The quickest way to love isn’t always a straight line.
This was supposed to be Xavier Moreau’s long-awaited vacation. A few precious weeks away from his over-scheduled career to see the America his mother loved and still make it to his best friend’s wedding in time. Instead, he’s ferrying the bridezilla’s sister to the nuptials. The luscious Jaime Cruz makes his mouth water, but her near-frenzy to get to Oregon now would scrape on his last nerve—if he didn’t sense that she needs the break as much as he does.
Fresh off a teaching assignment in D.C., Jaime’s white-knuckling it. She’s got only three weeks to get home, find a job and a place to live, and ensure her sister’s big day comes off without a hitch. Except Xavier tosses her three-days-or-bust itinerary out the window. Even more annoying, Jaime finds herself succumbing to his relentless determination to make sure she enjoys every minute of the trip. And falling under the spell of his sizzling touch.
Three weeks and three thousand miles later, Jaime’s feet are on home ground, but her heart is pulling her in a completely unexpected direction. Toward Xavier and a new journey that will require the ultimate leap of faith.
Product WarningsCaution! Dangerous curves ahead. Do not enter if you might be spooked by haunted hotels, embarrassed by sex in the great outdoors, or fear you might yield to a devastating Frenchman willing to drive you to distraction.
Copyright © 2012 Jenna Bayley-Burke
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication
He opened his mouth to speak but paused, not wanting the words to come out stilted. He should apologize, but for what exactly? Wanting to enjoy a trip? Wanting to enjoy her?
“I offended you, so you blasted me with cold water?”
“That was your haunted hotel.”
He bit his cheek to keep from grinning. “So now you believe in ghosts.”
She threw up her hands and then pressed them to her temples. “Can we please just get on the road? We have a long drive ahead of us.”
“I’m on vacation. I want to enjoy myself. I’d like to enjoy you. Last night was amazing.”
“Last night was an unwanted complication instigated by supernatural phenomena.”
“So the ghosts made you do it? That’s what you’re saying?”
“I have no idea why I behaved that way. I’ve never been naked with a man I didn’t at least consider marrying.” She folded her hands in her lap, the flirty ruffle of her pink dress barely covering any of her curvy thighs.
“It’s not so complicated. We’re young, free, attracted to one another. Why not make the most of the trip?”
“It’s not responsible.”
He rolled his eyes, not bothering to hide his annoyance. “Be responsible in Oregon, J’aime. Take some time off from always doing the smart thing and enjoy life.” He reached for her hand and brought it to his lips for a brief kiss. “Enjoy me.”
“Are you suggesting we have an affair until the trip is over?”
“We just live for the day. What happens happens. There’s no point in being frustrated now or awkward later because we both have plans for September. This is August. Let’s enjoy it.”
“And when September comes?”
“I have to get back to work, and you will too.”
She smiled, but not the carefree one he liked or the forced one that annoyed him. This was sad, and he knew he’d said exactly the wrong thing.
“No, thank you. Let’s just head to Chicago.”
He didn’t want that to be the end of it. He hadn’t had to pursue a woman in years, his status and bank account garnering him more interest than he had time for. Finding out he wasn’t enough on his own smarted a bit, making him determined to keep trying.
“Excuse me? Why aren’t we moving?”
“Why do you want to stop in Chicago?”
“I always stop in Chicago.”
He tapped his finger on the steering wheel, waiting for an explanation.
“My college roommate lives there. I stay with her instead of a motel.”
He put the car in gear. “Call her and let her know we’re coming.”
“We? You want to stay at my friend’s apartment?”
He shrugged, pulling back onto the road and envisioning the map of the U.S. in his mind. “We’ll stop for lunch in Ohio, and dinner in Indiana. That will make Illinois my eleventh state this trip.”
“You expect to make it to Chicago today, with two stops? Not going to happen, mon ami.”
Silly girl, he’d never backed down from a challenge in his life. “I’ll make you a deal. I don’t complain about Chicago today, you don’t complain about Madison tomorrow.”
“No way. Wisconsin is not on the way to Oregon.”
“Sure it is, just not on that map you made up. Now do we have a deal?”
“Fine. It doesn’t matter anyway. If we stop twice, we’ll never make it to Chicago tonight. So when midnight comes and we’re not there, you’ll be quiet as a pumpkin and let me take a turn driving so we’ll keep going. Towards Oregon.” She relaxed into the seat, a self-satisfied grin making her lips so kissable he couldn’t wait to get to Chicago.