When Jacinda runs into her daughter’s former boyfriend in a lingerie shop, she’s more than a little flustered. After all, Jacinda used to have a crush on him and they once shared a taboo kiss. When Ryder asks her out, she’s conflicted. What if her daughter finds out? And what about her husband, who died in a motorcycle accident almost a year earlier, an accident she survived? Will his memory allow her to move forward? Tormented by guilt, the former sky-diver and hang-gliding enthusiast has given up on her passions. Jacinda must decide whether Ryder should remain off limits, or if the sexy motocross champ is a means for her to reawaken the fearless, free-spirited woman she used to be.
Genre: Contemporary, erotic romance, Cougar/May-December romance
Heat level: 4
Word count – 11k
Cover art by Mina Carter
The crimson thong and bustier came as a matched set, their satin fabric sinfully soft beneath my fingertips. Sexy. Alluring. Classy. The glossy bustier would accentuate my slim waist and do wonders for my breasts. Closing my eyes, I imagined myself wearing only lingerie and a pearl necklace as strong male hands reached behind me, unhooking the eyelets one at a time.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have anybody to undress me. Why buy a pricy ensemble that would sit in my bottom drawer and never experience a man’s touch? Maybe I should pick something more conservative, like a flesh-colored bra and panty.
“Can I help you?”
The husky voice startled me. “Ryder?” Still holding the bustier and thong, I turned around, facing his strong jaw and Adonis-like physique.
“Nice to see you again, Jacinda.”
For a moment I didn’t have a clue what to say. As casually as possible, I placed the lingerie on the rack, wishing I’d run into him any place but here. What was Lorena’s son doing in her shop? With a nametag? Ryder had dated my daughter, Gemma, before—
A screech of twisting metal rang in my ears. The impact, the crack of my helmet against the road, an endless skid along the asphalt, and screams that shattered—
“Are you okay?” Ryder’s deep brown eyes glistened.
“Yes,” I lied, snapping out of it. I rubbed my shoulder. Although the physical pain vanished months ago, the scar remained, an unforgiving reminder of my need to hear the sharp whine of the engine and see the landscape zip by in a blur. That need killed my husband.
It’s your fault I’m gone, Jacinda.
My blood turned cold. Maddox often whispered in my ear, as if he were standing right there next to me. Sometimes when I turned around, I expected to see his dark eyes and the stern set of his jaw.
I’d better get myself together. “When did your mother decide it made good business sense to hire male staff?”
“This is my punishment, actually.”
Helena Harker is a teacher by day, writer by night, a daydreamer who loves to escape to other worlds. Her fiction is populated by strong men, passionate women, and lots of paranormal creatures. In her free time, she enjoys photography and curling up with a good book.