The Harder They Fall
Romancing the Seas Book 2
by Roxanne D. Howard
Genre: Contemporary Romance
When Piper returns from an overseas assignment, Jack is determined to win her back at all costs, including saving her life.
FROM NOW ON...
Piper Goldhirsch has returned home for the holidays after being on assignment for two months in war-torn Syria. Still heartbroken over the way things ended with ship captain, Jack Spencer, she's wary when he offers to take her away to Catalina Island for a romantic weekend. She's begun to carve out a promising career, and doesn't want to sacrifice the strides she's made with Channel 4 news, but she longs for Jack and agrees to the get-away.
Jack is determined to win back Piper at all costs. When he receives a cash settlement from the tabloid that defamed him, he buys a new yacht and whisks her away hoping to reignite the fire between them. Their passion rekindles, but a dangerous stowaway hijacks the yacht and holds Piper and Jack captive. Working to keep each other alive, they realize there's no tomorrow unless they are together. Forever.
She kept her head high, as her mom always told her.
Chin up, my girl. Always chin up.
She’d put on a pair of black pants and a white wraparound blouse with a nice empire waist for the occasion. They presented her with a beautifully crafted glass award from RTNA, the Radio and Television News Association of Southern California, for her coverage on Syria. There’d been an awards ceremony put on by the RTNA, but she missed it when she was overseas. Her hands didn’t shake when she took the award, but despite her confidence, tears welled up. A year ago, she would have considered this a pipe dream. Richard stood aside and indicated she should say a few words.
Piper took a deep breath and moved toward the microphone. She cleared her throat and looked up. “Thank you. I—”
The first person she saw was Jack Spencer. He leaned against the wall on the other side of the room wearing dark jeans, a dark-blue T-shirt, and a black sports jacket. Time froze, and she stared. Her emotions battled it out, elation, anger, resentment, and a burning desire all fighting to the surface. Beneath it all, the magnetic zing which they’d had between them from the beginning resurfaced at full force. His face beamed with pride, and it hit her right in the heart. Piper blinked, and a few tears escaped. Maybe he’d come to make amends?
She looked around at the audience of her peers, who appeared to notice the exchange. “My time in Syria taught me about what it means to be grateful for what we have here. Thank you so much for this award. I’m grateful to my team of amazing cameramen and behind-the-scenes staff, and also to my fellow anchors, Hakeem Patel and Melinda Schaffer, who were my home front throughout the whole experience. This award means a lot to me, more than any of you could ever know. I hope our segments we did in Syria have stoked enough awareness about the crisis with the refugees. Not everyone will always agree about a decision, but when it involves children, I feel like we have an obligation to do our utmost to help. Thank you.”
She stepped away to applause. But instead of going back to her table, she kept right on walking. Straight toward Jack.
The Hotter They Come
Romancing the Seas #1
When Piper’s job sends her undercover to spy on Jack - the beyond sexy hook-up she can’t stop thinking about - she is forced to decide if her job is more important than her happiness.
HAPPINESS HAS A PRICE
Captain Jack Spencer owns and runs a whale watching company, Ahoy, Matey. When his business takes off, a jealous rival wants him and his company gone. Jack has no idea the delectable Piper Goldhirsch is tasked with scuttling everything he's worked for - he's too caught up in their magnetic attraction and her web of lies.
Piper Goldhirsch, head reporter for the tabloid TV show Business Buster, is all work and no play. When she and the all too tempting Jack Spencer have a one-night stand that turns out to be the greatest sex of her life, she is haunted by the powerful magic between them. Sent undercover to expose his whale watching business, she is torn between her assignment and the first man she has ever wanted. With her happiness on the line, Piper has only one choice.
She lifted her bare foot. He held her ankle with more delicacy than she’d expected from such a big man. As he slid the flat back onto her foot, his thumb grazed the indent near her anklebone. She shivered at the sensation. This close, the ocean blue of his eyes shone with intensity as he watched her. What did he look like beneath the costume and makeup? She’d noticed his sexy, crooked smile and the roguish way the corner of his mouth lifted up, as if he knew something she didn’t. His fingers wrapped around the back of her ankle, then stopped. She met his hungry eyes and nudged her leg forward into his hand. His fingers slid up an inch further, moving in a slow, barely there caress.
“I realize it’s none of my business,” he said. “But earlier, out in the ballroom…I don’t know what your friends said or did to make you upset, but if I can help at all, I’d like to.”
“I’m okay. Just shaking something off.” She took a sip from the wine bottle as she watched him. She moved her foot closer to his chest urging his hand closer to her calf. His long fingers stroked her flesh.
She closed her eyes. “Mmm, that feels nice. Don’t worry about what they said. You got a name, pirate?”
His tone was serious. She looked back down at him and smirked. Two could play that game.
“Oh, of course. You’re Captain Jack, and I’m Little Red Riding Hood. C’mere.” He stood and met her eye to eye. At five feet nine, she often had a vantage point in height in the workplace, which served her well when she wanted to be intimidating, but he had well over four inches on her, easy. His big, muscular frame towered over her. She took another sip of wine and walked her fingers up the buttons of his waistcoat. “Can I level with you, Captain Jack?”
She pushed aside the question of why she felt so at ease with him when all she’d wanted was to be alone and smoothed her palm over his white pirate shirt, his strong pectoral muscles firm beneath her fingers. When she next spoke, her voice broke as she remembered why she’d sought solace in the first place; she’d gotten a man and his whole family deported.
“See, I’ve had a hell of a hard year. I’ve pushed myself and made magic happen in ways I didn’t think I’d ever be able to, but that magic comes at a price, and I’m not okay with it. Every single day, people want a piece of me. And on normal days, I can handle it. But right now, all I want to do, since you’re here,” she moved closer, her lips inches from his, “and I’m here, is to forget it all and make some magic of our own I can hold onto, even if it’s just this little moment.”
His chest rose and fell as he scanned her. Clarity and kindness were evident in his eyes beneath the desire, and she knew she could have a little fun with him. She noticed that his palms clenched the more she rubbed against him. She smirked, grabbed the lapels of his waistcoat, and crashed her lips onto his.
THE WOMAN WAS unreal. Her thick, pouty lips moved against his, and no sooner had she kissed him full on the mouth than he seized her around her wasp-sized waist and laid claim. She was the sexiest woman he’d ever seen, and her curves were soft and perfect in his hands. His tongue sought entrance to her mouth, and she met him eagerly. She tasted like strawberries and wine, and he groaned as his fingers slipped into her curls. It had been forever since he’d kissed a woman. She scored full check marks in every category, and then some.
Chances were she merely wanted a nice make-out session, but his body already demanded more. He wrapped his arms around her, spanned his hand against her back, and traveled down to the curve of her delectable ass. She shivered against him; the movement went straight to his hardened cock. He nipped her lower lip as he squeezed her bottom.
“Oh, you are one big firecracker, aren’t you? Tell me your name.”
She wrapped her ankle around the back of his calf as she hauled him in close. “No names,” she breathed.
He kissed her and moaned when she rubbed her core against him through their clothes. All right, he’d play along. For now. But he would take the lead.
Roxanne D. Howard is a romance novelist who resides in the mid-western United States. She is a RWA PAN member. She loves to read poetry, classical literature, and Stephen King. She is also an avid Star Wars fan, musical theater nut, and loves everything related to marine biology. She is the proud mother of two beautiful girls, several pets, and loves to spend time with her husband and children when she's not writing.
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