Mainstream Romance: Contemporary
Cover Artist: Dawné Dominique
Editor: Zena Gainer
Word Count: 32,910
Release Date: January 24, 2013
Everyone says Nicole is a survivor, but she doesn’t feel like one. The jagged scar across her chest is a bitter reminder of the disease she overcame, and the life she lost because of it. Now, on six months into remission, she’s spending a week at a secluded resort for a family wedding. Nicole has to put her anger aside and fool her family into thinking everything is fine.
Jake has his own scars. After he is left marred by a deadly fire that killed his fiancé, he now lives a recluse life as the handyman at Eden’s Escape. Jake only wants to keep being invisible but from the minute Nicole gets to the resort, he has to save the reckless woman from herself and the risk that she carelessly seeks out.
Nicole wants to spend the week living without regrets and is determined to feel something besides the anger that has consumed her through a brutal battle she never wanted to survive. She can’t deny the attraction to the man with a dark past. Together, Jake and Nicole discover that hiding scars is easier than healing them.
Was this seriously happening? Five minutes ago she was lost in her thoughts, letting the warm water soak away the fantasies plaguing her mind. Everything she did, everything she thought these last few days centered around Jake. And now he was standing in front of her, asking for permission to join her. Asking for much more and her heart hammered against her chest, beating out her response. Yes. Yes. Yes.
She looked past the scars, letting her eyes greedily take in the sight of him. He fulfilled every fantasy her mind could conjure. She could barely pull her eyes off his chiseled body to look at his face.
“Can I join you?”
Her neck muscles felt too weak to hold her head up, but she managed a feeble nod. Was this the same guy who gave her the dead stare in the bar? The one who’d rejected her last night? A cascade of goose pimples popped up on her exposed arms. She sank lower in the pool, letting the water warm her as she watched him finish undressing under hooded eyes.
A blush rushed up her neck and burned her cheeks. She didn’t want to stare, but she wasn’t dead and he was a gorgeous man. Muscles rippled tautly over his tall, lean frame, his skin kissed by the sun, a sign of his manual work. She’d already seen him from the chest up, and despite the scars that marred most of the right side of his torso and his neck, his muscles cut deep
But her fingers weren’t the only thing that ached to touch. Her nipples puckered, making her very aware just how naked she was. Her gaze darted down his chest and over his smooth stomach. Sucking in a deep breath she closed her eyes, trying to rein in an ounce of control and not look lower. Whatever was going to happen, and oh god she so wanted something to happen, it would be his move.
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