Authors. 12 Zodiac Signs. 1 Explosive Series. What seductive, contemporary
romance will you find today? ARIES.
Ethan Andrews makes his living reading people and
tailoring his sales pitch to what they want. He lives his life on the road,
traveling from city to city, hotel to hotel, and it all works for him until he
meets Norah Silver—the woman he wants to come home to.
Norah Silver has a plan, one that requires focus
and dedication. She’s working sixty to eighty hours a week between her two
jobs—one for money and the other for her passion. She thrives on giving solid
relationship advice that may be based in the stars, but also grounded in
reality. The last thing she expected was to find a sizzling love connection of
Sparks fly when these two stubborn Aries launch
into an impulsive relationship. Telling themselves lust is actually enough
turns out to be a lie, but can these rams bend enough to recognize it or will
their off the charts chemistry explode before they really get started?
“Are you ready for this
week’s love signs, listeners? Are you an Aries and you’re all tied up in knots
for that Scorpio at the office? Or maybe you’re the Libra turning your life
upside down for a Cancer who simply doesn’t get you? Don’t worry, Capricorn. I
know you like to tell it as it is, and, despite the conflict that causes with
your best friend the Gemini, this month is all about you. Call me right now.
I’ve got the answers for the signs that tempt and tease you.” – Love Signs with Norah
“I am so tired of being the orange crayon,” Norah
Silver said, swirling the red wine around in her glass.
Tina Prentiss, her best friend and confidante,
sputtered. “The what?”
“The orange crayon,” Norah repeated before taking a
drink of the burgundy.
It had a bite to it, a sweet, smoky burn that
cascaded down her throat and warmed her belly. Since it was likely the warmest
companion she would be taking to bed that night, she planned to indulge. She
didn’t have to work for the next three days, and Tina herself was heading out
of town on a late flight. Meeting for drinks had been an impulse, the kind they
really should indulge in more often.
“Okay, that’s what I thought you said, and I’m not
Like Norah, Tina worked two jobs—one where she
managed funds as an accountant by day and another where she wrote music at
night. She’d even sold some of her jingles. Her weekend getaway had been funded
by a cupcake commercial she’d scored. Thirty seconds for three thousand
dollars. Not bad work if a person could get it.
“The one always left in the box…you know when you’re
a kid and you do a lot of coloring? You use the blues for the sky and the
water, the green for the grass, and white for clouds and yellow for the sun.
Red shows up for flowers or shoes or cars….”
“Or fire engines,” Tina added helpfully.
“Yes, fire engines. Right. Brown even gets a cut of
the action for people and for tree bark. But orange? Orange sits in the box
untouched and unblemished. It’s always the sharpest crayon, but the least used.
The paper isn’t crinkled…and if it rolled off the table and onto the floor and
beneath a chair to lie forgotten—no one would notice.”
Tina blinked once. “Damn, girl, you need to get the
hell out of your head. The orange crayon? That’s some fucked-up shit right
Laughing, Norah shook her head. Tina didn’t get it.
She was the red crayon with her dark auburn hair capping her sleek, sun-kissed
physique. If people didn’t know she was an accountant and musician, they’d
probably mistake her for a supermodel.
And, wow, am I depressing?
Norah caught her reflection in the patterned mirror
behind the bar. A scowl seemed to have permanently stamped between her brows.
When her frown only deepened the lines, she closed her eyes and concentrated on
the deep breathing techniques from yoga class. Her pulse slowed, and some of
her agitation leeched away. It had truly been a suck-tastic week at work.
“Sweetheart, you look like hell.”
Trust the golden-skinned goddess to tell her like it
was. What else was a best friend for?
“I know, but I look better than you,” Norah replied.
Tina burst out laughing, and when Norah opened her
eyes, she was able to grin, and they clinked their glasses together.
“You should come with me this weekend. We’ll get you
a standby ticket, and we can spend three days lounging on the beach.”
“I wish.” Did she ever. “But I have a date with my
cat and my apartment and the outside world turned off.”
No cell phones, no appointments, no needy customers,
and, God help her, no needy family.
“I’m only here because we haven’t been able to get
together the last three weeks,” Norah added. Scheduling conflicts had been such
Wrapping an arm around her, Tina gave her a squeeze.
“I’m glad you could come. I’m worried about you. Ever since you started pulling
double duty with the radio station and the phone bank. You are up at all hours,
you never sleep, and you’re stretched thin going back and forth between the
studio and your place. You can’t spend all those hours locked up in your
True. Her job kept her rooted at home. “I’m doing
what we have to do. College education doesn’t pay for itself, contrary to what
all the ads say.”
“So come with me, get away. We don’t get three-day
weekends that often, and the room’s all paid for. We can sit on the beach,
drink foamy frozen things with umbrellas in them, and turn our brains off.”
“I kind of just want to be alone in my head for a
few days. No one ‘needing’ me. You made these plans as a getaway for you. I’m
not stepping on that.”
“Oh, my God, it’s not stepping on it when I invite
you.” Still, Tina relented. “Girl, I worry about you.”
“Don’t. I have a plan, and it’s a bitch and a half
right now, but six months from now? A year? I’m going to have those loans paid off,
and then I can focus on pursuing my dream without the constant dread of the
bear trap waiting to snap me in half.”
Melodramatic, maybe, but paying off her debts
severed her ties to the past, to her mistakes, and set her up to look to the
“You’re already doing the local entertainment spots
and movie reviews Friday morning drive time, and you’ve got the Midnight Love
Line going. Why not try to turn that into more now? Make your dream your work.”
She did. She’d even pre-recorded the Friday and Saturday
night shows so they could run her spots with the guest DJ. Radio might not be
where it was for some people, but Norah had dreams.
“There’s a difference between a dream and talent,
“You’ve got talent.”
Fast to the defense and to pump up Norah’s ego, Tina
was a damn good friend. But Norah had organizational skills and a strong sense
of what needed to be done. She even knew what she wanted to do, but she didn’t
stand out from the crowd. Not yet. Nothing about her was remarkable. She didn’t
offer more than anyone else did.
“I love you, too.” Distraction being the key to
winning any argument, she made a show of checking her phone. “And you need to
get through TSA so you can board.”
It worked. Tina jerked and glanced at the thin gold
band on her wrist. The woman still wore a watch.
“Oh crap, I don’t want to leave you alone in a bar.”
“I’m a big girl. So take your trip. I’m going to
drink my wine and just sit here and let my brain relax. Then, if I need to,
I’ll grab a cab home and get my car Monday night when I have to be back here to
pick you up anyway.”
Her best friend pursed her lips. The woman could be
stubborn. Fortunately, Norah was even more so. She met the challenge in Tina’s
eyes with cool confidence. Frankly, she knew how to fake it until she could
With a sigh, Tina gave her a hug. “Love you lots.”
“Love you more. Have fun.”
“You too.” Tina grabbed her carry-on bag and purse,
then stopped for another hug. “Are you sure I can’t convince you?”
“Positive. Go.” Pasting on a wide smile, Norah gave
her a push. “Go have fun. Let me sit here and drown myself in my wine. You’re
totally harshing my buzz.”
With a laugh and a shake of her head, Tina took off.
Norah watched her go, and she kept her smile in place until her friend
vanished. Cheeks aching, she released the expression and turned back to her
wine. Alone, at last. She lifted the wine and toasted the empty seat next to
her and took a long swallow. The heat glided through her system, and some of
the tension knotting her spine eased.
Three days of absolute solitude began as soon as she
left the DFW airport bar. Still, she didn’t need to rush through her drink.
After all, didn’t not being on a schedule mean not being on a….
“Excuse me, gorgeous. Is this seat taken?”
The liquid velvet inquiry rolled over her like a
warm, spring rain, and Norah twisted to lock gazes with a pair of dark, soulful
brown eyes. Her brain sizzled, and slowly, almost too slowly, she took in the
rest of him. Six foot tall, dressed in a tan shirt with a dark brown tie and similarly
dark brown slacks that seemed to be the exact same shade as his eyes. Black
hair—or maybe it was a chocolate brown like his eyes and suit…who could tell
under the lights?—had been cut with almost jagged, yet sensible style. Edgy and
professional. How the hell is that
possible? Sex appeal all bound up in a businessman’s button-down appeal.
His eyebrows raised a fraction, and he touched the
seat with his left hand. No rings on his fingers and not even the sign of a
line on the gorgeous tan skin. A bit of dark hair sprinkled along his knuckles.
Did similar crisp curls decorate his chest? She’d
always been a sucker for a man with hair on his chest. Holy hell on a cracker. He continued to stare at her, and her
tongue lodged against the back of her teeth. Another seemingly endless second
and then she blinked and her brain seemed to hiccup back onto the tracks.
“I’m sorry, what?”
The corners of his mouth twitched upward, and the
flutter in her stomach sent a chill racing over her flesh.
“Tell me the seat’s not taken, gorgeous.”
“Does that line actually work?”
He set a bag down next to the barstool, and his grin
widened. Her pulse rabbited at the smile, which transformed him from
good-looking to simply stunning. This was a man who was used to getting what he
wanted, and, if he wasn’t, well, he should be. She crossed her legs and locked
her thighs together.
“Not so much a line as a question,” he said, his
voice taking on an almost conspiratorial whisper. “The gorgeous part is true,
however, and I am really hoping this seat isn’t taken.”
Then without waiting for her to answer, he sat down,
and his leg brushed her bare calf. The pant leg was even softer than it
appeared, and this close, his very masculine scent teased her.
Wow, has it been a long time.
“Pump your brakes, sweetcakes. I didn’t invite you
to sit down.”
The hint of rejection didn’t seem to faze him.
“True and I can leave and go sit somewhere else, but
I’d like to sit here.”
“Okay,” she said, dragging her attention off him to
swirl her wine.
He’s a guy in an airport bar.
While her brain seemed to be registering the information, her hormones weren’t
getting the message.
“I’ll bite. Why do you want to sit here?”
“Truth or a line?” The hint of rawness in his reply
“I don’t know.” Intrigued despite herself, she
angled to face him and leaned an arm on the bar. “Which one is better?”
Whatever it depended on had to wait because the
bartender arrived and John “Hot Guy” Doe ordered a beer. “And whatever the lady
“The lady is having wine, and she’s fine.” She waved
the bartender off. Her judgment was already verging on questionable for
continuing this conversation.
“Yes, yes, she is.”
Somehow, that didn’t sound like a line either. Who
was this guy?
Better question, who do I
want him to be?
After the bartender ran his credit card and set a
cold bottle of beer on the counter, he left them alone.
Impatient with having to wait for his response, she
circled back to his earlier statement.
“So what does it depend on?”
Not missing a beat, he held his bottle out as though
to toast her. “What you want to hear.”
What she wanted to hear? The question paralyzed her
for all of ten seconds. Possibilities ran riot through her brain. He could be a
serial killer was where her irrational, I-watch-too-much-crime-TV mind went, or
a businessman looking for a quickie while away from his wife, the more jaded
part of her countered. Then again her
more rational side thought maybe he was
just a guy in a bar looking for conversation. The smart move would be to get
up, grab her purse, and head home to lock herself in her apartment and escape
Yeah, that was the smart move.
She picked up her wine glass and clinked it lightly
to his beer bottle. Smart didn’t always mean fun. Impulsive as the idea might
be, he ignited something in her, and she was curious. So, if his next words
depended on her, then she had only one real option she wanted to pursue.
Charge forward and see what was on the other side of
that brick wall.
“I want to hear more.”