Cassie Carlisle is on the run -- and wanted for murder. When she hides in the back of a pickup truck, it's just her luck that the truck belongs to a cowboy-turned-sheriff.
Jess Logan, with his dark eyes and bruised heart, just wants to to win a few more saddle bronc competitions and then go home alone to his cabin in the woods. But he can't resist his sexy blonde stowaway, secrets and all.
Could this be love -- or just a recipe for disaster?
Jess pulled off at an empty rest area and let Harry have a romp in the grass. Then he whistled for the dog, propped open the back of the camper, and heaved himself over the tailgate. He’d get a good sleep tonight. Jess flopped onto the mattress, stretched out--
And realized he was not alone.
Jess didn’t stop to ask questions. He tackled the shadowy figure, pinning the intruder’s arms against the quilt. Harry leapt into the pickup bed and, barking frantically, threw himself into the fray.
In spite of the chaos, Jess quickly realized one crucial and unexpected fact: his trespasser was female.
He knew for three simple reasons. First, in the tangle of limbs and flying fur, his hands encountered a pair of round, soft, very womanly breasts. Secondly, the resulting shriek of mingled outrage was too high-pitched for a man. And, finally, Jess’s nose was suddenly buried in a great deal of satiny hair, hair that smelled vaguely tropical. Kind of like rain and orchids.
She must use one of those botanical shampoos, he thought. Nice. Real nice.
Then reason reasserted itself, and he shouted for Harry to quit his racket. With one hand, he groped for the dog’s collar and hauled Harry away from the cowering woman. Harry backed up into a far corner of the camper, still growling low in his throat, while Jess rolled to the left and dug for the flashlight he kept in his toolbox. He clicked it on and aimed the full beam at the woman’s face.
Her eyes drew into slits against the sudden onslaught of light. She scrambled away from him and landed with a thud in the narrow space between the wheel well and the edge of the mattress, out of the flashlight’s beam. Still, Jess had seen enough.
He recognized that honey-colored hair. Ditto the frightened gray eyes, curvaceous figure, and livid bruise.
Faced with the woman he’d fantasized about for the last hundred or so miles, Jess found himself at a loss for words. Of course, he’d never been blessed with the gift of gab. He was the kind of a guy who said things straight out, without a lot of fancy talk. But now he couldn’t even manage that.
She spoke right up, though. No hesitation. “Hey,” she sputtered angrily. “What are you doing in my bed?”
Jess’s jaw dropped at the utter absurdity of her question. He frowned down at her until he finally found his tongue. “Your bed? Excuse me, ma’am, but I’d have to say this was my bed, last I checked.”
Confusion flitted across her even features. She wrinkled a cute little snub of a nose that turned up just a tad at the end. Then, as if she’d just remembered something, dawning horror replaced the confusion. “Oh. Oh, dear.” She broke off and pursed her lips into a kissable bow. “Are we still in the City?”
“San Francisco? Nope. About a hundred, hundred twenty miles north.”
To Jess’s surprise, she smiled. “Oh, that’s just perfect.” She squirmed in a way that stimulated every nerve ending in Jess’s body. “Um, could you lend a hand? I think I’m stuck.”
Sure enough, she was wedged tight between the wheel and the bed. Jess chuckled and reached for her hand. Damn, but her fingers were soft. He gave her a good tug, and she popped out like a cork from a bottle.
“Thanks bunches,” she said in a perky but faintly breathless voice. “Really. Thank you. If you’ll excuse me, I’ll just be going. Bye, now.”
Struck speechless again, Jess could only stare as she inched nervously past the still-tense Harry, swung one shapely leg over the tailgate, balanced precariously for an
About Isabella Ashe
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Published November 18, 2012
by Starfish Press.
Romance, Literature & Fiction.