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Taking Chances Series - Book 1

Twisted Up

Erin Nicholas' Twisted Up

The forecast in Chance? Stormy, with a chance of love.

After the small farming community of Chance, Nebraska, is torn apart by tornadoes, three cousins return home to help the town recover from the disaster—and reunite with old loves in the process. Back in the town where they shared everything from Little League to prom, each cousin is put back in the path of the one who got away. When the wind picks up, can their relationships pick up where they left off? With humor and heart, these sexy, feel-good romances invite you to experience the kind of love that can weather any storm.

 

Book One, Twisted Up, coming August 23rd from Montlake Romance

Avery Sparks is a master at controlling chaos—and she gets plenty of opportunities as fire chief and head of emergency management in her hometown of Chance, Nebraska. The only thing she can’t seem to control are her feelings when she’s around Jake Mitchell, the man who was her firsteverything the night of their high school graduation. But Jake was so quick to leave Chance—and Avery—behind that she swore she’d move on.

While Avery’s job is to minimize drama, Jake embraces the chaos of an emergency. After enlisting in the Army National Guard, Jake became a nationally recognized leader in disaster recovery. Yet a life on the road has left him restless. So when a class-four tornado wreaks havoc on Chance, he’s eager to return home—and to the woman never far from his mind.

Now, Avery and Jake must team up to help their hometown weather a siege of violent storms. But it’s clear to them both that nature isn’t the only force they’ll have to reckon with. Will Avery and Jake’s whirlwind love affair be an all-new disaster—or can they recover from their stormy past to build a future together?

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Book Two, Tangled Up, also now available!

 

excerpt

© copyright Erin Nicholas, 2016

 

"Hey, hang on." They needed to talk about this, didn't they? Or talk about something? The last time he'd seen her-okay, he'd been seeing her here and there for the past two days-but the last time they'd talked, she'd told him he was "pretty far down" her priority list.

Well, that had now changed. They were working together now.

For a moment he remembered the unreturned emails on his computer and the three missed phone calls. Those were work too. If he was staying in Chance for another two weeks, he was also going to need to reschedule the DC meeting.

He should go. He could go to DC and then come back. He could go to the interview and only miss a day of work in Chance.

But he didn't want to miss a day.

He could put the interview off for another two weeks. If they really wanted him, the job would still be there.

"I've got stuff to do." She didn't stop walking.

She also pulled her hand away when he tried to grab it.

Oh, really?

He glanced around and located an open door to an empty room. He reached out and grabbed Avery's belt and pulled her to stop.

"Hey!"

He turned her and pushed her into the room, stepped in behind her and kicked the door shut.

"Jake!"

It was an empty conference room from the looks of it. He still turned her so her back was against the door so no one would come barging in.

Then he braced a hand on the door beside her ear.

"We're supposed to like each other and get along."

"So?"

"So running away from me doesn't really make it seem like you like me."

Avery slumped against the door. "You put her up to this didn't you?" she asked. "You asked Shelby to help you come up with some way that I have to be around you all the time and put up with all your… stuff… so that you can see if I'll keep reacting to you and your…kissing and… touching."

She was cute when she was so worked up that she stumbled over her words.

Jake leaned in a little and dropped his voice. "Honey, you've been reacting to my kissing and touching for a long time now."

He felt the corner of his mouth start to curl at the flash of fury in her eyes.

Yes, he pushed her buttons on purpose.

But it was so easy. And the results were awesome.

Avery was a gorgeous woman.

When she was pissed she became downright mesmerizing.

He would know.

"I thought I could do this. I thought it might be a good idea for everyone to see us working together. But I don't know if it is after all," she finally said, shaking her head.

"This is absolutely going to work," he told her. "All this requires is you acting like you love everything about being with me whenever we're together. Oh, look, you already do. Piece of cake."

"I do not act like I love everything about being with you whenever we're together."

"You sure about that? I could do a public opinion poll-"

"I have too many other things to worry about," she said. "I don't have time to play around with you the whole time you're here."

The idea of her playing around with him was just too damned tempting.

"You heard Shelby and Frank-this is going to be good for the town to see us getting along and working together. Our relationship is as important-maybe more so-than all that other stuff you think you need to do."

"The things I think I need to do?" she repeated, her eyebrows nearly at her hairline. "You mean my job? Keeping this town safe? Doing what they pay me to do?"

"No one's asking you to shirk your duties," he told her calmly.

Her pulse was drumming at the base of her throat and her breathing was quick and shallow. Her cheeks were pink too. She was worked up, but he knew it wasn't about the idea of not getting all of her work done.

It was because of him. Because he was standing so close now.

In fact, he'd maintained the theory for a while that she acted ticked off and frustrated with him in order to hide the physical reactions that came from something else entirely.

He knew how he could prove it.

Jake leaned in. "You still get to be the hot in-charge fire chief," he told her. "But now you get to hang out with me while you do it. Think of it as a job perk. Handed down from the Mayor himself."

Her eyes narrowed, but the pink staining her cheeks deepened and her lips parted as she breathed in and out. It might look like anger on the surface, but then why did she let him move even closer, and put one hand on her hip, and dip his head, and touch her lips with his without a single protest?

In fact, she sighed as their lips met fully and she put her hand on his chest.

Jake angled his head, increasing the pressure of the kiss, but it wasn't until Avery's tongue licked out along his lower lip that he slid his hand into her hair, held her head in his palm and really kissed her.

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