X-Treme Love Series, Book 5
Geneva Barton was a bitch—until the threat of criminal charges and the loss of her family forced her to confront the demons from her past. Two years later she’s worked hard to overcome her vindictive ways. Will attending her best friend’s destination wedding be her chance to prove to everyone she’s changed?
After suffering heart-breaking loss, Berk Rigby left his career as a professional snowboarder and returned to his native island home in Kauai, Hawaii. The last thing he deserves is absolution from the ghosts that haunt him. When a beautiful guest at his family’s island resort attracts his attention and forces him to confront his past, he’s suddenly dreaming of the future again—a future with her. But all they have is seven days. Right?
Extreme Attraction is not a stand-alone book. Find out the dramatic conclusion to part 1 of Berk & Geneva’s story in Extreme Courage, X-Treme Love Series, Book 6, available now.
Read an Excerpt
The ocean breeze fanned through the bushes lining my back porch as I sipped on another cup of local coffee. I could never go to sleep after a late shift at the resort without having a cup of coffee from my native island. People always found it strange that I could sleep after drinking caffeine at night, but, for me, it had been a ritual for years, an experience that held precious memories. It wasn’t like I slept that well, anyway.
As I gazed out over the rolling waves before me, the echoes of each one crashing into the surf lulled me into a trance. The storm clouds from earlier had dissipated, revealing clusters of flashing stars in the midnight sky. Their heavenly glow was like a blanket over my world, tucking me in safely as I tried to process the events of the evening that had left me feeling so restless.
Shortly after the talented songstress and her friends disappeared from the bar, my cousin Leilani discovered the woman’s name was Geneva Barton. Unfortunately, Leilani, who was the assistant manager of our family’s resort—and Okie’s sister—had been unable to retrieve any more information. Just as well. I mentally beat myself up for wanting to know more about her. I was never like this with a resort guest, or anyone, for that matter. It had been my policy since my return—no fraternizing with the guests. Especially this guest.
I rose from the chair on my back porch. My tiny shack of a home was secluded, far enough away from the main resort to give me privacy, but not so far that I couldn’t get there by foot in a matter of minutes. Leaning over the railing of my small house, I closed my eyes and breathed in the salt air. I let the sea breeze fill my lungs and rid my mind of the dark memories from my past. I loved Hawaii and hadn’t realized how much I’d missed it until I’d returned.
My eyes rolled open, and movement close to the water’s edge broke my thoughts as a vision caught my gaze. Someone was walking along the beach. I glanced down at my watch, noting the late hour, surprised anyone would be out wandering along the shore at one o’clock in the morning.
I squinted my eyes, trying to make out the form, not sure if it was a man or a woman. The resort property was safe, but if it were a woman, I’d be surprised that she’d feel comfortable being alone at this hour. Most of the guests were from the contiguous forty-eight states, where crime was much higher than on this sparsely populated side of Kauai.
As my vision focused, I could tell this form was a woman, definitely a woman. She was wearing a long dress, and my eyes went wide with surprise as she grabbed a wad of material mid-thigh and dragged it up her long, lean body, exposing her tan, buffed legs. Oh God, don’t do this. Don’t strip down right here in front of our house.
Before I could process another thought, her dress was completely off her body. She was definitely not wearing a bra. Shit! Well, at least she was wearing underwear, skimpy as they were. Oh God, please don’t take those off, too.
As her red dress wafted in the air and fell on the sand a few feet away, she turned her head to gaze up and down the shore.
My breath caught in my throat, and a pain ricocheted through my chest when I recognized the sultry woman standing just yards away from me.
Geneva. Oh fuck!
I rubbed my fingers through my hair, willing her to stay on the shore.
Her thumbs hooked into her underwear.
My breath quickened at what was about to happen. I turned my back, not wanting to feel like the pervert voyeur I was becoming, but my body went into a full scale panic attack as I finally realized she was actually going to go into the water for a fucking midnight dip in the Pacific Ocean. All alone. What a fool. This was not going to end well.
As I spun on my heel, my long hair battered my face. I pushed it back in one whisk, focusing on the scene before me. Thankfully, her body was now submerged in the deep, blue water and hidden from my ogling eyes, but I had no desire to perform a search and rescue mission tonight. Please don’t let her venture out further. My hands broke out in a sweat as my chest burned with fire. My head pounded with every beat of my heart. A familiar numbness pricked my fingertips when I saw her body dive into the crashing waves. Oh fuck.
Before I could even think, I tore off my shirt and shot over the railing of my back porch, my bare feet landing in the soft sand with a thud as I launched toward the open water.
Bile rose to my mouth when I didn’t see her surface. One…two…three…I counted. Still nothing. Shit! The full moon cast an eerie glow on the water and reminded me of the high tide pull it had on the turbulent seas. The waves would be higher and the undertow stronger. Worse yet, a rip tide could take her out, making it virtually impossible for anyone to find her. Four…five…six…I continued to count, but still no Geneva. Fuck!
My feet hit the water with a splash as my legs cleared wave after wave, and I catapulted through the surf. I followed a path in a leftward direction from her dress, knowing the current would have taken her that way. When I reached the distance at which I’d last seen her, I dove under the water, my body pummeled by a huge wave. The force that hit my stout body was no surprise to me. I surfed these waters nearly every day. She didn’t. These waves would likely take her under and keep her there.
I sunk my legs into the sand, steadying my body as my hands reached out in front of me, blindly searching for something, anything.
I was an avid swimmer and could handle the undercurrent, so I stayed beneath the water in search of her. I reached beyond me as far as I could, my palms dusting along the sandy bottom of the ocean floor as I felt for her.
A band of steel wrapped around my chest as adrenaline flooded my veins. The familiar burning erupted from my center, spreading like an inferno, burning me from the inside out.
Haunting images from my past flashed through my mind as I searched for Geneva, knowing she was just beyond my reach. I was losing her. This could not be happening again. I wouldn’t let it.
My lungs burned from the lack of oxygen and the intake of salt water, and I was forced to the surface, shaking my head to rid my face of my long hair.
I drew in a deep breath, readying myself for another dive when, suddenly, I heard a blood curdling scream ring out in the night air. I wasn’t sure if I was thankful or scared shitless. As my eyes focused, I realized Geneva was treading water a few feet away from me.
“What the fuck,” she screamed, splashing me with water.
“I’m not going to hurt you. Stop screaming.”
“Get the fuck away from me!”
I watched with amusement as she tried to swim backward. She’d never make it with such a silly stroke.
I lunged for her as a huge wave crashed down, tugging us both below the surface. Wrapping my arm tightly around her body, I tried to keep ahold of her so I wouldn’t lose her, but her constant kicking and scratching was making it more difficult. Even buried eight feet under the ocean, I could still hear her muffled cries for help through the water.
Finally, the wave passed, and I kicked us to the surface, my hands useless as they still clung to her, acutely aware that her naked body was now pressed to mine. The sensation of her skin rubbing against me did something deep inside, things I wasn’t comfortable with. My mind told me to release her, but I couldn’t. I had to take her to shore and make sure she was safe.
“Let me go!” she screamed as our bodies breached the surface. Her voice was lower now as she coughed and sputtered, trying to expel the large amounts of water she’d ingested, thanks to her refusal to hold her mouth shut under water. Her dagger-like fingernails dug into my skin as her legs kicked at me, but I refused to let her go. I knew what these waters could do to an inexperienced swimmer.
“I’m not going to hurt you,” I spoke. “You shouldn’t be out in the surf at night by yourself. The current is stronger, especially with a full moon.” I nodded toward the sky.
Slowly, her body calmed its assault on me as her eyes rolled up to the sky.
I released my hold, but grabbed her hand to secure her like a dingy to a steamboat.
She yanked on her hand, trying to break my hold.
I gripped tighter and pulled her toward me, thankful the water was covering her body. I was able to touch the bottom of the ocean floor because I was six foot, three, but I wasn’t so sure she could.
The moon above cast a glow on her face that literally took my breath away. I’d heard people say goofy shit like that in movies and heard it had been written in books, but until this very moment, I thought they were lying, a dramatic combination of words concocted to sell tickets and books. Now I could see the words were real, not just made-up shit for some sappy-ass romance novels. God, did that make me gay?
Her gaze drifted to mine, her brows furrowing as if she were studying a strange picture.
“Poseidon?” she questioned, all trace of fight gone.
She shook her head as if in a daze before staring at me again. Her eyes penetrated through me as if she were seeing straight into my soul, discovering all my deepest, darkest secrets.
She made me nervous, scared me shitless. I didn’t want anyone seeing into my soul. As much as I wanted to stare at her lovely face, I broke our gaze, tugging on her hand as I made my way toward the shore.
“Wait,” she shrieked, pulling on my hand.
I peered over my shoulder, and it finally hit me. The water was shallower now, and she was naked. I dropped her hand, but feared she might turn and swim back into the sea. “Wait right here,” I ordered, then nodded past her shoulder to the ocean. “Do not go back out there.”
Her eyes grew wide, as if she wasn’t used to such reprimands, but she nodded her head once, acknowledging she would obey my instructions.
I ran through the surf to retrieve her clothes, knowing she might decide to wander back into the unforgiving sea. She seemed like a defiant woman, and strangely enough, I liked that about her.
Scooping up her dress from the sand, I turned back toward the surf, half surprised to find her where I’d left her. For the second time in less than a minute, my breath caught in my throat at the sight of her. The rise in my shorts had me pissed off. What was I, some horny teenager in lust with the head cheerleader?
My legs cleared wave after wave with ease as I jogged back toward her, until I was standing in chest high water directly in front of her. My eyes surveyed this beautiful creature, who, thankfully, was now calmed from her earlier distress. Her hair was slicked back from her face, revealing light blue eyes that shone bright from the dazzling light cast down from the moon above. Her flawless skin glistened with shimmering beads of water.
My dick pressed hard against the inseam of my shorts, and I cursed myself for being such a man. “Sorry, it got wet.” I looked down at her dress that was dripping with water.
What the fuck dude? Why are you apologizing to her? She should be apologizing to you. She’s the one who interrupted your peaceful evening by throwing herself into the fucking sea at one o’clock in the morning, man.
Although I had to admit, the plush landscape of Kauai appeared more attractive with the addition of her naked form, she had put us both in danger. But still, for some odd reason, I couldn’t bring myself to castigate this enigma of a woman.
She took her dress out of my hands. “Would you turn around?” she asked quietly.
Not understanding her request, my brows furrowed.
“I need to put my dress on. Even though now it’s completely ruined.”
In spite of the crashing of the waves around us, I heard the biting tone in her words. It was a dig meant for me. Suddenly, a fire of irritation raged within me. My menacing eyes roamed over her bare shoulders, traveling slowly up to her face before finally coming to rest on the solitaire diamonds still adorning her petite earlobes.
Spoiled brat. She’s nothing more than a spoiled little rich girl, used to getting her own way. Typical tourist.
My need to protect her faded like invisible ink on paper, and I turned away, stalking back toward the beach. Normally, I would have stood at the water’s edge and watched the unique ebb and flow of the tide. It was my favorite place to exist. But not tonight. Tonight I was pissed. I’d put myself in harm’s way to rescue this ungrateful woman. When would I learn?
Without a glance behind me, I dragged my feet through the sand and marched toward my cottage that was nestled within the lush, tropical forest. From the shore, my home was barely noticeable. Only someone who knew of its existence would ever find it.
“I’m sorry.” Her voice rang out behind me.
I was in no mood for apologies. The shutters inside me had already descended like an eclipse of the full moon overhead. I glanced behind me to make sure she was safe. I mean, I wasn’t a total dick.
The sight I beheld didn’t surprise me.
Although her gorgeous body was now fully dressed, she was just as beautiful as ever, and I cursed my cock for noticing.
Her dress was dripping wet and clung to her like cellophane, her body shaking from the cool evening breeze as her hands ran up and down her arms for warmth. I could almost hear her teeth chattering. Shit! Why did I have to care?
I drew in a deep breath, slowly releasing it before I decided to help her one more time. “Do you want to dry off? I have some towels up at my house.”
Her doubting eyes squinted as she tried to focus beyond me, causing a small wrinkle between her brows as she searched for my house through the jungle.
Her expression was endearing to me, and I felt my disdain for her slipping.
“There’s a house back there?” she asked quietly.
I nodded in silent response.
“Wow.” She approached me, marvel etched across her face.
As she drew nearer, I saw her lips were a deeper red, almost purple. Her jaw was clenched to try to stop the chattering of her teeth.
I didn’t think the summer air was that cool, but apparently it was affecting her. My eyes roamed over her body, her skin pebbled with chill bumps, glistening with water in the moon’s bright beams. There was no denying, she was a gorgeous creature.
“Come on,” I nodded. I walked the short path lined with tropical plants and flowers that led to my back porch.
I looked behind me and noticed she was standing still, her eyes canvasing my small cottage. I stood silently, waiting for her criticism, but it never came.
“This is amazing,” she said to no one in particular, her breath wafting from her lungs like the cool night air.
“Oh, yeah.” She nodded, her entire body loosening, as if she felt more at ease. “It’s incredible, so secluded, yet so accessible.” Her words were foreign to me, disjointed from the pretentious woman I’d seen earlier in the water.
“Come on up.” I extended my hand to help her up the steps. Her tall frame was shivering again, and I felt like an ass for even thinking of leaving her behind earlier. I didn’t want to care, but I did.
“Are you cold?” I asked. What a dumb ass question, of course she is, idiot.
“A little,” she answered through chattering teeth.
“Do you want to take a hot shower to warm up before you go?” No, no, no, don’t invite her in, you moron.
One delicious brow rose in question as a small smirk donned her pouty lips.
Fuck! Instantly my dick went rock hard. She wanted me, and my body was responding. “Or, I could give you a lift back to the resort so you don’t have to walk?” Yeah, take her back. Get her the fuck off your property, like now!
Before I could garner another response, her entire body morphed into a predator, the trembling woman from before gone. Her arms fell loose by her sides, and her blue eyes grew darker. Her lips fell from the smirk into a seductive smile.
Now my body was shaking, and not from the cold, but from the blood pulsating through my dick.
“Is that an invitation?” she asked, her voice smooth and sultry.
I gulped, nearly choking on my swollen tongue.
Her lithe body moved slowly toward me.
I stepped back, stumbling over one of the patio chairs.
She smiled at my mishap. She knew exactly the effect she was having on me. Somewhere between the beach and my porch, this woman had changed.
“Uhh…” What could I say? I hadn’t been this aroused by a woman in—
Don’t say it. Don’t you dare give another fucking countdown of how long you’ve been alone.
It was true, though. It had been a long time since desire like this burned inside my shorts. The feeling scared the shit out of me. Thinking about her gorgeous body, naked in my shower, my frame pressed against hers, did something to me. I mean, shit, I was still a man, wasn’t I?
Before I could process any more reasons why I shouldn’t do this, I snaked my arm around her waist and drew her against me. Whipping us around, I pinned her up against the wall. My lips found hers, crashing down like the waves behind us, the current of our lust rippling through me.
The moans at the back of her throat were my undoing.
My hand gripped the thick hair at the back of her neck as my hips ground into hers of their own free will.
Her hands roamed all over my body as if she were blind and I were an open book written in Braille.
To open myself up to a woman again was gut wrenching, heart stopping, and nearly prevented me from continuing my assault. I didn’t want to think, though, not tonight. I just wanted to feel something besides shame and guilt.
My lungs burned from the lack of oxygen, and I pulled away to catch my breath. Peering down at her, I tried to gauge her reaction to my assault.
Her face was aglow with desire and need.
I couldn’t help myself. I barreled down on her lips again like a starved man devouring his first meal in years. The vibrations of her mouth on mine as she moaned had my one-eyed trouser snake up from hibernation. I wanted her.
“Shower?” she murmured against my lips.
Shower? I broke our embrace. “Oh yeah, a shower.” I laughed. Read more…