Running from Friendship - Book Two
The Friendship series
Ollie Oliver is the best damn jockey around. This year she intends to prove it by being the first woman to win the Triple Crown. And she’s doing it on a filly, representing her family’s farm. She’s worked too hard for too long to let anything get in the way of fulfilling her lifelong dream, including the anonymous notes warning her to drop out of the races. But when the threats escalate, only hiring a bodyguard will ease her family’s fears. Ollie has zero time for any distractions, including the stubborn, sexy, brooding man shadowing her every move.
Xander Lane is an empath, computer genius, and an alcoholic. After his first relapse in seven years, he’s hiding out at his buddy’s house in godforsaken Friendship. Only in the small town long enough to reassess and figure out what the hell he’s doing with his life, the one thing he knows for sure is he doesn’t want or need anyone. That is, until he meets the spunky jockey he’s tasked with protecting. One look at Ollie, and Xander can’t turn away.
As they fight their instant attraction, their connection cannot be denied.
Xander’s desire to shield Ollie from all possible dangers overrides his longing for solitude. Ollie wants to ease the burdens of the tortured Xander even as he fights her to do so with his bossy self. During the perilous countdown to the Triple Crown, opening up to each other might be the biggest risk of all. What are the odds of winning a happily ever after if they can’t break through the defenses they’ve built around their hearts?
Read an Excerpt
The bell on the shabby pink door jingled. Xander shifted his attention from the seagulls. His foot stilled, and the tension residing between his shoulder blades released its hold. He picked up his coffee and watched her over the rim of his mug, his pulse steadied as he sipped the black brew.
She wore fitted riding pants that clung to her petite frame like a second skin, motorcycle boots, leather jacket, and a snug T-shirt that covered her ample breasts. The shirt matched her red aura and had a picture of a cartoon beagle lying on the roof of its doghouse. His mouth watered, and not for want of a drink. The site of the beagle stretched across her chest was…well, mouth-watering.
Her sleek, ebony hair hung to the middle of her back in a thick braid. His fingers twitched to release all of that hair from the restraint of the tie securing it. Her sienna-colored skin reminded him of the rocks at Slide Park in Arizona.
He licked his lips.
She was dazzling.
He’d seen her once before, a few years ago when he’d been visiting Tanner. The moment his eyes had landed on her, a sense of peace had settled over him―the same peace he was currently experiencing. The feeling was unnerving, but he wanted more.
God, he was such an addict.
She stiffened and straightened, her hand going to the back of her neck as her gaze roamed the room. When two almond-shaped eyes met his, he choked and sputtered on the coffee lodged in his throat.
Those eyes… He’d never seen eyes that color. They were the same color as the sea-glass he found as a kid on the beach in California when he and his mom visited his grandparents. The green against her skin stole his breath.
His tongue wet his now dry lips, and his eyes dipped to the beagle on the doghouse before returning to her alluring face.
Those captivating eyes narrowed and lips―which could only be described as pouty―thinned. Looking indignant and ready to attack, she took a step toward him but halted when someone called to her.
Xander watched as a hulking man in stained khakis, brown work boots, and orange aura strode to her. Her face and stance relaxed as a smile wound its way across her mouth. Her green eyes sparkled as the huge man lifted her in an embrace. A giggle escaped full lips as the impostor released her and draped his arm over her shoulder. With narrow hips, she checked him, and Xander fought the growl that surged to the surface.
Who the hell was the behemoth?
For years, erotic fantasies, starring the one and only pixie goddess, had plagued him. It had never occurred to him that she might be attached.
Why wouldn’t she belong to someone? She was the kind of woman no man would want to let out of his sight.