February 17, 2009 | Excerpts
Today we’re fanning the flame with FRANCINE ON FIRE.
Magnificent Men of Munich
FRANCINE ON FIRE
Aspen Mountain Press
Francine Daniels doesn’t trust men. Not since two husbands and a con artist ruined her life. After years of struggle – during which she took back control and soared to new heights – there is no place in her plans for a German hottie…Even if she does burst into flames at his touch.
Heicke Brewer already made one disastrous trip down the aisle, and never plans to go that route again. He prefers the parade of international beauties lined up outside his bedroom door to enjoy his ‘satisfaction guaranteed’ reputation…Until he meets an American pixie too hot not to handle.
Francine slipped out the side door of the dining room when Heicke turned his back. Less than confident, she walked alone across the silent, black golf course. Her imagination played tricks as the tree branches swayed in the cool breeze, casting spidery images of boogie men in front of her. She looked up at the sky, praying the clouds would clear and all the moon to give off more light.
Dammit. Her shoe caught, yet again, in the wet grass. The damned expensive things were being ruined with every step she took. She wiggled her ankle, only to sink further into the mud. The only option left was to take off the shoe. Gathering her skirt so it wouldn’t get soaked, she bent over.
A twig snapped.
A hand clamped over her mouth. Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson, and every bloodcurdling creature Stephen King ever wrote about had joined together to attack her. She’d never been so scared, even when she had lived in her old car and been dumb enough to park it overnight at a drug house.
She jerked around, flailing her arms. Crack. Teetering as the heel broke off her sandal, she smacked into a solid wall of muscle.
“Shush Pixie. It is me, Heicke.” He wrapped his arms around her and she choked back a sob.
“Are you crazy?” Her heart pumped faster than a jet engine during take off. “You scared the living hell out of me.”
“It was not my intention.” He rubbed his hand rhythmically over her back, easing out her fear. She snuggled into him, grateful for his warmth. A spicy scent enveloped her as he pulled his coat around her shoulders. “You were very beautiful in the mirror and I became curious as to why you would leave without me.”
“I figured you’d get around to that eventually. After we were, ah, driving back from the shed, I forgot all about the charity donations.” Even to her the truth sounded stupid.
“And you thought it best to come out here alone?” She couldn’t see his face, but his suspicious tone said it all. “In the middle of the night?”
“What? You thought I came out here to lay some guy?”
He tapped a gentle finger on her lips. “No, perhaps I do not understand because of the idiosyncrasies of other languages. At least I hope that is my problem. Please explain about this laying of the golfers and why you did not wait for me.”
“You have a problem, all right.” She tried to pull away, but he tightened his grip and her heart skipped a couple of beats. “And there’s no help needed, Pup. I’m perfectly capable of surviving on my own.”
“So I see, and may I add you are making a fine job of it.” Lucky for his, his tone seemed to hold humor. “I know you, Pixie, better than you realize. Logic tells me you are not out here to have sex with someone.”
“Thank you for noticing.”
Sweet as Honey…Hotter than Hell