One shattered war hero. One hippie. Two very unlikely lovers.
Ready for opposites to attract in the fourth billionaire romance in Jean Oram’s highly rated Summer Sisters series?
In this sneak peek of Love and Danger, Daphne Summer and Evander de la Fosse try to find common ground.
Also available in paperback for $11.99.
Daphne Summer pulled her minivan down an unmarked, dead-end residential street in Port Carling, Ontario. She performed a quick U-turn and waited for the vehicle that had been following her while she did errands to come around the corner. Sure enough, the truck turned down the tree-lined road a moment later, slowing ever so slightly as its driver realized his error. As the Chevy rumbled past Daphne’s van, she made eye contact with the man behind the wheel.
She knew that face. Evander de la Fosse.
Turning the steering wheel, she blocked the road’s exit with her van. She got out, arms crossed, and waited for him to reach the end of the cul-de-sac and turn around. Grateful her five-year-old daughter was at a playdate with a friend, and not with her, Daphne prepared to give the man a piece of her mind.
The truck stopped and Evander cut its engine. He rolled down his window and licked his lower lip, resting one of his strong arms on the door as he leaned out to watch her.
Not a word.
The strong silent type, eh? Well, she had plenty of words to fill the silence. A bird whistled to her from an evergreen and the August breeze ruffled her cotton dress as she stomped up to the truck, feeling incredibly short as she gazed up to where the man was sitting.
She put her hands on her hips, well aware she was anything but threatening to the ex-marine looking down at her with mild interest.
“Evander de la Fosse, I presume?”
She caught the minuscule flicker of surprise on his usually stoic features. “At your service,” he said with a brisk nod.
“Funny, I don’t remember hiring you to tail me, and seeing as money’s rather tight at the moment, I’m confident I’d recall ordering a shadow as I run about to grab the mail and a few groceries.” Especially a man who represented everything she stood against.
He said nothing.
“So? At my service, huh?”
“Don’t call me ma’am.”
“Yes, Ms. Summer.”
“My name is Daphne.”
He was starting to look uncomfortable, which she figured was good.
“So, being at my service would imply you are here to help?” She looked at him with big doe eyes.
“Good.” Her voice turned firm. “Kindly take a hike.”
“A bit warm for that today,” he said, his eyes lifting to meet hers. He was so serious. Not even a hint of a smile, and his dark eyes held a hint of pain she figured must always be there.
“Don’t get smart with me.” Five years as a single mother had reduced her patience for sass to somewhere near nonexistent.
Evander’s lips twisted slightly as though he was fighting the urge to smile.
“I know my meddling sisters and their billionaire hero boyfriends think I can’t take care of myself. Poor little Daphne. The clueless wonder who feels instead of thinks. But I can take care of myself. I don’t need you tailing me and freaking out my daughter.”
He studied her, his plump lower lip disappearing under a row of perfect white teeth. Nope, not perfect. The front tooth had a triangle-shaped chip and scarring ran down from his right ear to his chin, partially hidden by five o’clock shadow. He was not a man best described by light and love. He was large, capable and everything manly stuffed into one muscular package of testosterone-driven sexiness.
No, not sexiness. How could he be sexy? He was nowhere near her type. Then again, Daphne was used to men who claimed their lack of personal hygiene was a statement about their environmental beliefs rather than laziness. But this man right here knew his way around a washing machine and iron. His button-down shirt was as crisp as well-cooked bacon, and looked just as yummy fitted over his build.
What was she thinking?
She needed to get a grip. She was a mom. She didn’t have time for drooling over a man who would be nothing more than a thorn in her side. And Evander was definitely a thorn. A thorn who was returning her heat and interest in his own gaze. It was as though his eyes were refracting the scorching summer sun onto her skin.
“What? What are you staring at?” she asked, shifting uncomfortably, wishing she could hide.
Again he said nothing.
“I know your type,” she said, trying to be angry with him and failing. “I will not feel ‘less than’ just because you think we’re in a staring contest.”
She took a deep, cleansing breath and tried to channel joy and understanding for this man, who had obviously been broken during a battle somewhere.
“Take the day off,” she said gently. “I don’t need an ex-marine as my stalker.”
“I’m not ex-marine. I’m Canadian.”
She frowned, thinking through past conversations, her internal mother-detects-a-fib early warning system blinking. “You tell everyone you’re an ex-marine—or so my sister Hailey told me.”
“Canadians don’t know what JTF 2 is.”
“Right.” That was a good point, seeing as Daphne had no clue herself.
“Joint Task Force 2?”
She gave a shrug and he sent her a frustrated look, as though she should know this.
“It’s like Britain’s SAS,” he prompted, and she shrugged again. “Special Ops. Always get the incredibly evil bad guys?” She gave another indifferent lift of her shoulder, enjoying how connected the movement seemed to be to his frustration level. “Coolest weapons? Top secret missions?”
Also available in paperback for $11.99.
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Copyright © 2017 Jean Oram. All Rights Reserved. Not to be copied or distributed in any form without explicit permission from the author Jean Oram. Contact her to inquire further.