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Laura Benson has her life together, thank you very much. Her jewelry store in San Francisco is doing wonderfully. Her design skills will soon have her traveling to London, designing a new line that should build her reputation world wide.
She’s on top, which is where she likes to be – especially when it comes to men. Since giving her fiance his ring back a year ago, Laura has kept her relationships light, and short. Sexy pilot Smoke Hamilton might be hot, but she doesn’t need a Mr Right, just Mr Right Now. She doesn’t need a man holding her down.
From the moment he first saw her, Smoke knew Laura was his kind of sexy. What he hadn’t banked on was her being his kind of smart, with a sassy mouth too. He usually prefers his women ‘nice and easy’, but Laura is a challenge. Smoke has always been a sucker for a challenge, he just can’t leave them alone til he’s conquered them.
Conquering Laura is a risk, she’s Jack’s cousin, Jack is not only his friend, but his employer too. Still she’s a risk he has to take. As a pilot, his career comes first, and always gives him the option to fly away. He’ll never let a woman tie him down again.
The chemistry between them definitely has the sparks flying, but will the scars of the past only lead them to crash and burn?
“Laura,” said Holly, “This is Smoke, Phoenix Chief Pilot and an old friend of Jack and Pete’s. Smoke, this is Laura Benson, Jack’s cousin.”
She held out her hand, he shook it as her gaze met his. Hot damn! She was gorgeous. Her bright blue eyes sparkled with fun and laughter as she smiled at him. Her long slender fingers, wrapped around his, made him want her long arms wrapped around his neck—and her long slender legs wrapped around him too, for that matter!
He was vaguely aware that the girls were getting on the waiting golf cart. He should let go of Laura’s hand, but all he could do was keep staring at her beautiful face. She wasn’t letting go of his hand either. He heard Holly saying “Go, go, go.” The spell was broken as Laura turned away from him.
The golf cart pulled away with three giggling women on it.
“Sorry, sweetie, no room.” Missy waved happily at them.
Smoke grinned as Laura turned back to him and rolled her eyes. “No-one could ever accuse that bunch of being subtle, sorry!”
He laughed. “Subtle no, perceptive, definitely. And I for one am grateful.” More than just grateful. He couldn’t believe his luck. She was smiling at him. Damn, she was beautiful!
“Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful too. I’m just not quite sure what to do with it.”
“Well, the way I see it, we could miss an opportunity because we’re both taken by surprise, or we can think on our feet and make the most of the few moments we have.”
A touch of color appeared on her cheeks as she looked up at the plane and then back at him. Damn, she had a dirty mind! She looked surprised, but definitely interested. But no, he’d want more than a few moments in the back of the plane with this woman. He’d want a whole night in a big bed.
He pursed his lips and gave her a knowing smile. “When I say we can use these moments wisely, I mean you can give me your number, so I can call you and we can see where this goes.”
She laughed, looking a little embarrassed. “Of course you do.” She reached into her purse and took a business card from her wallet. As he tried to take it from her, she held on to the corner, not letting go. He met her gaze. “You only get it if you really want it, Captain. Don’t take it if you don’t.”
He flicked his wrist and pulled the card from her grasp. He held it up with a smile. “I really want it, Laura.” He was gratified to see the little pink stains on her cheeks deepen when he added. “And I will take it.”
She put her hands on her hips and smiled, the sexiest smile he’d ever seen. “I want it too, Smoke.” His throat went dry again when she asked, “So, are you going to give it to me?”
He was glad that the black slacks of his pilot’s uniform were loose fitting, otherwise she’d see how much he’d like to give it to her!
She threw her head back and laughed. “Get your mind out of the gutter and give me your number, Smoke!”
He laughed with her as he took his wallet from his back pocket and handed her his card. “I will call you, but I need to warn you, my schedule is a little crazy. I don’t know when I’ll be able to get back here, but it will be as soon as I can.”
She nodded. “That’s okay. My life is a little hectic too. I’m sure we’ll get around to it.”
Smoke intended to make damned sure they did. “Do you ever get up to Summer Lake?” he asked.
“I’ll be going back and forth until Jack and Emma get married, since I’m one of the bridesmaids. Will you be going to the wedding?”
Smoke nodded. “I will.” The golf cart was approaching. Her friends would be waiting. He took her hand again. She smiled. “I’m so glad to meet you, Laura.”
She gave his hand a squeeze. “You too, Smoke.” She climbed onto the golf cart. “I’ll see you at the wedding if not before,” she called as she rode away.
Smoke stared after her.
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About the Author
Hi, I’m SJ. A coffee addict, lover of chocolate and drinker of good red wines. I’m a lost soul and a hopeless romantic. Reading and writing are necessary parts of who I am. Though perhaps not as necessary as coffee! I can drink coffee without writing, but I can’t write without coffee.
I grew up loving romance novels, my first boyfriends were book boyfriends, but life intervened, as it tends to do, and I wandered down the paths of non fiction for many years. My life changed completely a couple of years ago and I returned to Romance to find my escape.
I write ‘Sweet N Steamy’ stories because to me there is enough angst and darkness in real life. My favorite romances are happy escapes with a focus on fun, friendships and happily-ever-afters, just like the ones I write.
These days I live in beautiful Montana, the last best place. If I’m not reading or writing you’ll find me just down the road in the park – Yellowstone. I have deer, eagles and the occasional bear for company, and I like it that way :0)
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