Feisty Storme Weathers is as volatile as the sudden pop-up storms in springtime. As unpredictable as the weather, her name fits her personality to a T. One minute she is happily crushing on red hot Craig Knight and the next she is leaving the peace and quiet of the Great Smoky Mountains for the bright lights of the city. Too bad she left her heart behind with him.
Craig is a handsome hunk in a suit who didn’t leave the hills. He loves his mountain life and heritage. He can’t fathom living anywhere else.
When Storme’s beloved Gram dies, she and her estranged sisters, Skye and Sunny, must return to the mountains to run the family lodge they inherited. The only hitch is she must do so with her sisters and Craig, executor of their grandmother’s will. She feels more than a tug in her girlie parts at the mere thought of seeing him again, but working with him and her temperamental sisters does not thrill her at all.
Will Storme head for the hill and heat up Craig’s nights or will she run away? She’ll lose more than her inheritance unless she fights to claim what’s hers once and for all.
Where am I? Storme Weathers couldn't believe it. I’m alone—again. Abandoned by her sisters who left yesterday, she was on her own to get to the airport. Sweeping her curly black mop out of her eyes, she yawned. Shit, it’s true. How can it be? Did I really just bury my precious Gram yesterday? Is this some sort of a bad dream? Did I really go to Gram’s funeral and even helped to plan it? Is this nightmare real? Disbelief clung to her like smoke.
Storme was completely worn out. Bright, broad daylight streamed through the burlap curtains nearly blinding her. Confusion held for a moment and she struggled to focus. Ah, home sweet home. Shoving her feet into moccasins and feeling like the last of the Mohicans— Wait, wrong tribe—the Cherokee are mine, last of the Cherokee-whatever… Making her way to the main house of the lodge where she grew up, she entered through the kitchen door. It creaked on its hinges and banged closed when she entered. Her face, still flushed from sleep, froze when she spied Craig Knight, lawyer and executor of her grandmother’s will, sitting there drinking coffee. Sleep-rumpled and groggy, she sank into the chair next to him and accepted the coffee he placed in her hand.
“Good afternoon, Sunshine,” he all but sang.
“Sunshine? That's my sister. And her name is Sunny not Sunshine. Wait. Afternoon? Whoa!” Storme said, jerking awake as the caffeine reached her brain.
“Yup. I’m here for lunch,” Craig said. “Grief’s exhausting. It sneaks up on you.” His hand covered hers. A bolt charged through her bloodstream. In a heartbeat, Millie rushed to her side. “Poor little lamb. Things always did hit you the hardest. Despite your tough ways, there beats a soft heart in that chest of yours. Your sisters should have made better plans. How are you going to get to the airport?”
Tears filled Storme’s eyes. “Thanks, I think,” she murmured, “Call a cab?”
“Some of my home cookin’ will fix what’s ailing you,” Millie said briskly, tucking a full plate in front of her.
“I’ll leave her in your hands then,” Craig said as he rose, smiling his goodbye, “I’ll take you to the airport. You don’t need a cab.”
“Just kill me now. Aren’t I a sight?”
“Don’t worry,” Millie countered, “men like that just-out-of-bed look. They think it’s sexy. Trust me…”
Storme brightened at Millie’s words. Sexy? I can handle looking sexy. Polishing off her scrambled eggs and grabbing the honey for her biscuit made her wonder. Just who is crushing on whom? Her girlish fantasies were beginning to cause a flutter in her girlie parts.
Once breakfast was finished, she pushed her plate aside and took the scenic route along the stream back to the cabin. Storme couldn’t help but think Perfect for tubing!
Foregoing a bra, she pulled on a t-shirt and grabbed cut-off jean shorts, poached a tube left behind on the cabin’s porch, and set off to launch. She screeched when her feet and butt hit the cold spring-fed water. Usually proud of her trim body, right now she wouldn’t mind some padding back there where water touched her tush. Steadying herself inside the old black inner tube, she set off just as she had hundreds of times in her youth. The speed of the rushing water caught her by surprise! The tube shot out from under her, and she yelled as the force of the water pushed her body downstream. The torrent tossed her like a rag doll as the stream, swollen from yesterday’s rain, picked up speed.