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Hide & Seek by Valerie Mann

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  • When ER nurse Kelly Donovan meets sexy firefighter Nick Barrantes at her sister’s annual summer party, the sparks fly. Famous for its games, this year’s party includes Hide & Seek and Kelly is determined to find a cozy place to hide with Nick. Trapped in a closet together during the game, neither Kelly nor Nick anticipates the sizzling passion that flares between them. However, Kelly can't help but wonder if this is one game she'll lose to her heart...



    Rated 1 Rose

    Rosette (35 pages)



    Excerpt:

    I wandered over to Jen and nudged her with my hip. “Hey.”

    “Oh, good, you’re finally here,” she said by way of greeting. “Can you finish this while I bring out the paella?” Without waiting for an answer, she set the knife in my hand and headed for the house. As an afterthought, she twirled back around. “Oh, hell, I’m such a bad hostess! Kelly, this is Nick Barrantes. He’s the new guy in the fire department. Nick, my sister, Kelly Donovan.”

    Then she was gone, leaving me to make small talk with a stranger. I looked up. Way up. And all of a sudden, small talk with this particular stranger was no hardship whatsoever. Holy smokes, the guy could haul my body out of a burning building anytime. Nick Barrantes had to be the biggest, baddest firefighter I’d ever seen.

    Whoa.

    “Hey, Nick.” I set down the knife and stuck a hand out, which he immediately dwarfed in a gentle but no-nonsense grip. My eyes rose back up to meet his and my heart skipped a beat. Maybe two.

    I didn’t feel that romance novel “electric shock” when we touched, my knees didn’t go all jelly roll on me, nor did everything in the immediate vicinity black out until only he and I existed in the universe. But when our eyes met, I felt an instant connection to him and when his grasp tightened for a second, I knew he felt the bond, too. I stared in awe at his male beauty. Brush-cut black hair, golden skin and deep brown eyes rimmed with thick lashes—surely illegal in more than one state—stared back at me. Straight nose, square jaw and full lips, broad shoulders, thick muscles straining under a navy blue fire department T-shirt—I halted further downward assessment before I embarrassed myself.

    The man was smokin’ hot.

    We both took a step back and couldn’t tear our gazes from one another. He tilted his head slightly as though he couldn’t quite figure out what had just happened. And, oh happy day, when his eyes finally left mine, he didn’t make an effort to hide the fact he checked me out as well.

    A sexy dimple twitched near the corner of his mouth. A dimple. Damn, I was complete toast.

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