USA Today Bestselling Author
She’s looking to reinvent herself.
After the worst two years of her life, Aspen Savich has just moved across the country to the Outer Banks, looking to start over and leave her painful past behind. But it follows her anyway, bringing consequences she never could have imagined. Someone is watching her. Targeting her—and they don’t care who gets in the way. She has no one to turn to except the sexy local mechanic who has found a way past all her defenses, never dreaming the kind of danger they’re up against.
He’s about to have his world turned upside down.
Tragedy made Coast Guard veteran Bowie Davenport withdraw from the world around him. He’s lived in Kill Devil Hills his whole life, focusing on work and family. Being alone is something he made peace with long ago—until the sexiest woman he’s ever seen pulls up to his garage in a little red Woody asking for help. There’s no way he can say no, even with his unwanted attraction to her. He tries to fight it, but soon he’s fallen completely under her spell. And when the unthinkable happens, he won’t hesitate to stand between her and the deranged enemy bent on taking her life.
Aspen Savich sure knows how to make an impression, dressed in the era of her vintage car she visits Bowie Davenport’s garage. She’d been told he’s the best mechanic to fix her car.
For Bowie it’s just another day of running from his past and going to work, until his brother shows up. Chase has been working as a stuntman since he left the military and rarely finds his way home. This is a nice surprise for Bowie and he doesn’t waste time putting Chase to work as they catch up. At least until they here an old motor and she walks in.
This is a favorite scene.
He nodded and paused in the act of setting his wrench down on the workbench at the sound of an old motor outside, driving along the side of the garage. He and Chase looked at each other, both of them trying to figure out what it was, an old game they’d played since Chase was young.
Chase pursed his lips in thought. “Mini?”
Bowie shook his head. “Nah. Wrong pitch.”
A minute later, Barb appeared in the doorway in her shorts and tank top. She aimed a megawatt smile at Chase, twirling a lock of her long blond hair in her fingers before turning her attention to Bowie. “There’s a lady here to see you about her car.”
“Be right there.” He wiped his hands on a rag and followed her, Chase right behind him. No surprise. His little brother was notoriously nosy.
The instant Bowie walked around the corner and saw the woman in question, his feet stopped moving. Chase was so close behind him he had to veer to the side at the last second to avoid hitting him. “You forget how to walk or something?” he said to Bowie on a laugh.
Bowie didn’t answer, too busy staring at the newcomer. Because it was impossible not to.
She was a bit younger than him, maybe early thirties, dressed in a black, fifties-style halter dress with cherries on it, the fabric hugging incredibly lush curves before stopping just below her knees. Both rounded arms were covered in colorful tats from shoulder to elbow. Her shapely calves were bare, leading his eyes down to the sexy, lipstick-red heels on her feet.
With effort, Bowie dragged his gaze back up to her face. Her long, deep brown hair was pulled back from her face in a red cloth headband, except for a shock of white that fell over the right side of her forehead. Heavy black eyeliner defined her upper lids, emphasizing incredible pale green eyes that had him frozen where he stood. A small gold hoop glinted in the side of her nose, and her lips were slicked with glossy red lipstick.
When he didn’t say anything she raised her eyebrows at him in question. “Mr. Davenport?”
Her accent instantly told him she was from somewhere out west, if he wasn’t mistaken. And shit, he was staring like an idiot. “Yeah, that’s me. How can I help you?” he managed once he got his brain back in gear.
“My car needs some work. She’s old.”
“You came to the right place. I’m his younger brother, by the way. Chase,” his brother said, hurrying forward to extend his hand.
She shook it, gave him a polite smile and then dismissed him, focusing back on Bowie. It surprised him as much as it did Chase. His charismatic, Hollywood-handsome brother wasn’t used to being dismissed by the ladies. “I just got into town a few days ago. When I asked around, your name kept coming up as the best with old cars. I don’t have an appointment, but I thought I’d come by and see if—”
“What kind of car?” Bowie asked, more intrigued by her than the mystery car parked outside. He couldn’t remember the last time that had happened.
British car. Chase hadn’t been that far off after all. “Sure, I’ll take a look.”
She turned away and started for the door, the full skirt of the dress swaying with each step. Bowie followed, unable to tear his eyes from her hips and the tantalizing indent of her waist emphasized by the shiny red belt around it. Damn, those curves should be illegal.
He beat her to the door by a second and held it open for her. She was pretty tall. In her heels she was almost at eye level with him, and he was six-two.
“Thank you,” she murmured and stepped through, giving him a whiff of delicious, sweet-tart citrus on the way past.
He darted a glance back at his brother, who grinned at him, and fought a smile. Wasn’t every day a woman like that walked into his garage.
The noon heat hit him as soon as he stepped outside, and found the lady standing beside a fire engine-red Morris Minor Traveller. “A Woody,” he murmured, unable to hold back a smile. The quintessential surfer vehicle, its back half framed by iconic wood accents.
She nodded and gave him a pleased smile. “Yes, this is Priscilla.” She ran a hand over the curve of the hood, her glossy nails almost a perfect match for the paint color as her fingers caressed it. Bowie wouldn’t mind having her stroke him like that.
“Is something wrong with her?” he asked.
“Apart from being old? I’m not sure, I’ve only had her a couple days. She makes a strange sound when I accelerate. I wanted to get her checked out and fixed up, just to be on the safe side.” She ran her hand over the edge of the roof, the motion elegant and sensual at the same time. “She’s sentimental to me.”
“She’s a beauty.” Not nearly as gorgeous as her owner, but still. “Pop the hood for me.”
She opened the driver’s door and leaned over to pop the latch, giving him a view of the muscles in her bare calves in those sexy heels, the nip of her waist and the flare of her skirt giving him an instant visual of what she’d look like underneath it. Full, lush curves a man could explore for hours. Curves he could wrap his hands around and hold onto while he eased into her from behind.
The thought came unbidden, startling him. He hadn’t thought those kinds of things about someone he’d just met in forever.
Behind him, Chase cleared his throat. Bowie snapped to attention and walked around to the driver’s side door as the woman straightened. He slid into the caramel-colored seat, once again getting a whiff of her clean, tart scent. Yum. “Let’s start her up and see what the old girl tells us.”
He fired up the engine. The starter took a few seconds to catch. There was a definite lag, and when he gave it gas, the high-pitched squeal indicated a potential problem with the belts.
After giving a few other things a cursory check, he turned off the ignition and looked up at the woman. She stood next to Chase, completely ignoring his brother as she cupped her elbows, her full attention on Bowie.
He felt the impact of that pale green gaze all the way to his center. “I’d say she definitely needs a little TLC.”
“I know you’ve barely looked at her, but can you give me a ballpark estimate of cost, just so I have an idea of what I’m looking at?”
He named a price range. “I’ve got time to look at her early tomorrow afternoon, if that works.”
“That’s perfect.” With that she turned and headed straight back inside. Chase lunged over to grab the door for her. Bowie managed to beat him through it, entering right behind the woman, and came to stand at the desk with her while she booked the appointment.
“What’s your name?” Barb asked her with a bright smile.
Aspen. A name as unique and sexy as she was.
Barb typed in her name and cell number, then looked at Bowie. “Do you figure you’ll have it ready by closing tomorrow night?”
“Barring any unforeseen problems or special parts I need to order in, yeah.” He turned back to Aspen, caught off guard by the strange tug deep in his gut when their gazes connected. He’d forgotten what that felt like. “But if I come across a problem I’ll call to check with you before doing anything. Right now, I’m just thinking a basic tune-up and checking the belts, nothing too bad.”
She nodded. “Sounds good. Thanks very much.” “No problem.” He held out his hand. “I’m Bowie, by the way.”
She gave him a mysterious smile, those pale green eyes holding a trace of amusement as she accepted his hand. “I know,” she murmured.
The moment their palms touched, he felt that tug deep inside him again. Her skin was soft and warm.
Withdrawing her hand, she glanced at the three of them. “Thanks a lot. I’ll see you tomorrow.” Those amazing eyes shifted to him again, and this time there was no mistaking the leap of attraction inside him. He didn’t like it. “Unless I hear from you sooner.”
With those flirtatious parting words, she slid a pair of oversized dark sunglasses on and walked out. Bowie stared at the closed door for a long moment, her scent still lingering faintly in the air. The sound of the Morris starting shook him out of his stupor and he spun around to head back to the shop.
Cross, Kaylea. Undercurrent (Kill Devil Hills Book 1). Kindle Locations (145-210). Kaylea Cross Inc.. Kindle Edition.
Now other than the beautiful woman that has Bowie feeling things he hasn’t for years, neither he nor Chase have spoken to their sister Harper in over a week. This is unusual for her and they’re both concerned.
Now Aspen has a project, a large home on the ocean side of the Outerbanks in the Kill Devil Hills. Part of the inheritance from her great uncle. She’s in the process of repairing and renovating so she can live here. At least she hopes so. So many things were still up in the air. Including a possible appeal since her uncle’s grandson seems to think it should all be his. I love the neighbor and the dog.
Bowie’s sister Harper decides to come for a visit, she’s got some things going on and really needs to be with her family for a bit.
There’s plenty of suspense in this one as Aspen becomes friends with all of them. She’s really afraid her past will destroy the budding friendships and the romantic and sizzling one forming with Bowie.
I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.
5 Contented Purrs for Kaylea!
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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kaylea Cross writes edge-of-your-seat military romantic suspense. Her work has won many awards and has been nominated for both the Daphne du Maurier and the National Readers’ Choice Awards. A Registered Massage Therapist by trade, Kaylea is also an avid gardener, artist, Civil War buff, Special Ops aficionado, belly dance enthusiast and former nationally-carded softball pitcher. She lives in Vancouver, BC with her husband and family.