Samantha Willan is a workaholic lawyer. She's grateful for some rest and relaxation in cottage country, and after a recent breakup she wants to stay as far away from romance as possible. Then she meets her irresistible new neighbor. There's something strange and mysterious about his eyes. Is it just her imagination, or are they locked on her neck?
Garrett Mortimer is a rogue hunter. His last assignment united Lucian Argeneau with his lifemate, and Mortimer is hoping this one will be less...adventurous. He's here to track down a reported rogue, but fun in the sun is every bloodsucker's nightmare. Worse, he can't seem to get his mind off Samantha, especially when he spies her skinny-dipping in the lake. After eight hundred years as a bachelor, is he ready to turn a volatile attraction into a lasting love affair?
"Sorry about leaving so late."
Samantha Willan tore her gaze away from the star-littered sky overhead and turned a surprised glance to her younger sister. They were reclining on the wooden dock in front of the family cottage, enjoying the evening air and the beautiful view. Or they had been until Jo's apology. Seeing her guilt-ridden expression, Samantha frowned and leaned to the side, bumping the younger woman affectionately with her shoulder as she teased, "You should be. We missed all the crazy traffic, didn't have any of the usual stop-and-go nonsense, and made great time here. All in all it was a horribly pleasant ride for a change. Shame on you for forcing that on us."
Jo grinned, but shook her head. "It's also now after two A.M., we've just finished unloading the car, and we still have to let the cottage air out before we can sleep." She raised her eyebrows in challenge. "It's going to be a late night for all of us thanks to my stupid job."
Sam wrinkled her nose. It was summer. The sun had baked down on the closed-up cottage all day, heating it like an oven. Despite the fact that the night had cooled with the setting sun, the small, well-insulated building had still retained that heat when they'd arrived. The first thing they'd done â even before unloading the car â had been to open all the windows. They would have turned on the ceiling fans too, but there'd been a storm that afternoon and the power had been knocked out. No power meant no ceiling fans to help bring down the temperature. They'd have to wait for the night air to slowly seep in and displace the hotter air. That could take a while.
"So?" Sam said lightly. "We've unpacked, the beds are made, and we don't have to get up early. We're on vacation; we can go to bed as late as we want. In the meantime, we get to relax here on the dock and enjoy this lovely view . . . so stop fretting. Besides," she added solemnly, "your job isn't stupid."
"Yeah, right," Jo said on a laugh. "You're a lawyer, Alex is a gourmet chef with her own restaurant, and I work in a bar."
"You are now night manager in that bar, thank you very much," Sam pointed out firmly. "And stop comparing yourself to us. Alex and I are both very proud of you for getting that promotion," she said firmly. "Besides, it's paying your way through university, isn't it? That makes it far from stupid in my book."
Jo relaxed, a small smile claiming her lips. "I guess."
"You can guess if you like, but I know," Sam assured her with another affectionate bump. They fell silent then, and both turned their gazes skyward, taking in the sparkling, star-strewn black above. It was hard to believe they were only two hours north of Toronto; the sky here made it seem like a whole other world. It was awe-inspiring.
"We should have brought sleeping bags," Jo said on a little sigh. "We could have slept out here under the stars."
"On the dock?" Sam asked with a disbelieving laugh. "No way. All three of us would probably end up in the lake somehow . . . Or we'd wake up to find chipmunks curled up in the sleeping bags with us and seagulls circling overhead, relieving themselves on our sleeping faces."
"Eww!" Laughing, Jo gave her shoulder a push and shook her head. "You are such a pessimist. I swear I've never met anyone who could be such a downer."
"Not a downer, sensible," Sam corrected.
"Ha! You always see the glass as half empty. Honestly, you find the flaw in everything."
"In other words, she acts like the lawyer she is."
Sam and Jo sat up and turned to glance toward shore where that amused voice had come from. At first all they could see were shadows in the darkness, but then Jo turned on the flashlight they'd brought with them...