Like a Hurricane

Like a Hurricane

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by Roxanne St. Claire

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Quinn McGrath's Irish grandmother always said he'd know "the one." Only, the well-meaning matriarch hadn't cautioned that the perfect woman would literally fall from overhead into his arms—or hate him desperately the moment she learned who he was.

Resort owner Nicole Whitaker was as wild and unpredictable as the storm that destined their


Quinn McGrath's Irish grandmother always said he'd know "the one." Only, the well-meaning matriarch hadn't cautioned that the perfect woman would literally fall from overhead into his arms—or hate him desperately the moment she learned who he was.

Resort owner Nicole Whitaker was as wild and unpredictable as the storm that destined their meeting. But whereas Quinn saw the beach beauty as a fated lover, she viewed him as the six-figure-earning enemy who'd come to destroy her dream.

She was right.

But that was before he discovered the meaning of paradise…and something worth fighting for in Nicole.

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Silhouette Desire Series , #1572
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Like A Hurricane

By Roxanne St. Claire

Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.

Copyright © 2004 Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-373-76572-X

Chapter One

Leaning against the trunk of a graceful palm tree, Quinn McGrath took a breath of salty air and studied the shallow sapphire waves of the Gulf of Mexico. The fireball that had baked the tourists on the beach all day was about to kiss an indigo horizon. Wispy clouds had turned peachy pink, and the humidity hung as the world anticipated the sun's touchdown.

But Quinn wasn't the least bit interested in the postcard view. It was the mess behind him that brought him to St. Joseph's Island in Florida.

Rolling up his shirtsleeves and blessing his decision to leave his suit jacket and tie in the rental car, he turned his experienced gaze on the ramshackle tile roof, the precarious third-floor balconies and the circa 1950 jalousie windows of Mar Brisas Resort.

No wonder the owner had canceled their late afternoon meeting via a curt e-mail. Although Quinn hadn't met the guy, he knew all he needed to know about Nick Whitaker from the broken banisters, chipped tiles and cracked soffits that hung from elegantly arched windows. Mar Brisas's owner was obviously spending his insurance money on something other than storm-damage repairs.

The change in schedule didn't bother Quinn. He saw it as an opportunity to take an anonymous tour, without Nick Whitaker to sidestep and sugarcoat the real problem areas.

Jorgensen Development Corporation could get this place for a song, he thought as he passed through the deserted pool area. All he had to do was prove to Dan Jorgensen that he knew the tune. His boss had made it plenty clear that full partnership in the development firm was the pot of gold at the end of this rainbow.

The air was no cooler in the lobby. No doubt Whitaker was saving every dime by not using the air conditioner. His footsteps echoed on the Spanish tile floor, the once-cozy lobby devoid of guests and, evidently, staff. The place was spotless, he'd give it that. But he'd find the flaws.

He slipped into a stairwell and took the steps two at a time to the third floor. As soon as the door closed behind him, he heard it lock and he cursed under his breath.

At one end of the darkened hall, a stepladder leaned precariously against the wall, surrounded by a white canvas tarp and what looked like roofing paper. This must be where the workmen hung out ... because they certainly weren't working.

Quinn walked in the opposite direction, toward an ancient elevator barely big enough to hold two people and their suitcases. The wooden doors weren't completely closed, he realized and stuck his hand in the inch-wide crack between them. When he gave them a quick shove, they opened with a soft thunk.

At least he thought it was a soft thunk, because at that instant, any blood intended for brain functions such as hearing or speaking or thinking went rushing off to another place.

Holy ... He could only stare. Up. At the sight of two amazing female legs hanging out of an open access panel in the ceiling, dangling a good four feet off the ground. Long, lean, tan and bare, they emerged from a blue skirt, he saw as he slowly leaned in and peered up. A skirt that had ridden just high enough to show the tops of deliciously taut thighs and an edge of similarly colored lace.

"Son of a bitch!"

Quinn jumped back to avoid a screwdriver that sailed from the hole and clattered onto the floor. The tool landed next to a pair of strappy high-heeled sandals, a blue jacket and a briefcase standing on its side.

So the skirt and matching panties had a voice. And, evidently, a toolbox.

He cleared his throat noisily. "Excuse me?"

A loud shriek followed as the skirt wiggled. Quinn's throat constricted against the pounding pulse in his neck. That blood was moving fast. South. This was not your average elevator repairman.

"Would you like some help up there?"

A hand with pink fingernails reached down and frantically pulled at the skirt, hiding the blue-lace trim, but not the thighs. The decidedly feminine backside squirmed, accompanied by another little mewing sound as the skirt - bless the tiny thing - crept higher up in response.

"Oh - oh! I'm stuck!"

He dodged a sudden swing of one long, shapely leg, then watched as the blue material shimmied left and right in a vain attempt to descend and dainty bare feet pointed to the ground. His instinct was to reach out and help her, but he was momentarily paralyzed. Surely his hand would accidentally land on a soft, feminine piece of flesh.

That did it.

The blood reached its destination and Quinn sucked in a breath as arousal sucker punched him. Without thinking, he grabbed the hips, careful to touch only the fabric of her skirt.

She shrieked again. "Hey! What are you doing?"

He held tight. "Trying to get a round peg out of a square hole." He gripped the curve of her hips, inadvertently bunching the material and leaving him with a handful of pure, silky thigh. Oh, man. "If you, uh, just relax, ma'am, I can bring you down."

"Relax?" The muscles under his fingers tightened in sheer defiance of the order.

"Relax," he urged, sliding his hand to a covered area.

He heard a moan, then, "Okay."

"All right, I've got you." It didn't take much strength, but he was thankful for his six-foot-plus height and the hours he'd spent at the gym as he eased her body down. Every one of his senses slammed into full alert while he drowned in the intoxicating feminine scent of her and studied the perfect curves of her backside under the silky material of her skirt as she descended.

Inch by scrumptious inch, he brought her closer to the ground. She let out tiny whimpers of discomfort that made him want to cradle her closer. A narrow waist emerged from the opening, followed by a sleek, toned back, covered only in a thin blue tank top, the same color as the skirt and ... coordinated undergarments.

As her head dipped into the elevator, he saw a twisted mass of thick, dark hair stabbed with a yellow pencil - a pencil?

Once her bare feet were firmly planted on the floor, she kept her back to him as she reached up and yanked her skirt furiously over her thighs. Too bad. He'd miss them.

"Thank you." The tremble in her voice touched him.

"No problem." None. At all. He'd do it again in an instant.

She still didn't turn and he fought the urge to gently twirl her around. He wanted to see her. He needed to see what kind of face went with a body like that.

She stood perfectly still, square shoulders topped by the ridiculous pencil 'do.

He cleared his throat again. "Well. Okay, then." He tapped the wall of ancient-looking elevator buttons. "First floor? Ladies' lingerie?"

The proud shoulders shook in a sudden laugh. Good. It would be a crime if hips and thighs and legs like that didn't have a sense of humor.


Excerpted from Like A Hurricane by Roxanne St. Claire Copyright © 2004 by Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Roxanne St. Claire is a New York Times bestselling author of twenty-seven novels of suspense and romance. A five-time RITA nominee and one time RITA winner, Roxanne lives in Florida with her husband and two teens, and can be reached via her website, or on her Facebook Reader page,

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Like a Hurricane 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dion had no idea he'd end up in a desert. But he had to focus on finding Ezumalid. There was a village up ahead. My guards were guarding the fortress, Dion probably knew Ezumalid had to have been imprisoned here, but the hoofs kept on going. Dion had made a bow and quivers in the forest he was in if anyone would spot him in this weird place. The village passed by Dion and then the hoofs continued onward and never stopped. Dion wondered if he would ever get there until the ground dropped and Dion blacked out. He woke up in a small cabin where a man and girl were leaning over him. "Again,Daddy?" The girl looked frustrated. "Yes...unfortunately so," the man replied. "What 'again'?" Dion stood up and rubbed his aching head. "Oh..." the man looked at him,"A boy arrived here about 2 days ago." "What boy?" Dion was alert. "Let's tell you during lunch," the man suggested. Dion was hungry, so he agreed. As soon as they all ate lunch, the man said,"His name was Ezumalid." Dion jumped up from the table, surprising both of them. "Hey...hey, what's all that commotion about?" The man asked. "Uh...well, explain later, thanks for the lunch," as Dion found a ladder leading out. "WAIT! Come back! I have more to tell you!" The man shouted after Dion. Dion didn't have time, but he supposed he needed more information about where Ezumalid might have gone. He climbed back down the ladder as the man said,"Your 'friend', I suppose you're looking for him, has gone north, toward the Yodo Mountains. He asked if I saw an old man, and I said yes!" Dion put his hand to his head. How undescriptive and secretive Ezumalid was! Now he was heading farther from home. Wenalt, Brianna, Mantala, Dion, and Ezumalid weren't supposed to be split up! But Ezumalid started it, Dion's other part of his mind said. That WAS right. But Ezumalid hadn't started it! The captures always did! Dion needed a way to stop these things from happening over and over to Ezumalid and the rest of them! It was really frustrating. As Dion exited the place, the man said,"Beware of the dangers in the deserts of Elias!" What did that mean? Dion didn't know and didn't want to either. He thought this as very weird. Why would a family live in a dune? Was that was kind of like living underground? Dion always thought living underground was dark and scary. Maybe, Dion thought, that was to keep away from enemies. The desert now seemed empty, and Dion's shoes felt full of pebbles or maybe sand. Dion emptied his shoes, sand pouring out bit by bit. Dion trudged in the deep sand. He was thirsty, though he had drank lots of water. Dion decided to go back and get some water from the man. The sand dune was there and Dion found the ladder, climbing down. "You again!" The man was cleaning the table. "I need some provisions for the trip, please," Dion asked. "Sure," the man gave Dion food, water, clothes, and a bag to carry them in. "Thank you!" Dion thanked the man. "No problem," the man told him. Dion now was glad he had some provisons and started to drink some of the water as he continued on. Dion started on the trip for about a few hours, taking breaks until he saw two figures riding in the desert. Dion had no place to hide-not even the sand dunes! Dion knew the figures had spotted him, because they started riding closer. Dion didn't know what to do, because they were getting closer any minute! Dion started to jog a bit, but running would only make him suspicious. Suddenly, the two figured came upon him. One a girl.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book. Ms. St. Claire has written another winner. To say she is a talented writer is an understatement. She's brilliant. This book made me laugh, cry and sigh. My favorite combination. The hero and heroine have sizzling chemistry. They were definitely meant to be together. Buy and enjoy. ##
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A big sandy opening with a bunche of brush surrounding it for warmth and protection.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mac and The Blue Lady mark author Roxanne St. Claire's entry into category books--and you couldn't ask for a better hero and heroine to keep you company on a Florida Beach. Quinn 'Mac' McGrath and Nicole Whitaker exchange hot kisses and a glimpse of paradise before discovering they are fighting over the future of a dilapidated resort damaged in an earlier hurricane. How do you resolve what the heart needs with what the mind wants? Read LIKE A HURRICANE for some unexpected twists that will make you laugh, cry, and take a hard look at your underware drawer! But wait, there's more--THE FIRE STILL BURNS, Colin McGrath's story is coming in September!