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By Lily Rede


SHIVERING AND COMPLETELY DRENCHED, Evie dropped her backpack on the Daniels’ porch.  It was a beautiful hundred-year-old farmhouse that was obviously in the process of being restored – scaffolding protected a new wing off the side of the two-story structure.  Evie spared only a quick glance around – her teeth were starting to chatter.

Fingers tight with cold, Evie raised a hand to knock.


Come on, come on.

Someone had to be home, judging from the sporty little SUV in the driveway sitting behind a more utilitarian truck.  The lights within blazed with beckoning warmth and the smoky scent of a fireplace teased Evie with promises of heat and comfort.

She knocked harder, kicking the door for good measure, stumbling back as it jerked open.

“What the hell, Tom?  Can’t a guy take one Sunday afternoon – ”

He broke off abruptly, hazel eyes widening.

Evie tried to form words, but her brain inconveniently chose that moment to shut down, obviously overloaded by impending hypothermia and the sight of six plus feet of bare, tanned muscle standing in the doorway, clutching a blanket around his waist with lean, elegant hands.  His skin had a light sheen of sweat and his dark hair was ruffled over those bright hazel eyes.


Even the inner cop whimpered and she gave it a mental shove.

Pull it together, Asher.

“I’m so sorry to bother you, but I was looking for Mr. or Mrs. Daniels – ”

His brows snapped together with a frown.

“They’re dead.  Over a year now.  Car accident.”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t know.  I was headed to the old Asher cabin down the road and my car got stuck.”

“You were trying to get out there in this?”

Incredulous, he gestured and the blanket slipped just a bit, exposing another inch of taut waist and a narrow pelt of dark hair under his navel that arrowed downward in a most interesting manner.

Evie swallowed and kept her eyes on his.

“I just need a phone to call the garage, if that’s okay.”

“Colin?”  The breathy voice drifting down the stairs had Evie’s face heating in a blush, despite her shivers, as her brain stuttered back into working order.

Two cars in the driveway, panting sex god in the doorway.  Way to go, Asher.  You just cock-blocked your new neighbor.