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Authors: Brenda Jackson

Tags: #Fiction, #Romance, #Contemporary, #Arts&Photography

Riding the Storm

BOOK: Riding the Storm
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BRENDA
JACKSON

RIDING
the
STORM

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

To
my
family
and
friends.

And
to
Jayla
Ti’ona
Hall,
this
one
is
for
you
when
you
are
old
enough
to
read
it.

Through
wisdom
a
house
is
builded,
and
by
understanding
it
is
established.

—Proverbs
24:3

Contents

Acknowledgments

Chapter
One

Chapter
Two

Chapter
Three

Chapter
Four

Chapter
Five

Chapter
Six

Chapter
Seven

Chapter
Eight

Chapter
Nine

Chapter
Ten

Chapter
Eleven

Epilogue

One

“J
ayla?
What
are
you
doing
in
New
Orleans?”

A
gasp
of
surprise
and
recognition
slipped
from
Jayla
Cole’s
lips
when
she
quickly
turned
around.
Her
gaze
immediately
connected
with
that
of
the
tall,
dark
and

dangerously
handsome
man
towering
over
her
as
they
stood
in
the
lobby
of
the
Sheraton
Hotel
in
the
beautiful
French
Quarter.

There
stood
Storm
Westmoreland.
The
man
had
the

reputation
of
being
able
to
talk
the
panties
off
any
woman
who
caught
his
interest.
According
to
what
she’d
heard,

even
though
Storm
sported
a
clean-cut,
all-American-kind-
of-a-guy
image,
he
was
a
master
at
providing
pleasure

without
promises
of
forever.
The
word
was
that
he
had
the
uncanny
ability
to
turn
any
female’s
fantasy
into
reality
and
had
created
many
memories
that
were
too
incredible
to

forget.
Many
women
considered
him
the
“Perfect
Storm.”

He
was
also
a
man
who,
for
ten
years,
had
avoided
her
like
the
plague.

“I
arrived
in
town
a
couple
of
days
ago
to
attend
the

International
Organization
for
Business
Communicators

convention,”
she
heard
herself
saying,
while
trying
not
to
be
captivated
by
the
deep
darkness
of
his
eyes,
the
sensual

fullness
of
his
lips
or
the
diamond
stud
he
wore
in
his
left

ear.
And
if
all
that
weren’t
bad
enough,
there
was
his
skin
tone
that
was
the
color
of
semi-sweet
chocolate,
hair
that

was
cut
low
and
neatly
trimmed
on
his
head
and
the
sexiest
pair
of
dimples.

He
was
dressed
in
a
pair
of
khakis
and
a
pullover
shirt
that
accentuated
his
solid
frame.
His
chest
was
broad
and
his
butt
was
as
tight
as
she
remembered.
He
always
looked

good
in
anything
he
wore.
Her
heart
accelerated
at
the

memory
of
her
mischievous
teenage
years
when
she’d

once
caught
him
off
guard
by
boldly
brushing
up
against

him.
She
had
thought
she’d
died
and
gone
to
heaven
that
day.
And
just
like
then,
Storm
was
still
more
than
just

handsome—he
was
drop-dead,
make-you-want-to-scream,
gorgeous.

“What
about
you?”
she
decided
to
ask.
“What
are
you
doing
in
New
Orleans?”

“I
was
here
for
the
International
Association
of
Fire
Captains
meeting.”

She
nodded,
doing
a
remarkable
job
of
switching
her

attention
from
his
strong
male
features
to
his
words.
“I
read
about
your
promotion
in
the
newspapers.
Dad
would
have
been
proud
of
you,
Storm.”

“Thanks.”

She
saw
the
sadness
that
immediately
appeared
in
his

eyes
and
understood
why.
He
hadn’t
gotten
over
her

father’s
death,
either.
In
fact,
the
last
time
she
had
seen

Storm
had
been
at
her
father’s
funeral
six
months
ago.
He
did,
however,
on
occasion
call
to
see
how
she
was
doing.
Adam
Cole
had
been
Storm’s
first
fire
captain
when
he
had
joined
the
squad
at
twenty,
over
twelve
years
ago.
Her

father
always
thought
of
Storm
as
the
son
he’d
never
had.

She
would
never
forget
the
first
time
her
dad
had
brought
him
to
dinner
when
she
was
sixteen.
Storm
had
made
quite
an
impression
on
her.
Not
caring
that
there
was
a
six-year
difference
in
their
ages,
she’d
had
a
big-time
crush
on
him
and
would
never
forget
how
she
had
gone
out
of
her
way
to
make
him
notice
her.
But
no
matter
how
much
she’d
tried,
he
never
did.
And
now
as
she
thought
back,
some
of
her

tactics
had
been
rather
outrageous
as
well
as

embarrassing.
Thank
goodness
Storm
had
taken
all
of
her
antics
in
stride
and
had
rebuffed
her
advances
in
a
genteel
way.
Now,
at
twenty-six,
she
was
ten
years
older
and
wiser,
and
she
could
admit
something
she
had
refused
to
admit
then.
The
man
was
not
her
type
and
was
totally
out
of
her

league.

“So,
how
long
will
you
be
in
The
Big
Easy?”
he
asked,
breaking
once
again
into
her
thoughts.

“I’ll
be
here
for
the
rest
of
the
week.
The
conference
ended
today,
but
I’ve
made
plans
to
stick
around
until
Sunday
to

BOOK: Riding the Storm
5.46Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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