Gabrielle Warrenton gave up everything to pursue her dream of a first-class Egyptian Arabian breeding farm. Her future lies in her new stallion’s success. Though she possesses an exceptional eye for horseflesh, she lacks the training knowledge, and Bahadur Mamoon has a date with the nation’s most affluent show in three weeks. Nothing that would present a problem given his previous credentials. Only, the sellers disguised one critical fact—he’s crazy.
Jake Lindsey-Sullivan was once part of an exceptional Arabian training team. Under his mother’s guidance, he developed an instinctual talent, but she was the star, the cornerstone of his life. Until she met a premature death. Grief-stricken and plagued by guilt, Jake abandoned the world of horses. Now an over-the-road truck driver, he evades the memories.
When a snowstorm throws two Arabian professionals into close-quarters, they discover an engulfing passion. But will Mamoon rip open emotional scars, or forever seal them shut?
In slow motion, he leaned forward.
One thick palm framed the side of her face. His eyes searched hers, emotion flickering behind their sky blue depths. Sorrow, regret, and affection stared back at her as his thumb caressed her cheek. “Be safe, Gabrielle,” he whispered.
She closed her eyes against a storm of sorrow. Instinct filtered through her hope, and in the half-second of time that passed before his other hand came up to join the first, she knew. This wasn’t a temporary goodbye. Jake intended on driving away forever. A sob bubbled in the back of her throat, threatening to strangle her.
Before it tore free, Jake’s mouth settled against hers. He nudged her lips apart, inviting himself inside. Softly, slowly, he explored. Roused her awareness until the reality of his departure gave way to striking tenderness. She responded to the familiar feeling he awakened, her body tightening with an anxious surge of energy.
He held her in place, seemingly content to kiss her until time stood still. In the quiet, she caught the hard fall of his breath. Beneath her fingertips, his heart hammered fierce. His mouth took on a more demanding quality as he slid one hand into her hair and curled his fingers against her scalp.
A sound of pleasure vibrated in his throat, and Jake drew the kiss to a lingering close. He touched his forehead to hers, then sucked in a deep breath. “Win for me, sugar.”
Before she could gather her senses and respond, the passenger’s door slammed shut. Panic flooded her. He couldn’t walk away. That kiss alone said things she’d longed to hear. He cared for her. She loved him. He couldn’t just turn his back on all that.
Jamming her hand against the handle, she shoved open the door and jumped out. “Jake!”