MUCH ADO ABOUT MARRIAGE Silhouette Yours Truly by Shawna Delacorte reissued by Harlequin in ebook
G-EXCERPT #2: (ditch plane in ocean)
She watched him walk away from the table, confidence radiating from each step of his smooth, sure stride. He was an emotionally dangerous man to be around—charming, intelligent, witty and far too sexy. Again, there was no doubt in her mind that he was a scoundrel who was incapable of making a commitment to one woman—exactly the type of man who was totally unacceptable.
One thing confused her, though—one thing that she could not reconcile with her assessment. They had spent so much time together that she was sure he could not possibly be seeing someone else. Even though his flirtatious behavior continued, he had made no overt moves toward her. The physical connection between them had been limited to casual pecks on the cheek or forehead, a quick brushing of the lips, his clasping her hand in his, putting his arm protectively around her shoulders—comfortable things, nothing more. That was the way it should be. After all, they were just friends.
Britt returned from his phone call and they left the restaurant. A short while later he pulled his car up to the office of a charter company at the airport and escorted her inside the building. A woman in her fifties sat behind a desk in a large room, one entire wall covered with some sort of schedule board. “Ellen, this is Ashley Thornton. You two spoke on the phone during my recent uh…illness.”
The two women exchanged greetings, then he turned his attention to Ellen. “Is everything ready?” Receiving an affirmative nod, he grabbed Ashley’s hand and led her out the door. Just outside, a small single-engine Cessna 210 sat on the tarmac.
Her eyes grew wide with surprise. “We’re going up in an airplane?” Her excited smile spread across her face.
“This is a perfect day for flying, clear and sunny. We’ll be able to see for miles.”
After a smooth takeoff, they flew over the city as Britt pointed out the sights. Then he headed the small plane north along Puget Sound. “We’ll take a turn around the San Juan Islands before heading back to the airport.”
She settled back in the seat, her excitement barely contained as each stunning new vista crossed her line of sight. They were well out over the water when he pointed toward an island on the far horizon. “That’s the…”
His voice trailed off as his attention became riveted to the instrument panel. His features hardened into a tense expression as he tapped his finger on the glass covering one of the gauges. He quickly scanned the horizon.
A slight tremor of anxiety moved up her spine as she watched him. “Is something wrong?” He did not respond to her question, as if he had not heard her.
His voice was calm and very much in control. “We have a little bit of a problem. The oil pressure gauge has dropped to nothing. My guess is that we’ve broken an oil line. We have maybe three minutes before the engine conks out.” He reached for the radio and called in a distress signal identifying the plane, their position, their heading and his assessment of the problem.
Britt glanced over at her. “Don’t be concerned. This baby can glide for quite a distance after the engine goes. We’ll be perfectly okay.” He reached over and gave her hand a quick squeeze and flashed her a confident smile.
She may have seemed in control on the outside, but inside her heart pounded like a drum and her pulse raced almost out of control. Her mouth felt dry, and she experienced a bit of difficulty swallowing. She did have enough of her wits about her to know that the last thing Britt needed at that moment was a frightened, hysterical passenger to deal with. “Is there something I should be doing, something that would help?” Her voice was not as firm as she would have liked.
He gave her hand another squeeze. “Don’t worry. We’ll be fine.” He spoke rapidly, splitting his attention between flying the plane and instructing her. “We may have to ditch in the water. You’ll find a floatation package and some life jackets under the seat behind you. See if you can get them out. Put one of the jackets on and give the other one to me.”
She immediately turned her efforts to the task he had assigned her, even though her hands were shaking. After freeing the gear, she turned to him for more instructions. Her heart pounded so hard she feared it would actually burst from her chest.
He continued to scan the horizon. “If we do have to ditch in the water, make sure your door is ajar before we hit. This plane will glide, but it absolutely will not float. If your door is closed, the outside water pressure will prevent you from getting it open. As soon as we hit the water, get out of the plane as fast as you can.”
She offered him a feeble smile and nodded that she understood his instructions.
Suddenly the engine sputtered then died. A suffocating silence totally engulfed them. She quickly looked at Britt. His face was set in an expressionless mask, his gaze constantly darting between the instrument panel and the surrounding area.
MUCH ADO ABOUT MARRIAGE, a Silhouette Yours Truly by Shawna Delacorte, is a Harlequin reissue in ebook available at http://ebooks.eharlequin.com (do search for author name Shawna Delacorte). Also available at Barnes and Noble in NookBooks www.bn.com and Amazon for Kindle www.amazon.com Information is available on my website www.shawnadelacorte.com
WHEN BRITT MET ASHLEY
Britt Carlton wasn’t looking to fall in love—he’d been there, done that…and didn’t want to do it again! Then Ashley Thornton moved in to his apartment complex, all smiles and sass—and incredibly sexy—and Britt knew there was only one safe course of action: they had to be strictly friends. Nothing more. Uh-uh, no way.
No matter how hard they resisted the pull between them, no matter how vehemently they rejected the idea of love and marriage, Britt and Ashley couldn’t get away from one inescapable fact: they might have started out as just friends, but that just wasn’t enough anymore….