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When PJ Eric Cruz and pilot Kit Sheridan met, it was spontaneous combustion. But the flame burned hot and fast and left behind only ruin: two people scorched and scarred. And now, when one disaster after another forces them together, deadlocked in fear and calamity, they may be too wounded to realize that the same fire that lays you waste can light your way through the darkness. Maybe their story isn’t over. Sometimes love is hiding in plain sight. Sometimes you find it in the last place you look.
Cruz was up before Kit woke. She turned over on her cot to find him gone. Part of her was grateful she didn’t have to look over to watch him sleep.
She belatedly noticed that Mac and Cowboy were gone too. The only evidence that she hadn’t dreamed them there last night were the balled up blankets on their cots.
She checked her watch--5:07.
The sounds of waking built as the gym/bunkhouse came to life. The smell of bacon might have been part of the reason why.
Kit pushed to sit up and dropped her feet over the side of the cot.
Cruz’s gear was even gone.
She reached for her boots, but the way the cots were made--two posts with canvas between--she had to get off the cot to get to them. Then, she had to perch on the near post to tie them.
If she hurried, she could maybe eat something before the pilot meeting at 5:45.
She met Cruz just outside in the hall.
He held a plate loaded with bacon, scrambled eggs, and toast in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other. He didn’t speak, just held them out to her.
“Thanks,” she replied, looking for a place to plunk down and eat. The floor would do nicely. “And thanks for getting everything last night.”
“De nada,” he answered, then turned to leave.
He turned back, looked at her.
“Have you eaten?”
Again he turned to leave.
“You want to sit with me?”
“I need to recheck my gear.”
“Recheck your gear. Yeah, I’ve notice that you’re a checker and rechecker... you coulda just said no,” she said under her breath as he walked away.
“No,” he answered.
She watched until he turned the corner and disappeared from view. His flight suit was wrinkled, but he still looked good. But she couldn’t remember ever seeing him wrinkled before. Of course he was wrinkled, everyone was. Still...
Kit wrestled her attention back to her breakfast. It was a toss-up which bothered her more: the fact that Cruz was so distant or the fact that it bothered her that he was so distant.
That was what she had wanted.
It shouldn’t bother her then.
From the first moment they met, Kit and Cruz had been oil and water.
She’d been called in to fly PJs up to rescue their commander--who turned out to be Mac--who’d crashed his Blackhawk during a rescue mission of his own. There’d been a small window of opportunity and she was the only resource available.
And despite Cruz’s immediate sexist reaction, she’d managed to do exactly what needed to be done.
But the hotshot PJ hadn’t let up.
Maybe oil and water wasn’t the best comparison. More like gasoline and a flame. Their relationship--Kit hesitated to call it that--was always dramatic. Cruz had once referred to it as passionate--again a word to which Kit refused to concede.
They’d fought. They’d kissed. Fought some more. Had sex once, thank God it was only once. He’d tried to take over her business with his almighty richness. And on it had gone.
Until nine months ago, when he’d come by the hangar and apologized.
A surprisingly good apology. He’d admitted to being a complete ass and asked if they could start over.
And there’d been a moment there when it could have gone either way, a moment when she honestly wondered if the last time they’d made love was the last time they’d ever make love.
Not that you could actually call it making love. More like oh-my-god-I-can’t-keep-my-hands-off-you sex, savaging each other, amazingly hot, amazingly amazing.
But that was beside the point.
In the end she’d walked away, leaving him to walk away.
Her exact words were “I won’t be that stupid again.”
Jaxine Daniels lives with her hubby and some of her family in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She spent ten years as an emergency medical technician and worked both on an ambulance and on Search and Rescue. She created Stress Arrester, a company that provides stress management to individuals and corporations. She speaks nationwide on a number of topics, including writing.
A SOFT PLACE TO FALL is the first in a five book series by Jaxine Daniels about pararescue jumpers. Nic D’Onofrio, "Batman" to his friends because he was forever saving the day, has recently lost one of his best friends in a training exercise in Afghanistan and is taking a short skiing vacation for his mental well-being...
...Jaxine Daniels has written an excellent book with A SOFT PLACE TO FALL, about a group of five pararescue jumpers who are all extremely loyal to each other. They are a brave and daring group, totally dedicated to their job, their friends and their families. Insight is given into this fascinating job, which only adds to the intrigue. I personally had never given much thought to this type of rescue and found Ms. Daniels’ descriptions enlightening. The love story between these two characters is very sweet with love scenes that are satisfying without being overly explicit or highly erotic.
I found this book enjoyable and very interesting and look forward to reading the four books that will follow. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a sweet love story wrapped in adventure and excitement. -- Laurie Damron, Romance Junkies
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
No. of Pages: 250
Paper Weight (lb): 10.6
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