Double Take

( 12 )

Overview

Getting under her skin…

When her research about orgasms goes viral, sex therapist Lindsey Smith needs a place to lie low. Substitute teaching on Wild Boar Island, Michigan, promises not only privacy, but an opportunity to not think about sex. Which, thanks to the town's too-tasty police chief, lasts exactly one second.

After the dangerous streets of Chicago, Mike Santori figured the island was a safe, sane place to settle down. Getting hot for ...

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Double Take

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Overview

Getting under her skin…

When her research about orgasms goes viral, sex therapist Lindsey Smith needs a place to lie low. Substitute teaching on Wild Boar Island, Michigan, promises not only privacy, but an opportunity to not think about sex. Which, thanks to the town's too-tasty police chief, lasts exactly one second.

After the dangerous streets of Chicago, Mike Santori figured the island was a safe, sane place to settle down. Getting hot for the new teacher wasn't in the plan. Especially when he discovers that Lindsey is more than she claims to be. Mike decides to use every sexy trick in the book to strip Lindsey of her defenses and reveal all of her secrets. It's a wickedly sensuous journey, one that pushes both of them beyond their limits…to the heart of their desires.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780373797998
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 4/15/2014
  • Series: Harlequin Blaze Series , #795
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,099,019
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.50 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Leslie Kelly has written dozens of books and novellas for Harlequin Blaze, Temptation and HQN. Known for her sparkling dialogue, fun characters and depth of emotion, her books have been honored with numerous awards. Leslie lives in Maryland with her own romantic hero, Bruce, and their three daughters. Visit her online at www.lesliekelly.com

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Read an Excerpt

The redhead in the green raincoat would be very pretty if she weren't about to lose her lunch over the side of the ferry. Hell, not just pretty, beautiful, with those wide-set eyes, the high cheekbones, the curvaceous figure and that stunning head of long, flowing red hair.

Right now, though, her face was about the same shade as her coat. Her mouth was a tight little knot of agony. And her hands clenched the railing as if she couldn't decide whether to throw up or just jump overboard and put herself out of her misery.

Eyeing her from a few feet down the railing, to which he was also clinging with only slightly less desperation, Mike Santori offered her a look of commiseration and sympathy.

"First time heading to the island?" he asked, raising his voice to be heard over the rumble of the engine, the whipping of the wind and the spray of the water flying off the surface of Lake Michigan.

She managed a tiny nod, groaning aloud as if even that slight movement was too much for her spinning head.

"Maybe you should go inside."

"No, I need the fresh air!"

He understood that. He, too, had to remain outside every time he made the crossing between the island and the mainland. He kept hearing that the trek to and from his new home on Wild Boar Island would get easier, that he'd even grow to like it. But so far the only improvement he'd managed was that he no longer had to curl up in the fetal position on one of the outside benches and pray. The day he actually grew to enjoy the journey was the day he started to enjoy getting his prostate checked by anybody other than an adventurous girlfriend.

"It's going to start raining in a minute," he warned her, wondering if she, like him, would be glad for the rain. At least when you were shaking from being cold and drenched, you could forget your head was spinning as if somebody had attached a string to it and was using it as a yo-yo.

"Maybe I'll get lucky and the storm will wash me overboard so I can drown."

"Please don't, then I'd have to jump in and save you, and I'll ruin my new boots."

She managed a weak smile. But it quickly faded when the ferry dipped, rolling on a swell that made the rickety old boat sound as though it was going to split apart at the seams and plunge to Davy Jones's locker. The redhead gripped even tighter, and a low groan escaped her lips. "Make it stop."

"We're almost there," he said, edging closer, feeling protective of her, this pretty stranger, the way he might have of a kid left outside in the cold.

"What is wrong with good old-fashioned bridges?"

"It's twelve miles to the island."

"Haven't they heard of the Donghai?"

"What's that?"

"It's a bridge that's twenty miles long."

"Across Lake Michigan?"

She rolled her eyes. He bit back a smile, glad he was distracting her.

Another dip. Another groan. "There's an even longer one going over Lake Pontchartrain," she said, forcing the words out from between clenched teeth.

That one he had heard of. "I hear they get a few more tourists to New Orleans than they do to Wild Boar Island. I don't think tolls would pay for a bridge here."

That was an understatement.

Wild Boar Island, Michigan, his new home as of a few months ago, might claim it was one of the most popular tourist destinations in the state during the summer months. Hell, it might even be true. But somehow, having a population that swelled from about eighteen-hundred nine months out of the year up to ten-thousand in June, July and August, didn't quite equal the Big Easy during Mardi Gras.

A strong gust of wind blew down from the thunderous storm clouds blanketing the sky-clouds which hadn't yet released a torrent of rain, but had done a fine job whipping the massive lake into a trembling ocean. The old ferry rocked and rolled like a theme-park ride, and his stomach rocked and rolled along with it.

"Oh, God, why did I ever agree to move to a place you can only get to by ferry?" she groaned, leaning over the railing.

She leaned a bit too far, gasping and heaving, and he had a sudden vision of her tipping head-first into the choppy green wake. He didn't know her from Adam, but he sure wasn't about to watch her take a nose-dive into the deep. So he stepped close behind her, shielding her body with his own and wrapping an arm around her waist to hold her steady, braced on the deck. He dropped a free hand onto one of hers and squeezed, hoping she got the message that he was just trying to help and wasn't some pervert going for an easy grope.

Not that the woman wasn't eminently touchable.

He could feel shudders wracking her tall, slim form, even through her heavy raincoat. But she made no effort to pull away, and instead gripped his hand.

"We're going to capsize," she groaned.

"No, we aren't."

"Yes, we are. We're going to flip over and sink."

"Well, at least then we won't feel sick anymore."

She glanced at him over her shoulder, long strands of wind-blown red hair whipping across her face. "You, too?"

"Why do you think I'm out here?"

"I figured it was so you could rescue me."

"Yeah, let's go with that," he said as the ferry bounced again and he let out a small groan of his own.

She laughed suddenly, a light, musical peal of merriment that was at odds with the wild, wind-whipped day. Her whole face lit up when she laughed, and he noted the sparkle in her eyes, which were a dazzling shade of emerald.

"Are you laughing at me?" he asked, torn between indignation and relief that she no longer looked like she was about to jump overboard.

"Nope." She lifted a slender hand and pointed. "I'm laughing with sheer relief because I see land ahead!"

"Hate to break it to you, but that's Little Boar, not Wild Boar."

"Close enough. I'm getting off."

"The ferry doesn't stop there-it's uninhabited."

"I'll take my chances with the little boars, just tell the captain to pull over."

"There's nowhere to dock."

"So I'll jump overboard and swim for it."

"Have you forgotten my new boots?"

"You'd really leap in after me?"

"It's in my job description."

"Are you a lifeguard?"

Lately he'd been a jack-ofall-trades-from cat-rescuer, to crossing guard, to 911 operator-as well as Chief of Police, his official title. And he didn't imagine lifeguarding would be out of the question this summer when Wild Boar filled up with tourists anxious to test the sometimes rough waters of this very great lake.

"Let's just say I'm your self-appointed lifeguard right now. If you jump, I jump."

She took a few deep breaths, letting his words calm her, as he'd wanted them to. Finally, she nodded and began to straighten. The chop had died down, at least momentarily, and the planking seemed steadier beneath his feet. At least, it did as long as he didn't think about how easily his arm encircled her slim waist and how her long legs felt when practically entwined with his. And if he dwelled on the way her curvy ass was brushing against his groin, he was a total goner. The dizziness would have nothing to do with the waves and everything to do with a hot rush of lust that threatened to drown him. As a matter of fact, the tide was lifting things up already.

Mike immediately let her go and stepped away, willing himself back into she's-a-stranger mode and out of the damn-she's-hot one.

"Do you think the water's calming down now?" she asked, pushing her tangled hair away from her face with a shaking hand.

"Seems like it."

"God, I hate being sick like that."

"Ditto."

She eyed him. "It's not just the nausea, it's the complete lack of control over it. I know when I step off this boat, it'll go away-mostly. And it infuriates me that I can't make it go away right now."

He grinned. "If you can come up with a method to think away nausea, you'll be rich."

She nibbled her lip and looked down, crossing her arms and shivering lightly. Still not looking at him, she murmured, "Maybe we'll have smooth sailing the rest of the way?"

"Absolutely."

Nope. This was more like the eye of the hurricane. Experience told him they were merely enjoying a moment of respite before they hit the big swells that encircled Wild Boar. The island currents made travel in the winter and early spring-which was now-dangerous and nausea-inducing. But he didn't tell her that.

"I can't believe we're the only ones out here on deck. How could anybody not be seasick after that?"

He gestured toward the car-park section of the ferry, empty but for a shiny yellow Prius, which he assumed was hers. Good luck finding a charging station on Wild Boar. He'd left his own SUV at the docks, as his errand to the mainland to deliver some paperwork to the nearest county sheriff's station had been a quick one. It had been easier to just have one of the county guys pick him up and drop him back off than deal with the hassle of taking his vehicle with him.

"We're the only customers on board. The rest are crew and they're used to it. This time of year I doubt they get more than one or two people a trip."

"What? I thought we were heading to the most happening island this side of Maui."

"Who told you that?" he asked with a grin. "Somebody who desperately needs you to take over their job for a while?"

She lifted a brow, studying him, as if hearing the certainty in his voice. That could be because he was now certain of who this beautiful, red-haired stranger was, and why she was heading to a remote, sparsely-populated island on this wickedly unpleasant day. "Is Monday your first day at the school?"

Her eyes popped; she appeared shocked he'd hit the nail on its proverbial head.

"You are the new teacher, aren't you?" he asked, even though he knew he was right. The island had been agog all week about some mainlander coming to teach the science classes at the island's one and only school, which catered to all five-hundred or so students, from kindergarten through twelfth grade.

"Sub," she clarified. "I'm only substituting for the rest of the semester for my old friend who's the regular teacher."

Right. He hadn't met her yet, but of course he'd heard all about Mrs. Parker, the science teacher. The woman's baby had been born ten weeks premature and was still in an ICU unit on the mainland. That's why there'd been a sudden need for a substitute, and those weren't easy to come by on Wild Boar. Especially not teachers qualified to teach every science class in the school, from first grade why-do-caterpillars-turn-into-butterflies clear through advanced chemistry. Why this one wasn't already tied up in a classroom three-quarters of the way through the current school year, he couldn't say, but he had to admit he was interested in learning more about her.

"How did you know who I was?"

"There's been lots of concern for your friend and her new baby. Concern equals talk on Wild Boar."

"Callie's baby is doing well," the woman said with a gentle smile that softened her pale, pinched expression. "Little Will's got a lot of growing to do, and his lungs aren't fully developed, but the doctors think he's out of the woods."

"I'm glad to hear it."

She nodded. "Me, too. He's deeply loved and was very much wanted." She glanced away. "Unlike a lot of children."

He noted the change of tone and wondered at it. But she didn't give him a chance to wonder long.

"Still, how did you know I was the new teacher?"

"It's pretty rare for newcomers to move out to the island, except for the summer tourist folks, and it's too early for them. Plus, everybody's talking about the cottage behind the old Wymer place being rented out for the next couple of months."

He didn't have the heart to tell her that the cottage was ancient, rickety, drafty and probably full of spiders. Hopefully Mrs. Wymer had hired somebody to clean it up, since the fragile-looking elderly woman certainly couldn't do it herself.

The stranger's pale face became a shade closer to chalky. "Good grief, is the whole island a gossip mill?"

"Yeah, and that thing's been grinding like crazy with all the new arrivals-that'd be you and me."

She glanced down, one of her slim hands fisting as she pressed it into her stomach, as if she felt nauseous. Well, he supposed that was understandable.

"You're a newcomer, too?" she finally asked, after she'd straightened her back and lifted her chin.

"Yes, ma'am." He extended a hand. "I'm Mike."

"Lindsey." She took his hand and shook. Hers was a little clammy and very cold, since she'd been gripping the damp metal railing.

He reached into the pockets of his bulky windbreaker and pulled out his utility gloves, shoving them toward her. "Here. Your fingers are icicles."

She stared down at his offering. "Don't you need them?"

"I want my hands bare so I can clutch that railing," he said with a wry grin.

"If I wear your gloves, how am I going to hold on?"

"How about I hold on for us both?"

"Pretty confident, are you?"

"I think I can manage to keep us from being swept overboard."

She cast a quick eye over his shoulders, chest and arms. Color finally rose into those pale cheeks, as if she'd at last looked at him and seen the man, not the savior-from-death-by-drowningor-seasickness. Her throat quivered as she swallowed, her gaze dropping lower, assessing him all the way down to his feet.

"I suppose you can," she admitted, her voice thick and low.

He almost made a flirtatious comment in response, but suddenly the ferry lurched again, making him glad for his strong grip on the railing. But the woman-Lindsey- wobbled on her feet and, for a second, he thought she'd fall. Not even thinking about it, he stepped into her path and grabbed her before she could stumble.

Their legs tangled, hips bumped and chests collided. He had a chance to suck in a shocked-and pleased-breath, when her fine red hair whipped across his face, bringing with it a flowery fragrance that cut through the briny air and went right to his head. Just like this woman was doing.

"Whoa," she murmured, either because of the stumbling or the fact that so much of her was now touching so much of him.

"I've got you," he said, placing a firm hand on her shoulder. He turned his back to the wind, staying close, but giving her some distance and disengaging the more vulnerable parts of their bodies. As nice as she had felt pressed against him, he didn't want her to know that his lower half was ignoring his brain's order to be a polite protector and was instead going straight for horny man. Their new position removed the danger of sensual overload, but also kept her blocked from the worst of the wind. "I won't let you fall overboard. Now glove up."

Not taking no for an answer, he lifted one of her small, cold hands and shoved a glove on it. He forced himself to focus only on the fact that her lips now had a bluish tint, not that they were pretty damned kissable. And that her expression was pure misery, not that her face was shaped like a perfect heart, with high cheekbones and a pointy, stubborn little chin.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

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(7)

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2012

    Another good one

    E Kelly gives us another romantic, suspense filled story that keeps you glued. Keith, a secret service agent, has his friend, ex-agent himself and PI, Caleb look after his sister, Grace. When Caleb meets Grace, all hell breaks loose and so does their passion for each other. This 436 page story is action packed and hot and sexy.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2012

    Wonderful

    What an awesome book! Absolutely loved the storyline. I couldnt put this book down until completion! The characters were wonderful. Main characters two very strong, determined men and one very strong willed woman, all totaled a great kick ass team! The premise of the story was a surprise and a real page turner! Thanks again, E Kelly for another fantastic book. I ve read all you ve written and hopefully there are more to come. FL

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 9, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Hot Romance, Small Town, Fabulous

    5 Stars!
    Erotic Romance
    Release date: May 1, 2014

    ABOUT THE BOOK: When her research about orgasms goes viral, sex therapist Lindsey Smith needs a place to lay low. Substitute teaching on Wild Boar Island promises not only privacy, but an opportunity to not think about sex. Which, thanks to the town’s too-tasty police chief, lasts exactly one second.

    Getting hot for the new teacher wasn't in the plan. Especially when Mike Santori discovers that Lindsey is more than she claims to be. Mike decides to use every sexy trick in the book to strip Lindsey of her defenses.

    MY REVIEW:

    This book was a hoot! I loved the whole set up with why Lindsey needed to escape the trenches of the big city, and go to a small town, where she’d “hope” no one knew her name. Seeing as she’s all over the media, she needs to keep a low profile, and how else to do that but in a place where she practically had to drop off the face of the Earth?

    Add in a ferry trip, sea sickness, a hot man trying to help her on overcome the sickness, and turn out to be the new police chief? Oh boy, you don’t think it could get any better than that, but it does! What would you do if your box of sex toys “for research” falls out in the open. HAHAHAHAHA!

    The characters were engaging, funny, and real. Their chemistry was hot, and the author wraps up the story very nice. This book will have you laughing out loud, and squirming with hotness all at once. I fell in love with these characters, and I have no doubt other readers will as well. Great job! Fantastic read! Leslie Kelly puts the hot in small town romance, and she doesn’t let up until you want to scream for mercy.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2013

    Double Take

    I really enjoyed this book. I also checked on more of her books. I would recommend it highly.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2012

    Good

    A good suspense.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2012

    Love this author

    Great characters and story line! I can't wait for more to read from this author!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2014

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    Posted May 6, 2013

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    Posted March 17, 2013

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    Posted January 5, 2013

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