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After Pauline’s the victim of a cruel prank committed by her rich ex-boyfriend, she drops out of college and moves back home, where her family is trying to cope with her younger sister’s suicide. To fulfill her sister’s dream, she takes her place on a rafting trip in the wilds of British Columbia. But the brochure never mentioned being stranded with one rugged stranger.
Struggling to rebuild his life after being stationed and injured in Afghanistan, former Marine turned river guide Ellis takes work wherever he can find it. Filling in at the last minute to take a lone young woman on a quick trip downriver looks like easy money. Everything seems golden, until they discover the first abandoned raft. Protecting Pauline becomes his number one priority, and discovering whoever is stalking them becomes number two on his list.
In a race against time and the elements, the only thing they have to lean on is each other. Their struggle for survival rips away the veil of secrecy between them. Trapped in a brutal water maze rife with unexpected obstacles, they fight to love each other and get back to civilization. Alive.
Heat seeps into my face as Pauline gets on her feet and her tongue traces over her lips. A slight movement, but one I find hot and irresistible. I rise after her and press my finger to her dry lips, run it across them.
“You could use some help getting wet.” I bring my voice down low.
Pauline’s eyes stretch wide. I don’t allow her time to ask whatever question is on her mind. I lean in close, touch one side of her face and caress her lips with mine. I can feel her wavering, and I wait for her to relax before I pull back. And when I do, her expression is confused and wounded. Her eyes are downcast, her now moist, swollen lips open and round. She wants me to continue. I won’t. That’s the whole idea. The more I withhold, the more she’ll want me.
“Ellis?” Her gaze rises to my face. “Please, I want you to…”
“What do you want, Pauline?” I take a step forward, and am so close to her I see the hunger in her soft brown eyes.
“Kiss me. I want you to kiss me.” She presses even closer to me.
“You’re sure?” My frown deepens and I draw my eyes close together.
“Oh, yes, please.” She lets her breath out and shuts her eyes in anticipation.
By taking her face in my hands, I calm her movements and force her to look at me, dare her to lock eyes with me for more than a few seconds. With zeal in her eyes, she meets me halfway, and with a single, careful movement, I draw her face forward and almost bring her lips to mine, act as though I’m not going to kiss her. She groans and trembles in my hands.
About the Author
E.F. Jacks is the author of The Salty Peaches Girls, a hot and thrilling New Adult romantic suspense series. She loves the outdoors and dogs, rescued dogs in particular. Water Maze, the first book in The Salty Peaches Girls series, is her New Adult debut.
In a different life, she published an adult romantic suspense novel.