Sunday, December 21, 2014

Romance Sunday: Legacy Under Fire by Genie Gabriel

Title: Legacy Under Fire
Author: Genie Gabriel

Genre: Women's Fiction
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 1

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After being trapped in an arson fire that destroyed her clinic and her memory, a doctor struggles to regain her courage as well as solve the mystery of why someone would want to kill her. A different kind of heat fills her life when she falls in love with the firefighter who rescued her, but can he protect her from the man determined to snuff out her life?

As Shiloh stood watching the dancers, butterflies swooped in her belly like the rainbow of satin gowns swirling across the dance floor.

"Would you like to dance?"

Shiloh gazed at Jeremiah, her handsome escort. No smudges on his face from smoke and ashes. No sturdy turnouts with its fabric rough against her cheek.

Handsome. Serious. Sexy.

Though he barely touched her fingers, the heat shimmered between them.

Shiloh's breath caught in her throat. Tonight was different. He wasn't a hero doing his job. He was a man whose gaze looked into her soul.

And found what?

Did he see the holes where her memory had been? Did he sense her fear and wonder at her doubts?

"I-I can't."

A frown settled briefly on his brow.

"I've never learned any dance steps--I just to sway to the music." Shiloh shrugged ruefully.

"I can teach you."

Shiloh's mouth went dry. She struggled to swallow as the fantasy of Jer teaching her more than dance steps raised goosebumps across her skin.

"It's easy." Jeremiah turned his hand over so her palm rested against his. "Just a few simple steps in a box pattern."

His other hand moved to her hip, and he quietly counted the steps as they moved to the music. "One, two, three. One, two, three."

Mesmerized by the movement of his lips, Shiloh simply followed his lead. Until he turned and she stumbled against his feet. She jerked upright, flushed, and stammered out an apology. "I guess all my skill is in my hands--or used to be..."

"You can stand on my feet if you want to until you get the hang of it. Marly used to when she was a kid and Tallie was trying to 'give us some culture', as she said."

"That sounds nice." Wistfulness wove between Shiloh's words.

"Trampled feet or culture?" A dimple appeared in Jeremiah's left cheek when he smiled.

Why had she not noticed that before? "Having lots of siblings must have been nice."

"Intrusive sometimes."

"Better than being alone."

"Were you lonely as a child?" Jeremiah continued dancing with Shiloh as they talked.

"I knew my parents loved me and were doing important work. But I missed being around kids my own age."

"Yeah, you missed out on bruises and elbows in the ribs during basketball games."

They laughed together.

"I didn't realize how lucky I was," Jer said. "Until lately."

"Much has happened lately," Shiloh agreed.

Jer swung her under his arm and she concentrated on keeping her feet moving so she didn't stumble. For the rest of the song, Shiloh focused on dancing rather than talking. As the dance ended, a cautious pride bloomed in Shiloh's chest.

"You're a fast learner."

Jer was staring at her. With something different in his eyes Shiloh hadn't noticed before. Speculation. Desire perhaps.

The orchestra began playing again and she melted into his arms. In this beautiful old house, time seemed to have receded to a gentler era when gentlemen and ladies put on their best manners with their fine clothes for a special night on the town.

Shiloh let her eyes drift closed, wondering what making love would be like with Jeremiah. She fancied it would be much like dancing with him. A slow, tantalizing journey unlike any other she had taken.

Is this what she had missed in younger years by focusing on her studies? Or was this magic reserved for a special someone? Someone she hadn't met until Jeremiah.

When she opened her eyes, Jer was gazing at her. A slight smile on his lips and banked fire in his eyes. He wanted her. Yet made no move to put his desires into action. Truly a gentleman. A hero.

The man she had fallen in love with.

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