Cassidy Miller was living her dreams as an EMS helicopter pilot saving lives in Arizona but it all came crashing down. Suspended from her job and desperate to escape memories of that night, she jets to Europe and is swept along on a whirlwind world tour of Formula One racing courtesy of her father, an executive sponsor of a team. The last thing she needs is to get involved with a driver, who thrives on risk.
Sexy, daredevil British driver Ronan Hawes has no room in his life for anything but winning. Strategy meetings, press conferences, practices, sponsor events, and racing consume him. Halfway through the season, he’s on track to win the Formula One World Drivers Championship—a title that has eluded him for years—and no emotionally damaged woman, felon father, rookie rival, or rumor mill are going to run him off course.
by Rachel Cross and Ashlinn Craven
Sensuality Level: Sensual
Fueled by black jelly-beans and Pinot noir, Rachel Cross writes contemporary romance with brave heroines and sexy heroes. She lives in coastal California, with her surfer/pilot husband and two daughters. Her past includes stints as a firefighter, paramedic, clinical manager and Weekly World News tabloid model.
Ashlinn Craven is geek by day, dreamer-up of hot geeks and feisty heroines by night. She sought adventure beyond Ireland, world traveling until finally settling in a Swiss chalet with her husband and son where she writes in the shadow of the Alps. Her books are a heady mix of corporate shenanigans, tough heroes, determined-to-succeed heroines, with a dash of realism.
An excerpt of High Octane: Ignited:
He stared down into her heart-shaped face. Her nose was a smidgen too tip-tilted, her mouth a shade too wide, but her eyes were clear and intelligent. The dress highlighted their not-quite-green-not-quite-blue color perfectly.
“Thoughts?” he said, indicating the painting with his drink.
She blinked at him and turned around to resume her study of it. “I’m no expert where modern art is concerned, but it looks like it might be upside down.” Her husky American-accented voice sent a surge of testosterone down his spine.
He extended his hand. “Ronan Hawes.” He waited for the spark of delayed recognition, a comment about his season. Nothing. Then again, this Brussels event didn’t house a strictly F1 crowd.
She assessed him coolly for a half a second too long, and then extended her own for a brief, firm clasp. “Cassidy Miller.” She swept a lock of wavy, dark brown hair out of her face. Only ice remained in the glass she held.
“Can I get you a drink?”
“Yes, thanks. Double bourbon on the rocks.” She turned back to the painting.
“Right. Double bourbon it is then.” American whisky was almost as revolting as their beer.
On his approach back, he noticed that her gaze went beyond the painting and her jaw was set, the soft curve of her mouth a rigid line.
She started when he reappeared at her side.
He handed her the bourbon.
“Thanks.” Her expression smoothed back into bland. “In town for the race?”
“Are you a fan?”
“Of Formula 1? Not so much. But I love NASCAR.”
He pressed his lips together. Americans and their precious NASCAR. “You shouldn’t even mention NASCAR in the same breath as F1. Those guys wish they had our cars.”
“Well, maybe if you came to the United States …”
He smiled and raised his glass. “Ah but we do. Texas built us a brand new circuit in Austin. We’ll be there in November.”
“Texas?” She pretended to shudder. “You race in Monaco. Why not the streets of New York or San Francisco?”
“San Francisco?” A laugh escaped him as he pictured his car on one of those hills. He stepped back, readying his departure with a polite smile.
She stayed him, laying a small, fine-boned hand on his forearm. He studied it—no rings or bracelets, her fingernails clipped short and without varnish, rather like her method of chatting up. His gaze rose.
She was grinning at him. He’d been baited.
She drained her drink, threaded her arm through his, and stole his line. “Want to get out of here, Mr. Hawes?”