Never mix work and men. This simple rule has given security specialist Jade Broussard busy days and lonely nights. Only that was before utterly gorgeous art dealer Remy Tremaine crawls into her bed, requesting her protective services.
He presents dangerous new territory. She can't deny the talents of his hands and mouth. Melting the day's work tensions each night is a guilty--if delicious--pleasure. Yet he sidesteps boundaries, while Jade wrote the rule book. No, it will never work out.
But there is an easy solution: catch the bad guy, save her client's life then say goodbye. Too bad Remy's secrets might change Jade's mind. The question is, will it be for better or worse?
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February 28, 2007
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Excerpt from A Breath Away by Wendy Etherington
Andrea Chenault sat quietly with a smile frozen on her face. She sat beside her fiancý, Calvin Brown, more lovingly known by his friends as Big Cal, and listened in wooden silence as he was saluted and cheered on his recent promotion to Firehouse Chief.
In the midst of the lively celebration, Andrea's mind was swirling with doubt and turmoil regarding the future of her engagement.
Feeling Cal's eyes dart across her face, she took a sip of soda, studying the pretty design on the side of the Dixie paper cup to avoid making eye contact as Dwight Johnston, their friend and Cal's fellow fireman, continued his toast.
What Cal's engine team members saw as nothing more than the culmination of a lifetime of hard work and commitment, Andrea saw as an omen of bad things to come.
Dwight lifted his paper cup in salute. "It couldn't have happened to a better man. Here's to Big Cal!"
Cheerful affirmatives came from the men and women crowded around the table in the small firehouse kitchen. Andrea could only hope that no one noticed that the one person who should've been happiest for Cal was unable to muster even a fraction of enthusiasm.
Others rose and offered their own congratulations, many recounting events in which Cal had proven his heroism, and there was also the occasional funny story until eventually their celebration dinner evolved into an impromptu roast.
Andrea tried not to watch the clock, but she was really uncertain as to how much more of the incessant merriment she could take. Consciously, she toyed with the engagement ring on her finger, twisting it back and forth as her mind ran away with the possibilities. A large, warm hand covered hers and stopped the motion of the ring. She looked up into Cal's concerned brown eyes.
What's wrong? he silently pleaded, and Andrea just shook her head in answer, hoping he would not push.
"Speech! Speech!" the crowd cried for some words from their new leader.
With one more look in Andrea's general direction, Cal slowly unbent his large frame from the table, and Andrea felt the same tinkling sensation in the pit of her stomach that she felt every time she took in his exceptional form.
At six feet, four inches, Calvin Brown was a three hundred-pound slab of solid granite, covered in a top layer of milk chocolate skin. Although he'd been a fireman his entire adult life, he was often mistaken as a professional body builder by strangers. His perfectly sculpted body was the product of years of weight lifting and various training programs. He took great pride in his ability to lift twice his own weight.
Although Cal was a large man, his size was not what made him unique. It was the strength and brawn that could be felt in the slightest handshake, and yet, despite his size, he moved with the agility of a dancer. And had an innately gentle nature that told you that his strength would never be misused.
He tapped the side of his paper cup with a plastic spoon in a dramatic gesture to gain every-one's attention, and the room quieted down.
"I know many of you may be wondering if this promotion will change me in any way," he began with a solemn expression. "I would just like to state for the record that now that I am your chief, I am still the Big Cal you've always known and loved."