Welcome to the website of Author Heidi Lynn Anderson.

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Please enjoy the first chapter of Heidi's latest work in progress.

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 Chapter One

Step One

When suffering from a bruised heart, sit on the beach and have a stiff cocktail with an umbrella and a cherry on top. It will fix what ails you in no time. 
~ Grammy Mills, Ten Steps to a New Life.

Rachel Mills stared at the finest backside she’d ever seen in red board shorts and considered the paper in her hand. The man attached to the great ass stood not twenty feet away, a matching red towel slung over a well-defined shoulder. If she squinted he looked like Superman’s hotter twin. 
Palm fronds from overhead fluttered like angel wings, fanning her sun-heated skin. Why was she even thinking about doing the silly things on the list her grandmother had shoved at her at the airport anyway? The title alone screamed RUN to Rachel. 
Ten Steps to a Better Life was too self-helpy, even for Grammy Mills. She shouldn’t have let her grandmother talk her into this vacation in the first place. Rachel slipped the rose printed stationery with her grandmother’s hand written list back into her L.L. Bean tote. 
Grammy Mills was the wild one. Rachel sure as hell was not. Why couldn’t her grandmother accept that? What good was the list going to do her, anyway? She’d been on this beach for two days, doing Step One. And drinking herself silly wasn’t making her feel any better.  
Rubbing at the knot of irritation in her chest, she sank back into the lounge chair. She’d tried having a good time. Since she’d arrived at Sunset Bay, she’d given Operation Get Over Him everything she had. Hadn’t she smiled as if she actually wanted to be here? Rachel was doing her best to fake it until she made it in the happiness department.
She really had, but misery sucked her in like quicksand. Every time she started to feel the tiniest bit better, thoughts of her ex filled her head and destroyed her progress. Rachel lifted the coconut filled with rum punch. Screw the list, she thought. She would go back to Maine with a tan and a hangover and that’s all. 
Gulping down a mouthful of spiked fruity goodness, she adjusted the shoulder strap of her tankini. Her grandmother had smoked one too many joints and been to one too many enlightenment circles and Rachel was paying the price for it. 
She rubbed the tension at the back of her neck and willed herself to relax. Rachel tried to focus on the tropical sun and sea breezes washing her in warmth and comfort. Her bathing suit top rolled up the muffin top she’d developed since her divorce and reminded her of all the chocolate she’d consumed since she kicked Rick out. How many pounds of candy and rum-filled coconuts did it take to get over being cheated on anyhow? She sure as hell would like to know.
Grammy probably had a list for that too. Deep in her heart she knew her grandmother wanted what was best for her. But doing ten silly things on a list wasn’t going to help her find a better life. She needed time to discover a happier place. Wasn’t she entitled to be off her game and a little bitchy right now? 
After all, she’d spent fifteen years building a life with someone and all she had to show for it was a pile of divorce papers that said he got most of their possessions and almost all their savings. At least she didn’t have to give that asshole any part of the two things she loved most. 
It had been worth giving into his demands to keep the corporate consulting firm she’d poured her blood, sweat and tears into and the small house her grandmother had given them when they’d moved back to her home town after college. 
Taking in a deep breath, she closed her eyes. The money and the things didn’t matter. She just had to keep reminding herself of that. Rachel could make more money and buy more things, but she couldn’t get back the time she’d wasted on him. 
For years she’d slaved to become who she was and to make a home for her and Rick. Maybe if she weren’t so driven she would’ve seen him for the snake he really was sooner. Oh fuck it. He’s just an ass.
She scowled and settled back in her chair. “That dick-head bastard can go fuck himself five ways to Sunday for all I care.”
“Now that would be quite an accomplishment,” a sexy male voice said.
She jumped in her seat. Did I say that out loud? Pink liquid splashed and dribbled down her arm as she blinked against the sun. 
Placing her dripping drink on the end table next to her, she turned toward the sexy male voice. Heat flooded her face when she took in the hunk the voice had come from. God, just kill me now. 
The urge to crawl under her chair and bury herself in the sand was hard to resist.  She straightened and hoped she looked marginally sane. It’s one thing to be caught talking to yourself. It’s a whole other bowl of crazy to be caught by the object of your earlier drool problem. 
“I’m sorry.” Superman the Sequel said and handed her his red towel. “Here, use this to clean up. I shouldn’t have interrupted your conversation. It was rude of me.” 
He rested his hands on his hips. “I bet the palm trees are really good listeners.” 
Standing like that he looked just like a super hero ready to save the day. All the man needed was a skin-tight blue suit with a big red S on the chest. Rachel swallowed. It wouldn't kill her to play along, would it? Rick, and what had happened, was three thousand miles away with the slush and snow that always accompanied February in Maine.  
She had two weeks here in the sun and sand. The least she could do was talk to the guy she’d been undressing with her eyes for more than a quarter of an hour. It’s not like she would ever see him again anyway. Even if he’d been on vacation for a month he was still too tan to live anywhere near Maine. He probably lived somewhere he could take off his shirt all year round and do sit-ups in the sun.
Doing her best shampoo commercial hair flip, Rachel tossed back her shoulder length strawberry blond curls  “I’m sorry you had to hear that.” 
Sinfully full lips lifted, teasing out his dimples. “No worries. I talk to inanimate objects all the time.” 
The sound of his voice vibrated down her spine like a lover’s touch. Maybe she should rethink the list after all. Her mouth dried and moist heat sparked south of her belly button and north of her knees. 
 She could do this. So what if it had been fifteen years and twenty pounds since she flirted with a stranger. With the right underwire her breasts were still in the general vicinity of where they were when she was nineteen and her butt hadn’t gone to Jell-O yet. 
 “Have you talked to someone about that?” she asked.
Super Man’s hands slid into the pockets of his board shorts. “Yeah, the voices in my head say I’m fine.” 
If she could keep The Rockettes in her stomach from kicking up all the rum punch, Superman the Sequel might be the man to help her forget her troubles. At least this guy looked at her with amusement and tossed her humor back at her. Rick, the cheating ass, had always scowled at her as if she had six heads and twelve arms. 
So, um.” Rachel cleared her throat. “What brings you to this little slice of heaven?”
She raked her hands through her hair and bit back a yelp.  Ripping through the snarled and tangled curls, she hoped she looked beach-tousled and sexy. That little dream sank like a pirate ship in a hurricane when her hand came away with small nest of hair clinging to her fingers. “Work, so, do you work for the hotel?” Rachael asked as she discreetly de-haired her hand.
“Not exactly.” 
Could he be anymore evasive? If he didn’t want to talk to her he should have stayed where he was. She hadn’t asked him to come over here. Putting on her best boardroom smile, she straightened her back. “Well, I guess I’ll let you get back to work then.” 
He smiled and the sun seemed to get bright behind him. “Today’s my day off.”  The breeze coming off the turquoise water ruffled his surfer-boy, sun-streaked hair and light glinted off his bronzed skin. “Do you mind if I sit?”
Butterflies bloomed in her belly and mixed with her confusion. She didn’t like this feeling one bit. He made her feel off kilter and warm at the same time. It wasn’t comfortable in the least.  She should tell him to go away, maybe then her insides would settle. She took one last look at his pecs flexing under a sheen of sunscreen and sighed.  If she told him to go she would have to say good-bye to the sexiest six-pack, or should she say twenty-four pack she had ever seen.  It was probably for the best anyway. Abs like that trailed into sexy man V’s, and sexy man V’s had the power to make any hot-blooded woman stupid.  
Before she could speak he sat. “I’m Josh Connolly. I own this little slice of beach.”
Owner? She hadn’t gotten that vibe from him at all. Rachel would have pegged Josh to be about thirty, maybe thirty-five at the most. He was a little young to own a place of this size with the reputation Sunset Bay had. The main building itself sat nicely between quaint mom and pop inn and mid-sized hotel, but the grounds, the cabins and all the out buildings made for one massive place. Never mind the fact Sunset Bay was in the middle of the Bermuda triangle and the cost of hurricane and flood insurance would be insane. Little did people know, it takes a lot of straight up cash for a resort to survive in paradise. She didn’t get the multi millionaire vibe from of Josh.
Rachel studied him closer. He didn’t have the pampered and polished look of someone who had a trust fund and he didn’t look like an unkempt slacker of a TEC start-up either. His gaze did however hold intelligence and determination, so maybe he made his money in the Stock Market, but he didn’t have that ruthlessness in his eyes she so often saw on Wall Street. All Rachel knew for sure was the man made her insides mushy and her hands sweaty.
Wiping a damp palm on her tankini, she took his out stretched hand and shook. A sizzle shot up her arm. “Nice to meet you Josh, I’m Rachel Mills.” Her words flowed from her mouth in a professional auto response.
“The pleasure is all mine,” he said. 
Rachel grinned like an idiot. She couldn’t help it. He was just so damn cute, like a new puppy. You know he’s going to piddle on the floor and chew your shoes, but it doesn’t matter because your heart melts when you look at him. “So, you own this place?” she said lamely.
Josh’s lips firmed and his dimples disappeared. “Yup, it’s all mine.”
Her professional Spidey sense tingled. Something told her he wasn’t happy about that fact. He was probably figuring out he bit off more than he could chew.
 “So, what brings you to Sunset Bay?” he asked, interrupting her thoughts.
Josh’s question brought back the hurt Rick caused. she’d all but forgotten about him for a minute. She swallowed. “Really, you don’t want to know.” 
He propped his elbows onto his knees. “I wouldn’t have asked if I didn’t.” 
 She must have had one too many rum punches, because he was coming on strong—too strong, and she liked it. Grammy might not be so off the mark after all. “How much time do you have?” 
“All the time in the world, for a pretty lady like you.”
Rachel couldn’t keep the roll from her eyes or the chuckle out of her throat. Yup, she liked it alright. Five minutes with Josh had done more for her self-esteem than the barrel of rum punch she’d consumed since she’d arrived. She forced her pulse back down to a non-lethal rate. “Does that line usually work for you?” 
 “You tell me,” he said lifting his shoulders in a shrug.
Smooth talking men were a dime a dozen. She had to keep that in mind if she was going to play this game with him. Wrinkling her nose, she smiled. “I think you could do better.”
 “Is that a challenge?”
 Folding her arms, she eyed him. “I don’t know if you’re up to it.”
His eyebrow lifted. “Oh, I’m up for it, but if you want me to back off just say so.”
The lusty cobwebs in her head cleared some. Was she being too bitchy? Oh, God, what was she thinking? She couldn’t do this. “I’m sorry. I’m coming off a divorce and I’m a little out of practice and still a lot pissed.”
“No worries, I kind of like snarky and out of practice women.” He winked at her. “They make life interesting.”
Why does everything about this guy turn me into a puddle of lust? She tugged on the hem of her tankini and tried to pull herself together.  “Well, I guess today is your lucky day then.”
She reached over, picked her sunglasses off the table, slid them on over her eyes and felt a little more in control. 
  “It’s turning out that way,” he said and smiled. “I can’t imagine anybody letting you go. What the hell was wrong with this guy anyway?”
A better question was, what was wrong with her? New resentment washed over Rachel. She didn’t know who she was more mad at, Rick for cheating or herself for not seeing it. If she looked back, all the signs were there. 
The whispered phone calls and email accounts he made sure she didn’t have access to were just the tip of the iceberg in the red flag department. He was a junior JV basketball coach for the University of Maine for God’s sake. How many scouting trips did he really need to go on? 
She shrugged off her irritation. “He decided I wasn’t his type.” 
“Idiot. How long were you married?” 
 “Almost fifteen years,” She said on a sigh.
“What? Were you eight when you guys started dating?”
Rachel tugged at the hem of bathing suit again before it rolled up her belly. “Almost. I was eighteen when we met and twenty when we got married.” 
Josh’s brows creased together. “I think this story needs some alcohol.” He waved over the cabana waiter in white knee length shorts and a sea blue polo shirt with the Sunset Bay logo stitched over the chest pocket and white knee length shorts. 
What the hell, she could tell him her life story. What would it hurt? It wasn’t like she would have to see him again after she left this Island anyway. It would feel good to get Rick off her chest. “Sounds good to me,” she said 
“What can I get you, boss?” The waiter asked as he jogged over to them.
“A Corona with lime, Mark, thanks.” Josh gazed over at her. “And for the lady?”
“I’ll take a rum punch.” She leaned over and picked up her tote to fish out her room card for payment.
He placed his hand on her arm.  “It’s on the house,” Josh said. “Mark, can you bring a couple of waters too, please?”  
“You got it, sir.” The waiter’s spotless white sneakers kicked up sand as he rushed back to the tiki hut a few yards away.
She put her bag down. “You didn’t have to do that. I could have paid for my drink.”
 “Not as long as I’m sitting here you won’t.”
The old-fashioned sensibilities Gram had shoved down her throat while growing up poked their dusty heads out of storage and cheered.  She knew it wasn’t politically correct to get all hot and bothered over a man wanting to buy her drinks, but damn, it was nice. Did guys still pay when you went out on dates? What was the protocol now? It was the dawn of this century when she last worried about this crap. 
“Did I say something to upset you?”
Warm vibrations tangled deep inside her. She sucked down the last of her rum punch and pulled herself from the past and looked at the present. The view had definitely improved. 
 “No, I’m sorry.” 
The waiter came back with a full tray. He set down their drinks, water and a bowl of pretzels and took away her empty coconut. 
“Thank you, Mark,” Josh said.
“No problem, sir. Anything else?” 
Josh looked over at Rachel in question. “Are you all set?”
“I’m fine, thank you.”
Josh flashed his sexy smile up at the other man. “I think we’re all good, thanks.”
“You’re welcome sir.” Mark walked on to a group of sunbathers down the beach.
Lifting her drink, Rachel watched as a pelican plucked the day’s meal out of the crystal clear water and flew off in delight.
 “So, tell me more about your ex,” He said, picking up his beer.
The emotional rollercoaster she was on took her for another ride. Her hormone fueled feelings of longing mixed with her deep-seated anger with Rick. She willed the hurricane of emotions inside her, back down to a more manageable tropical storm and pushed out a breath. “Are you sure you want to hear this?”
 “Yes, if it means spending more time with you.” 
 Taking a sip of her drink, she studied his earnest face. She had to ask the question racing through her head. “Tell me Josh, do you always lay it on so thick?”
He lifted his shoulders and smiled. “Only when I see that the woman I’m laying it on likes it.”
Heat flooded through her and she felt her lips twitch. He was right, she did kind of like it. Rachel had to remind herself that not all men were assholes. There were good guys out in the world. So maybe this one just wanted to get down her pants, maybe she wanted that too. She had to keep an open mind to figure it out. “How do you know I like it?”
“Because there’s color in your cheeks and a smile on your lips when I turn on the charm.”
“That’s the rum punch and the sun,” she tossed back. 
God help her, she enjoyed this. This guy and his cheesy lines helped lift the two hundred pounds of baggage she’d carried around with her for far too long. 
 “Oh, I don’t think so, pretty lady.” 
 Rachel chuckled and shook her head. “Tired Josh, real tired.”
He covered his heart with his hand. “But I’ve been honing my skills for decades and they’ve never failed me.” 
Feeling bold, she winked. “You may have to try something else with me. If you haven’t noticed, I can be a hard woman to please.” 
“Oh, I’ve noticed and I like a challenge.” Josh rose. Six-foot-two inches of male perfection loomed over her. 
Holy man-gods. Rachel averted her gaze before she did something stupid, like run her tongue along the ridges that made up his abdomen. She gulped and inched back in her chair. “What are you doing?” 
 “Trying something else.” He sat down at the foot of her lounge chair and gripped her ankles, lifting them into his lap. 
She tensed and straightened. “Okay, umm. I…” 
Shit, what should I do now? She knew she should protest but she really couldn’t think of a reason to. 
A man she’d just met was getting up close and personal with her new pedicure and she didn’t really mind. Something had to be wrong with her. She should pull her leg free and go back to her room before she made a fool of herself, but she liked his big hands on her. It had been a long time since a man touched her. The man invading her space seduced her into relaxing. “Please tell me you don’t have some kind of weird foot fetish,” she said.
 “That would depend on your definition of weird.” 
His laugh woke up the last of her hibernating girl parts. 
“I’ve been told I have great hands,” he said as his thumb traced over the sensitive arch of her foot. 
Oh, yes you do.
Gazing over his shoulder, Rachel bit back a sigh and watched the ocean kiss the sand with little lapping waves. It was all fun and games until your hormones did the dance of lust. Hers were rocking it out right now and she loved it.
This was just a game so she would play along. “I don’t know. I think I’ve had better,” she teased.
“Oh, yeah?” Josh pressed his thumb hard into the pad of her heel. 
Red-hot need exploded in her stomach. The need to cry out with pleasure overwhelmed her. The beach around them spun in a swirl of tropical color. Josh twisted his thumb deeper into her heel. Waves of electricity sizzled and snapped in her core. Her head fell against the back of the chair. She sunk her teeth into her bottom lip to keep from begging for more.  
“What do you think?” he asked.
Her brain screamed it’s just a fun and games but her body didn’t want to listen. Air burned in her lungs. She forced out a breath past clenched teeth, and beat her libido back into submission. “Nice try.” 
If he kept this up, she’d lose all reason and forget the rules. She tugged her foot from his magic hands. “I think with a little practice you’ll do just fine.” 
“You’re right. You are hard to please. I really like that about you” He pulled on her ankle, placed her foot back on his lap, and continued to rub. 
She swallowed the dry lump in her throat. 
“So, what did that asshole do to you?” he asked.
  Picking up her drink, she took three big gulps. Maybe if she told him what happened, he would think something was wrong with her and give her space so she could cool off and get her head back on right. “Well, Josh, I’m supposed to be here celebrating my anniversary with my now ex husband.”
Josh’s hands stilled and his jaw tightened. “So why aren’t you?”
 “Apparently, my ex has a thing for young college cheerleaders. I caught him in the bed we shared with half of the University of Maine cheerleading squad.” She sucked down more of her punch. “So I kicked him out and divorced him. Now I’m here and he’s not.” 
Ice filled her veins and she shivered. Now Josh knew how much she failed as a woman. His large hands lifted her feet back onto his lap and his shoulders relaxed. “What? Wait.” Josh’s hand flattened against her shin. “Did you say college cheerleaders? What he couldn’t handle a full grown woman?” 
Rachel knew she never wanted to feel cold and empty again. Forcing her attention on his questions, she steadied herself.  “I guess not. Not one girl in that bed was older than twenty.” Disgust washed over her in sticky waves bringing along a sudden need to shower. 
Shock filled his eyes. “When did this mess happen?”
She shrugged off needles of embarrassment. “A little over a year ago.”
“Can you hand me my beer? I need a minute to process,” he said.
Reaching over, she lifted the bottle out of the cup holder attached to his chair. “I can relate.” She covered her face with her hands and let the emotions wash over her. “I don’t understand, why I didn’t see what kind of man he was sooner. The signs were there all along.”
“What signs?” Josh tugged her hands from her face. “Did he hide kiddy porn under the bed or something?”
She couldn’t keep the chuckle in her throat at bay. “Oh God no! Gross! That would be a sign I would notice”
“Don’t tell me he wanted you to dress up like a little girl and call him Daddy?”
 “Come to think of it, kind of.” Rachel rolled the last of her tension from her shoulders. “Don’t get me wrong, a little fantasy play is fun every now and again, but I should have known something was up when he couldn’t perform when we weren’t playing.” 
Her closet was over-filled with schoolgirl skirts and soft girly baby dolls he’d bought for her over the years. She’d always chalked up his bad taste to being a man. “I was so blind.”
“Love blinds us into seeing only what the person we are in love with wants us to see,” he said.
Rachel blinked at Josh and focused on his words. She had to be honest with herself. “No, I don’t think that’s totally true.”
 It would be too easy to blame her bad judgment on love. The fact was she hadn’t really loved Rick for years. When her feelings started to change she blamed it on the seven-year itch. It’s not like you can have that warm fuzzy feeling forever. Right? 
She hadn’t wanted to throw in the towel because her heart didn’t skip a beat when Rick walked into a room. She believed if you made a commitment and a promise you stuck with it. For the most part, they got along just fine in their everyday lives. 
So what if in the bedroom they wanted different things. And sure, maybe she wanted to talk about having a child and he said he wanted to wait. She just buried herself in her work and moved forward. That’s what responsible people did.
Rachel remembered how great their marriage had been at the beginning. They were so young, in love and in college. They were determined to prove to their families they were ready for such a big commitment. The marriage didn’t start to fall apart until they’d graduated and moved to Maine. 
She’d started her business and he took a job at U Maine and real life happened. “I shouldn’t have held on for so long, but I thought that if I waited long enough I would have my fairytale ending. I was so stupid to think that.” 
“You weren’t stupid,” he said.
The last brick tied around her heart dropped away. “How do you know? You just met me.”
He flashed her that heart-melting smile of his again. “Your eyes. You have intelligent eyes.” Setting his beer down, he continued his delicious stroking of her feet.
 “I just have one question,” he asked.
“Why didn’t you just cancel this trip?”
 “That’s a great question. I’ve been asking myself that for weeks. My excuse is, I booked the trip so long ago that when all hell broke loose I forgot about it.”
His fingers danced up her calf. “That’s as good an excuse as any.”
“Thanks, but really I would have canceled when I got the vacation booklet you guys send out, but my grandmother happened to be at my house when I opened the mail. She got me at a weak moment and convinced me to come. She has it in her head that I can find myself while I’m here.” 
“Are you lost, Rachel?”
Something deep inside her told Rachel she might not be anymore. “I don’t know. Maybe, Gram thinks I am.”
“Why?” He lifted his beer and sipped, looking quite at home sitting on her chair.
 “Because I was so young when Rick and I got married. Rachel rubbed at the ache in her chest. “Gram thinks I didn’t have the time to find out who I am.” 
It must have been the rum punch and foot massage, making her head swim and her lips so loose. Rachel hadn’t talked this much about what happened with anyone except her grandmother. Leaning down, she picked Gram’s stationary out of her tote and waved it at Josh. “So she gave me this and told me to do as much of it as possible while I’m here.” 
He snatched it from her numb fingers and unfolded it. “Ten Steps to a New Life. Let me guess—your grandmother reads a lot of self-help books.”
Her heart jumped. A tiny voice inside her head told her she should be embarrassed by him seeing what her grandmother wanted her to do, but she didn’t care anymore. Maybe this hot guy with the magic hands and kind smile would be willing to help her with a few items on her list. “You have no idea,” she said.
His eyes glinted bright blue in the sunlight and his cheeks reddened as he read his way down the list.  “I think I’d like your grandmother. It looks like she knows what she’s talking about.”  He folded the paper carefully and handed it back to her. 
“Yeah, well we’ll see about that.”
Josh’s fingers glided over her knee setting her nerve endings into ecstasy. “If you’re looking for someone to help you with item four I hope you’ll keep me in mind.” 
Her body flashed hot and she melted inside. What would happen if she took him up on his offer? Could she have a fling with a stranger? She was so out of her element right now. She really had to play it cool. “I think you need to buy me dinner first and then we’ll see.”
His full lips twitched. “It would be my pleasure.” He squeezed her foot. “Was item four why your grandmother didn’t come along with you on this trip?”
“Are you kidding me?” Rachel lifted her coconut and sipped. “Gram would tell me to hang a sock on the door after instructing me how to go about item four. Then she’d go down to the bar and flirt with every man in sight.” 
Josh’s fingers traced circles around her knee. “That just sounds wrong on so many levels,” he said.
“You’re telling me.” She chuckled. “But seriously, I tried bringing her. She told me her poker and bingo clubs, the Maine Conservation Core she volunteers for and the Red Hat Society would all fold if she wasn’t there for two weeks.” 
 “Wow, she does all that and counsels her granddaughter about life?” He squeezed the back of her knee.
She jumped and bit back a giggle. “Yes, and she’s planning a trip in the fall to hike the outer rim of the Grand Canyon.” 
“How old is your grandmother?”
His delectable strokes were driving her mad. He was making it almost impossible for her to follow the conversation. Concentrating on his words, she breathed out slowly. “That’s a good question. The only people that know are either dead or sworn to secrecy. My siblings and I think somewhere between seventy and ninety, but we’re not sure.”
“We should celebrate,” he said.
 “Celebrate what?”
 “Your grandmother’s wisdom and her young spirit.”
If her heart could have turned to mush it would’ve. He’d known just what to say. Love for the woman who raised her swamped Rachel. Her grandmother was a true inspiration. Gazing down at her tote, she smiled at the piece of flowered paper poking out of the pocket. 
After doing all ten things on her grandmother’s list, she was going to frame that small but precious gift, so she would have her Gram around forever. 
“I couldn’t agree more.” Rachel moved closer to Josh. 
Leaning in, his muscled chest brushed against her arm. 
“Do you think it would be unprofessional of me to kiss you?” he asked.
 Heat and Josh’s luscious coconut oil scent wrapped her in a blanket of yearning. “I think we passed unprofessional when you started giving me a foot massage.” 
 “It’s a good thing I have dirt on the owner or he would have my head,” Josh said.
Her heartbeat raced in her ears. Rachel hadn’t felt this alive in years. “But you’re the owner.”
Hot breath caressed over her lips, as his hands cupped her cheeks. “I know.”
Bat wings of anticipation fluttered in her belly. Her lips puckered, seeking contact. She gripped his forearms and pulled him closer. 
A shadow loomed over them and a throat cleared. “Excuse me, Josh, but I have a matter that needs your attention.”
Josh didn’t pull back and his gaze stayed on hers. “I’m busy.”
The other man’s voice wavered. “I’m sorry, but it’s an emergency.” 
“Shit, what now?” Josh’s shadowed eyes cleared and his hands slid from her cheeks. “Duty calls.” His palms rubbed down her arms. “I’ll be back.” 
Disappointment flooded over her and she slouched back in the chair.
Josh stood. “What is it, Gerry?” he asked, walking toward the hotel with the man with horrible timing. 
Her overloaded system snapped and sizzled with un-spent lust. Had she lost her mind? She wasn’t the kind of woman who told strangers her life story and almost made out with said strangers on the beach. Rachel really needed think about the consequences of her actions. 
Glancing down at her wrist, she grimaced. She’d left her watch in her room. Rachel rose and grabbed her towel from the chair. “Excuse me, can you tell me what time it is?” she asked a cabana attendant as he passed.
 “About ten till one.”
“Thanks.” Grabbing her tote, Rachel shoved her feet into flip-flops. She could get some time and a little distance on the snorkel tour. 
Rachel needed to get her head on straight. Easy for her grandmother to give advice, she didn’t have to make a fool of herself, or deal with the fallout.