Brianna Reagan's life fell apart when her husband was killed in combat. Now, three years later, she and her son have started a new life in Tide's Way. She loves her job, and she’s convinced that eight-year-old Sam is all the man she needs in her life. Then Sam joins the Cub Scouts and Brianna meets his scout leader. Will Cameron has a smile that could melt her socks off, and he isn’t shy about his interest in her or her fatherless boy. Unfortunately, he likes living life on the edge, and he’s a state trooper: another fearless hero willing to put his life on the line every day for the sake of others. As she struggles to remain "just a friend," Will offers so much more.
But how can she risk putting her heart in harm’s way again? Even for Will?
Here’s an excerpt to whet your appetite:
Will placed his remaining five letters on the board covering both the triple word and a triple letter squares. Gripy
“That’s not a real word.” Bree scoffed. She began to remove his tiles.
“Sure it is. Look it up.” Will covered her hand with his and flattened it over the letters on the Scrabble board. An unexpected jolt of excitement shot from the warmth of his palm to her heart. For a long moment neither of them spoke while their eyes were eloquent with so much that wasn’t being said.
Bree slid her hand out from under Will’s and snatched it to her chest.
“Why did you do that?”
“Do what?” Bree’s breath caught in her throat. She reached for the dictionary and tried to ignore the way her body had reacted to his touch.
Will took the dictionary and set it aside. “Are you afraid of me?”
She shook her head. She was more afraid of herself.
“Then why do you pull back into your shell like a turtle every time I touch you?”
“We’re friends. I’d like to stay friends.” And his touch made her feel things that were a long way beyond just friendly.
“Friends can be lovers too.”
“No. They can’t. Someone always gets—” She stood up and moved away from the table. Away from him.
Will got to his feet as well, but didn’t try to close the physical gap she’d created between them. “Someone always gets what?”
“Hurt,” Bree whispered. “Someone always gets hurt.”
“I have no intention of hurting you. I just want to l—”
“But what if I let myself care too much and something happened that you had no control over?” Bree fought the rising tide of confusion, alarm and desire.
His blue eyes widened. “Is that what all this has been about? You’re afraid to fall in love again because of what happened to your husband?”
Bree tucked her hands beneath her armpits to keep from reaching out to him.
Will took a step in her direction. She hugged herself tighter.
“And I’m a trooper so that makes me off limits?”
He loomed over her now. All six feet plus of him. He raked his fingers through his blond hair and left it standing on end. Tears abruptly swamped Bree’s eyes. She blinked furiously, trying to make them go away.
He cupped her cheek in his palm and ran his thumb across her lips. “Hasn’t anyone ever told you to live every day as if there were no tomorrow?”
Having no tomorrow is what I’m afraid of.
“Would you change everything if you knew what would happen to Ed? Do you regret loving him?”
Stricken, Bree shook her head.
“We could be so good together, Bree. Getting hurt sucks, I know. But shutting out love is worse.”
Then he swept her into his arms. There was nothing fleeting about his kiss. Nothing that could be misinterpreted as just friends. Just so much tenderness that her walls began to crumble. He didn’t try to force her lips apart, but she felt the yearning desire in him and opened of her own free will.
The kiss became a hot, fiery spiral. She clutched at his shoulders and let herself be overwhelmed by the sensations of Will’s mouth on hers and his body coming to life, touching hers in ways she hadn’t experienced in years.
It was Will who pulled back first. His eyes were closed and his jaw taut. His breathing as labored as hers. Then, he dropped his arms and stepped away.
When he opened them, passion still darkened the bright blue of his eyes. “Think about it, Bree. Think about how good we could be for each other. If only you can stop being afraid.”
Then he stepped around her and walked to the door. He let himself out and closed it soundlessly behind him.
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