Once again, I’d like to thank Sandra Bunino for making this blog hop possible each week. I’ve learned a lot reading the postings of others, blushed some, too,and from the comments I’ve improved my skills.
Without further ado:
To overcome your fear, you must first face it.
Someone is out to destroy Greg Simmons and everyone he has ever loved. After an accident leaves his teenage daughter depressed and distraught, Greg will do anything to make her happy again, including hiring a bodyguard to protect her.
Olivia Marshall lost both her fiancé and her cousin in a deadly avalanche. She has vowed never to set foot on a ski hill again. But now, working as a bodyguard with Anderson Security, Olivia must face her greatest fears to save Greg and his daughter.
Something about Olivia’s determination strikes a chord in Greg, but will she be the salvation he needs, or will he be her destruction?
The elevator lurched again, dragging her back. With each stop, the number of people in the elevator decreased, and she began to feel less confined. By the time they reached the sixth floor, there were only two people left—herself and a man. She’d started when he’d brushed against her earlier, but she hadn’t seen his face. Now, she looked up into hazel eyes staring at her as if she were the number one item on the dessert menu. She was waiting for him to lick his chops.
Normally, she’d ignore the man, but there was something about the way he was looking at her that both annoyed her and warmed her inside. He resembled the imaginary boyfriend she’d created to appease her parents and that increased her discomfort.
Get a grip, Livy.
No man had ever affected her this way—why him? Why now? Did he really look like her ideal man? Maybe, just a little around the eyes, but he was making her feel like a specimen on a microscope slide, and she resented it.
“Is there some reason why you’re staring at me like that?” She was exasperated by his perceived rudeness.
He chuckled, and Olivia’s heart jumped into her throat. The sound of his laughter was pleasant and eerily familiar.
His hazel eyes twinkled. “Is there a law in America against admiring an attractive woman?”
British. His voice sent goose bumps racing further along her flesh, annoying her. The heavy accent was similar to her father’s but far more pronounced. His appreciative gaze raked her up and down, and she felt heat rise in her cheeks. She despised her fair skin and its tendency to blush. Why did this man attract her when she’d sworn never to get involved with any man again? Seeing her nephew must have reset her biological clock. So much for having it under control.
She’d never thought a man could be beautiful, but this one was. He stared at her from behind black-framed glasses, and his full beard and mustache were as neatly trimmed as his hair, reminding her of Ben Affleck, one of her favorite actors
“Admiring is one thing, leering is another,” she said sharper than she’d intended. His actions discomforted her.
He grinned, and her stomach flip-flopped.
“Touché. My apologies, but I can’t be the first man who’s ever stared at you. I’ve seen many stunning women in my life, but none with hair like yours. It’s alive, on fire.”
Olivia frowned. He was hard to understand, but she knew he was talking about her hair, a sore spot with her, and knowing it was the reason for his behavior added insult to injury. She was about to say something when she caught sight of herself in the mirrored wall and winced.
No wonder he’s staring at me.
As usual, her hair had a mind of its own. Her long, curly, flame-red tresses bounced against the shoulders of her coat. Instead of sitting flat in some semblance of the style she’d put it in earlier in the day, the dry, indoor winter air had turned it into a mass of fly-away curls intent on going in whichever directions they preferred. She looked like Medusa, her wayward locks reminding her of snakes slithering around on her head like those on the gorgon. She tried to pat her head down with her right hand, but the static just made it worse.
I shouldn’t have worn that hat.
While some people said her hair was beautiful—to her it was still the wild, unruly, carrot-red mop she’d hated as a child—the one she’d been teased to tears about on more occasions than one. She’d tried cutting it short, but she’d found it even harder to manage that way. She should have dyed it some uncomplimentary shade of mouse brown, and she would have, if she hadn’t promised Tamara she’d never do such a thing.
“Is that its natural color?”
Exasperated, Olivia growled. “No, it’s usually sky-blue pink with orange polka dots.”
Instead of being offended, the man burst out laughing.
“Aye. And a temper to match. Beautiful, Red.”
The use of her nickname further infuriated her. The doors swished open on the ninth floor, and Olivia darted out, almost hitting the mailroom attendant waiting to get on, barely holding onto her cup of coffee. The man in the elevator’s laughter followed her down the hall until the doors slid shut. She’d seen the look on his face when she’d dashed out. It was as if he knew she was running away and was amused by it. The gesture made her angrier. Now, she had to walk up to the tenth floor. This day was just getting better and better, but there was no way she could have stayed in the elevator with that man. If he’d said another word, she’d either have thrown the coffee at him or punched him. Why can’t I have an ordinary, uneventful day? Is that too much to ask for, Lord?
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