Kindle Price: $4.99
Available from Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Smashwords
Authors Website: http://bellaandre.com
Meet the Sullivans in this fun new contemporary romance series! With THE LOOK OF LOVE, bestselling author Bella Andre introduces you to Chase, the first Sullivan bad boy, who's about to unexpectedly find love just around the bend in the road...
Chloe Peterson is having a bad night...a really bad night. The large bruise on her cheek can attest to that. And when her car skids off the side of a wet country road straight into a ditch, she's convinced even the gorgeous guy who rescues her in the middle of the rain storm must be too good to be true. Or is he?
As a successful photographer who frequently travels around the world, Chase Sullivan has his pick of beautiful women...and whenever he's home in San Francisco, one of his seven siblings is usually up for causing a little fun trouble. Chase thinks his life is great just as it is-until the night he finds Chloe and her totaled car on the side of the road in Napa Valley. Not only has he never met anyone so lovely, both inside and out, but he quickly realizes she has much bigger problems than her damaged car. Soon, he is willing to move mountains to love-and protect-her, but will she let him?
Chloe vows never to make the mistake of trusting a man again...only, with every loving look Chase gives her-and every sinfully sweet caress-as the attraction between them sparks and sizzles, she can't help but wonder if she's met the only exception. And although Chase didn't realize his life was going to change forever in an instant, amazingly, he isn't the least bit interested in fighting that change. Instead, he's gearing up for a different fight altogether…for Chloe's heart.
Chase almost missed the flickering light off on the right side of the two-lane country road. In the past thirty minutes, he hadn’t passed one car, because on a night like this, most sane Californians—who didn’t know the first thing about driving safely in inclement weather—stayed home.
Knowing better than to slam on the brakes—he wouldn’t be able to help whomever was stranded on the side of the road if he ended up stuck in the muddy ditch right next to them—Chase slowed down enough to see that there was definitely a vehicle stuck in the ditch.
He turned his brights on to see better in the pouring rain and realized there was a person walking along the edge of the road about a hundred yards up ahead. Obviously hearing his car approach, she turned to face him and he could see her long wet hair whipping around her shoulders in his headlights.
Wondering why she wasn’t just sitting in her car, dry and warm, calling Triple A and waiting for them to come save her, he pulled over to the edge of his lane and got out to try and help her. She was shivering as she watched him approach.
“Are you hurt?”
The woman standing on the side of the road covered her cheek with one hand, but shook her head. “No.”
He had to move closer to hear her over the sound of the water hitting the pavement in what were rapidly becoming hailstones. Even though he’d turned his headlights off, as his eyes quickly adjusted to the darkness, he was able to get a better look at her face.
Something inside of Chase’s chest clenched tight.
Despite the fact that “looking like a drowned rat” wasn’t too far off the descriptive mark, her beauty stunned him.
In an instant, his photographer’s eye cataloged her features. Her mouth was a little too big, her eyes a little too wide-set on her face. She wasn’t even close to model thin, but given the way her T-shirt and jeans stuck to her skin, he could see that she wore her lush curves well. In the dark he couldn’t judge the exact color of her hair, but it looked like silk, perfectly smooth and straight where it lay over her breasts.
It wasn’t until Chase heard her say, “My car is definitely hurt, though,” that he realized he had completely lost the thread of what he’d come out here to do.
Knowing he’d been drinking her in like he was dying of thirst, he worked to recover his balance. It didn’t take a mechanic to see that her hatchback was borderline totaled. Even if the front bumper wasn’t half smashed to pieces by the white farm fence she’d slid into, her bald tires weren’t going to get any traction on the mud. Not tonight, anyway.
He jerked his thumb over his shoulder. “Get in my car. We can wait there for a tow truck.” He was vaguely aware of his words coming out like an order, but the hail was starting to sting, damn it. Both of them needed to get out of the rain before they froze.
But the woman didn’t move. Instead, she gave him a look that said he was a complete and utter nut-job.
“I’m not getting into your car.”
Realizing just how frightening it must be for a lone woman to end up stuck and alone in the middle of a dark road, Chase took a step back from her and held his hands up. “I swear on my father’s grave, I’m not going to hurt you. It’s okay to get into my car.” When she didn’t immediately say no again, he pressed his advantage with, “I just want to help you.” And he did. More than it made sense to want to help a stranger. “Please,” he said. “Let me help you.”
She stared at him for a long moment, hail hammering between them, around them, onto them. Chase found himself holding his breath, waiting for her decision. It shouldn’t matter to him what she decided.
But, for some strange reason, it did.
* * *
Chloe Peterson had never felt so wet, so miserable…or so desperate. She’d been beating the speed limit for the past couple of hours, before the storm had kicked into overdrive. She’d slowed down considerably on the super-slick pavement, but her tires were old and bald, and before she knew it, her car was skidding off the road.
Straight into a muddy ditch.
It might have been easier—smarter, too—to sit in her car and wait out the storm. But she’d been too keyed up to stay still. She’d needed to keep moving, otherwise the thoughts knocking around in her head were going to catch up with her, so she’d slung her backpack over her shoulders and stepped out into the rain, just as it turned into out-and-out hail.
The hard little pellets hurt her skin, but she’d been glad for the cold, for the sting. Because it gave her something else to focus on, something besides what had happened just hours ago.
She hadn’t been sure exactly where she was—or what she was headed for–but she’d hoped she was walking in the direction of town.
All night long the roads had been strangely empty, but she’d barely starting walking away from her car when she’d realized headlights were coming up behind her.
Fear had knocked into her again as the car pulled over to the side and she’d had to stop to brace herself to withstand it. She was all alone on a dark, wet, country road. She didn’t have her cell phone, and even if she had, she doubted there was enough reception out here in the storm for it to get a signal.
And then a man–a large man–had gotten out of his car and started walking toward her, telling her to get into his car.
He’d tried to convince her that she was safe with him. He’d said all the right things, but she’d had too much experience with people like that, who easily said one thing, then did another.
“I don’t know you,” she told him. He could be an axe murderer. She had feet. She’d walk and find a place to dry off later.
She could see the frustration on his face, knew he was about to try and reason with her again, when suddenly, the sound of skidding tires came at them. Before she knew what was happening, he was pulling her into his arms. She didn’t have time to think of fighting him, didn’t even consider it when she realized a fast-moving motorcycle was practically on top of them.
She closed her eyes, bracing for impact, when the man effortlessly lifted her and jumped into the ditch, holding her tightly against him.
She opened her eyes just in time to watch the motorcycle’s back tires skid and then finally catch hold just in the place she’d been standing. Her heart, which had all but stopped, started racing again as she watched it speed away.
“Are you okay?”
Chloe looked up at the man who had shielded her from harm with his own body, and for the first time since he’d stepped out of his car, she was hit hard with the realization of just how attractive he was.
No, she silently admitted to herself. Attractive was a paltry word for a man like this. Even in the darkness, she could see that he put other men to shame. As big as she’d first thought, even in the cold rain, he was utterly gorgeous.
And her body was reacting with surprising heat.