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Love on the Risky Side

The Wild Rose Press

Heat Rating: SIZZLING
Word Count: 61,095
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Falsely accused of the murder of her best friend, Kayla Jenkins is on the run for her life. She ends up lost in dark, snowy woods off some backcountry road in the middle of nowhere. Frightened and colder than she’s ever been in her life, she almost thinks she’s hallucinating when a warrior on a white steed saves her.

In all his years as the sheriff of Peak Town, Colorado, Jake Ryder has never come across a half-frozen woman alone in the woods. She’s terrified…and lying to him, yet something about her calls to him on a primal level.

Even with her trust of law enforcement lower than the harsh temperature, Kayla finds it difficult to keep her secrets hidden from the kind and far too handsome sheriff. But as her faith in Ryder grows, she not only risks the real murderer finding her, but losing the one thing she has searched for her whole life and only just found…love.


Did he brush his lips against my ear?

“I can’t do that, Kayla. I’m the sheriff. It’s my job to help people in trouble, and, sweetheart, from what I can see, you are in a big pile of it.”

There he went with the sweetheart stuff again. She had no idea what that was all about, but he wasn’t wrong. She was in a big pile of trouble. A landfill.

“Please, let me help you.”

She wanted to. More than anything, she wanted to turn around, tell this strong, sweet man all her troubles and let him make them disappear. But she couldn’t. It wouldn’t be fair or safe. David was crazy. He would come looking for her, personally. If he found out Ryder helped her, there was no telling what he would do to keep his secret.

No, she had to solve this problem on her own. “It’s not safe.”

“I’m the sheriff of this town. It’s my job to handle dangerous situations.”

Still pinned against his chest, she felt the hard edges of his muscles, such a contrast to his comforting hold. The strong beat of his heart against her back settled her own into a synchronized rhythm.

Her breath caught in her throat, but not from fear this time. “But I’m not a part of this town. You have no obligation to help me. You don’t even know me.”

Just when she thought she’d gotten through to him, that he was going to let her leave, his voice came as a soft, sensual caress. Dark, like chocolate, and just as tempting.

“I know it’s crazy, but there’s a part of me that feels like I’ve known you forever. Like I’ve been waiting for you. There’s something between us, don’t deny it. I know you feel it, too.”

She sucked in a sharp breath. Yes, she did feel it. She hadn’t realized he did. It was crazy and unexpected, but it was there. A connection apparently neither could deny. It terrified her even as it thrilled her. Unfortunately, this whole thing made her situation that much harder.

“Talk to me, Kayla,” he whispered in her ear. “Let me help you.”

Whatever powers that be—God, the Universe, or Aliens—that had led her to this man, they knew there was a reason she needed to meet him now, at this point in her life.

Maybe he wouldn’t turn her in. Maybe he would be the one to help her. David may be a cop…but so was Ryder. Could he help her find evidence to prove her innocence? That was his job, after all, solving crimes. Maybe she could trust him. Trust this insane feeling she got whenever he was near.

Taking a deep, shaky breath, and a giant leap of faith, she stepped out of his arms and turned, staring directly into those intelligent, warm eyes. “My name is Kayla Jenkins, and I’m wanted by the Chicago Police Department for the murder of my roommate, Jennifer Wright.”