Publication date: November 15th 2016
Genres: Adult, Romance, Sports
No more wild rides. No more wild side.
Blake Orbison’s pro football career may have ended with a bang, but not calling the signals anymore just gives him more time to devote to his business enterprises, including the latest and greatest: the opening of the Wild Horse Resort in scenic north Idaho. And that other one, too. Blake’s on the marriage track, and he’s got a game plan. But when he runs into a trespasser leaping from his shoreline boulders into his lake, what’s a good ol’ boy to do but strip down and join her?
Dakota Savage is nobody’s temporary diversion, least of all the man responsible for her family’s semi-desperate circumstances. Some people may think she has a piercing too many, but she’s had more than enough of being called trash in this town. She’s come home to Wild Horse to run her stepfather’s painting business, and any extra time she has goes into creating her stained glass. An overpaid, entitled, infuriating NFL quarterback is no part of her life plan, no matter how sweet he talks. No matter how slow he smiles. No matter what.
It wasn’t Jerry. That much, she could tell as he got closer. It was somebody a whole lot slimmer. Tall, check. Short dark hair, check. Black shirt, check. But no gut, and she thought there was some darkness around the jaw that wasn’t quite a beard. Another security guy. She could be cute enough for him. Maybe. What would he care, really, what she did?
“Hi,” she said as he approached. “Next time maybe don’t yell right when I’m jumping.” Taking the initiative. Projecting confidence. She was better at that than “cute.”
“Hell of a graceful landing,” he agreed, and glasses or no, she could see the flash of white teeth through the dark stubble just fine. Also that he had a pair of shoulders to die for, and some very nice arms in that T-shirt. Not to mention long legs in dusty jeans and work boots, and about six foot three of lean muscle. Nobody she knew, because she’d have noticed him. She might not be able to see him, exactly, but she could see enough.
“If you’re security,” she said, “I was just going.”
“I’m not security. And I hope that’s a lie that you were just going, because that looked real fun.”
He had a Southern drawl she’d surely never heard in Wild Horse. Slow as molasses, and just that thick and sweet. Ah hope thass a lah that you were juss goin’. “Let me guess,” she said, feeling a sneaky little surge of excitement. “You’re out here to do wrong. Sign says ‘No Trespassing,’ and you’ve been given the big lecture, but you’re not worried, because you’re a badass like that.”
Some more grin. “Could be. Is that water deep enough to be safe? We’re both too pretty to get ourselves paralyzed.”
“Oh, yeah,” she assured him. “Best spot on the lake for it. No place else has rocks like this or a pool this deep. Which means, of course, that the Man comes and fences it off and tells you that you can’t use it anymore, even if you’re working out here. Gotta love capitalism, and this is about the worst.”
He gazed into the distance and scratched thoughtfully at his cheek. “Bad place to work, you think? Huh.”
“I wouldn’t do it for a heartbeat if I didn’t need the money. You could say that I’m not in love with Mr. Blake Orbison or his company. But you know, we all need the money.”
“That we do. Arrogant guy?”
“Let’s say that I don’t like the way he treats people. On an . . . institutional scale.” Whoa, girl, she told herself. Lose the bitter and get back to reckless. More attractive, and a whole lot more fun. Trust her to meet a truly prime specimen of manflesh for once and immediately put him off. “So I’m sure I shouldn’t jump off his rocks. But hey, what’s life without a little danger?” There, that was better.
“Now, see, darlin’,” he said, his voice getting even deeper, the accent going a shade richer, “that’s what I tell myself all the time. It’s a real shame that so few people think like us.”
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Rosalind James, a publishing industry veteran and former marketing executive, is an author of Contemporary Romance and Romantic Suspense novels published both independently and through Montlake Romance. She was raised in North Idaho, but now lives in Berkeley, California, with her husband and a Labrador Retriever named Charlie. Rosalind attributes her surprising success to the fact that “lots of people would like to escape to New Zealand! I know I did!”
Visit www.rosalindjames.com to listen to the songs from the New Zealand books, follow characters on their travels, watch funny and fascinating New Zealand videos, and learn about what’s new.