Date of Publication: October 1, 2016
One night stands should be exactly that, one wild night. Somebody should tell that to the sexy Russian. I love working for an airline and traveling the world—it’s everything I'd ever hoped and more. I work hard and play hard, and if I can have some sexy time with a hot guy, why not? I'm a free agent.
When my one-night stand is a hunk of a hockey player with a smooth Russian accent and an even smoother way of sweet talking me into his bed, not once but several times over, things definitely get complicated for my heart. I have no intention of having it broken again.
Will he be able to make it up to me? Has he even returned from his homeland? And what the hell is going to happen when engine failure makes my life flash before my eyes? Only one way to find out, and that's to hang on for the ride.
First time in print! Includes the bonus short story: “Rookie Rules”!
“Vadmir,” the man in front of me said, holding out his hand.
“My name is Vadmir Arefyev.”
I tore my attention from the departing couple and let his warm fingers wrap around mine. He had a few callouses on his palm and his nails were neat and square-shaped.
“Samantha.” I paused. “But I guess you know that because my friend just said it.”
“Yes.” He grinned, a proper smile this time, not the half-amused curl of his lips he’d had before. “But it looks like you have lost your friend.”
He spoke with an accent, Russian I guessed, having heard passengers speak that way. He released my hand. “I’ve only lost her for a few hours.”
I knotted my fingers together, trapping the warmth infused from his palm. “Let’s hope she doesn’t eat him alive.”
He laughed, a deep, rumbling chuckle that shifted his huge pecs beneath his t-shirt. “I hope she does. Jackson is still getting used to his new Viper fame and it might teach him a lesson. Knock him up a peg or two.”
“Do you mean down a peg or two?”
“Yes, yes, that’s what I mean, down.” He smiled again and I noticed that his two front teeth were slightly crossed. “Yes, and he is new, isn’t he?”
Harmony had mentioned that earlier. “In that case, he might be a little worn-out at practice tomorrow.”
He rubbed his hand over his chin, creating a sharp sound over his dusting of pale stubble.
“I’m not here tomorrow but it would be good to see.” He nodded at the parking lot. “So do you need a ride now?”
“I’ll grab a cab, that’s how we got here.”
“I don’t mind taking you somewhere. I’ve finished for the day.”
“No really, I don’t want to bother you.”
“It is no…er…bother.” He gestured to the lot. “Anyway, there are no cabs here.”
A small, welcome breeze lifted my hair from my shoulders and wafted the scent of dew-coated moss and light herbs my way. He was wearing an unusual cologne that seeped into my nose and heightened my awareness of his magnetism. There was definitely something seriously sexy about Vadmir Arefyev.
Damn, I really should get a ride out of here. In fact, better still. I should make him my ride.
“Well I guess you’re right,” I said, “there are no cabs about, so yes, a ride would be cool. As long as you don’t mind.”
“I really don’t mind.” He adjusted his bag, his upper arm muscles straining against the sleeve of his t-shirt. “It’s this way.”
He turned to the lot and I fell into step beside him. I had to take two strides to his one but luckily my Hermes wedges were up to the job. He swung his keys around his fingers again.
“Samantha, that’s a pretty name.”
“Thanks, yours is…unusual.”
“Not where I’m from.” He shrugged. “There are plenty of Vadmirs there.”
“Where is that, then?” He glanced at me. “You are not a Vipers fan?”
“No, sorry, I was just hanging out here with Harmony. I’m more of a Prada, Gucci and Jimmy Choo fan. Don’t mind a bit of Donna Karan and Armani, either.” He chuckled again. “I get your drift.”
“So you’re from where exactly?” I asked. “Russia. North of Moscow. I’ve been here four years now, though.”
“Your English is good.”
“Thank you. I have worked very hard to get it right.”
“And do you miss home? Russia?” He paused at a white convertible Chevy Camero and clicked his key fob. The car beeped to life and he tugged open the passenger door for me.
“Yes, of course. I miss my family, my parents are not getting younger but at least, doing this, playing here, it means I can provide for them.”
“That’s very kind of you.”
“They’ve always been very kind to me.” He smiled and gestured for me to climb into the car. I climbed inside and he shut the door. As he walked around the front, I buckled up and placed my purse down at my side.
“And you,” he said, dropping into the driver’s seat. “You’re not American. I can tell.”
“Ah, well spotted. No, I’m English, well, technically half-and-half but I grew up in England so that’s home. But my father lives over here, in Denver. America has been home for a long time now.”
“We played Denver last month. I liked the cold. The heat in Florida can be very…tiring.”
He revved the engine and flicked on the air-conditioning.
“I won’t disagree with you there.”
I crossed my legs. His gaze drifted over my thighs and knees and I couldn’t help yet another small thrill. It seemed Vadmir was a leg man, which was just as well. I had great legs. Not by chance but by hours in hotel gyms and a healthy dose of good genes from my grandmother and mother. Right now my legs were also tanned to a milky-coffee shade of brown and freshly waxed.
“Tell me if you get cold,” he said. “You’re…er…not wearing much.”
Now it was my turn to laugh. “I’m fine, it’s a relief to be out of the sun.”
He looked me in the eye and my breath hitched. There really was something captivating about him, and being this close to him—his handsome face, his scent and his obvious interest in me—was hitting all my buttons. I pulled in a deep breath, licked my lips and willed my heart not to race too much.
“So where do you want me to take you?” he asked, his attention dropping to my mouth and his eyelids getting heavy. On a fast and sweaty one-way trip to Heaven.
About the Author:
Lily Harlem lives in the UK with a workaholic hunk and a crazy cat. With a desk overlooking farmland, she allows her imagination to run free and revels in being able to use the written word as an outlet for her creativity. Lily’s stories are made up of colorful characters traveling on everyone’s favorite journey—falling in love.
If the story isn’t romantic, sexy and exciting, it won’t be written, at least not by this author.
For more information on other books by Lily, visit her website: http://www.lilyharlem.com/
Tour giveaway 3 winners to receive the first two books in the HOT ICE series.