In an era electric with possibility and peril Chloe Gray, political writer, and Michael Keller, CIA troubleshooter, meet under curiously conventional circumstances. Despite the instantaneous sparks, they both sense there is more between them than physical attraction. Chloe's professional detachment from the dramatic world events of the 1990s—a disintegrating USSR, Middle East peace talks, and Vietnam's reemergence on the world stage—dissolves as their love affair intensifies.
Michael appears and disappears at unpredictable moments, leaving her limp and lovelorn. Is he using her or protecting her? In her quest for answers, she is yanked into the dangerous world of Michael's work—in Washington, DC, in France, and in Spain. Looking for safe harbor (for her emotions? or her body?), she submits to the advances of a dashing French diplomat. Will she embrace the luxury and comfort of Emile and his chateau or the romance of international intrigue with Michael?
June 1991, Washington, DC
Odious air conditioning unit! Chloe cursed it and all appliances that ceased working when you needed them most. In this unseasonable heat wave, her house reminded her of that awful spring break on a palmless, humid, breeze-free tropical island. Which was why she huddled under the sad little dogwood in her front yard, pressing a cold washcloth to her face. She’d caught her thick auburn hair under a barrette to keep it off her neck and wore a skimpy khaki cotton shift, in her discomfort not caring how well it set off both her hazel eyes and her long, shapely legs.
She checked her watch again: 11:30. Gail at Comfort Air had assured her the repairman would arrive between ten and twelve that morning. He’d better get here soon or she‘d burn up.
Wait … A white van turned into the parking lot. She could just make out the lettering. Yes—Comfort Air! She waved frantically at it. A fellow in a white uniform shirt at the wheel squinted at her, but maddeningly stopped at another townhouse. He consulted his clipboard with great deliberation. Then, praise the Lord, he put the van back into gear and slid into the visitor’s parking spot in front of her townhouse. He stepped out and tipped a nonexistent cap. “Miss Gray?”
She didn’t bother with the niceties but turned toward her house, summoning him with an imperious hand. “Yes, yes, come in. Bring a pocket fan.”
The man grinned and reached back into the van for his tools. He followed Chloe up the steps. She started to describe the problem, but he was already heading downstairs to the unit. She had a glimpse of a well-muscled back and a full head of glossy black hair. “You know what to do?”
“Yes, ma‘am.” His answer floated up. “I‘m here to fix your air conditioning, right?”
She hoped that wasn’t a snicker she heard in the rich, baritone voice. She gave him five minutes, then descended after him. She found him bending over the unit, making busy noises. “Ma’am, do you have a maintenance contract with us?”
“Yes, yes I do. Why?”
“Who serviced this unit last? Do you remember?”
Chloe had her answer ready. The company had a right to know about its incompetent employees, didn’t it? She’d rehearsed it carefully, so as not to come across as too waspish. “Alex Jones, I believe. I’m not sure he was exactly…thorough.”
The man snorted. “Well, now I know why Alex is no longer with Comfort Air. This may take awhile.” He straightened and turned toward Chloe. For the first time she got a good look at his face. She backed off, partly to get out of the way and partly because she didn’t want him to see how breathless he made her. The man was gorgeous! His face—well, a romance writer would describe it as craggy, rough-hewn, or maybe lived-in. Deep, deep blue eyes under a tousled thatch of ebony hair, his skin tanned and tight over a strong nose and high cheekbones. His mouth, although currently set in a thin angry line, promised to be sensual and full.
She attempted, with little success, to keep her eyes from traveling down his barrel chest to his hands. Quite delicate for such a big man, the fingers long and slim. She looked up quickly and found him observing her, his face impassive. He watched as she backed away blushing, then without a word returned to his work.
Lost in His Arms, by M. S. Spencer
Published 2009 by Red Rose Publishing
eBook, 61,000 words, ISBN 978-1-60435-375-0
Contemporary Romance, Action/Adventure; M/F; 3 flames
Lost in His Arms is also available at: www.amazon.com, www.bookstrand.com,www.allromanceebooks.com, and www.fictionwise.com.
Contacts: Website: www.meredithellsworth.com
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