To save her brother from financial ruin, Piper Harland must do the one thing she swore she'd never do—return to the tiny island hometown where Ryan "West" Westlake crushed her heart. Piper is tough, resilient and a little wild—much like the remote and beautiful Stewart Island where she grew up. As a cop who's part of the elite New Zealand Police National Dive Squad, bringing the dead back to their families still doesn't stop the guilt she feels over her father's drowning death. Now nine years later she's obligated to return to a hostile community as the outsider, and forced to work with the man who was once her best friend and first lover.
She's a risk he can't take.
West is an Island man, through and through. As owner of the local pub, he lives and breathes the local community, and sure as hell can't imagine living anywhere else. But most of all he refuses to ever fall for a woman like his flighty mother. He lost Piper once to give her the chance to fulfil her dreams of becoming a cop. But now she's back for an unexpected six week visit to help her brother—his best mate. Maybe West wants her a little bit, maybe he can't resist the temptation to tease and touch her, but can he fall in love with such a flight risk?
Saying goodbye for the second time might just destroy them both.
Red alert. Red alert. Her next inhale stopped halfway down her lungs and her nipples budded into two hard points of Ohmigod-yes-please. She raised the tip of her chef’s knife and pointed it at his nose. “Keep your hands to yourself, Westlake.”
His gaze flared hot. “What if I don’t want to?” He took two slow steps sideways, two steps closer to her. “What if I’m tired of playing your game of ‘there’s nothing going on here.’”
The knife in her hand swiveled to follow his cat-like movements. “I don’t play games. And FYI there is nothing going on here. Nothing I’m interested in pursuing, anyway.”
Another step and he rounded the corner, crowding her backward until her butt hit the counter. He rescued the knife from her shaking fingers, laid it on the chopping board, and left his hand resting there, effectively trapping her.
“Liar, liar, pants on fire,” he murmured.
She shoved a hand against West’s chest to stop him coming closer, but all that achieved was runaway tingles up her arm from the hard, hot muscles beneath his shirt. He leaned into her fingers and the rapid bump of his heartbeat throbbed against her palm. Close enough to see her own reflection in West’s eyes, she froze when his pupils shrunk to tiny dots.
His nose twitched. “Something’s burning.”
Yeah, something was burning, all right. One more touch, one more second of him looking like he planned to do her on the kitchen counter and she would either catch fire or do something absurd like kiss him again.
Meet the Author:
I live in the Coolest Little Capital in the World (a.k.a Wellington, New Zealand) where I've yet to be buried under my to-be-read book pile by our infamous wind—my Kindle's a lifesaver! Married to a wonderfully supportive IT guy (who doesn't mind cooking dinner while his wife mutters to herself and hammers away at the keyboard), we have two teens who would love to be surgically linked to their electronic devices.
As a teenager I devoured novel after novel in my maths class, which explains why I still don’t understand using the alphabet in equations. I discovered a stack of tattered paperbacks hidden in my mother’s wardrobe featuring scantily clad women wrapped around bare-chested hunks. Who needs a pimply-faced teenage boyfriend when you can have book boyfriends, right? So as a child I got my first taste of Happily Ever After in fairy-tales, but after reading romance—I was hooked.
Fuelled by copious amounts of coffee, I'm now the author of contemporary romantic fiction set predominantly in New Zealand. Small-towns, close communities, and families are a big part of the heart-warming stories I love to write. Oh, and hot, down-to-earth heroes—real Kiwi men, in other words.
When I'm not writing, thinking about writing, or procrastinating about writing, I can be found reading sexy books of all romance genres and nibbling on smuggled chocolate bars. What? You were expecting me to say free-dive training, hiking the world-famous Rakiura track on Stewart Island, and restoring classic cars? Nope, sorry. I'll leave such excitement to my characters as they explore their worlds and find the love of their lives.