Roberts of Silver Springs, Book 4
Manhattan socialite Lina Vogel breaks up with her groom after discovering him with her best friend — and maid of honor — fifteen minutes before the ceremony. Devastated, she flees the scene, getting pulled over for speeding in a small Colorado town. Ironically, it’s her older sister’s ex-fiancé, Sam Roberts, who comes to her rescue.
A Harvard-educated lawyer, Sam swore off big city women since leaving Manhattan, but there’s something about Lina he can’t ignore. When his legal secretary quits without notice, Lina comes to his rescue. The attraction between the two is unexpected and unwanted. Aside from being his ex-fiancée’s sister, she’s vulnerable after her aborted wedding. Sam knows better than to expect her to give up the glamour of New York City for small-town life.
Will the two of them be able to get past their differences to see a future together? Or will Lina’s family secret keep them apart?
Note: Rocky Mountain Bride is a “clean” story, which means there is no explicit sex or cursing. It’s a departure from my usual fare, but it still has all the feels and yummy heroes and sweet heroines you expect from my love stories. :)
To distinguish my sweet romance from my explicit romance, I’m adding an S to my author name, so any book written as Nadia S. Lee will be a sweet, non-explicit romance.
On one particularly warm, fine Saturday afternoon, Sam Roberts drove his prized blue Maserati convertible along the wide, deserted stretch of road. The sun poured down on him, warming his skin, while a stiff mountain breeze ruffled his short, cropped hair — what the people of Silver Springs teased him for as his “thousand-dollar New York haircut.” Never mind he’d left all that behind — except the Maserati — when he quit Manhattan.
Suddenly the roar of a car engine came fast from behind him. Before he could see who it was, a flash of white passed by, Adele’s voice booming at some man to send her love to his new lover.
Sam blinked. Whoa. Had he also heard the driver yell out an expletive loud enough to drown out Adele?
He shook his head. It was a young woman’s voice…must be a tourist passing through. No one from Silver Springs would do that unless they wanted tongues wagging.
He squinted. The woman was going at least a hundred — not the safest speed for a wind-buffeted mountain road, even if it were legal. She better hope Wayne Perkinson, the town sheriff, didn’t notice her…although chances of that happening were nil. Middle-aged and fit, Wayne was a man with a heart of steel. No amount of eyelash fluttering, tears or sob stories could move him to let an infraction pass. The rumor was Wayne ticketed his own mother.
Less than ten minutes later, Sam hit Main Street, and sure enough, the offending car was pulled over to the side, along with the sheriff’s vehicle. Sam whistled at the shiny, freshly waxed frost-white Aston Martin convertible. The blonde in the driver’s seat was petite, her hair tousled from the fast drive and messy in a surprisingly artful way. A pair of long, ivory gloves covered her small hands and arms. Her dress was strapless and white and… Wait. Was that a wedding gown?
Sam couldn’t help but slow down. He wasn’t the only one. People were craning their necks to see the spectacle, and a few people came right out of their homes and stores to watch.
Wayne tipped his Stetson in that gentlemanly manner of his and said something, pointing inside her car. Adele’s voice abruptly cut off.
“Ma’am. Do you know how fast you were driving?”
Sam squinted in sympathy. That was Wayne’s “not only are you not getting away with this, but you’re getting a lecture as well” tone. He slowed down some more, practically coming to a stop, not because he was trying to be a busybody but because he couldn’t help his curiosity.
“Just give me the ticket,” the woman said, thrusting out a hand, palm up.
Her husky voice tickled his memory. Where had he heard it before?
“You were going one hundred and thirty-six!”
“So give me the ticket and be done with it.”
“Do you understand how dangerous it is to go that fast?”
“I’m really good at driving, and this is an Aston Martin. It won’t roll like most cars.”
A flush started in Wayne’s neck. Uh-oh. That was a sure sign he was about to start quoting statistics to put God’s fear into her, even if it was the last thing he did. “The latest numbers from NHTSA shows you’re two point five times more likely to die on rural roads! They’re narrower, twistier and trickier to drive than city roads, do you understand? Do you want to end up mangled — dead or maimed for life? And it won’t be just you suffering, but your family too!”
“My family won’t be suffering much, no matter what happens.” She turned her head, showing an elegant, pretty profile with an upturned nose, high cheekbones and soft lips. Her mascara was smudged, bits of black streaking from the corner of her eye straight back to the temple.
Sam shook his head. What the…? That was Lina Vogel, his ex-fiancée Jolie’s younger sister. He’d seen her a few times at family gatherings and the engagement party for him and Jolie. The last he’d heard, Lina was engaged to the only son of some real estate mogul from New York City. Her family had been so proud.
He pulled over and got out of his car. “Lina?”
Her head swiveled. “Sam?” She blinked red-rimmed blue eyes. “What are you doing here?”
“I live here. What are you doing here?”
She waved a hand distractedly. “Driving through. Trying to, anyway.”
“Dressed like that? What happened?”
“Oh my God, you sound just like my family!” She sniffled. “That holier-than-thou ‘I’m gonna cross-examine you until you break’ tone!”
Uh… He didn’t think he sounded like that, but he knew better than to argue with a woman who’d been crying while driving at a suicidal speed in a wedding gown.
“You know this lady?” Wayne said, jerking his square jaw in her direction.
“Yeah. That’s my ex-fiancée’s younger sister.”
Both of his bushy eyebrows shot up to the hairline. “You’d think a lawyer family would obey the laws.”
“Don’t talk about me like I’m not here, please,” Lina interjected.
A big mistake.
Wayne turned to her and resumed his lecture on road safety, quoting more statistics. If he’d had his way, Silver Springs would have installed a huge screen that projected gruesome car wreck images. As great a sheriff as Wayne was, he could be obtuse and single-minded about his job, and traffic violations were the most excitement the sheriff’s department got in Silver Springs.
As Wayne went on and on, Lina’s eyes started to fill with tears. Sam hoped she didn’t try to use waterworks the way Jolie often did. Lina was beautiful with those wide blue eyes, porcelain-smooth skin and a pert nose, but they were no use on a man like Wayne.
“You can lecture me when I drive like a maniac next time, but not today!” Lina bellowed. “I’m entitled.”
Wayne’s face turned red. Nobody in Silver Springs talked to him that way. “Nothing entitles you to–”
“If you found your groom doing your maid of honor less than fifteen minutes before what was supposed to be your wedding ceremony, it sure does!”
And she promptly burst into ugly, racking tears.