Genre: Contemporary Romance, Suspense
Ava Walters is a pediatric nurse who doesn’t do relationships. An abusive past has left her wounded, but determined to pursue her dream of becoming as a Navy Nurse. Ava is in the midst of rebuilding her life, when she is targeted by a sexual harasser who wields the power to destroy her dream before it sets sail.
Logan Masters, is an ambitious specialty surgeon whose past is riddled with betrayal. His trust in women is conditional- no secrets and no boundaries. When he comes to Ava’s rescue, there is no denying the spark of attraction. Things get complicated when Logan pursues Ava, rather than the arranged relationship that holds the key to his future.
After years of being alone Ava starts to believe that love is possible under Logan’s skillful touch. But Ava is harboring a secret she doesn’t want exposed. Determined to guard her heart, Ava soon discovers Logan is as focused on winning her heart as she is at shielding it.
When secrets and broken alliances threaten to torpedo both their futures, how will they learn to trust and chart a new course to lasting love?
The dashboard clock read ten forty three when Logan killed the engine in the driveway of Ava’s 1940’s style single story bungalow. The solar lamps outlining the stone walkway allowed him to see the manicured yellow and orange pansy gardens landscaped in the front yard. White azalea bushes were trimmed short along the front of the house and fern plants filled hanging baskets on the full-length porch. A tropical teak table and two coordinating chairs were to the right of the door. It felt warm and inviting. Logan delivered two thuds to the densely paneled door with the authority of a SWAT team leader. Panic raced through him at the thought of Ava not answering. Had Randall intercepted her en route to the ladies’ room? He infused more power into the blows landing on the door. Be here Ava.
When soft yellow light illuminated the covered porch the needle on his internal pressure gauge started the downward arc to safety. A feminine “Who is it?” came from the other side of the closed door.
“It’s me. Open the door.” He meant to sound more controlled than the equivalent of a male bark.
A moment of hesitation passed before he heard the distinct slide release of a chain lock. Ava’s sweetheart shaped face came into view. Relief replaced the tension that held him captive, the bunched muscles in his back slowly unfurled.
“What in God’s name are you doing at home?” No background noise came from inside the house, only the soft sounds of night creatures. She’d left him to sit in a quiet house? The shock of his being at her door glinted in her eyes, before it gave way to something more cautionary.
“Leave God out of this. And how do you know where I live?”
“Where you live, are you serious? You said you were going to the bathroom. I called Lina when you didn’t return,” he said, through clenched teeth. “I couldn’t find Randall. I thought … never mind what I thought. Why did you leave without me?”
“I’m sorry Logan.”
She took a step back allowing him a clear view of her and the small living area. The room was an open rectangle with a white stone wood-burning fireplace on the right wall. An over stuff couch with rolled arms and block feet was separated from the hearth by a burnished metal table with an oak base.
“I never meant for you to worry.”
Her voice pulled him back to the natural feminine beauty on display before him. From the bottom to the top he assessed the woman that had him running to her doorstep. He spied well-toned legs and the soft yellow boy shorts covering her curved hips through her half open robe. Petite bare feet peeked from behind the door. Her springy locks were still loose around her shoulders. His fingers tingled at the thought of running his fingers through the thick tresses. Delicious, that is what she is.
“You’re forgiven.” Now came the blockbuster question. “Why did you leave me, Ava?”
“I never thought you’d come looking for me.”
She angled her head towards his Lexus sedan to make a point, “but it wasn’t a good idea for you to drive me home.”
“Clever woman. Help me understand this. You’re apologizing for causing me to worry, but not for leaving me.” An unrepentant flicker danced in her eyes. She was gorgeous in her defiance.
“Why didn’t you come back to me?” He didn’t know why her response was important, but somehow he knew it was. She seemed to study him as if determining the best way to answer his question. He didn’t want some contrived response to soothe his bruised ego. He needed honesty from her. “The truth, Ava.”
“I was coming back to you, but on my way up to the ballroom, I thought it best that we leave things the way they are.”
What happened on the dance floor was more than a collegial response. He could tell she was choosing her words carefully now.
He smiled at her premeditated “ditch the doctor” retelling. She was trying to put space between them. She had felt the pull as strong as he did. He smiled then. “You are a clever one.”
“That’s the second time you’ve called me clever. How old are you?”
The question took him by surprise. She was a master at deflecting the attention away from questions she didn’t want to answer. His age? He did not see that one coming. It took him a moment longer to respond.
At his silence she filled the void. “I’m sorry. It’s rude of me to ask. You don’t have to answer.”
There couldn’t be more than ten years between them. He wasn’t too old for her.
Siera London, a former naval officer, is a writer of contemporary romance and women’s fiction. A native Floridian, her love of coastal towns and bustling cities shines through in her sassy and sexy storytelling. Currently she resides in the Washington, D.C. area with her husband and a color patch tabby that has free reign of the house. She is a member of Romance Writers of America.