Mitch MacLaren has reasons for avoiding relationships, and in his opinion, they’re pretty darn good. As the new president of RTC Bucking Bulls, difficult challenges occur daily. He certainly doesn’t need another one in the form of a fiery, blue-eyed, redhead.
Dana Ballard’s new job forces her to work with the one MacLaren who can’t seem to get over himself and lighten up. Their verbal sparring is second nature and entertaining until the night of Mitch’s departure when he surprises her with a dare she doesn’t refuse.
With his assignment in Fire Mountain over, Mitch is free to return to Montana and run the business his father helped start. The glitch in his enthusiasm has to do with one irreversible mistake—the dare Dana didn’t ignore. Now, for reasons that confound him, he just can’t let it go.
Working together is a circumstance neither wants, but both must accept. As their attraction grows, so do the accidents and strange illnesses of the animals RTC depends on to stay in business. Mitch’s total focus should be on finding the reasons and people behind the incidents. Instead, he finds himself torn between his unwanted desire for Dana and the business which is his life.
Red hair had never turned him on, nor had outspoken women. He preferred brunettes with soft curves, warm smiles, and open arms that knew when to let go. Mitch had the feeling if Dana ever got her claws into a man, it would be all over except for the sounds of surrender. From her description of Kell Corwin, she may have found someone to keep her occupied for some time. The knowledge didn’t give him any comfort. He moved toward her, taking the box off the hood of the truck and stowing it on the seat next to him, then turned to look at her.
“Have a safe trip, handsome.” Her blue eyes sparkled in the moonlight, although he could detect a look of what? Melancholy…regret?
“No goodbye kiss?” he half-teased.
Her gaze narrowed on his, her lips set in a thin line as if she struggled with a decision. “Sure, why not.” She rose up on her toes, placing what was meant to be a peck on his cheek.
In a quick move, Mitch wrapped his hands around her arms, pulling her tight as he shifted, his mouth finding hers. The kiss was demanding, coaxing, the intensity sucking all the air from her lungs. She pulled her arms free, wrapping them around his neck, drawing him down as their tongues collided, tangling, as if fighting for dominance. He set his hands on her waist, dragging her closer, taking everything he could as heat flared between them. Letting his hands roam up and down her back and hips, he grabbed her shirt, intending to pull it free. Instead, her moan snapped him out of his passion-induced trance. As quick as it started, he set her aside, his breath ragged.
“That was some goodbye kiss, lady.”
Shirleen Davies writes romance—historical, contemporary, and romantic suspense. She grew up in Southern California, attended Oregon State University, and has degrees from San Diego State University and the University of Maryland. During the day she provides consulting services to small and mid-sized businesses. But her real passion is writing emotionally charged stories of flawed people who find redemption through love and acceptance. She now lives with her husband in a beautiful town in northern Arizona.