When museum curator Vena Fenton returns to her small Montana hometown, she’s forced to live under the same roof as Finnian Quaid, the star of more than one teenage fantasy. Finnian is now an environmental lobbyist, making a bid for senate, and is as dreamy as ever.
Finnian needs a more settled image if he wants to get ahead in the polls. In order to do that, he needs a wife. With Vena living under his roof, his problem seems solved. As the romantic sparks fly, there's more at risk than Finnian's political aspirations. Can they keep their eye on the prize, or will their growing love derail them both?
Finn stood at the entrance of the gazebo, grinning. “Should have figured you’d be here.”
“Hi.” Her jumbled thoughts prevented a clever response. “You look tired.”
“Today’s been hard—full of facts and figures.” He stepped forward and held out his arms. “Just seeing you makes me feel better. I need a hug, Elfie.”
Without hesitation, she walked into his embrace, melting against his firm body. His arms grasped her shoulders, and then crossed slowly over her back and molded her body to his.
Finn groaned. “You don’t know how much I’ve wanted this since this morning.” He turned his face into her hair and inhaled. “This is what’s important. Not what’s going on in some corporate boardroom.”
Vena stroked her fingers along the corded muscles of his neck and played with the ends of his hair. Their children would all have heads covered with masses of curls. Whoa. She was letting herself get carried away. What mattered was he was holding her, telling her with his body that he needed her. She could give him a calm place to come home to, could be his anchor in life’s storm.
His head dipped lower, and his lips nuzzled kisses along her neck to her shoulder. The brush of his stubble on tender skin made her shiver.
“Don’t you have anything warmer than this?” His voice was gruff, but his eyes were caring as he arranged the crocheted shawl over her exposed shoulders. Using his grip on the cloth, he pulled her close, and his mouth covered hers in a possessive kiss. “How was the rest of your day? I’ve been—”
Lips still tingling, Vena came to a decision. She didn’t want to talk. The hours since he’d left her in this exact spot had dragged, especially when every single thought came back to Finn.
From under the shawl, she twined her arms around his waist, hands locking behind his back. Pressing against the heat at the tops of her legs, she gave herself up to the rush of wanting. She tasted his mouth from one angle and then another, the pull of desire tugging deep in her belly. So often, she had thought of this, and vowed to make this night unforgettable.
No matter what came tomorrow.
Linda enjoys writing from her cabin in the mountains among the cedar and pines with her husband of 34 years and their two much-loved dogs.