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When Amanda Thorne arrives on San Bella Island, she’s tired and in bad need of a vacation. She’s just finished paying off her late husband’s many debts by selling their home and belongings. On her way to Dallas for a new job in a medical research lab, she’s taking one week to recoup before beginning her new life.
Nicholas Holloway is recovering from a 2-year stint undercover for the U.S. Marshal Service. Ordered to take a vacation to clear his head, he ends up on San Bella at the same time.
Will these two battle-scared souls find peace in the other’s arms? And, will they be able to walk away at the end of their one-week fling?
Caution: This book contains love scenes and language some may find offensive. Or hot!
Read an Excerpt
The sound of fussy children arguing the onset of bedtime drew her attention to the far side of the grounds. Young couples walked arm in arm, stopping every few feet to share a kiss, some chaste, more than a few bordering on indecent. She swallowed and released a slow breath. It had been so long since she’d been with a man; since she’d been kissed, cherished. Loved.
Forcing her attention away from the latest pair of lovebirds, her gaze clashed with the man she’d seen earlier. He’d been standing at the top of the pathway, his long fingers wrapped around a tall bottle of beer. Now, he stood less than ten feet away, his legs spread for balance on the gentle slope of grass.
He was tall, at least six-two, his medium brown hair held a hint of gray at the temples and hung to the top of his shirt collar, his face darkened by a hint of a beard. His crooked smile drew her attention to the scar that ran along his jawline.
Not bad looking. Interesting in fact, in a rugged sort of way.
While she’d been staring, he’d taken a few more steps in her direction. The closer he came, the harder she found it to look away.
“Is this seat taken?” he asked, nodding toward the empty chair next to hers.
“No, it’s not.”
“May I sit?”
She shrugged. “It’s a free beach.”
He chuckled, his laugh sending a shiver skittering across her bare arms.
“Not at the prices this place charges, it’s not.”
“True,” she agreed, giving him a shy smile.
He stretched out his hand. “Nick.”
She placed her hand in his, surprised by the gentleness of his grasp. “Amanda. Although I prefer Mandy,” she responded.
“Nice to meet you, Mandy.”
“You too, Nick.”
“Can I buy you a drink?” he asked.
She gave her half-full glass a shake. “I’m good. I’ve been nursing this one for a while now.” Taking a small sip, she admitted, “I’m not much of a drinker.”
“So, what brings you to San Bella Island?”
Mandy took a moment to answer, unsure of how much she was willing to share with a total stranger. “Short vacation. I needed to get away from the city.”
His jaw twitched, but he held back an actual smile. “And what city would that be?”
“New York,” she said simply. “Long Island, to be exact.”
He made a show of looking around them, scanning the whole of the resort grounds and beach. “You can’t get much farther away from New York than this place.”
“How about you, Nick? What brings you to San Bella Island?”
“Same. Vacation. I just finished a big job, and needed a break.”
She took another sip of her drink, and asked, “What do you do... for work?”
He drew his full lower lip through his teeth, as if contemplating her question. “I’m a contractor,” he told her. “How about you?”
“I’m in between jobs at the moment.”
“A perfect time for a vacation.”
“Have you been here long?” she asked. “At Diamond Key?”
“I got in earlier today. How about you?”
“Yesterday. I’m here for a week.”
He met her gaze, giving her another half-smile. “Me too, until next Saturday at least.”
A thought occurred to her. As heartbreaking and emotionally draining as her last few years had been, there was one thing she needed even more than her brief vacation.
She needed a man. Badly.
She’d never been one for casual sex, but the idea of having a brief fling set her pulse racing. And Nick, with his crooked smirk, soulful chocolate gaze, and interesting imperfections seemed like the perfect candidate for a temporary lover.
Swallowing back the last of her drink, more for courage than thirst, she wondered how one would go about bringing up the subject of sex with someone they’d just met.
About the Author: NANCY FRASER—Jumping Across Romance Genres with Gleeful Abandon—is an Amazon Top 100 and Award-Winning author who can’t seem to decide which romance genre suits her best. So, she writes them all.
Nancy has published over forty books in full-length, novella, and short format. When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five wonderful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Nancy-Fraser/e/B004AOL61Y/
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