Cover Design: Letitia Hasser, RBA Designs
They say there’s a fine line between love and hate.
I believe it.
Brash sure lives up to his nickname.
Impetuous and rude, the billionaire hotel developer can’t possibly offer me anything but a much-needed paycheck.
Except, everything changes when our plane crashes.
Not only do we have to face the dangers of this tropical island, we must also endure our growing attraction to each other.
The spoiled, self-entitled mafia princess isn’t all she appears.
Beautiful and alluring, Alyona also possesses an innocence that calls to something long buried.
That’s risky for a man like me and a woman like her.
I’m a dirty bastard at the best of times, and this isn’t the best of times.
The perils we face are pushing us together.
And keeping things professional is no longer an option once I’m set on making her mine.
We’ve survived a plane crash, but can we survive the island with our hearts intact?
An ice-cold shard of panic pierced the pit of my stomach. I tried to ignore it. Fucking impossible. For the first time in my life since I was a child, events had overtaken me. Were out of my control. And there wasn’t a damn thing I could do other than try and survive.
Aly moaned and I whispered, “I’m here. You’re safe.”
She shivered and I held her close to share my body heat. Not that there was much of that. I was chilled to the bone.
I looked around again.
We were surrounded by nothing but rolling waves.
Stay calm. I repeated the words to myself like a mantra.
Hours passed, it seemed, although I wasn’t sure. I felt completely disoriented.
Aly had passed out again; I kept checking her pulse. My eyelids grew heavy and I wanted to doze off, but we’d be separated.
The sound of splashing.
A pod of dolphins had arrived, eyes flickering with curiosity.
“Hey, guys,” I managed to rasp. “Come to rescue us?” I laughed at the absurdity of my question.
With a wave of their tails, they left in obvious pursuit of some lunch.
The current took us further and further away from where the plane had gone down.
Rhythmical this time.
I swept my gaze around again and a slow smile of relief spread across my face. I let out a whoop. The sound I’d heard was the noise of waves hitting the barrier reef to an island. I could just see it in my peripheral vision.
I kicked my feet so frantically my shoes came off. Using the arm not holding Aly, I swam hard, fighting the current that was sweeping us parallel to land.
Kick, kick, kick.
I spotted a break in the waves and managed to propel us through it into the calm waters of a lagoon.
My lungs burning, I kept swimming until my feet touched the sandy bottom.
With the last vestiges of my energy, I heaved Aly out of the water onto the shore.
I turned her onto her side and tilted her head backwards. Then, totally wrung-out, I collapsed next to her.