Standing Outside the Fire (Silhouette Desire #1594) [NOOK Book]

Overview

It began as an anonymous flirtation. Storm raging, lights flickering, two stranded travelers decided to share uninhibited conversation--but no names--during a stolen encounter. Talking turned into kissing...and the need to know each other's names. In an instant, Boone Devlin and Erin Frye discovered they weren't exactly strangers.

And Boone discovered that Erin was a virgin. Only fate could have seen fit to land bachelorhood lovin' Boone in bed with the marriage-minded manager ...

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Standing Outside the Fire (Silhouette Desire #1594)

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Overview

It began as an anonymous flirtation. Storm raging, lights flickering, two stranded travelers decided to share uninhibited conversation--but no names--during a stolen encounter. Talking turned into kissing...and the need to know each other's names. In an instant, Boone Devlin and Erin Frye discovered they weren't exactly strangers.

And Boone discovered that Erin was a virgin. Only fate could have seen fit to land bachelorhood lovin' Boone in bed with the marriage-minded manager of the Texas ranch he'd inherited and intended to sell. Suddenly, his best-laid plans promised to be the ultimate betrayal. Because Boone was starting to suspect that he and Erin had created a lot more than sparks....

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426821165
  • Publisher: Harlequin Enterprises
  • Publication date: 6/1/2008
  • Series: Stallion Pass: Texas Knights Series , #1594
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 344,389
  • File size: 178 KB

First Chapter

Standing Outside The Fire


By Sara Orwig

Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.

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

ISBN: 0-373-76594-0


Chapter One

"How did this happen to me?" Boone Devlin wondered for the hundredth time as he climbed out of his rental car.

It was an hour from midnight, the seventh of July, and the glistening asphalt parking lot of the swank San Antonio hotel was deserted. Boone strode across it, dodging puddles from the night's rain.

Summer lightning streaked through the sky and was gone, plunging the Texas night back into darkness. He walked briskly, still in shock over his inheritance of a nationally famous quarter horse ranch and over a million dollars. He was in town to meet the manager of the ranch and to break the news that he intended to sell it. He was interested only in funding his new air charter service. With the money from the sale of the ranch, he could foresee endless possibilities for his business.

The staccato click of heels caught Boone's attention, and he caught sight of a shapely female a few yards ahead who hurried toward the hotel. As his gaze ran appreciatively over her form, a man stepped out of the shadows and accosted her.

Boone couldn't hear the man's words, but she shook her head and snapped an emphatic no as she strode past him. The intruder fell into step beside her and continued speaking in a low voice. Abruptly, the woman veered away fromhim. When she did, the man reached out and grabbed her arm.

Clenching his fists, Boone sprinted toward them.

Already the woman had reacted, stomping her heel on the man's instep. Then, she slapped him hard over the ear and shoved him away.

"No!" she exclaimed again loudly, and while the man staggered, she rushed into the hotel.

Boone chuckled, and the man spun around. "What's so damn funny?" he snarled, starting toward Boone. The guy was ready to take out his anger on someone.

Boone clenched his fists and spread his feet. "You want some more?" he asked softly. He stood close enough now that he could face the man squarely.

Lightning flashed, and they stared at each other, eye to eye.

The man's chest expanded while he inhaled. Turning, he hurried away, disappearing into the shadows.

Boone sauntered into the hotel's elegant, deserted lobby that had leather chairs grouped around polished mahogany tables centered with vases of flowers. He strolled to the desk and checked in. When he went to the elevators, the woman from the parking lot was still there, and they entered the same elevator.

Boone had only seen her in the dark parking lot. Now, in the bright lights of the elevator, she stole his breath. His gaze skimmed over a figure that was usually found only in men's dreams. Her emerald-green sleeveless dress revealed lush curves and a tiny waist. Her slender arms had well-toned muscles, and he guessed that she worked out regularly. Especially since that display in the parking lot.

Her full red lips conjured up his curiosity about how they would taste and feel beneath his own. He glanced at her long, slender fingers and noted she wore no wedding ring. She was looking down, adjusting her purse strap. The thick curtain of silky shoulder-length red hair fell forward, hiding her face. She raised her head and he gazed into the greenest eyes he had ever seen.

Thickly lashed, her cat eyes mesmerized and enticed. They were cool, icy green, full of mystery and mischief and hints of sensual pleasure. She met his gaze with her own direct, self-assured stare.

"I was going to come to your rescue out there in the parking lot," Boone told her, "until I saw I wasn't needed."

"Thanks, anyway," she replied in a throaty voice.

"Would you like to go downstairs and have a drink?" he asked, hoping to prolong their time together.

She smiled briefly at him. "Thank you. Actually, I was going back downstairs. I haven't had dinner tonight so I'm going to eat not drink."

"Fine. I just got into town. Let me take you to dinner to celebrate."

Her eyebrow arched. "Celebrate what? Your getting into town?"

He grinned. "No, you fending off that guy. You were cool, collected and efficient. It was impressive."

"Thanks." The elevator doors opened. "Maybe I'll see you in the restaurant," she offered, and the doors closed behind her.

"Yes, you will," Boone replied quietly. He rode to his floor, hurried to his room to deposit his flight bag, wash up and comb his wavy brown hair.

Downstairs in the restaurant, he got a table beside a window that overlooked the deserted swimming pool. In the red-carpeted restaurant the lights were low and, because of the late hour, the room was almost deserted. While he sat and waited, he could hear live music from the lounge.

Less than five minutes later, she walked through the door, and his pulse skipped a beat. When he stood and waved to her, she hesitated, but then she smiled and crossed the room toward him, moving past the tables draped with white linen cloths.

He watched the easy sway of her hips, and his temperature rose another notch.

"You don't give up easily, either, do you?" she demanded.

"No, but I'm not going to coerce you into eating with me. You'll have to admit, it'll be far more entertaining than if we eat alone."

"And you don't lack in confidence," she added, sounding amused.

"That was fact not confidence. I know I'll have a better time eating with you instead of alone." He pulled out a chair.

"I don't usually let guys pick me up," she told him, "and I don't usually have dinner with strangers. For all I know, you're married."

"I'm not picking you up - this isn't a date," he said as she sat down. "And I've never been married, not married now, not going to be."

"A free spirit?"

"Exactly." He walked around to his chair to sit and face her.

"Besides, we're not strangers now. We've known each other almost a whole half hour." He held out his hand. "I'm B -"

She shook her head. "No names. Let's keep this impersonal."

"You don't want to know my name?"

"No, because we won't see each other again after this night. When dinner is over we'll go our separate ways. I'll feel much better about it."

He cocked his head. "Want to make a bet? I'll bet you that before we part, you'll tell me your name. In the meantime, I'll just call you Red."

Smiling, she nodded while her green eyes twinkled. "All right, I'll take that bet. Winner gets what?"

"What would you like if you win?" he challenged, knowing what he would like to claim as his prize, but also knowing he couldn't tell her that now. Another loud clap of thunder boomed and crackled through the hotel. "What would you like if you win? Name something," he urged her.

She gazed past him and pursed her lips in thought. Boone had to fight the temptation to lean across the table and touch his lips to hers. Finally her gaze returned to him. "I'm a chocoholic. If I win, you get me a chocolate dessert, or if they don't have one, a candy bar. I know the gift shop will have them."

"Fine with me," he replied.

"Now, if you win, what do you want? You better keep the prize simple and impersonal," she warned in a no-nonsense tone.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Standing Outside The Fire by Sara Orwig 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.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 13, 2010

    I wouldn't recommend it...

    There is nothing remotely realistic about this story. It was very short but I still had to MAKE myself finish it. Don't waste your money because it's not worth your time.

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