Folks in Sterling Canyon know that small towns have long memories. Two years after the DUI that injured a pedestrian, Andy Randall is still making amends. He hopes the Christmas spirit will help him get rehired as a ski instructor, but that job will come with conditions. He can’t afford another mistake, which is exactly what making a play for his former boss and friend, Nikki Steele, would be.
Nikki races down double black diamonds and hikes mountains better than most guys, unafraid of tumbling down the slopes. But trusting the guy who once shot her down could end in a fall that actually hurts, especially when she’d have to vouch for him with her boss. Still, the resort needs another instructor to handle the holiday tourists, and Andy’s sexy grin and relaxed charisma make him hard to resist.
With both of their reputations now on the line, can Andy convince Nikki that the second chance he wants isn’t only about the job?
Nikki wanted nothing more than to find the nearest seat. Her arches hurt, and her cramped toes had lost all circulation thanks to being shoved into the open-toe cutouts at the tips of her sister Amy’s too-small shoes.
What kind of fool wears strappy, sparkling heels—stilts—to a wedding? She hated heels, but Amy had forced her to buy a whole new outfit, demanding she “gussy up” for the night.
Amy viewed any wedding as ideal boyfriend-hunting grounds and complained that it was past time both Steele sisters found a man. Nikki didn’t want to acknowledge the long-shot hope of why she’d been willing to go along with Amy’s advice, and so far hadn’t worked up the courage to do anything about it. Now she towered over all the women and half the men, like an Amazonian Smurf. She couldn’t feel more self-conscious if she were naked and singing karaoke.
The worst part—she’d known better. Tight, revealing clothes had never made her feel sexy or fit in.
Not that fitting in had ever been her thing. Most of the time she didn’t care. Most of the time she liked the fact that she could pound a beer, race down a double black, and hike to the top of The Cirque as well as, if not better than, any guy in town. None of the more traditional, pretty girls in town had her rare talents. But on days like this, when she watched yet another friend—a more feminine, dainty woman—walk down the aisle toward a man who was obviously in love, she couldn’t help but acknowledge a twinge of envy. A tiny, silly, yet heartfelt wish to fit in and find love.
Oh, God. Sappiness meant she’d had too much booze.
She hobbled to the nearest dining chair and plopped herself down and leaned back, letting her legs splay slightly. Sweet lord, what a flippin’ relief.
In her peripheral vision, she saw Andy Randall across the room. Such a hottie with his long, lean body, sandy waves of hair, friendly green eyes, and friendlier smile. The sweet talker had perfected that combo of boy-next-door charm and sex appeal back in seventh grade. She’d been a year ahead of him in school, but he’d been her middle school crush. Even now, her heart still beat a little faster at the sight of him. Stupid heart.
Of course, Shana Willis was now throwing herself at him—quite literally, based on the way her boobs grazed his chest. Andy peeked down at Shana’s cleavage, too. Who could blame him? Those double Ds were hard to ignore.
Andy looked up and caught Nikki watching him. Crap. Surely her face had turned as red as Rudolph’s nose. Busted, she nodded with a smile.
He winked at her, then pried Shana’s hands off his chest and started toward her.
Winking. How like him to be flirty and cute.
Befitting a man with his even temperament and touch of sweetness. She hadn’t seen him in a while, and yet he stirred up all these feelings she couldn’t express—being shot down once had been enough. There’d been times since then when Andy’s behavior made her wonder if he’d started to see her as more than a friend. But absent a declaration by megaphone on his part, she’d ruthlessly bury her own feelings before she’d ever humiliate herself again.
Buy on Amazon
About the Author
Jamie Beck is a former attorney with a passion for inventing stories about love and redemption. In addition to writing novels, she also pens articles on behalf of a local nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering youth and strengthening families. Fortunately, when she isn’t tapping away at the keyboard, she is a grateful wife and mother to a very patient, supportive family.