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Hot romance, blistering suspense in July

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Kimani Press Special Release
April 2006
Featuring: Jayla Cole; Storm Westmoreland
192 pages
ISBN: 0373285558
Paperback
$4.99
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Romance Contemporary

Also by Brenda Jackson:

A Man's Promise, June 2014
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Stern, September 2013
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Canyon, August 2013
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Zane, July 2013
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A Brother's Honor, June 2013
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One Winter's Night, December 2012
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Texas Wild, October 2012
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Feeling The Heat, April 2012
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La propuesta, February 2012
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Temptation, November 2011
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In The Doctor's Bed, July 2011
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The Proposal, June 2011
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The Proposal & Solid Soul, May 2011
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Inseparable, May 2011
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A Wife for a Westmoreland, April 2011
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A Silken Thread, February 2011
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Claimed For Destiny, February 2011
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Bachelor Unleashed, December 2010
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In Too Deep: Husband Material\the Sheikh's Bargained Bride, July 2010
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Hidden Pleasures, June 2010
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Spontaneous, May 2010
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Sensual Confessions, April 2010
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Ravished By Desire, February 2010
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Wrapped In Pleasure, January 2010
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Westmoreland's Way, November 2009
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Bachelor Untamed, October 2009
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One Night With The Wealthy Rancher, August 2009
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Intimate Seduction (Kimani Romance), July 2009
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Taste Of Passion, June 2009
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Temperatures Rising, May 2009
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Some Like It Hot, May 2009
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More Than Words, Volume 5, April 2009
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Surrender (Arabesque), April 2009
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Tall, Dark...Westmoreland!, March 2009
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Quade's Babies, December 2008
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A NASCAR Holiday 3, November 2008
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Just Deserts, July 2008
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Cole's Red-Hot Pursuit, June 2008
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Irresistible Forces, May 2008
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Her Little Black Book, April 2008
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One Special Moment, March 2008
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Eternally Yours, February 2008
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Taming Clint Westmoreland, February 2008
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Whispered Promises, January 2008
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Tonight And Forever, December 2007
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Risky Pleasures, April 2007
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Seduction, Westmoreland Style, February 2007
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What A Woman Wants, January 2007
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Beyond Temptation, January 2007
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Night Heat, September 2006
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Mr. Satisfaction, December 2005
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Riding the Storm
by Brenda Jackson

Excerpt

"Jayla? What are you doing in New Orleans?"

A gasp of surprise and recognition slipped from Jayla Cole's lips when she quickly turned around. Her gaze immediately connected with that of the tall, dark and dangerously handsome man towering over her as they stood in the lobby of the Sheraton Hotel in the beautiful French Quarter.

There stood Storm Westmoreland. The man had the reputation of being able to talk the panties off any woman who caught his interest. According to what she'd heard, even though Storm sported a clean-cut, all-American-kind-ofa-guy image, he was a master at providing pleasure without promises of forever. The word was that he had the uncanny ability to turn any female's fantasy into reality and had created many memories that were too incredible to forget. Many women considered him the "Perfect Storm."

He was also a man who, for ten years, had avoided her like the plague.

"I arrived in town a couple of days ago to attend the International Organization for Business Communicators convention," she heard herself saying, while trying not to be captivated by the deep darkness of his eyes, the sensual fullness of his lips or the diamond stud he wore in his left ear. And if all that weren't bad enough, there was his skin tone that was the color of semi-sweet chocolate, hair that was cut low and neatly trimmed on his head and the sexiest pair of dimples.

He was dressed in a pair of khakis and a pullover shirt that accentuated his solid frame. His chest was broad and his butt was as tight as she remembered. He always looked good in anything he wore. Her heart accelerated at the memory of her mischievous teenage years when she'd once caught him off guard by boldly brushing up against him. She had thought she'd died and gone to heaven that day.And just like then, Storm was still more than just handsome he was drop-dead, make-you-want-to-scream, gorgeous.

"What about you?" she decided to ask. "What are you doing in New Orleans?"

"I was here for the International Association of Fire Captains meeting."

She nodded, doing a remarkable job of switching her attention from his strong male features to his words. "I read about your promotion in the newspapers. Dad would have been proud of you, Storm."

"Thanks."

She saw the sadness that immediately appeared in his eyes and understood why. He hadn't gotten over her father's death, either. In fact, the last time she had seen Storm had been at her father's funeral six months ago. He did, however, on occasion call to see how she was doing. Adam Cole had been Storm's first fire captain when he had joined the squad at twenty, over twelve years ago. Her father always thought of Storm as the son he'd never had.

She would never forget the first time her dad had brought him to dinner when she was sixteen. Storm had made quite an impression on her. Not caring that there was a six-year difference in their ages, she'd had a big-time crush on him and would never forget how she had gone out of her way to make him notice her. But no matter how much she'd tried, he never did. And now as she thought back, some of her tactics had been rather outrageous as well as embarrassing. Thank goodness Storm had taken all of her antics in stride and had rebuffed her advances in a genteel way. Now, at twenty-six, she was ten years older and wiser, and she could admit something she had refused to admit then. The man was not her type and was totally out of her league.

"So, how long will you be in The Big Easy?" he asked, breaking once again into her thoughts.

"I'll be here for the rest of the week. The conference ended today, but I've made plans to stick around until Sunday to take in the sights. I haven't been to New Orleans in over five years."

He smiled and it was a smile that made her insides feel jittery. "I was here a couple of years ago and totally enjoyed myself," he said.

She couldn't help wondering if he'd come with a woman or if he'd made the trip with his brothers. Everyone who'd lived in the Atlanta area for an extended period of time was familiar with the Westmoreland brothers

Dare, Thorn, Stone, Chase and Storm. Their only sister, Delaney, who was the youngest of the siblings, had made news a couple years ago when she married a desert sheikh from the Middle East.

Dare Westmoreland was a sheriff in a suburb of Atlanta called College Park; Thorn was well-known nationally for the motorcycles he raced and built; Stone, who wrote under the pen name of Rock Mason, was a national bestselling author of action-thriller novels and Chase, Storm's fraternal twin, owned a soul-food restaurant in downtown Atlanta.

"So how long do you plan on staying?" she asked.

"My meeting ended today. Like you, I plan on staying until Sunday to take in the sights and to eat my fill of Cajun food."

His words had sounded so husky and sexy she could actually feel her throat tighten.

"How would you like to join me for dinner?"

Jayla blinked, not sure she had heard him correctly.

"Excuse me?"

He gave her what had to be his Perfect Storm sexy smile. "I said how would you like to join me for dinner? I haven't seen you since Adam's funeral, and although we've talked briefly on the phone a couple of times since then, I'd love to sit and chat with you to see how you've been doing."

A part of her flinched inside. His words reminded her of the promise he had made to her father before he'd died that if she ever needed anything, he would be there for her. She didn't relish the thought of another domineering man in her life, especially one who reminded her so much of her father. The reason Storm and Adam Cole had gotten along so well was because they'd thought a lot alike. "Thanks for the offer, but I've already made plans for later," she said, lying through her teeth.

It seemed that turning down his offer didn't faze him one bit. He merely shrugged his shoulders before checking his watch. "All right, but if you change your mind give me a call. I'm in Room 536."

"Thanks, I'll do that."

He looked at her and smiled. "It was good seeing you again, Jayla, and if you ever need anything don't hesitate to call me."

If he really believed she would call him, then he didn't know her at all, Jayla quickly thought. Her father may have thought of Storm as a son, but she'd never considered him a brother. In her mind, he had been the guy who could make her all hot and bothered; the guy who was the perfect figment of a teenage girl's imagination. He had been real, bigger than life and for two solid years before leaving Atlanta to attend college, he had been the one person who had consumed all of her thoughts.

When she returned home four years ago, she had still found him totally irresistible, but it didn't take long to realize that he still wouldn't give her the time of day.

"And it was good seeing you again, too, Storm. Just in case we don't run into each other again while we're here, I hope you have a safe trip back to Atlanta," she said, hoping she sounded a lot more excited than she actually felt.

"And I ditto that for you," he said. He surprised her when he grasped her fingers and held them firmly. She'd shivered for a second before she could stop herself. His touch had been like a shock. She couldn't help noticing how strong his hand was, and his gaze was deep and intent.

She remembered another time their gazes had connected in such a way. It had been last year, when the men at the fire station had given her father a surprise birthday party. She distinctively remembered Storm standing across the room talking to someone and then suddenly turning, locking his gaze with hers as if he were actually seeing her for the first time. The episode had been brief, but earth-tilting for her nonetheless.

"Your father was a very special man, Jayla, and he meant a lot to me," he said softly before releasing his grip and taking a step back.

She nodded, putting how intense Storm's nearness made her feel to the back of her mind while holding back the tears that always flooded her eyes whenever she thought of losing her father to pancreatic cancer. He had died within three months of the condition being diagnosed.

Although while growing up she had thought he was too authoritative at times, he had been a loving father. "And you meant a lot to him, as well, Storm," she said, through the tightness in her throat. "You were the son he never had."

She watched him inhale deeply and knew that her words had touched him.

"Promise that if you ever need anything that you'll call me."

She sighed, knowing she would have to lie to him for a second time that day. "I will, Storm."

Evidently satisfied with her answer, he turned and walked away. She watched, transfixed, trying to ignore how the solid muscles of his body yielded beneath the material of his shirt and pants. The last thought that came into her mind before he stepped into the elevator was that he certainly did have a great-looking butt. * * *

When the elevator door swooshed shut, Storm leaned back against the back wall to get his bearings. Seeing Jayla Cole had had one hell of an effect on him. She had been cute and adorable at sixteen, but over the years she had grown into the most breathtaking creature he'd ever set his eyes on.

"Jayla." He said her name softly, drawing out the sound with a deep, husky sigh. He would never forget the time Adam had invited him to dinner to celebrate Jayla's return to Atlanta from college. It was supposed to have been a very simple and quiet affair and had ended up being far from it. He had walked into the house and felt as if someone had punched him in the stomach. The air had miraculously been sucked from his lungs.

Jayla had become a woman, a very beautiful and desirable woman, and the only thing that had kept him from adding her to his To Do list was the deep respect he'd had for her father. But that hadn't kept her from occasionally creeping into his dreams at night or from being the lone person on his Would Definitely Do If I Could list.

He sighed deeply. She had the most luscious pair of whiskey-colored eyes he'd ever seen, medium brown hair that shimmered with strands of golden highlights and skin the color of creamy cocoa. He thought the entire combination went far beyond classic beauty. And he hadn't been able to ignore just how good her body looked in the shorts and tank top she'd been wearing and how great she'd smelled. He hadn't recognized the fragrance and he'd thought he knew them all.

She had actually trembled when he'd reached out and touched her hand. He'd felt it and her responsiveness to his touch had given his body a jump-start. It had taken everything within him to pretend he wasn't affected by her. Since he was thirty-two, he calculated that Jayla was now twenty-six. She was now a full-grown woman. All woman. But still there was something about her that radiated an innocence he'd seldom found in women her age. It was her innocence that confused him most. He was an ace at figuring out women, but there was something about her that left him a bit mystified and he couldn't shake the feeling. But one thing he was certain about as far as he was concerned, Jayla was still off-limits.

Maybe it had been a blessing that she'd turned down his invitation to dinner. The last thing he needed was to share a meal with her. In fact, spending any amount of time with her would only be asking for trouble, considering his attraction to her. He released a moan, a deep throaty sound, and realized that the only thing that had changed with the situation was that Adam was no longer alive to serve as a buffer and a constant reminder of the one woman he could not have.

Excerpt from Riding the Storm by Brenda Jackson
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