Make Me Stay
by Rebecca Brooks
Men of Gold Mountain #1
Publication Date: October 3, 2016
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Brazen, Romance
Synopsis: Samantha Kane is about to solidify her father’s legacy by developing sleepy Gold Mountain into the most profitable ski resort in the country. There’s one man standing in her way though. One very sexy, rugged man. When she shows up to convince Austin Reede to sell, she has no intention of hiding her identity. But with a body like his, she’ll take a few risks to get closer.
Austin was the fastest skier on the U.S. Olympic team, until he shattered his knee. Gold Mountain became his refuge—and now Kane Enterprises is threatening that home. When he meets Sam, he has no idea she’s the one to blame, he just knows the attraction between them is one he hasn’t felt in years. A scorching hot one-night stand is just what he needs. Little does he guess that it will change everything…
Austin stood at the bar, and Mack poured the ale. He was taking his first sip when he felt a nudge on his arm.
He nearly spit his drink all over the bar. What was she doing here?
Sam had showered and changed from the afternoon, her hair no longer tousled by the helmet but smoothed in a sideways part and pulled back. She was wearing jeans and a sweater, so he could see what her ski pants had only hinted at. “Cute” didn’t seem like the right word—she had a way of carrying herself that was too self-assured for that. Beautiful felt like a cliché. What actually ran through his mind was fucking hot, but that made him sound like a caveman, so he tried to tame it down.
Still, that was all he could think of. Fucking hot.
“Fancy meeting you here,” she said with a wink.
“I had no idea you were sticking around. Did you get some work done?”
“A little. I was supposed to have some meetings, but I was able to push everything back.”
“You two know each other?” Mack asked, refilling Sam’s glass.
Austin started to speak as Sam said, “We met this afternoon.”
Austin flashed Mack a look that he hoped said keep your big mouth shut. “Where are you staying?” he asked Sam.
“Up at the Cascade,” she said.
Austin and Mack exchanged glances. “I know,” Sam said, as though she could read their look. “The place is ridiculous. Someone needs to break it to them that the seventies ended a few years back. That wallpaper is a crime. But I told the guy at the front desk I wanted to see what the area was like, and this was where he sent me. Looks like it must be where everybody hangs out, if I ran into this one again.” She raised her glass toward Austin.
“You had a one in three chance of getting it right,” Mack said. “The mountain, the gym in his freaky basement, or here.”
“Sounds like a wild kind of guy.”
Mack laughed. “You have no idea.”
“Hey,” Austin interjected. “I’m standing right here.”
“Maybe you should grab a seat, then.” Mack gestured toward the tables.
Sam grabbed her beer and walked away, then stopped and turned. “Coming?”
Austin always sat at the bar, chatting with Mack, calling to Connor when he was busy in the kitchen. But who was he to turn down Sam’s invitation?
Outside the snow was coming down hard, coating the parking lot in a layer of white. The weather in Seattle was dependably gray. All they’d gotten this winter was rain and more rain and that dreaded wintry mix. Sam stood in the middle of the parking lot and tilted her face to the sky.
Snow clung to her lashes and melted down her cheeks. She could see it coming toward her, illuminated by the outdoor lights from the bar, but higher up where the lights didn’t reach everything was darkness. The flakes seemed to emerge straight from a dizzying abyss. She felt Austin come up behind her, the solid weight of him dangerously close. She knew how unfair she was being to him, and how much of her job she was putting at risk.
But she couldn’t make herself pull away.
“It’s beautiful,” she said quietly.
He pulled out a strand of hair that had gotten tucked in her scarf.
“Where’s your hat?” he asked. But it was more like a whisper, his lips brushing close to her ear.
“I forgot it,” she said hoarsely. Her mouth was dry.
He ran a hand over her hair, smoothing out the snow. “Do you want mine?”
Sam turned to face him. Her whole life, her whole career, was spent calculating risk versus reward. How much risk could the company assume when they bought new land? How much would they be rewarded for the chance they took?
She knew not every risk wound up being worth it. But zero risk meant zero gain. Wasn’t that the whole philosophy that had gotten her father’s company where it was? Knowing when to take the plunge. Damn it, Austin was gorgeous, even with a gray wool hat pulled over his ears. And he was funny, thoughtful, kind—
She wrapped her gloved hands around his scarf and pressed her lips to his.
There was a pause in which he seemed surprised—was she wrong? Surely he wanted this, too. And then his arms were around her and he was kissing her back. The voice in her head stating firmly that this was a very bad idea tasted sweetness and warmth, and for a moment there was only silence. The world, her mind, even the wind itself had gone still.
Then a burst of noise came from behind them. A couple walked out of the bar and headed to their car. It was the reminder Sam needed. Nothing about their situation had changed. She couldn’t get caught up in the romance of the falling snow.
ABOUT REBECCA BROOKS
Rebecca Brooks is the author of contemporary romance novels HOW TO FALL and ABOVE ALL. She lives in New York City in an apartment filled with books.
She received a PhD in English but decided it was more fun to write books than write about them. She has backpacked alone through India and Brazil, traveled by cargo boat down the Amazon River, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, explored ice caves in Peru, trekked to the source of the Ganges, and sunbathed in Burma, but she always likes coming home to a cold beer and her hot husband in the Bronx.
Her books are about independent women who leave their old lives behind to try something new—and find the passion, excitement and purpose they didn’t know they’d been missing.
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