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MEET THE HERO

 

 

 

Nick Jago

 

 

 

 

MEET THE HEROINE

 

 

 

Miranda Grenville

 

 

 


 

 

REVIEWS

 

"Liz Fieldings Wedded in a Whirlwind (4.5) is fast-paced and fun, and the relationship between Miranda and Nick has a remarkable emotional honesty. Truly a keeper."

 

Romantic Times,  4˝ stars 

 

 

"The landscape of the dark underground temple mirrors the emotional landscape of her characters, adding a rich depth to their inner journey. From the most dark and barren place underground, two hearts emerge, healed inside from a love that grows as they open up to one another." 

 

epinions.com,  5 stars

 

 

"Placing the most seemingly unlikely romance heroine in this inner and outer landscape, Liz Fielding creates a romance that moves to the very depths of the reader's heart."

 

Merrimon Books,  4˝ stars

 

 

 

"...the author constructs a beautiful fairytale that truly sweeps one right out of the everyday world."

 

All About Romance, A-

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


Trapped in the dark, certain she's about to die, Miranda Grenville believes things can't get worse.  She's wrong.  She's trapped with Nick Jago... 

 

Miranda is a survivor.  Her rare beauty masks the scars of an emotionally deprived childhood and self-destructive youth; the protective barriers she’s built against hurt. 

 

Desperate to escape a surfeit of “happy ever after” family events, be alone for a while, she grabs a flight to the  remote island paradise of Cordillera where “alone” takes on a terrifying new meaning when an earthquake hits.

 

Trapped  deep underground in the total darkness of an ancient temple, her first encounter with an embittered Nick Jago is not promising but to escape they must co-operate and as they embark on a life-changing journey towards the light their protective layers are peeled away, every truth revealed.  But once free will they go their separate ways or will that very special bond of trust  lead to something more lasting?

 


 

JAGO appeared to have the hangover from hell, which was odd.  Getting drunk would have been an understandable reaction to the discovery that Fliss had been using him and he’d certainly had the means, thanks to Rob.  But he was fairly certain that, on reflection, he’d decided he’d taken enough punishment for one day.

Or maybe that was simply wishful thinking because there was no doubt that right now he was lying with his face pressed against the cold stone of the floor.  Not a good sign.  And he was hurting pretty much everywhere but mostly inside his head, where an incompetent but unbelievably enthusiastic drummer was using his skull for practice. 

He would have told him to stop, but it was too much trouble. 

That was the problem with drinking to forget.  While it might seem like a great idea when you were swallowing the hot local liquor that offered instant oblivion, unfortunately it was a temporary state unless you kept on drinking.

He remembered thinking that as the first mouthful had burned it’s way down his throat and then…

And then nothing.

Dumber than he’d thought, then, and come morning he'd be sorry he hadn't made the effort to make it as far as the camp bed, but what was one more regret?  He'd scarcely notice it amongst the pile already waiting to be sifted through. 

Right now what he needed was water and he groped around him hoping to find a bottle within reach.  Aspirin would be good, too, but that was going to have to wait until he’d recovered a little. 

His fingers encountered rubble. 

Rubble? 

Where on earth was he?

His forehead creased in a frown which he instantly regretted, swearing silently as the pain drilled through his skull.  It didn't take a genius to work out that if a simple frown caused that kind of grief, anything louder than a thought would be unwise. 

He closed his eyes and, for the moment, the pain in his head receded a little.  But only for a moment.  The ground, it seemed, had other ideas, refusing to leave him in peace, shaking him like a dog at a bone.  And if that wasn't bad enough, there was some woman having hysterics practically in his ear. 

Oblivion was a lot harder to come by than you’d think. 

He turned over, reached out and, as his palm connected with smooth, firm flesh he wondered, without too much interest, who she was.  Before growling at her to shut up.

There was a startled yelp and then blissful silence.  And the earth had finally stopped making a fuss too.

A result. 

He let his head fall back against the floor. 

It was too good to last.

'Hello?'  The woman’s voice, now she'd stopped screaming, was low, a little bit husky with the kind of catch in it that would undoubtedly ensnare any poor sap who hadn't already learned the hard way that no woman was ever that vulnerable.        It wasn't that he was immune.  Far from it. 

He might be feeling like crap, but his body still tightened in hopeful response to the enticing warmth of a woman's voice up close in the dark.

It was over-optimistic. 

A grunt was, for the moment, the limit of his ambition but he forced open unwilling eyelids and lifted his head an inch or two to take a look. 

Opening his eyes didn't make much difference he discovered but since light would have only added to his pain he decided to be grateful for small mercies.  But not that grateful.  Women were definitely off the agenda and he said, ‘Clear off.'

Having got that off his chest, he closed his eyes and let his head drop back to the floor. 

'Wh-who are you?’  She might be nervous but she was irritatingly persistent.  ‘Are you hurt?'

‘Terminally,’ he assured her.  ‘Body and soul.  Totally beyond saving so do me a favour.  Go away and leave me to die in peace.’

No chance.  She was a woman so she did the opposite, moving closer, finding his shoulder, feeling for his neck.  She was checking his pulse he realised.  The stupid female had taken him seriously…

Apparently satisfied that he wasn’t, despite his protestations, about to expire on her, she slid her hand up to his cheek, laying long cool fingers against it, soothing his pounding head which, if he were honest, he had to admit felt pretty good. 

 ‘Who are you?’ she persisted, her voice stronger now that she’d satisfied herself that he was in one piece.  In fact she had the crisp enunciation of a woman who expected an answer.  Without delay. 

Her touch wasn’t that good.

Delete vulnerable and caring, replace with bossy, interfering, typical of a particular type of organising female with whom he was very familiar.  The ones he knew all had moustaches and chaired committees that allocated research funding…

He didn’t bother to answer.  She didn’t give up but leaned over him so that he was assailed by the musky scent of warm skin before, after a pause, she wiped something damp over his face. 

‘Is that better?’ she asked.

He was getting very mixed messages here, but provided she kept the volume down she could carry on with her Florence Nightingale act. 

'Were you on the bus?' she asked.

Jago sighed. 

That was the trouble with women, they couldn’t be content with just doing the ministering angel stuff.  They had to talk.  Worse, they insisted you answer them.

'Don’t you understand simple English?' he growled, swatting away her hand.  The price of comfort came too high.

She didn’t take the hint, but laid it over his forehead in a way that suggested she thought he might not be entirely right in it.  The head, that was.  Definitely one of the moustache brigade, he thought, although her hand had the soft, pampered feel of someone who took rather more care of her appearance.  Soft and pampered and her long, caressing fingers were giving his body ideas whether his head was coming along for the ride or not. 

Definitely not yet another archaeology student looking for post-grad experience, then.  At least that was something in her favour.  Not even Fliss, who had lavished cream on every part of her body – generously inviting him to lend a hand -- had been able to keep her hands entirely callous-free.

But she was female, so that cancelled out all the plus points.  Including that warm female scent that a man, if he was dumb enough, could very easily lose himself in…

'Read my lips,’ he said, snapping back from temptation.  ‘Go away.’ 

'I can’t see your damn lips,’ she replied, sharply.  The mild expletive sounded unexpectedly shocking when spoken in that expensive, finishing school accent.

And she didn’t move. 

On the contrary, she dropped her head so that her hair brushed against his cheek.  He recognised the scent now.  Rosemary.

It was rosemary. 

His mother had planted a bush by the garden gate.  Some superstitious nonsense was involved he seemed to remember.  It had grown over the path so that he’d brushed against it when he wheeled out his bike…

This woman used rosemary scented shampoo and it him took right back to memories he thought he’d buried too deep to ever be dredged up again and he told her, this time in the most basic of terms, to go away. 

‘Can you move?' she asked, ignoring him.  ‘Where does it hurt?’

Woman, thy name is persistence…

'What I’ve got is a headache,’ he said.  ‘You.’  He thought about sitting up but not very seriously.  'I don’t suppose you’ve come across a bottle around here by any chance?' 

Since she insisted on staying she might as well make herself useful.

‘Bottle?’  She sniffed.  Then the soft hand was snatched back from his forehead.  ‘You’re drunk!’ she exclaimed.

Unlikely.  Headache notwithstanding, he was, unhappily, thinking far too clearly for it to be alcohol related, but he didn’t argue.  If Miss Disapproval thought he was a drunk she might leave him alone.

‘Not nearly drunk enough,’ he replied, casting around him with a broad sweep of his hand until he connected with what he was thinking clearly enough to recognise as a woman’s breast.  It was on the small side but it was firm, encased in lace and fitted his palm perfectly.

Alone, and in the dark, Manda had thought things couldn’t get any worse until cold fingers had fastened around her arm.  That had been the realisation of every childhood nightmare, every creepy movie she had watched from behind half-closed fingers and for a blind second her bogey-man-in-the-dark terror went right off the scale.

Then he'd spoken. 

The words, admittedly had not been encouraging, his voice  little more than a growl.  But the growl had been in English and the knowledge that by some miracle she was not alone, that there was another person in that awful darkness, someone to share the nightmare, dispel the terrible silence had been so overwhelming that she had almost blubbed with sheer relief.

Thankfully she had managed to restrain herself, since the overwhelming relief appeared to have been a touch premature.

It was about par for the day that instead of being incarcerated with a purposeful and valiant knight errant, she had stumbled on some fool who’d been hell-bent on drinking himself to death when the forces of nature decided to help him out. 

‘I think you’ve had quite enough to drink already,’ she said, a touch acidly.

'Wrong answer.  At a time like this there isn't enough alcohol in the world, lady.  Unless of course you’re prepared to divert me with some more interesting alternative?'

And in case she hadn’t got the point he rubbed a thumb, with shocking intimacy, over her nipple.  Then, presumably because she didn’t instantly protest, he did it again.

 

From the book WEDDED IN A WHIRLWIND by Liz Fielding
ISBN
978-0373175482
Imprint: Romance TM & Harlequin Romance (R)
(R) & TM are trademarks of the publisher

 

 

 

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