Wednesday, February 21, 2007

FEB 07 EXCERPTS: Three Weeks Last Spring

Three Weeks Last Spring

ISBN: 1424129907

Author: Victoria Howard


Publisher: PublishAmerica Pages: 293

Genre: Romantic suspense


"I wouldn't do that if I were you. The water is pretty darned cold at this time of year."
Skye nearly jumped out of her skin, her heart thumping in her chest, thoughts flashing through her mind like lightning. First and foremost, this was supposedly private land. Second, turning and scanning the trees in an attempt to locate the voice, just who the hell did he think he was telling her what she could or could not do?

The voice seemed to emanate from the very depths of the pinewood. Squinting into the early afternoon sunlight, Skye watched as a figure emerged from the trees. He was tall, well over six feet if he was an inch, with raven black hair and the slight shadow of a beard. She couldn't really see his eyes, but had a feeling they would be icy blue and would have that "damn you to hell" expression. A chill ran down her spine. The cabin occupied an isolated spot after all, and even if there were neighbours within screaming distance they probably wouldn't be at home at this time of day. Skye considered her options as the tall figure walked towards her; if he were to prove difficult she could always throw her cup at him and kick him in the shins, before legging it back to the safety of the cabin. He halted a mere foot or so from her, forcing her to look up.

"Sorry to startle you, ma’am, but I wasn't sure if you were planning on taking anything else off besides your shoes…" the stranger grinned.

Skye's mouth opened but she couldn't utter a word, and before she could collect her thoughts, he continued.

"…Because if you were, you'd only last about thirty minutes before hypothermia set in, and of course, being the gentleman that I am, I would feel duty bound to come right in after you. And that would be a shame, because I'd planned on going home and cooking this fish for lunch," he finished matter of factly.

Coughing and spluttering, Skye choked on her coffee. So a fish was more important than saving someone from freezing to death. She inclined her head to examine him more closely and could see she’d been right about his eyes. Here was a man who didn't suffer fools gladly. Well, she thought, Mr Damn Your Eyes could just go back where he came from and take his fishy friend with him!

"You’ll be relieved to know, that I had no intention of er, er…. taking anything other than my shoes off. The thought of going for a swim hadn't even entered my head, but now you've mentioned it, it's not a bad idea. As for you coming in after me, I'll take a rain check, if you don't mind! Not, I might add, that what I do is any business of yours. I was assured that this was private land. May I ask just what you think you are doing prowling around scaring the hell out of people?" Skye asked indignantly.

"My, my, we're mighty touchy. What happened, someone wake you up too early?" The icy blue eyes flashed. There was a trace of laughter in his voice that was totally lost on Skye. Feeling more than a little intimidated by the stranger's height, she stood up in one fluid movement. Not one inch of her five foot five frame gave her any more confidence. She barely came up to the man's chest – a chest that any woman would feel comfortable snuggled up against, at that. Now where in the world did that thought come from? Skye asked herself.
Still feeling at a disadvantage, Skye took a long look. Close up he didn't appear quite so intimidating - "impressive" was a better adjective. In fact, she could think of a number of suitable adjectives to describe Mr Damn Your Eyes, including handsome, rugged, and virile, not to mention offensive and arrogant. This guy would stop traffic in London, but there he would be completely out of place. Here in the rugged mountains of the Pacific Northwest he was totally at ease.

Now that she was standing, Skye revised her estimate of his height. He was at least six feet four, possibly more. His eyes were deep set and she’d been right about the colour. He had a scar over one eyebrow and smaller one on his chin. Fleetingly she wondered how he'd acquired them, but she had no intention of asking. He was dressed casually in black jeans, which fit him like a glove and a navy blue check work shirt which he wore open at the neck, revealing a tangle of dark hair on his chest. In one hand he held a fishing rod and a fish in the other and looked for the entire world, as if he had stepped right out of the pages of her guidebook.

The stranger watched her slow appraisal of him, but said nothing. Skye stiffened and haughtily tossed her head, her eyes narrowing as she spoke.

"Look, Mr…? Sorry, but I didn't quite catch your name, and at this particular moment, I don't even care to know what it is. I've had a long journey and I'm tired. As far as I'm concerned you're trespassing on private property. I'd very much appreciate it, if you would leave by whatever means you arrived and allow me to finish my coffee before it goes cold."

"My, my. The lady obviously has a temper to match the colour of her hair. Now why don't you take a deep breath, calm down and enjoy the day? You're obviously not from around here otherwise you wouldn't jump down a perfectly innocent person's throat, especially one who's trying to give you some friendly advice. Don't worry, I won't disturb you any longer," he said tersely. "I'll be on my way, and for future reference, the name is Walker, Jedediah Walker, but everyone just calls me Walker," he declared, challenging her to laugh. Abruptly he turned and strode quickly up the dock before jumping down and continuing along the pebble beach, heading off in the opposite direction from which he'd come.

1 comment:

Patsy Nelson said...

I enjoyed the excerpt an dsince I am a lover of romantic./suspense I can't wait to read this book.

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