Falling Fast(Last Frontier Lodge Novels Book 4)

By: J.H. Croix

Chapter 1





The snow swirled around Ginger Sanders as she raced toward the bottom of the ski slope. A bird flitting through the trees caught her eye and next thing she knew, one of her skis caught on its edge and she lost her balance. For another few seconds, she thought she could stay upright. She managed to slow down as she wobbled. Then, she happened to glance up and see the sexiest man she’d ever laid eyes on a few feet in front of her. Any balance she thought she had was promptly lost. She skidded sideways and landed with a hard thump, coming to a stop beside the skis belonging to the man in question. Her gaze traveled up, up and up until she found herself staring at sex-on-skis.

The ski god looked down at her. Amber eyes with thick lashes met hers. His hair almost matched his eyes, brown gilded with gold. His features were elegant and strong at once, angled cheekbones, a blade of a nose, and a full, sensual mouth. The man’s body was well defined under his fitted, high-performance gear—all muscle and nothing else. As the man knelt down to check on her, Ginger was struck speechless. She’d like to have blamed her tumble in the snow, but truly it was just this man. He sent her brain and her body into a tailspin. She was almost dizzy just looking at him. Which was not good, not good at all. Where the hell did he come from? She’d never laid eyes on him, and she knew most everyone in Diamond Creek, Alaska. He must be a tourist visiting Last Frontier Lodge.

She took a breath and pointlessly ran a hand through her hair as if she could somehow straighten the wild locks damp with snow. The ski god’s face came close to hers when he was at her level. Her breath hitched and her pulse took off at a gallop.

“Are you okay?” he asked.

Several beats of silence passed while she simply stared at him. Her cheeks heated when she realized she hadn’t managed to answer him. “Um…yeah. I think so.” Her words came out in a rapid jumble, the few she’d managed to string together.

The man glanced at her skis, which were resting at an awkward angle in the snow. She moved her legs slightly. Aside from her hip throbbing from where she’d landed on it, she felt okay, although her legs weren’t too comfortable with the skis stuck to them.

“Let’s get you out of these skis, so you can get your feet under you.”

Before she could think, much less form another word, sex-on-skis quickly adjusted her skis and unfastened the bindings. He even carefully slid her skis off. He was not only sexy as hell, but quite helpful—a rather dangerous combination. Still kneeling, he caught her eyes again. “Now that you can move, how are you?”

Ginger stretched her legs out and wiggled them. The cold snow underneath her was starting to seep through her fleece leggings. She looked up into those amber eyes, trying to ignore the electricity zipping through her, and nodded. “I’m, uh… I’m fine.”

He held his hand out. Normally, she would have ignored it and clambered up herself, but this man seemed to have practically hypnotized her. His large hand curled around hers and steadily pulled her up. When she was on her feet, she looked up again and tried to gather herself. She couldn’t keep acting like a fool who could barely talk.

“Thank you.”

She was dying to know who this man was, but she was so flustered, she couldn’t seem to say anything else.

His amber eyes held a subtle gleam as he watched her. He reached an arm over and brushed snow off of her shoulders. “You have, uh, a bit of snow on your back,” he said, gesturing to her back.

“Oh, oh, right.” She pulled her gloves off and shook her coat. As she tried to reach around, she realized she had snow pretty much everywhere, including all over her bottom. She brushed it off and stomped her feet. When she looked up again, she could feel the flush racing up her neck and face. Every look in his eyes flustered her even more.

Shit. Don’t blush like an idiot. What the hell is wrong with you? You don’t notice men. They are in the no-zone. Get a grip and act normal.

As she was frantically trying to herd her scattered thoughts, Gage Hamilton, her best friend’s husband and the owner of Last Frontier Lodge came skiing over to her side. He stopped and looked down, his gray eyes warm and concerned. “You okay? Saw you fall there.”

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