you’ll be there in no time.”

As she moved to follow his instructions, she wondered for the millionth time if he was staring at her butt simply to help her find the best route, or if he was staring at her butt for more nefarious reasons.

She could only dream it was the second.

Derrick James was exactly the kind of guy she admired. Tall, dark and good with ropes. Now if she could get up the nerve to make a move on him other than when they were checking each other’s harnesses for secure straps.

Concentrate. She needed to focus on the wall, not the dry spell in her sex life. Even if dry was the wrong word to depict something comparable to the Sahara during a drought.

A few adjustments later she’d made it to the hold he’d described.

“Awesome job. You want to go higher?” he asked.

Oh man. There were many things she wanted. She wanted to drag her fingers through his long hair and pull his head to hers for a kiss that would make her toes curl. If he happened to use his strong fingers on her back for a massage that somehow turned into a more erotic playtime, that would be fine as well. Maybe letting her crawl over him as they writhed together in wild, passionate lovemaking that would leave her gasping for breath and sexually sated. All of those were on the instant “hell, yeah” list.

Going past the fifteen-foot mark on the vertical climbing wall? That one wasn’t nearly as easy a decision.

Melanie stared upward. The holds were simple on this section of the wall, the route easy to follow. Old training patterns kicked in and she automatically shifted her weight as she saw the correct sequence to reach for next. She could do this.

Until she turned and looked down. The floor wavered beneath her, fading farther and nearer like some freaky optical illusion. She clung to her handholds as her tongue stuck to the dry roof of her mouth. Fear laced through her, a shot of adrenaline making her limbs shake and all the blood rush from her head.

“I’ve got you.” The harness around her hips snugged upward as Derrick took in the slack of the rope and secured her in place. “That’s as high as you’re going right now, Melanie. Just take a deep breath. You’re okay.”

The bulging muscles of his arms as he held the belay ropes blurred into the background as she stared into his eyes. Her heart pounded, there was a ringing in her ears and she needed to pee. It took too much effort to squeeze out the words, and she sounded like a two-year-old. “Don’t drop me.”

“I’ve got you,” he repeated. His expression was no longer the sexy one that got her blood pumping. There was deep concern, and suddenly the corner of his mouth was the most important thing for her to concentrate on. Because if she looked at his mouth, and thought about kissing that spot, then she didn’t need to think about the fact she hung in the air above a hard floor. Didn’t have to think about how much it would hurt if she fell again. “I need you to look at the wall, Melanie. Just turn and look at the wall so I can lower you. You understand? I’m not going to drop you. You’re safe, but I need you in position to get you down.”

“Scared.” Throat tight. Breathing tough.

“I know, but I promise you’re safe. I’m not going to drop you, and you know it. Want me to lift you a tiny bit? Prove that you’re secure?”

She nodded rapidly. He leaned back and pulled easily, no more than a couple of inches. It was enough to make her body rise and take the weight off her shaking legs. Mel snapped her head back to face the wall. It took conscious effort to loosen her death grip and press her hips away from the wall. Letting go of the handholds made her heart leap to her throat, but she didn’t change elevation. Derrick held her in one spot, rock solid and firm. Quickly, she wrapped one hand around the rope at her chest level, the other thrust toward the wall for protection. She moistened her lips so she could speak.

“Lower.” The climbing command stuck in her throat, but she got it out.

“Lowering. Good girl.” His deep voice enveloped her and she let the warmth act as a protective barrier.

Her descent was so smooth and slow she had time to walk her way down the wall like a little child inching down a sidewalk following a snail. She hung in a modified sitting position as she relied on him to control her motion. He did an amazing job—even the stop at the bottom came smoothly, no sudden jerk to startle her already overwrought nerves.

Why in the world had she thought facing her fears and learning to climb again was a good idea?

Her butt landed on the crash mat with a delicately soft touch, and she breathed a sigh of relief, laid back and closed her eyes. Only fifteen feet and she’d had a freaking acrophobia attack. After three weeks of hard work, that was all she’d accomplished? How was she supposed to get back to living a full and exciting life when she couldn’t even get past the baby marker?

Beside her shoulder, the mat dipped, and she wearily popped one eye open to spot Derrick seated on her left. “I know you probably don’t think so, but you did great.”

Bullshit. “Define great.” That sexy smile of his was back, and at least now she could blame the way her heart beat out of control on something other than her annoying new fear of heights.

“You didn’t expect to be able to hit the ceiling so soon, did you? Go back to free climbing and lead climbing as if nothing happened? You had a major fall and it’s going to take time to get over—”

“Shut up.” Mel snapped to a sitting position to glare at him across a more even playing field. Damn, that was inexcusably rude, but she didn’t care. The intensity of anger that hit came as a surprise, yet it was a welcome relief to counteract the paralyzing fear that controlled her life. She tilted her chin and met his gaze again. “Don’t tell me it’s going to take time. It’s been three years, and I’m still so chicken I’m afraid to walk across the street without looking both ways twelve times.”

Confusion flashed over his face. “What does that have to do with climbing? Or your accident? The ropes failed. It was a freak situation and never should have happened, but you’ve recovered and—”

Melanie slammed a hand onto the mat next to her. “Recovering. I’m not nearly as strong as I was. Before the accident, I was always traveling and exploring the wilderness. Set new routes for others at outdoor sites in the summer. I used to climb all day and dance all night. And it’s all gone, okay? The exploring, the friends. The dancing and enjoying being with other people. I’ve been living like a hermit. I haven’t had sex in three damn years. So when the hell am I going to get over being afraid?”

Oh my God. She hadn’t said that. She scrambled to her feet and turned her back on him, fumbling to undo the figure-eight knot holding the rope twined through her safety harness.

Strong arms surrounded her, his hands blocking her attempts at the knot and holding them still. He was a wall of muscle behind her, hot and firm, making all her earlier thoughts return. Sweaty, needy, entangled bodies and…she wasn’t going to be distracted from the fact she was pissed off. She struggled and his grip tightened as he backed up a pace, moving away from the wall.

“Melanie, it’s okay.” He didn’t release her, but his clasp changed, one hand locking her immobile, the other caressing her gently. Prying her hands from the rope until he could slip his fingers over hers, his fingertips teasing the webbing between each digit. The motion was intimate and soothing even as it sent a tingle up her arm.

She closed her eyes, the heat in her face slipping to her chest and farther inside—a rush of warmth that tightened her throat and made it tough to breathe.

He nuzzled at her nape, the warm air of his breathing a caress down her neck. “Melanie?”

Right there in front of her was the wall that had defeated her again. She tilted her head to stare at it, fear making her legs quiver the higher her gaze rose. Only this time Derrick was solid at her back, his warmth a cocoon of safety.

Longing to move forward hit like a thunderclap. Longing for the touch of a man—this man—intertwined with her desires. She’d been afraid for so long.

Melanie twisted in his arms to stare into his eyes—dark midnight pools that were filled with something more than concern. Derrick brushed a knuckle against her temple, smoothing back a loose hair. All the time his gaze fixed on hers.

Then he leaned closer, slowly. Giving time for escape, for retreat, before his lips made contact.

Whisper soft. Not hesitant, but careful.

Too careful. Melanie leaned in harder, accepting his offering. Derrick responded, becoming more forceful and direct. Heat built between them as he ravished her mouth and her mood flipped again. All her stored-up frustrations burst out into glorious lust and she opened her lips willingly. Somehow she found her fingers tangled in his hair like she’d dreamed of earlier. He showed his approval by clutching her hips to him, his arousal evident even through the mass of webbing in the harnesses lashed around their hips. The safety rope wove between their bodies; the hard surface another contrast against the delicate brush of his fingers as he trailed them up her arms.

He kissed her, his tongue teasing along her teeth, tickling her lips, plunging deep. Their breaths mingled as they separated for a second to gasp for air then dove back for more. The tight knot of fear in her belly slipped into an aching need a handspan lower, centered between her legs.

Maybe she should have freaked out sooner. Maybe coming to the climbing wall and forcing herself to get back into a harness was the best thing she could have done.

Maybe she should just concentrate on the man she wanted to climb up and swing from the rafters with. Her swelling desire shoved the lingering stench of her anxiety into the corner as she let the thrill of arousal take her away.

 

**

 

Derrick figured he’d be kicking his own ass once this was over, but for now he reveled in the woman melting in his arms. For the past three weeks he’d been as patient and gentle as a saint. He’d ignored the urge to make a move, sensing her nervousness, thinking it was about her getting back into the swing of climbing again. He’d forced himself to stay aloof and make the situation as peaceful and serene as possible, all the while longing to find out what Melanie Dixon tasted like.

Even the fact she was related to a good friend wasn’t enough to stop him from expressing interest in the dark-haired beauty. Kane’s little sister was grown up enough to know her own mind, and what she’d said she needed was to regain her courage in the climbing arena.

If she had given him even an inkling of what she’d just shared, he would have been all over her weeks ago. Now he was finally getting the chance.

Screw the consequences. She needed this—maybe even more than he did. And he needed it bad.

God, she could kiss. She held his head in traction between her palms, lips tight to his. Every breath he dragged in tasted like her, with that damn tongue exploring and rampaging through his mouth. He cupped her butt and dragged her higher to line them up better, thrusting his own tongue along hers, pulsing it like he wanted to pulse into her body. Her moan of approval rippled along his spine, and he went from hard to utterly rigid. The confining straps of the harness holding his khakis in place pressed on him violently enough to cut off circulation.

Derrick took another step back. There was a sudden jerk as the rope between them snagged and he tripped. Melanie let out a little scream. He rolled instantly to his back to catch her, swearing at his own stupidity in giving her any reason to not trust him. Great, asshole. Drop the woman who’s afraid of falling.

Nothing happened. He lay flat on his back, but instead of the sudden contact of her body slamming against his, he heard a peal of laughter echo off the high walls of the climbing gym.

“Damn it, Derrick, get me out of this mess.”

Her voice came from directly above him, and he looked up to see her face hovering over his. It took a second to follow the lines and figure out what had happened. The loose end of the rope was tangled around his torso, pinned in place by his body weight. The middle of the length rose to the ceiling, looped through the support hooks as it should and returned down to where Melanie’s harness was secured into the other end.

She hung suspended a foot over him, facedown, with the rope caught over one shoulder. Her feet were planted on the wall, holding her in place. She looked as if she were laying flat on her tummy on an invisible diving board.

He stared into her face, checking for any signs of fear, but all he saw was amusement. “Are you okay?”

She snickered. “I’m fine, but a little stuck. Could you please get me down?”

The situation was too tempting to resist. He gripped the rope to keep her in place, then swung himself into a direct line. When he released the rope, letting it slide through his hand an inch at a time, it lowered her all right.

Directly on top of his waiting body.

It felt so damn good, the increasing weight of her settling on him. The warmth of her thighs met his legs, her breasts crushed against his chest. Her gaze bore into him, and he wondered if he’d overstepped his boundaries for the second time.

“Did you plan this all along?” she asked.

He shook his head, trying to ignore the violent urge to rub their groins together to satisfy the hunger burning inside. He couldn’t do that, not unless she showed some indication she was agreeable.

Tying up a woman to get into her pants—it wouldn’t be the first time, but he only did that with willing partners.

“Couldn’t have planned it in a million years,” he confessed.

Her eyes darkened as her gaze darted over his face, landing on his lips with a hungry stare. “Damn, I’d hoped it was on purpose.”

Hallelujah. He let go of the rope and rolled her, diving back into the kiss. Only this time the feel of her under him made him crazy. She opened her legs and his hips settled in tighter, except for the layers of harnesses between them. Like some kind of modern chastity belt, the wide webbing snagged together as he rocked his hips, stopping him from rubbing his erection against her mound. He growled out his frustration.

She grabbed one of his hands and tugged it to her breast.

Okay, he could be pacified for a moment or two.

They slowed the frantic kisses as his need to taste her skin grew beyond restraint. While he licked and nipped his way along her jawline, her fingers skipped over his back, tugging his shirt upward until she reached bare skin. Her short nails weren’t enough to scratch, but her strong fingertips dug in and pulled a groan from him.

He wanted to be naked with her. He wanted to strip off the long-sleeved shirt and sports bra she always wore, and suck on her firm nipples until she screamed. Then he’d—

A buzzer went off and they both tensed. They glanced toward the clock on the wall and Melanie let out a huge sigh. “Opening time.”

The after-school crowd was waiting for him to open the door to the climbing gym. Screw it. They could all wait for a few minutes.

It took an extraordinary amount of time to untangle themselves and find their feet. Derrick held her close for longer than he needed to, pretending it was to make sure she had her balance. He just didn’t want to let her go.

The damn buzzer went off again, this time accompanied by banging fists on the doorframe.

“Your students are eager to get started.” Melanie stared away from him, all her concentration centered on untangling the knot tethering her to the rope.

He wasn’t going to leave it this way. A wild tumble on the climbing mats and nothing more? “Would you like to go for dinner with me?”

Her head snapped up, a small smile appearing. “Tonight?”

Derrick nodded as he headed for the door. “I can get away around six thirty. Seven if you’re okay waiting that long.”

Melanie paused and he held his breath. “I’d like that. You want me to come here?”

Excitement raced through him to rival any teenage boy planning a first date. “That would be great.”

“Okay.”

They were grinning at each other like fools, he was sure of it, but he really didn’t give a shit. Not about the continued protesting at the door behind him, or the faces peering in. Not about his lack of finesse. She turned and headed for the change room, and he watched her ass with a growing conviction that fate had intervened today and that tonight was going to be the start of a fine relationship.

Melanie wanted to relearn how to live? He could help her with a lesson or two, and if somewhere along the way they happened to get involved in some heart-pounding, body-aching sex?

He was good with that as well.

 

Pre-Order: Kobo, iBooks US, iBooks UK, iBooks CA, Barnes & Noble, Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon CA

First Chapter: Falling, Freestyle

Falling, Freestyle comes out March 13th, enjoy the first chapter of the book!

Never venture out of bounds without a buddy—preferably two.

Dara’s past four incredible years have been lived to the fullest. Along with her best friends, Kane and Jack, she’s left no local wilderness unexplored, no ski slope unchallenged. Yet lately she wonders why they’ve never seen her as more than a buddy with breasts. When—or if—either man will cross that unspoken line.

It’s a line Kane eyes harder every day. Since high school, he and Jack have shared everything. A condo, vacations—and their best girl. Kane’s ready to get serious about his wilderness school and outfitter business, and that includes putting down roots. Preferably with Dara.

Wary of the men who’ve recently been sniffing around Dara, Jack has a growing sense that he or Kane better make a move soon, or they’re going to lose out on their perfect match. Question is, who does she prefer…and who’s going to bring their easygoing trio to an end?

Overhearing the boys arguing over her, Dara’s floored—and torn. Choose between them? No way. Drastic measures are called for, a plan for their annual holiday getaway that will clarify her feelings once and for all—or lose everything in a sexual storm of whiteout proportions.

Pre-Order: Kobo, iBooks US, iBooks UK, iBooks CA, Barnes & Noble, Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon CA

Chapter One

Alpine Responsibility Code

Rule #1—Always stay in control…

 

The bright yellow safety marker passed behind them as Dara leaned back on the solid wood boards of the chairlift, easing her skis onto the rests. She relaxed and drew in a deep breath of icy air, turning her face toward the sun to soak in its warmth. Heat radiated off the bodies on either side of her. Jack and Kane—her best friends in their ski-crazy town.

“Which run do you two want to hit next?” Kane elbowed Dara in the ribs, his bright blue eyes flashing with amusement. Dark curls stuck out from the edges of his helmet to frame his boyish good looks. “You warmed up enough yet for something other than the bunny hills?”

The man was merciless. “Screw you. Just because I don’t like starting the day with double black doesn’t mean it’s a bunny hill. And I kick your butt when we ski trees, so chill.”

“She’s got you there,” Jack taunted. His blond hair was hidden under a woolen toque with long braided ties hanging down on either side of his face. Combined with the rest of his features, the image reminded her of ancient Viking barbarians—beautiful, strong.

Dangerous.

Kane winked at her. “Bull. I just like to watch the lines you take. It’s the only chance I get to admire your incredible talent since I spend the rest of the time with you on my backside.”

Dara laughed, tucking herself a little farther into the shelter of Jack’s broad body as their chairlift crested the first major rise.

Without a word, he adjusted position to shield her from the wind.

She was so grateful their local ski hill had a couple of triple chairs. The twelve-minute ride to the mountaintop was never as long, or as cold, when her guys were there. The ride up was a chance to take a break from the wild downhill rush of swooshing through knee-deep powder, snow flying in her wake. She snuggled in tighter against Jack, nudging the walkie-talkie in his pocket out of her way. While his rule that they each carry one as a backup for if they ever got separated was smart, she didn’t need it poking her in the back.

The chair rattled over another of the tall towers, setting them swinging slightly. They’d all arranged to play hooky from their evil day jobs to take advantage of the lesser crowds midweek. A bad day skiing beat a good day at work anytime.

Kane made a satisfied noise, then turned his grin her direction, obviously as pleased as she was with their impromptu Wednesday getaway. “Your pick, Dara, which run will it be?”

“Diamond Drill. I want to hit the jump.”

Jack swore. “Already? You don’t need to prove anything to Kane. He’s just being an ass, teasing you about being a bunny.”

She had to laugh. “I know he’s a shit, that’s not why I want to do it.” She wiggled her brows at him. “I think you’re the one who’s a bit of a chicken. That jump still freaks you out, doesn’t it?”

Kane laid a gloved hand on her shoulder. “Don’t you worry, darling. You want to sail off into the wild blue yonder, I’ll be there to catch you.”

The banter continued back and forth until they reached the top of the lift. They slipped off and glided to the side where Jack and Dara waited for Kane to buckle on his snowboard.

The first runs of the day were always magical. The cloud-free sky allowed the sun to flash blindingly bright off the fresh powder, individual snow crystals sparkling everywhere she looked. With clean uncut snow to track up, the thrill of exhilaration made being out of doors in the freezing weather worth it. Of course, getting to spend the day with her two best buds added to the pleasure.

Four years ago they’d found her struggling to bring her personal items into the apartment unit before a blizzard buried her. They had worked together to carry in all the boxes and bags stuffed into her ancient Volvo, ordered a pizza, and they’d been the three musketeers ever since.

Not only could they keep up with her on the slopes, they were a hoot in the ski lodge. After their time together, they had developed rituals and routines that made her smile. Simple things, like they always brought their own lunches, but splurged and shared the biggest plate of fries the cafeteria made. Hot chocolate from a thermos, and a cold brew or two when they got home. Yeah, life was good and Dara couldn’t imagine any way it could possibly get better.

Well, except having the two of them actually notice she was a girl. That would be nice.

Dara glanced between them—Jack adjusting his goggles to cover his chocolate brown eyes, Kane waving lazily to another local sliding past. Yup—they were the best friends she’d ever had, and if there was a tiny piece inside her that longed for more, well…

There was too much at stake to risk changing their current state of affairs.

Kane whooped as he rose to his feet, propelling himself straight down the hill to pick up enough speed before cutting across the slope to the run they wanted to take.

Dara smiled at Jack and they took off after him, their poles and skis making it easier to maneuver at the top of the run. Jack telemarked, with a ski and boot combination that left his heels unattached, forcing him to bend low on each turn. His strong legs moved rhythmically as he bounced between the upper moguls.

Dara was the ordinary one, with her freestyle skis and poles. She didn’t have the stamina to spend the whole day doing lunges, like Jack would as he telemarked, and the one time she’d tried snowboarding she’d spent more time on her ass than on the board.

Kane shrieked with laughter as he raced down the hill and Dara joined in, letting out her own cry of delight. She flew past Jack as she accelerated around the corner and headed toward the jump. The only time she’d seen Jack completely lose his eternal cool was the day he crashed, rolling limbs askew for a good twenty-five meters before coming to a stop at the base of a tree. Luckily nothing had been broken, but Jack still freaked every time she headed for it.

She crouched in preparation, then extended her knees at the apex of the jump and let herself soar into the air. She flung her arms to the side to rotate herself in a three-hundred-sixty-degree circle. The dark green of the trees and the blue of the sky blurred together as she spun, the snow-covered ground a million miles away—for all of four seconds—before it rushed to meet her. She absorbed the impact of the landing, catching her balance with her legs wide apart.

Awesome. She let out a howl and Kane answered back from below. One more swoosh and she slid to a stop at his feet, spraying him with a wash of fine snow crystals.

“Holy crap, girl, that was the most height I’ve ever seen you get on that jump. Some day you might even be as good as me.”

Dara punched Kane in the arm and they turned to watch Jack. He wove his way toward them, stopping with an extra bit of flair and coating them both with snow. “Okay, I’m officially pumped for our holiday. Three back-to-back days of skiing? Watching you two is going to put me into cardiac arrest.”

Kane gestured down the hill. “Then go first so you don’t have to see it, because it’s only going to get better from here on.”

They spent the next hour assaulting the fresh snow, the crowds slowly growing as people realized the weather had turned for the better. When they stomped into the lodge for lunch, Dara took a side trip for a bathroom break.

Yeah, Jack and Kane were the perfect ski partners, kayak buddies and best friends for watching movies and kicking back but…damn.

Dara stared into the mirror. Ordinary stared back. She was nothing like the women they dated. She was solid and plain, and tended to let other people speak for her far more often than she should. She even had a freaky dusting of freckles across her nose that made people who described her use words like “cute” and “wholesome”.

Well, she doubted most people who were considered “cute” spent a day on the hill with her friends before returning home to a vibrator. The last in a long line of toys she’d burnt out in an attempt to tame all the wild fantasies streaking through her mind every time she thought about the guys.

And she was sure those “wholesome” girls would never daydream about what Jack and Kane looked like in the shower when they’d all head home after the day’s excursions were done. The worst part was she didn’t have to imagine much, not after dozens of trips together where the guys stripped to nothing but boxers when it got hot. To say nothing about the time they went swimming in the buff. Not that she’d been looking.

Much.

Ripped bodies, great attitudes. Kane and Jack had been best friends since forever…and that was the kicker. There was no way she wanted to screw up their friendship, not only with her, but with each other. The kind of loyalty they’d shared over the years was precious. Getting involved with either of them would be a recipe for disaster.

She patted her face with water. Nope—she could satisfy herself with her fingers and her rubbery friends, and keep her relationship with the guys clean and clear.

Her pocket vibrated and she straightened with a jerk. It took her a second to figure out it was her walkie-talkie—the guys must be looking for her. She should have just told them to go ahead and grab the fries.

The hard plastic slipped in her wet hands and she nearly dropped the thing. In her mad scramble to catch it, she hit listen instead of talk.

Jack’s voice rose to her ears, and he sounded pissed off. “Shut up. This isn’t the time or the place for this discussion. You really want to mess with what we’ve got?”

“You know as well as I do that someday she’s going to find someone she likes, and we’ll be out of luck. You want to sit around and wait until then?”

Dara listened for a minute before she realized the guys didn’t know she was on the line. She reached for the call button when her name caught her ear.

“If Dara wanted to get involved with either of us, she would have done something by now.”

What?

“You think so?” Kane’s deep voice drawled. “I think since we’re always together, there’s not much chance for the girl to express interest in one of us. Like she’s going to come on to me when you’re around. She’s too polite.”

“Yeah, right.”

Dara picked her jaw off the floor and glanced around the bathroom in shock, hoping no one else was listening. One stall door was closed, so she turned down the volume and held the receiver tight to her ear. She should turn it off, she really should, but she couldn’t resist eavesdropping a little longer.

“What’s the solution? You going to step back and let me show her who’s the better guy?” Jack’s husky voice sent a shiver racing over Dara’s skin.

Kane laughed. “Here’s where this conversation stalls every time. This is why neither of us is with Dara. We both think we’d be good with her, and that she’d be a good match for either of us.”

Jack swore softly. “So why are we discussing this? The day we met her we agreed to keep our hands off.”

“I’m saying maybe we need to change our rules. Frankly, I’m getting to the point I’d rather see her with you than with anyone else.”

“Likewise, dickwad, but your timing sucks. With the ski trip we’ve got planned, I think we should just keep the status quo for now and change the dynamics when we get back. I’d hate to upset our getaway if…well if anything does happen. We’ve had this in—”

Loud crackling noise filled the speaker, nearly deafening Dara. Their voices faded, then cut out completely. One of the guys must have moved the receiver and accidentally clicked off the send button.

She leaned back on the wall and fought to catch her breath. Holy shit. They were both interested in her. It was every woman’s fantasy to have guys like Jack and Kane interested in her except…

There was no way on earth she could choose between them.

Every memory she had of Jack was wrapped up with thoughts of Kane. All the things she loved about Kane were connected by experiences with Jack.

Jack was her solid rock. Sturdy and dependable, even though he looked like he’d be at home pillaging a village. He fixed her shower, helped her with her computer and brought her chocolates when she got into a funk. They discussed books and movies, and somehow he instinctively knew when she needed a hug. His smile made her darkest day bright.

In comparison, Kane was her laughing buddy, rioting out with his loud mannerisms and boisterous good humour. He wasn’t embarrassed to be caught sniffling during the chick flicks she forced them to watch. She never knew what to expect from the practical joker, except she trusted him to always be on her side.

As she made her way up the stairs to the cafeteria, her mind continued to race a million miles an hour, going down roads better not imagined. Like wondering again what Jack would be like in bed. Cautious? No, thorough, maybe forceful even. Kane, on the other hand, would be the type she could laugh with while they fooled around.

Damn. She shook her head and pushed through the cafeteria doors, clomping in her heavy boots toward their usual table. The swelling volume of voices drowned out her thoughts.

She should confess she’d heard their conversation, but what could she say without it being really awkward? In fact, doing anything about what she’d overheard seemed completely impossible.

If she knew which man she wanted to get involved with, it would be simpler. With her affections spread so evenly between them, that option was eliminated. In fact she couldn’t imagine being with one and not the other.

Being with both of them? Together. Oh Lord, yes. As if she hadn’t fantasized about that a million times as well.

Her face flushed hotter. The erotic books she’d read returned to her, and suddenly she wondered if she was brave enough to go through with the idea flashing through her brain. Their annual pre-Christmas ski trip away to another resort, just the three of them, was fast approaching. If she opened the door just a crack, what would they think of spending time getting to know her better—both of them?

Maybe if she introduced the concept of a ménage as a fantasy, asked them to help her out. She’d be able to see if there was a difference in the way her heart and body felt—see if she was more drawn to one than the other. In the meantime she’d be experiencing a dream come true.

If she could convince them to give it a try.

She stepped next to the table and they both turned their full attention her way. Darkness and light met her, in their eyes, their hair. Something inside her belly tingled with anticipation, and this time she let it build instead of beating it into submission.

Wanting them both wasn’t wrong, she was sure of it. Wanting them both, together…that seemed more risqué.

“I thought you’d fallen in and drowned.” Jack grinned and pushed the plate of fries toward her. “I saved some from the bottomless pit over there.”

“I’m a growing boy. I need to keep my strength up.” Kane slid to the side to give Dara room to join him. He had one leg on either side of the bench and as she nestled in she realized just how intimate the position was, her hip inches from his groin.

She choked down the fries, her gaze flicking from one to the other as they laughed and joked. Her guys, their faces glowing with health and energy. Drool-worthy Jack. Invigorating Kane. Daydream inducing—together or apart.

Something clicked inside and she took a deep breath.

They wanted to change the status quo? So be it, but she would be the one calling the shots. She had a few weeks to get everything in place, then come hell or high water she was going to make the most outrageous thing she’d ever dreamed of a reality.

She was going to seduce her best friends.

Pre-Order: Kobo, iBooks US, iBooks UK, iBooks CA, Barnes & Noble, Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon CA

Coming Soon: The Re-release of Extreme Adventures

The Extreme Adventures series is being re-released with sexy new covers! This series is the first adventure romance series I wrote, but these are a lot sexier than the Adventure: Search and Rescue series. If you like skiing, climbing, and smokin’ hot romance, these are the books for you!

Falling, Freestyle

Never venture out of bounds without a buddy—preferably two.

Dara’s past four incredible years have been lived to the fullest. Along with her best friends, Kane and Jack, she’s left no local wilderness unexplored, no ski slope unchallenged. Yet lately she wonders why they’ve never seen her as more than a buddy with breasts. When—or if—either man will cross that unspoken line.

It’s a line Kane eyes harder every day. Since high school, he and Jack have shared everything. A condo, vacations—and their best girl. Kane’s ready to get serious about his wilderness school and outfitter business, and that includes putting down roots. Preferably with Dara.

Wary of the men who’ve recently been sniffing around Dara, Jack has a growing sense that he or Kane better make a move soon, or they’re going to lose out on their perfect match. Question is, who does she prefer…and who’s going to bring their easygoing trio to an end?

Overhearing the boys arguing over her, Dara’s floored—and torn. Choose between them? No way. Drastic measures are called for, a plan for their annual holiday getaway that will clarify her feelings once and for all—or lose everything in a sexual storm of whiteout proportions.

Previously published in 2010.

Pre-Order: Kobo, iBooks US, iBooks UK, iBooks CA, Barnes & Noble, Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon CA

 

Rising, Freestyle

Stuck between a rock-solid man and a hard place…

Melanie Dixon’s body may have recovered from a horrific climbing accident, but her nerve is long gone. So is the natural enthusiasm for life she took for granted. Tired of being scared, beyond ready to conquer her fears, she pulls up stakes and moves to her brother’s new hometown to start over. Her first step is the most terrifying—to tackle the wall at the local climbing center.

Derrick James is mesmerized by Melanie’s dark beauty, and equally impressed with her climbing abilities and determination. Watching her re-tune rusty skills spurs a desire to partner with her—on and off the ropes. Melanie’s a compelling mix of wit, sensuality and vulnerability, and it’s his delicious task to convince her the scars on her body are no match for the heat rising between them.

Then a man from Melanie’s past shows up, pushing their relationship to the edge. Nathan King wants photographs for a “where are they now” series, but his side agenda is more personal in nature. A proposal that brings her out of her sensual shell and onto a precarious sexual ledge. Where trust is crucial…and too easily shattered.

Previously published in 2011.

Pre-Order: Kobo, iBooks US, iBooks UK, iBooks CA, Barnes & Noble, Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon CA

Feature Friday: Rocky Mountain Heat

Today’s Feature Friday book is the first in the Six Pack Ranch series, ROCKY MOUNTAIN HEAT.
Rocky Mountain Heat
He’s the one who taught her to ride. Now all he wants is to ride her.
 
Blake Coleman is old enough to know that acting on impulse causes nothing but trouble. But when trouble’s a western-hat-wearing blonde with slim legs that go on forever, what’s a man to do? Wanting the sweet girl next door is just wrong. The responsible thing to do is keep his hands off.
 
Jaxi has other plans for Blake’s hands, and his heart. She may have once considered him a big brother, but that was a long time ago. She’s all grown up now and ready to convince him that she’s perfect for him. Except he can’t seem to see past the big “don’t touch” sign that’s apparently still hanging around her neck.
 
When Jaxi ends up living right under Blake’s nose, the undeniable heat between them slides off simmer and leaps up to barn-burning levels. However, a few of the younger six-pack Colemans have decided Jaxi’s brand of trouble is worth risking a few busted bones.
 
That is, if Blake’s finally ready to let go the reins and fight for what he wants…
 
Warning: Sexy cowboys seducing and being seduced in trucks, pool halls and barns. Droolworthy country charm, a little double-teaming, a few secrets and a whole lot of brothers to look forward to. Anyone wanna go for a ride?

Purchase:

iBooks US | iBooks UK | iBooks CA  | Barnes & Noble | Kobo |  GooglePlay | Scribd  |  Amazon US | Amazon UK Amazon CA

Feature Friday: Turn it Up

Do you love small town contemporary romance? How about a friends to lovers story, or even a pregnancy book? If so, you should pick up a copy of TURN IT UP!


She’s looking for her heart’s desire. He’s ready to give it to her.

Maxwell Turner Junior has led a charmed life. His easy-going manner and higher than average smarts usually get him what he wants—with one exception. Natasha Bellingham has resisted him for far too long. She may be ten years older, but so what? He’s plenty old enough to know they belong together. Now all he has to do is convince her.

Natasha’s love life has degenerated into a series of bad clichés. Her biological clock is ticking—loudly. As a proven architect with her own company, she’s financially ready for a baby. Who says she needs a permanent man in her life for that? She just needs a “donation”.

When Max discovers Natasha’s plans include artificial insemination, he’s outraged. She wants to get pregnant? No problem. He’s more than willing to volunteer—no turkey basters involved.

But there’s one non-negotiable clause: He wants forever. And he intends to do everything in his power—fair and unfair—to make it happen.

Purchase:

Kobo | iBooks US | iBooks UK | iBooks CA | GooglePlay | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CABarnes & Noble

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