As I was planning the story for Rescue Me, I realized I set most of my books in the summertime, and I decided I needed a winter story, after all, I've lived with snowy & cold weather all my life. In western New York, where the Silver Fox Romances are set, summer weather lasts a much shorter time than winter. It was fun adding all those realistic winter details into the story
After years of playing it safe, Bonnie Petrowski’s first attempt at being wild and spontaneous leaves her spinning off the road during a blinding snowstorm. The sassy widow has few regrets, but never owning up to her feelings for her late husband’s best friend is one of them. And now it might be too late.
Firefighter Joe Waterman isn’t going to let a little thing like a blizzard stop him from getting the hell away from his big empty house. He doesn’t get far, however, before discovering a small car buried in the snow. When he recognizes his friend’s widow inside, his unwanted attraction to her still blazes hot enough to melt the snow piling up around them. After he rescues her, not only do the sparks continue to zap between them - Bonnie wants to talk about their feelings for each other.
Joe made a promise years ago and he’s bound to keep it. Even if it means he and Bonnie can never have a chance at forever together.
“Kick off your boots and hang your coat on the hook over there.” Joe didn’t know why his voice sounded strangled.
He froze as he watched Bonnie shed the snowy coat and boots, then step out of the wet, heavy sweatpants. He nearly choked when she turned to him and he got the full impact of the woman he hadn’t seen in the past two years.
She’d always been curvy, with hips that flared out just the way he liked it. But right now that purple dress clung to her curves in a way that was almost sinful. The V neckline showed off her mouthwatering cleavage. And her bare feet…somehow seeing her toes with their pale pink polish made a low growl slip from his lips.
“Did you say something?”
“No.” He turned and hung up his coat, then kicked his boots clear across the mudroom. “Where did you go dressed up all fancy like that?”
Her eyes widened, then narrowed. “Out to dinner.”
He scoffed. “You drove all that way for a date?”
She stepped over the clumps of snow, stomped past him into the kitchen, then whirled around. “I didn’t say it was a date.”
“Dressed like that?” Joe followed her, stepped up close. He caught a faint scent of something flowery. She’d put on perfume for this guy.
Bonnie propped her hands on those luscious hips. “So what if I went on a date. What’s it to you?
She was magnificent when she was wound up. And she was right. It was none of his business. Except when he had to rescue her from her car. “He should have come to you if he wanted to see you. Not make you drive in this crappy weather.” If Joe knew who the jerk was, he’d—
“He didn’t make me,” she snapped. “He said he had an early morning, so I offered to make the drive. We didn’t know the weather was going to get bad. It was spur of the moment. It was romantic.”
Romantic? Nothing about the last couple of hours had been romantic. Something in her tone sounded defensive, made him think she wasn’t telling him everything. “So who is this guy?”
“You’re not my father, Joe. What’s with the interrogation?”
“I’m just concerned.”
When she rolled her eyes, he was reminded of the cute young woman she’d been when Frank first brought her around. Bright and sparkly with no shadows haunting her eyes. “Don’t worry about me. I’m doing fine.”
“Of course, you are.” The thought of Bonnie dressing up like that, all pretty and sexy, for some guy he didn’t know bugged the hell out of him. Joe knew being pissed that she’d never dressed up for him made no sense at all. He’d watched her run off to Erie because that was the way it had to be. But his screwed up emotions were no reason to treat her this way now.
“Thank you for getting me out of a ditch. I’m sorry I snapped at you, but I’m really tired and—”
“Sure. Follow me. The guest room has its own bathroom and you can use all the hot water you want.”
“A hot shower sounds wonderful.”
“I’ll grab some dry clothes and leave them on the bed, then put on a pot of decaf.”
“That’d be great.”
Joe watched her pad down the hall, then went into the master and rummaged around in his dresser for something for Bonnie to wear. He finally grabbed a T-shirt and another pair of sweatpants. He stepped into the guest room and heard the shower running behind the closed bathroom door.
As a firefighter, he was the kind of guy who ran into a burning building when everyone else was running out. But right now, knowing the woman he’d loved for years was naked behind that closed door, he ran away like the flames of hell were at his heels.
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