Shelves: humorous , bad-boys , genre-thriller-suspense-mystery , no-strings-attached , cop-police-officer-detective , own-kindle Breanne Mooreland has had it with her run of bad luck when it comes to men, jilted at the alter she decides to go ahead and use the honeymoon retreat they had planned. She should have realized that the groom not showing up was the first sign that her life was about to go completely awry, now facing a naked man in her honeymoon suite has her running for the door. Vice cop Cooper Scott just wanted a week to get his head in order. Having had his life in shambles over the past couple of months, he Breanne Mooreland has had it with her run of bad luck when it comes to men, jilted at the alter she decides to go ahead and use the honeymoon retreat they had planned.
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Men are not like houses; they do not make good fixer-uppers. Consider her the camel, back broken. In the interest of sanity-hers-she pretended to be fine as she dropped her small carry-on bag to the chair by the bed and stepped to the closed bathroom door. She glanced around the bedroom, exquisitely decorated in rustic wooden-log furniture and soft, fluffy, equally exquisite bedding with pillows piled higher than Mt.
Just what she and Dean had ordered for their honeymoon. That landing in the rugged, unpredictable Sierras in the middle of a snowstorm was equal to being shaken and stirred. The storm had only increased in severity since, so that the Jeep that had driven her to her "secluded, exclusive, fully staffed manse on the lake" honeymoon house could barely even get down the narrow, windy roads.
Breanne had distracted herself on the terrifying drive by pulling out her Palm Pilot and opening her journal. There she had her life-her hopes, her dreams, her failures, everything. Her last entry, made on the plane: No more failures. That was going to be tricky, as she tended to make bad decisions. Maybe she just took, took, took. Maybe concentrating on others more would somehow turn the tide for her.
Do favors. Perform public service. Try harder at work, where, granted, she slaved over the books for a large accounting firm, but with an attitude. She knew being the baby of a large family allowed her to fly beneath the radar. Even men. Especially men. Hence, being stood up at the altar-for the third time.
On second thought, chances were she needed more direction than "no failures," so she added: And especially, no more men. On either side of them was a dramatic drop as they rose in altitude with every mile.
Hues of peach, pink, blue, and purple colored the sheer granite escarpment of the Sierras through the falling snow in the deepening dusk. The backdrop should have been a private alpine lake, but the ascending dark and thick precipitation kept it from view.
She ruined her new suede boots just by hoofing it to the front door, clutching her only possession, her carry-on bag. She felt a little awed at how fast it was getting dark, and at the utter lack of city lights-or any lights, for that matter.
Gasping for breath at the shocking cold, she staggered around to face her driver, intending to ask him for help. He was gone. As she contemplated the aloneness of that, a small streak rushed out from the corner of the house and practically across her feet, ripping a startled scream from her. Then the streak howled. A coyote. The sound had the hair on the back of her neck rising as she stumbled back against the door. Hugging herself, she felt very alone. Alone, alone, alone Shrugging that off-no more pity parties!
It certainly looked impressive with mounds and mounds of white snow pressed against the base, more white stuff falling, and the sky ominously dark and foreboding. Inside, there was supposedly a huge stone fireplace, a Jacuzzi tub, a sauna, a mini movie theater with an entire library of DVDs to pick from, and much, much more, including her own discreet staff for the week.
Dean had claimed to be excited. Any second now, the director would yell Cut! Only there was no camera, no Dean, laughing or otherwise, nothing but snow in her face, making her eyes water, her lips cold, raising goose bumps over every inch of her flesh. Forget polite. She opened the unlocked front door and gaped in awe at the interior of a most impressive house.
She stepped inside the foyer that stretched up to the second story-and came face-to-face with a moose. Just a head, she told herself, mounted on the wall.
There was also a wood mirror with shelves, each holding glass lamps that sent soft light across shiny, hardwood floors. In complete opposition to the "warm" feel of the room, the air itself danced over her, icy cold. Not much of it budged, happier to stick to her every inch, making her wet and miserable. There was a reception area with a small pine desk, and a sticky note there that read: Newlyweds get the honeymoon suite, complete with accessory package.
Room is open and cleaned. She just hoped the suite was warmer than the foyer, because she could make ice cubes in here. Clutching her small carry-on, which held only her makeup and two extremely naughty negligees that had been meant for her wedding night, she walked to the base of the huge, wooden staircase that slowly curved and vanished up into the second floor, with several big potted plants lining the way.
More glass sconces along the wall lit the area so that she could see into the fading daylight. It was an Old West, cabin-style interior, beautifully and tastefully done. Along with the daylight, much of her bravado deserted her. But alone she was. Thanks, Dean.
Knowing from the brochure that the honeymoon suite was on the second floor, she reached for the banister and began to climb the stairs. Damn altitude. The landing looked down to an open, large room below, rustic and cozy, with two forest green and maroon sofas shaped in an L, a large leather recliner, and throw rugs dotting the floor.
It looked far more inviting than the cold, silent hallway where she stood, shivering like crazy from her wet clothes, and maybe nerves. Then she realized she did hear something-running water. Proof of life! Hugging herself, she followed the noise, past three doors on the right and left, all of which appeared to be bedrooms.
The hallway walls had old photographs of the Wild West on them: cowboys, wagons, old mining towns. At the end of the hallway, she stopped in front of a set of double wooden doors. The honeymoon suite? Hoping so, she stepped inside. The bedding was white down, with bear-and-moose pillows, and looked so scrumptuously warm she nearly sank into it. There was a matching armoire and dresser as well, also done in pine logs.
The ceiling was open-beamed, and a work of art all by itself. The stone fireplace-not lit, darn it-and floor-to-ceiling windows finished off the room, the windows revealing that the day had fled completely now. There was a goodie basket on a chair for the honeymooners: body paints in every flavor, a package of edible underwear, and several books on the pleasures of massage and touch therapy, including How to Make a Woman Come Every Single Time.
He could use that one. She picked it up and took a good look at it, trying to picture the designers of such an item sitting around a table and deciding on the angle of the curve. It penetrated her addled brain that the shower was still running. Curious, a little unnerved-and if she let herself think about all that had happened to her since she got out of bed that morning, she could add crazed to the list-she stepped over a pile of wet clothes on the floor.
Turning back, she crouched down to look at them, trying to get a clue as to who was in her shower. Tall and lean. But she had given up men. Why the hell that intrigued her, she had no idea. Rising, shivering because her clothes had become iced to her skin, she knocked on the bathroom door.
Whoever he was, he had the radio on; she could hear the broadcaster talking about the storm of the century- Storm of the century. The bathroom was as amazingly detailed as the rest of the house. Even through all the thick steam, she could see the stunning granite countertops, the raw wood-framed mirrors, the small overstuffed day couch, the old-fashioned brass fixtures- And yet another gift basket, filled with more goodies.
She looked at the vibrator she still had in her hand. What else could she possibly need? Well, besides a new groom, that is.
The shower took up one full corner, all in clear glass, etched with the outline of the Sierras, which in fact did nothing at all to hide the tall, leanly muscled man standing in it. Gloriously so, she might add. The water sprayed out of four different rain heads, massaging over him. He had his back to her, and what a fine back it was: broad, ropey shoulders, sleek, strong spine, smooth and tanned until, low on his narrow hips, his tan line abruptly ended.
He had a fabulous, mouthwatering butt, and Breanne took a moment to wonder at the man who wore a bathing suit in the sun but not underwear beneath his jeans.
Water sluiced off him, and soap, too, and then, as if God had decided to bestow one tiny little favor on her shitty, rotten day, the guy dropped the soap. Breanne held her breath. Would he- Yes. Yes, he would. Every muscle in his body flexed as he doubled over, legs slightly spread, offering her an eye-popping view of his- Oh, my.
Lifting her hand, she furiously fanned air to her face, because the front of him lived up to the back, and how. In any case, she stood there, rooted to the ground, her own wet misery forgotten, mouth hanging open, drool pooling, eyes locked on the backs of his well-defined thighs.
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