When Simone Leveque met Dash Ryder in seventh grade, she immediately fell for him—head over heels down the stairs…
Despite her less than graceful introduction, Simone jumped right up and yelled, “Ta-da,” drawing the attention and admiration of everyone, including Dash. The two quickly became bickering best friends, fighting about anything and everything until Dash finally kissed her, cementing their young love for a lifetime.
They fought hard and made up harder, but some things are unforgivable…
Simone knows Malcolm lied to Dash. Plain and simple. She would have never cheated on him, especially with his own brother. Dash wouldn’t believe her back then, and thirteen years later when their careers bring them back together, he still won’t.
Dash can’t believe the woman who sent his heart to an early grave is now his new boss…
Time doesn’t heal pain. Dash still can’t forgive Simone for betraying his trust all those years ago, and when old tensions combine with an undeniable attraction, a new flame takes hold—literally.
An out of control wildfire tests Dash’s firefighting crew, and an unprecedented hurricane threatens the city, forcing the volatile former couple to work together to survive while somehow keeping their hands off each other. But reckless passion isn’t enough to keep them together this time. Simone must fight to bring the truth to light if she wants her future with Dash to outlast this…
Dash watched his crew’s vehicle
disappear into the falling dark. Electricity lingered in the air, crackling and
popping. The storm that might’ve started the fire rolled out hours ago, but the
friction between him and his new boss lit up the place like a Christmas tree on
The sun dropped behind the
mountains, and he turned on his truck’s headlights, shining the bright beams on
the blackened landscape around him. He spotted a splintered tree, grabbed his
axe, and waved for Simone to follow him. “Ray said the fire was most likely
started by lightning.” The formerly towering pine had been split in two, and
the half that lay on the ground burned up, but the portion still standing
showed charring that didn’t match the fire’s path. “I’ll bet this is what it
hit.” He rolled his dirty sleeves up to his elbows and raked the axe through
the dirt, searching for more evidence.
Simone stood next to him and
studied the tree. “The storm woke me up last night. Sounded like it was right
on top of me.”
“Yeah, I heard it too. We’ve had a
long, hot summer. The mountains are ripe for a blaze.” This is good. Keep it professional. He turned, brushing his bare
arm against hers. Lightning surged between them, overloading his brain with
memories of skin on skin. Making out in his truck after football games. Driving
her home after curfew. Urgent need and fumbling hands. “Do you remember our
first time?” What the fuck is that?
Her eyes widened, big, brown, and
scrambling to comprehend what he’d said. A smile lifted her cheeks, revealing
that yes, she did remember. Fondly. He’d written endless stanzas about her
expressive face, but he couldn’t remember any of them at the moment because his
damn dick wanted to come out and play.
“Mmm-hmm… hottest thirty seconds of
Dash sputtered. “Hey, it was thirty-five seconds. Goddamn right– Hottest by far, darlin’.”
“The second time though.” Her eyes
sparkled with the mischief he’d once loved. “Forty seconds later.” She picked
up a half-burned stick and used it to knock down piles of ashes.
“Oh yeah. Much better.” His cock
swelled as he grinned and finished her thought. “For you too.”
“Mm-hm, that’s right. Practice
makes perfect. We did a lot of practicing.” She turned over a smoking stack of
leaves with the stick and spread them across the ground.
“A lot of making up.”
“What did we fight about?” Her
eyebrows drew together as if the memory failed to load.
“Everything.” Dash shrugged, at the
moment unable to recall anything specific. All their fights seemed to start for
one reason. “You never listened to me.”
Simone shook her head. “You always
had to be in charge. I remember when–”
“See, you never listen.”
“Shut up. Remember when I wanted to
go to that new water park in Montebello? Just twenty minutes away instead of
He wracked his brain. The local
news had overhyped the place when it opened. “We went there all the time.
What’s the big deal?”
“I wanted to go on opening weekend
when they had concerts and free food. But you said ‘no way’.”
“I never said we wouldn’t go. I
said let’s wait until after the crowded craziness was over.”
“Is that what you said?” The impish
smile that hardened his dick like stone appeared and taunted him. “I wasn’t
listening.” She turned her back and left him scowling at her sweet, swaying
I need to fuck her.
“Maybe we’ll get another chance.”
Simone stood, pulling her head out
of fantasy land. “Is that what we want?” She spotted the coffee maker sitting
on a counter next to an old filing cabinet, and she topped off her cup.
Dash followed her. “Hell yeah. I
wish I’d done it to you back in high school.”
She allowed the daydream train to
idle at the ‘what if’ station. “Why didn’t you?”
“Guys are selfish pricks at that
age. We love pussy, but we’re also a little afraid of it. Sticking your dick in
a girl is one thing, but your face is entirely different.”
She hid a laugh in her cup. “No, I
mean…” Do we want us again? She couldn’t ask him that
question. Not yet.
“I know what you mean.” A lingering
brush on her shoulder accompanied his soft tone. “We can’t… I don’t want to
“Just stop.” If he said again,
she’d kick him in the balls.
“Anymore.” He ran his hand through
his wild hair as he paced across the room.
The urge to beat him fled, replaced
by an overpowering need to hold him. But for his comfort or for hers? “Neither do I.”
He circled back toward her,
unwavering as if drawn by a powerful magnet. “But I can’t stay away from you.”
His hands landed on her shoulders, stroking down her arms in an urgent caress.
She set down her coffee cup and
matched his grasp, holding him with equal fervor.
“Every time we’ve been together,
we’ve fucked each other like horny teenagers.” He leaned in and his hot words
tickled her neck, sending a shivery thrill straight to her thighs.
“Not my fault.”
He stepped back and his gaze swept
her body. “And standing here looking at you this morning…” He gnawed his lips
and stared up at the ceiling as if gathering his thoughts, searching for the
shit. Does he still love me?
Dash fixed his gaze on her breasts.
“I gotta know if that’s the shirt you slept in last night.”
“Damn it.” He stole a sideways peek
at her ass. “Are you wearing underwear?”
“Would you like to find out?”
He nodded like a bobble-head doll.
She slowly pulled them hem of her shirt up, exposing her bare skin. His eyes
twinkled as he trailed his fingers over her stomach. She swatted his hand away
like an irritating fly.
She grabbed her coffee and marched
across the room. “You think I’m going to let you paw around after what you did
He charged after her. “What I did?
Woman, you started it!” He tripped over his feet and frowned. “I think.”
She slammed the cup down on her
desk then whirled and pointed in his face. “No, I stopped it!”
Their shouts echoed around the room
as they argued on top of each other.
“Exactly! You can’t leave a man like that.”
“You in your tight t-shirt, all hot
“That’s not the point! I know you
She gasped and shoved him.
A triumphant sneer curled his lip.
“Who’s hot and damp now?”
“Me.” She grabbed his collar with
both hands, and he tumbled into her as she jerked him against the desk. Their
bodies kissed first, then their lips found each other.
He braced his arms around her. “You
definitely started this.”
“Shut up.” She planted her mouth on
his and fumbled with the buttons on his shirt while he pushed her jacket off
her shoulders. Coffee splashed on the desk and its heady aroma teased Simone’s
senses while Dash wrestled with his belt buckle and unzipped his pants.
“Like horny teenagers?” She gasped
in his ear as his hands slid inside the back of her jeans and under her panties
to cup her bare ass.
“Uh-huh. Just like old times.” He
winked. “But with new skills.” He pointed his tongue and dragged it across her
hell yes! Her knees buckled, but hispossessive
grip on her butt kept her body tight against him. All her professional
intentions disappeared as Dash nipped at her neck. Her nipples pebbled,
straining against her bra and begging for that talented tongue.
“Is this how you two resolve
When I was in the third grade, my
teacher wrote ‘tends to daydream’ on my report card. Playgirl magazine.
Two of them were published. I kept writing and eventually my short stories
became romance novels.
What did she expect from a
girl raised on fairy tales? I’m convinced those fanciful stories led to the
romance novel addiction I acquired in junior high. My mom caught me reading a
particularly hot one and took it away from me. She couldn’t stop me from
daydreaming though, and after I got married, I wrote some of my steamier
daydreams down and sent them to
I live in Colorado now, but I’ll
always be a loyal Wisconsin Cheesehead. When I’m not lusting after my next bad
boy hero, I’m looking for inspiration in sci-fi and action movies, football
players, morally ambiguous lawyers, muscle cars, and kick-butt chicks. Characters—the
ever-present voices in my head—bring my books to life. They’re my imaginary
We all need to get away from reality
for a little while. I prefer to escape with a sizzly, sexy, forever romance.