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Mary Ellen TaylorMary Ellen Taylor
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Hot Hot reads in August

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A mysterious story of inter-generational trauma.

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For a woman obsessed and a killer in her shadow, remembering the past becomes a mind game in a novel of psychological suspense

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Danger and Mistletoe are a Deadly Combination

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Danger and Mistletoe are a Deadly Combination

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Vicious evil stalks two Guardians of Eternity, waiting to attack where they never expected . . .

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New state. New job. Same inner demons.

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A shapeshifter and member of the Blackfoot tribe, rescues a beautiful woman, but the signs in the stars tell him her arrival in his world is not accidental.

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Must he kill her to punish the murderer?

Excerpt of Sex On The Slopes by Susan Lyons


Berkley Heat
December 2010
On Sale: December 7, 2010
Featuring: Andi & Jared; Brianna & Zach; Maddie & Logan
368 pages
ISBN: 042523701X
EAN: 9780425237014
Trade Size
Add to Wish List

Romance Erotica Sensual

Also by Susan Lyons:

Heat Waves, July 2011
Sex On The Slopes, December 2010
Trade Size
Some Like It Rough, March 2010
Sex on the Beach, January 2010
Trade Size
Sex Drive, December 2009
Paperback / e-Book
Calendar of Love, November 2009
Men On Fire, November 2009
Dreams & Desires, Vol. 3, February 2009
Trade Size
Unwrap Me, November 2008
Trade Size
She's On Top, April 2008
Touch Me, September 2007
Dreams and Desires, March 2007
Dreams and Desires, March 2007
Dreams and Desires, March 2007
The Firefighter, February 2007
Hot In Here, August 2006
Trade Size
Champagne Rules, February 2006
Trade Size

Excerpt of Sex On The Slopes by Susan Lyons

Chapter 1

Whistler, British Columbia—Sunday, January 9, 3:00 a.m.

"Good game," Logan Carver said, clicking the remote to the luxury Hummer SUV. At this hour, the parking lot under the ritzy hotel was empty but for him and his companion, Joe Lee. "Hope I can do it again." He kept his tone casual, slurring his words slightly.

Lee was checking out the vehicle, no doubt making mental note of the license plate. That’s why his boss, Eddie Tran, had sent him down with Logan.

"Maybe the boss’ll give you a call," Lee said noncommittally.

If Tran was a drug dealer—maybe even if he wasn’t—he’d likely have his henchman Lee check Logan out before an invitation was issued to another high-stakes poker game. Tonight, Logan’s entrée had been through an occasional player, a lawyer he’d supposedly bumped into by coincidence at a bar in Whistler today. A lawyer with a fondness for cocaine, who happened to be a police informant. The lawyer, Harvey Binder, had been invited to the game and had taken Logan along as a pal with money to burn.

Logan climbed into the Hummer, a vehicle chosen to fit his cover: a guy who liked expensive toys and didn’t care how he got the money to buy them.

He pulled away with a lurch, playing half-drunk. Over years of undercover work, he’d built up a high tolerance for booze, and tonight he’d managed to discreetly dump a good portion of the Glenfiddich that had been poured for him.

When he pulled out of the hotel’s underground lot, he found a peaceful Whistler night with gently falling snow. From one world to another. Ten minutes ago he’d been in a penthouse suite, drinking scotch and smoking a cigar while he played poker with a man he suspected was a kingpin in an international drug ring. Now, throat and eyes burning, he was heading to a Swiss-style chalet where a wedding party of fifty snuggled cozily under duvets.

Neither world was a good fit for Logan, but then no world ever had been.

Looking forward to showering away the foul cling of cigar smoke, he turned into the White Gold subdivision. His foot jerked on the gas pedal at the sight of flashing lights strobing the night. What the hell? Was it cops, ambulance, or—fire. An engine and a chief’s car, right outside the chalet. And a few minutes earlier, an ambulance had passed him on the main road, coming from this direction.

Shit. What had happened? Were Tom and Maddie okay? Worry sent a charge of adrenaline through him.

Hurriedly, he parked and jumped out of the Hummer. No flames, thank God, though the acrid scent of smoke tainted the crisp, snowy air. As he strode toward the scene, he saw firefighters moving about purposefully and clusters of people in hastily thrown-on clothing dotting the yard and street.

He scanned the groups, located Tom’s parents and grandparents, and over there were Tom and his fiancée Shelley, arms around each other.

Maddie—where was Maddie? Little Maddie Daniels, as he’d tried to think of her. Two and a half years younger, at first she’d been the typical kid sister, always wanting to hang around and butt into his and Tom’s business, annoying and cute at the same time. Then she’d started growing up, and she’d been annoying and cute in a whole different way.

He scanned the clusters of guests impatiently. Maddie might have had her head in the clouds sometimes—like when she’d got that crush on him— but at her core she’d been practical. She’d have gotten out safely, no question. The firefighters were rolling up the hose; the drama was over.

Still, he had to know for sure. And he had to see her, for the first time in ten years.

Ever since he’d been given this assignment and had won Tom’s agreement to invite him to the wedding, he’d been wondering about Maddie. He’d Googled her and found out she was a massage therapist, but there’d been no photo. According to Tom, she wasn’t married, but she was dating someone seriously. It was the same story he’d gotten on the few occasions over the years that he and Tom had been in touch. Always dating seriously yet never married. That surprised him. She’d been the white picket fence kind of girl. Of course, she was only twenty-five; likely, she was being selective about finding the right man.

His gaze scanned the ever-shifting groups and then—yes, there she was, talking to several others. Maddie. Something in his chest eased.

For a moment, he thought her gaze met his, but likely she wouldn’t recognize him. And now she was moving away, heading for the chalet, and then she was hidden behind a couple of firefighters.

Still, he’d got enough of a look to freeze a picture in his mind. He didn’t know whether to be glad or disappointed, but she hadn’t changed much. Her brown hair was pulled into a haphazard ponytail; her pretty face was fresh despite the hour, and clear of makeup. She was bundled in a big, fluffy pink bathrobe and red gumboots.

When he’d last seen her, just after he’d finished grade twelve, she’d almost looked older in the figure-hugging jeans and tank tops she’d taken up wearing. She’d been fifteen. Going on sixteen, she’d told him defiantly that last night. And he’d been eighteen. Tempted, seriously tempted, but not a fool. Despite her flirting, she was a good girl; he most definitely was a bad boy, but not bad enough to ruin her life.

Logan realized all the guests were heading inside. There was a shower calling his name, so he followed, only to find that the fire had originated in a room two down from his, and his room stank of smoke. Inger Jacobs, who with her husband Gord owned the Alpine Hideaway, was directing traffic. "Leave your windows open to air your rooms," she told everyone, "then come along to the lounge for hot chocolate."

He sighed. The night wasn’t over yet. He flung the windows wide, splashed water on his face and brushed his teeth to get rid of the taste of cigars, then headed for the lounge. Stopping in the doorway, he surveyed the room. People were in clusters, as they’d been outside. They looked tired but relaxed and chatty, comfortable with each other.

It wasn’t in his character to join in, nor did it fit his cover story. Essentially, he was supposed to be an older, badder version of his teenage self.

This week, his job was to do recon on Eddie Tran. It was an initial step in the joint RCMP/Vancouver Police Department’s Project Takedown, which had been created to bust an international drug trafficking ring. Logan had recently returned to B.C. as part of the team.

Intelligence told them Tran might be a kingpin. Their informant Binder’s occasional participation in Tran’s poker games in Whistler provided a possible in. Then research turned up the fact that Logan’s old friend Tom was getting married in the Village.

Logan had approached Tom, who’d agreed to give him a reason for being in Whistler. They’d settled on a story: old friends who’d been out of touch, meeting accidentally and reconnecting; Tom inviting Logan to the wedding; both of them realizing they no longer had anything in common; Logan, a restless loner, finding the wedding stuff too tame and blowing it off, looking for excitement. Showing Tran, with his disdain, that he had no real connection to any of the people at the Alpine Hideaway. Even though this was just recon, Logan had to ensure that Tom, Maddie, and their family and friends were safe.

A couple of guests came up behind him and brushed past, into the room. He followed, intent on finding a quiet corner. A laugh burbled, and he froze, then turned. His gaze locked on a woman sitting with half a dozen other people: glossy chestnut hair curling to her shoulders, a vivid red sweater that hugged curves so sweet they made his fingers itch, and shapely legs in tight black leggings . . .

Maddie. And—Jesus Christ!—had she ever grown up.

As if she felt his gaze on her, her head turned, and then she was staring at him. A bright smile lit her face.

Her smile touched a chord in his heart that hadn’t been strummed since that last night he’d been with her.

But back then, he’d been the wrong guy for Maddie, and nothing had changed. She’d have recovered from her childish crush long ago, but buddying up with her or any of the wedding guests didn’t fit his cover. So he gave her a curt nod, turned his back, and found a seat on the opposite side of the room, one that just happened to keep her in his line of sight.

The hurt on her face made him wince.

A fair-haired young woman who looked rather like Inger—a daughter or niece?—came in with a tray of mugs and began distributing them. When she came to him, she said, "Hot chocolate or sex on the slopes?"

He blinked. "What?"

She chuckled. "Oh, you haven’t heard about it? It’s Uncle Gord’s specialty drink."

Tough guys drank hard liquor. "Got any scotch?"

"I can get you some as soon as I’ve passed out these drinks."

Seizing the excuse, he said, "Forget it. Give me one of those." He reached for a mug of hot chocolate with a disdainful grimace. But when she was gone, he cradled the mug between both hands, enjoying the warmth, the old- fashioned smell, and the sight of two fat marshmallows melting. A wholesome drink, in the hands of a man who was—had always been—anything but.

Instinct told him he was being watched. Head still bent, he raised his eyes slowly. Maddie. When she caught him looking, she quickly glanced away, back to the person beside her.

Tom and Maddie’s mom used to serve hot chocolate in winter, lemonade in summer. Out of Ms. Daniels’s earshot, he’d scoffed, saying they were little-kid drinks and he’d rather have beer or hard liquor. Yet they’d slid down his throat like the taste of everything he’d never had: home, tradition, security . . . family.

Now he sipped his drink. Was Maddie drinking hot chocolate, too, or was that grown-up woman with the dynamite curves into sex on the slopes?

His groin tightened at the thought. Sex. Maddie. He glanced over again. She was absorbed in a conversation with a fair-haired guy about his own age. Must be the serious boyfriend, the way he was hanging on her every word. Logan felt a ridiculous twinge of jealousy.

He let his gaze linger on Maddie, rather than her date. She’d been fresh and pretty as a girl, and she was fresh still, but with a woman’s beauty, a beauty that grew more seductive the longer he looked.

His cock throbbed and swelled. He stared down at his mug, trying to replace the image of her in that figure-hugging outfit with the one of her in the bulky, girlish bathrobe, but now even that one was a turn-on. What had been under the robe? A see-through nightie, flannel pj’s, or a tank top and boxers? Didn’t matter, because underneath was Maddie, all sweet flesh and womanly curves.

And a tender heart. A heart that had wanted to see things in him that didn’t exist—or couldn’t exist.

Overheated now, he shrugged out of his jacket and tossed it to the floor. When he looked up next, he carefully avoided glancing in her direction. Instead, he gazed at Tom, holding hands with Shelley as the animated blonde told a story to their friends. Then he looked over to see Mr. and Ms. Daniels talking to Tom’s grandparents.

He’d only met the grandparents two or three times but, to his surprise, Gram Daniels had been rather kind to him. Another soft heart like Maddie, he figured. Gramps Daniels and Tom’s parents, on the other hand, had always been wary of him, and rightfully so.

It was weird that he—the troublemaker who couldn’t last in a foster home for more than a few months—had become friends with the squeaky-clean boy from the squeaky-clean family. In grade nine, they’d been assigned to work together on a history project, and to both their surprise, something had clicked.

Mostly, he figured, it was a fascination with each other’s "otherness." For Tom, hanging out with Logan added an edge to his life. For Logan, Tom was . . . Hell, he and his family were straight out of that old TV show, Growing Pains. Logan had loved that stupid show, although—as with the hot chocolate—he’d pretended not to. The Seaver family and home were everything he didn’t have, could never have, and had secretly longed for.

And he’d been the Leo DiCaprio character, Luke Brower.

His and Tom’s was an on-again off-again friendship, but somehow it lasted through grade twelve. How many times had Logan sat at the Daniels’s kitchen table or hung out in the rec room, more often watching than participating? He’d felt like the kid outside the playground fence, always looking in at the game.

Fuck. Here he was, traveling memory lane like some loser.

Yeah, he was an outsider then, now, and always. And he didn’t give a shit. He was here to do a job. Period.

Feeling someone watching him again, he glanced over to see the wedding planner perched on the edge of her seat as if she was about to come over. The last thing he needed was some perky activities director trying to make him socialize. He scowled to discourage her.

Her face tightened, and she gazed down into her mug.

Chapter 2

Across the room, Maddie Daniels surreptitiously watched Logan.

She’d glimpsed him earlier, when everyone was out in the snow. Even across the yard, in dim light, not having seen him for ten years, she’d recognized him immediately. Her heart had, quite literally, leaped into her throat.

Her first instinct had been to run over. Thankfully, before she’d done that, she’d realized what she was wearing. How totally embarrassing. Hoping he hadn’t seen her, she’d rushed inside to dress.

To dress like a woman. A confident woman, who’d greet her long- ago crush with a warm smile and perhaps a hug and a kiss on the cheek. No need for him to know she was all nerves, wondering if he still made her heart lurch and her hormones zing the way no other man ever had.

Then, blast him, he’d walked into the lounge and blown her off. Just as he had ten years ago, when he’d left town without a word.

Ten years ago, she’d thought they were friends. Of course, she’d wanted more—in her mind, he was the one, and she’d dreamed of a future with him—but he’d always pulled back. Until that last night, when he’d kissed her in the starlight. Well, okay, she’d kissed him, but he’d kissed back. Two days later, her brother told her Logan had left Vancouver.

In a few years, she’d gained some perspective and realized she’d been too young for a sexy, exciting older boy like Logan. But still, she’d thought they had something special. She’d believed she was the only person who really got him. Who saw past that bad-boy image, sexy as it was.

Now, while she sipped sex on the slopes and chatted with a few guests, including a really nice single friend of Tom’s named Michael, she studied Logan from under downcast lashes. The boy had certainly turned into one very hot man. One who still looked rough around the edges but in a far more expensive way than he used to.

His dark brown hair was still overlong, he still had a small gold hoop in his left ear, and the stubble on his face was heavier. He’d added a flashy diamond ring, and there was that indefinable something about his jeans and black sweater, the leather jacket tossed casually to the floor beside his chair, that told her their labels were pricey.

The years had added height and muscle, and he looked powerful, tough, despite the nice clothes. If she’d seen him on the street in Vancouver, she wouldn’t have known if he was an actor or a professional gambler. He still had that sexy aura of . . . mystery? Danger?

Once, in one of those precious moments she’d treasured, he’d confessed that he wanted to right wrongs and see bad guys punished. Romantically, she’d envisioned him as a knight; more practically, she’d thought he might become a lawyer. Was the good guy still there inside that sexy, edgy exterior? Had he ever been?

She’d been startled when, out of the blue two weeks ago, Tom had said he’d run into Logan and invited him to the wedding. She’d demanded details, but her brother had frustratingly not obliged. He’d been just as closemouthed all those years ago when he’d told her Logan had left town. Then and now, all he’d said was that she should forget about him. As if. Just hearing his name had reawakened those old dreams.

Now, glancing down at her fingernails, she thought that the mani- pedi and haircut, not to mention the Brazilian wax and sexy new lingerie, had been totally wasted.

Unless, of course, things heated up with Michael. She’d met him a couple times before, with Tom, and they’d hit it off. He was handsome, with his dirty blond hair and blue eyes, he was intelligent, and he was a healer, too. A chiropractor. Chiropractor and massage therapist; they were a perfect pair.

Michael was interesting, even though right now she was having trouble concentrating on the conversation. Damn, Logan was just plain rude. Ten years ago, she’d had no choice but to let him get away with it because she’d had no way of tracing him. Now he was right in front of her.

If he feared she still had a puppy-dog crush on him, she’d show him differently.

Annoyed, she refocused on his face. What she saw made her catch her breath. He had that same wistful air she’d seen occasionally when he was young and let his guard slip, as if he was the only kid in the class who hadn’t been invited to the party, and he was standing outside the window staring in.

She let her breath out in a sigh. This was what she’d seen in Logan that no one else seemed to. Much as he played the tough guy, the loner, he secretly yearned to belong. The combination of edgy bad boy and secret yearning had been impossible to resist.

It still was.

"Would you excuse me?" she murmured to Michael and the others she was sitting with. "I need to say hi to an old friend." Carrying her mug of sex on the slopes, she walked straight to Logan.

He’d been watching her parents and grandparents, but now he focused on her, face stripped of expression.

She stopped in front of him so he had to look up. "Hello, stranger," she said, trying to sound calm and wishing her heart wasn’t jerking like a jackhammer.

"Madeleine Daniels," he drawled.

"You know I hate that name."

"You used to. It’s been a while. Things change."

"They do. But not that particular one." Nor the fact that, even two or three feet away from him, she could feel the energy he gave off. It was like a magnetic force, making her want to draw close, and closer still, until the two of them—

She realized she had actually moved toward him, unwittingly, and now pretended that she’d meant all along to perch on the arm of his overstuffed chair. There were no empty seats nearby, so it was a reasonable thing to do. "You don’t mind if I sit here?" As if she was giving him any choice.

He shrugged, a movement of broad shoulders under close-fitting black wool that was so purely male it robbed her of breath. Then he turned toward her, the movement brushing his leg against hers, and she barely suppressed a gasp of awareness at the tingle that radiated from the spot.

Breathe, she told herself. Okay, she was here, talking to Logan. Except he wasn’t talking. He was leaving it to her, and she didn’t have a clue what to say next.

Wait. Yes, she did. She glared at him. "You left town without saying good-bye. And you weren’t in touch, not once in ten years."

He sucked in a breath. "You needed to grow up."

"Maybe so, but you were rude. And I see you haven’t changed, coming in here tonight and not even saying hello."

He cocked an eyebrow. "You expected politeness? From me?"

She huffed. "You run into Tom after all these years, he invites you to the wedding, and you come. Why?" Clearly not, as she’d secretly hoped, to see her again. After all, if he’d wanted to do that, all he’d have had to do was phone.

Another negligent shrug. "Seemed like a good idea at the time."

"And yet you sit alone in a corner rather than mixing and mingling."

"Yeah. So maybe it wasn’t such a good idea."

Was he still the guy who watched from the outside, wishing he could join in but not knowing how? "You missed the welcome dinner."

His eyes, a golden brown that had always reminded her of a lion, glittered. "Poker game."

He’d socialize with poker players but not wedding guests?

Perhaps he guessed what she was thinking, because he shook his head impatiently. "Since when was I known for social graces, Maddie?"

Hearing his voice shape her name sent a pang through her, and so did the reminder. This was Logan. She was really with Logan again. And he was familiar and unfamiliar, and—blast him—as sexy as ever.

More sexy. Off the chart sexy. Enough to send pulses of hot arousal, tiny electrical charges, rushing through her. She felt more alive than she had in . . . maybe ten years.

She shifted restlessly. "Okay, much as it might have been nice if you’d spent the last decade developing some social graces, you haven’t. So, what have you been doing with your time?"

His lips twitched, then straightened. "This and that."

The twitch of humor warmed her; his refusal to give a proper answer frustrated her. But Logan had always been hard to get to know, and she wouldn’t give up so easily. She went for a more direct challenge. "How’s it going with righting wrongs and getting bad guys punished?"

Shock flashed across his features before he controlled them. "You remember that?"

She remembered every word he’d ever spoken to her. How pathetic was that? She shrugged. "It stuck in my mind. Made me wonder if you’d become a lawyer." Most people had predicted he was headed for serious trouble, but not her. "Did you?"

He snorted. "A lawyer? Too many rules." Something wickedly suggestive gleamed golden in his eyes. "I’ve never been much of a one for following the rules."

She was a rule-follower, but she’d happily throw the rule book out the window if he kept looking at her that way. Striving for composure, she said, "So what do you do, Logan?"

Gaze holding hers, he said, "Found I had a knack for investments."

Now, that was a surprise. "You mean, like the stock market?"

"Like that."

He was hedging. Did he think she’d pump him for investment advice? It must be an occupational hazard. "That’s impressive." Though she was sorry he hadn’t stuck with his teenage dreams.

"That’s me, Maddie." There was a teasing note in his voice. "Impressive."

Out of old habit, she made a fist and socked his shoulder lightly. "Full of yourself."

In the old days, he’d have grabbed her hand and twisted her arm until she giggled and cried uncle. Tonight, he did catch her hand, but he held on to it and held that balled-up fist inside his much bigger hand.

And oh my, did she want to cry uncle. Heat surged up her arm, zinged through her body, and settled thick and moist between her thighs. "Logan?" she breathed. This man was the reason she’d never been able to see another man’s face in her dreams of the future.

Staring into her eyes, his own flared with heat—pure male heat. Then he gave a sudden jerk, looked away, and released her hand. "Shit. Sorry."

When they were kids, she’d sometimes caught him gazing intently at her or noticed him turn away abruptly, and she had wondered if he was attracted to her. Aroused. But she’d been too young to be sure. That was then. This was now. And she knew. Her own feelings must be equally apparent on her face, so why had he backed off?

There was something between them—sexual, yes, but maybe more—and she needed to explore it. Maybe Logan truly was the man she’d been waiting for.

"You’re attracted to me," she said, glad he’d picked a chair that sat at a distance from any other guests. "What’s wrong with that?"

"Christ, Maddie, you’re dating someone else, and he’s right across the room." He stared past her, his expression grim. "Watching."

"What are you talking about?" She glanced over her shoulder and saw blue eyes fixed on them. Oh yeah, Michael. Giving him a quick smile, she turned back to Logan. "I’m not dating him. I’m not dating anyone right now."

He frowned. "Tom said you were seriously involved with someone."

Baffled, she shook her head. "I haven’t dated anyone seriously for almost a year." Then realization dawned. "Damn it, my brother’s still interfering." He’d always warned her off Logan.

"Yeah, well, he’s right. I’m no good for you."

She fisted her hands on her hips. "So you and Tom are going to protect me from myself? Get a grip, Logan, I’m a grown-up."

"Yeah, I noticed." He didn’t sound happy about it. "Shit, Maddie, I figured you’d have been married by now, with maybe a kid on the way."

"Still waiting for the right man. I take it you don’t want to audition?"

He chuckled, then sobered. "I’m not him."

Was he really that sure? "Did I say you were? But there’s a mutual attraction, and we’re both grown-ups, so what’s wrong with getting to know each other again?"

"You’d only get hurt again."

Maybe, but that was only one of the many possible outcomes. "Get over yourself, Logan Carver."

He shook his head. "It’s not ego. I’m just saying we’re different. You’re . . ." He trailed off, and she held her breath, waiting to see how he’d finish. "You’re nice, sweet," he finally said. "Wholesome. Everything I’m not."

"Wholesome?" Her voice squeaked in outrage. Boring was what he meant. A good girl, not a sexy, fun one. "I’m not so—"

Her protest was interrupted by the sound of a female voice calling for attention. Maddie looked up to see Andi, the wedding planner, standing in front of the fireplace. "Inger and I have checked your rooms," she told the assembled guests. "They’re aired out, and you can go back to bed, but leave your windows open a crack."

People began to rise, and Maddie hopped off the arm of Logan’s chair. "Where’s your room?"

"Two down from where the fire started. It was pretty smoky." He got to his feet.

Teasingly, she said, "Do let me know if you need a bed for the night . . ."

For a long moment he didn’t answer, just stared into her eyes. She could actually feel sparks of energy darting between their bodies. This time, when she felt the impulse to sway toward him, she didn’t resist it.

Before her body could touch his, he stopped her by placing his hands on her shoulders. "Maddie, it’s not a good idea."

Because he thought she was boring and wholesome. Miffed, she stepped back to free herself from the warm hands that felt so very good.

He bent to pick up his leather jacket, clasping it casually in front of him. But not before she’d seen the erection that pressed against the fly of his jeans.

"Not a good idea?" she drawled, glancing up. "Well, how about that? A man who thinks with his big head rather than"—she flicked her gaze down— "his little one."

Then she forced herself to turn away. The others were trailing out of the lounge, except for Michael, who’d paused in the doorway, probably waiting for her, and Brianna George, Tom’s boss and friend, who was sitting alone, seemingly lost in thought.

Maddie didn’t want to deal with Michael now. He was a nice guy, but her senses were overloaded on Logan, so she stopped to chat for a minute with Brianna. By the time the two of them joined the tail end of the straggly line of guests, Michael had gone.

In the hallway, Logan was opening the door to his room. Maddie paused to murmur teasingly, "Bet I know what you’ll be dreaming about." Before he could reply, she headed toward the stairs.

When she reached her own room, it was smoke-free but freezing cold. Heat was pumping out, though. Once she’d narrowed the window opening to only a crack, the room would soon warm up. If Logan had taken her up on her offer, it would have heated even faster.

Of course, she hadn’t really meant it when she offered him a bed for the night.

"Oh no," she muttered, "you’re too wholesome to leap into bed with a man you haven’t seen in ten years."

Wanting to shower before bed, she carried her jammies into the bathroom and piled them beside the sink. They were warm flannel, blue, printed with whimsical sheep. She began to pull off her sweater, then stopped. Flannel pajamas with sheep? Oh God, she really was hopeless.

But the jammies were cozy, and she was alone. She continued to take off her sweater, then let her fingers graze the front of her bra. Her nipples were sensitive and achy.

Yeah, she was alone. Alone and burning with unsatisfied need for Logan. A need that was much more powerful and specific than the diffuse longing she’d felt in her teens. Specifically, she wanted sex with Logan Carver. Sex, and the chance to find out who he was now. To find out how she felt about him—and how he might feel about her, now she was all grown- up.

How could she ever talk him out of that stupid idea that they were wrong for each other because she was so wholesome?

Hmm, maybe talk wasn’t the answer . . .

*  *  *  *  *

Logan paced his room, uncaring that the air was chill and held a faint scent of smoke.

His body was plenty fucking hot, thanks to Maddie Daniels, and the aroma that lingered in his nostrils was vanilla, her scent.

If he’d played his cards right, he could’ve been in her bed right now, using his rigid boner for something much more satisfying than holding up his jeans.

But hell, it was Maddie, not a sleazy one-night fling.

Yeah, she was grown-up and knew how to flirt, but he doubted she’d changed all that much. He’d bet she still wanted a home like the one she’d grown up in. She deserved that, and a husband who was a good guy like her brother and dad.

A husband, not a loner who didn’t even know what love was. An undercover cop who disappeared into the criminal world for months on end.

She’d thrown him, asking if he was righting wrongs and seeing bad guys punished. Who’d have imagined she would remember the boyhood dream he’d once, in a vulnerable moment, confessed to her.

Maddie. Oh hell, Maddie. There’d always been something about her that cut straight through his defenses.

A tap on the door interrupted his thoughts.

Figuring it would be one of the Jacobses checking that his room was okay, he checked the peephole. Maddie? Had she come to argue some more? Or to try to seduce him? His cock surged at the idea.

She tapped again. If she kept it up, guests would stick their heads out to see what was going on.

He opened the door. "What are you—"

A cop was supposed to react quickly, and he did, but she was quicker still. In a split second, she was pushing past him into the room. "Close the door," she said.

"Maddie?" He eyed her warily. She was dressed exactly as she had been earlier.

"I need to borrow your shower." She stared at him almost defiantly, but there was a quaver in her voice. "My hair and skin smell of smoke."

"There’s something wrong with your shower?"

"Yes, there is." She went into his bathroom and closed the door.

Okay. She hadn’t come to argue or to seduce. He should be glad. Instead, he was horny. When he heard the water begin to run, he imagined Maddie, naked under the spray. He groaned and began to pace again. When she left, he was sure going to need one very long, icy-cold shower of his own.

After only a minute or two, the water shut off. The bathroom door opened, and she stuck her head out. "Logan?"

"What?" he snapped. "There’s no soap?"

"There’s soap. But your shower has the same problem mine did." The door widened, and she stepped out, wreathed in tendrils of steam. Her skin was still dry. He could tell because she wore only a towel. "You’re not in it."

He barely heard the words, and he sure as hell didn’t process them. His entire focus was on the creamy skin so erotically revealed by the fluffy white towel: arms and shoulders, the top curve of her breasts, and long legs that weren’t even covered to mid-thigh. Oh yeah, Maddie Daniels had definitely grown up.

And his erection was going to split his jeans.

"Logan?" Her voice was pure teasing seduction, and her blue eyes gleamed.

"What?" he asked hoarsely.

"You need a shower, too."


"So, get in here." She hooked one hand into the top of her towel, twisted it, and—

There she stood, totally naked. Breasts full and perky, hips and thighs curving softly, and a completely waxed mound. Jesus Christ, Maddie Daniels waxed her pussy?

"If you like what you see, would you move it?" she said impatiently. "It’s cold in here."

"Maddie, I . . ." Words jumbled in his skull. He wanted her, but he couldn’t have her. There was some reason he couldn’t have her. Why couldn’t he remember?

Her eyes narrowed. "I’m grown-up, I want you, you want me. I am not wholesome. Does a wholesome woman do this?" She ran a caressing hand over the curve of one taut-nippled breast, across her sleek tummy, and down over the smooth flesh at the apex of her thighs.

His gaze followed the motion of that hand. He could touch her that way. That’s what she was offering. Somehow he forced words out. "You’re the kind of woman who wants a relationship. I’m not that kind of guy. Most I’d ever be for you is a quickie fling."

Her chin went up, and she stared at him for a long moment. "Like I said before, get over yourself, Logan. What I want is a fuck buddy."

That term, even more than her wax job, jolted him. The old Maddie would never have thought that way, much less used language like that.

"You’re Tom’s sister." Ten years ago, when Tom had seen him kiss Maddie, he’d punched Logan. Logan hadn’t defended himself, because he’d known he was in the wrong, and he’d let Tom convince him to leave town.

She scowled. "Good God, Logan, I’m an adult. Tom has nothing to do with this. It’s between you and me."

One night. Their secret. Hell, he wanted her so badly his entire body ached.

She sauntered toward him, hips swaying, nipples hard as pebbles. "I want a fuck buddy, and I choose you."

In one move, he could have all that sweet, naked flesh in his arms. He could have Maddie, the only girl who’d touched his heart.

A tiny part of him grieved the loss of the old Maddie, the sweet, innocent one. But the rest of him celebrated the birth of this fascinating new one.

"I choose you," she repeated. "And you want me. You can’t hide that." She reached out and gripped his erection through his jeans. "Fuck me, Logan."

Logan’s cock pulsed, and he sucked in a breath. Shocked, aroused beyond belief, he gaped at this new Maddie.

Excerpt from Sex On The Slopes by Susan Lyons
All rights reserved by publisher and author

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