~ Book Synopsis ~Everyone’s fueled by something… Cassidy Miller is living her dreams as an EMS helicopter pilot saving lives in Arizona. When her helicopter crashes in bad weather and a member of her crew is killed, her life, as she knows it, is over. 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. 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. Half way 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. From Brussels to Abu Dhabi, Texas to Germany, their relationship speeds across the globe, navigating the dangerous turns of life, love and racing.
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Jet lag and alcohol might not have been the best pairing. It added up to a foggy
sensation in the elevator on the way to his room. Cassidy Miller had used everything else to escape from her memories, so why not try sex?
Ronan Hawes slipped his card in the slot and pushed open the heavy door with one arm, indicating that she should precede him. She was so close, she got a whiff of whatever scent he was wearing.
“God, you smell good,” she blurted out. The door clicked shut behind them. “What is that?”
Expression sheepish, he admitted, “Calvin Klein, but I’m under contract with
She smiled. “You unfaithful swine. What’s wrong with Burberry?”
“Too ... British. Reminds me of Prince Charles. I have some bottles in the bathroom if you fancy it though.”
“No,” she said, suddenly noticing the intensity of the inner gold ring of his irises.
“You’ve met the prince?”
“Several hang around the circuit, but I only got within sniffing distance of my own at a ceremony for an ex-teammate. I buggered off, though, before our aftershaves clashed.”
Of course he was in that league. They all were. And what did she sound like? An
“I know.” Ronan reached for her hand, teasing his thumb across her knuckles, making her breath catch. “This royal chitchat is putting you off, killing the moment. Just tell me to shut up.”
“No, no, it’s um—” She broke off as his hand slid up her arm, sending a delicious
shiver to the back of her neck. She stepped back two paces. “Mind if I raid the minibar?”
He looked surprised but recovered smoothly. “Nightcap? Pardon me for not offering, through here.”
He led her over to the bar area and extracted a bottle. “Bourbon, wasn’t it? On the rocks?”
Cass shook her head. “Straight up is fine.” She didn’t need him to take a trip to the ice machine. Better to get her drink and get this over with. She studied him while he poured. He was exceedingly good-looking. Enviable bone structure, square jaw. And suave. Definitely suave. What had she expected? That he’d jump her like some hick? Even standing still, her head was swimming, and her stomach was vaguely nauseated. All those drinks on an empty stomach. She’d be comatose if she weren’t careful. As if on cue, the room spun. She reached out a hand and made her way unsteadily over to the loveseat.
“All right there?” The tiniest frown appeared between his eyes, but his smile remained.
“Fine. It’s the shoes, not used to heels,” she mumbled. Oh God. Had she just slurred?
He carried the drink over and set it on the glass coffee table, out of reach. She leaned over to grab it, nearly pitching face first onto the table. Now he was staring at her, not amused in the slightest. “You sure you’re all right?”
She waved a hand in his direction and picked up the drink, then stared into the glass as the nausea welled up. “Excuse me.”
She dashed for the bathroom.
About the AuthorFueled by black jelly-beans and Pinot Noir, Rachel Cross writes fast-paced contemporary romance with a twist. 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 enjoys writing “head versus heart” romances where lovers face toe-curling problems usually caused by wayward technology or each other. In her twenties she worked her way across Europe's technology hot-spots before succumbing years later to Alpine serenity, writing, marriage and motherhood . She lives in Switzerland which held its last Formula One race in 1954.
The Top Ten Things you love about your characters.
The hero of High Octane Ignited is the British Formula One driver, Ronan Hawes. Here are just some of the things we love about him:
1. His Protective Instinct: Ronan has a tormented heroine on his hands from the very first night. But, despite his own challenging race schedule and personal problems, he never hesitates to do the right thing and to be there for her.
2. His Sense of Humour: Not too many guys would laugh after falling into a smelly Venetian canal in pursuit of an expensive Italian shoe the heroine has pretended to fling away, but our Ronan takes it in his dripping wet stride.
3. His Tall, Blond and Handsomeness: Even though he’s in a sport where being tall (over 6 foot) is a distinct disadvantage, we’re not going to hold this against him, nor are we complaining about his Celtic good looks or his highly trained body. Our inspiration for Ronan was the gorgeous Jensen Button.
4. His Bravery: Anyone who straps themselves into a machine travelling around bends at speeds of 200mph is …well…brave is one word for it.
5. His Determination to Succeed: every Formula One driver needs this in epic proportions. But by the end of the hero’s journey, Ronan sees beyond his desire to be the next world champion—he’s defined success in terms of more lasting values.
6. His Ability to Adapt to Circumstances: the heroine puts Ronan through various hoops, as does the carousel of Formula One, and his scheming father. At each stage, Ronan’s character and his resolve is tested.
7. His Camaraderie: Many Formula One drivers slip into bitter rivalries as the pressure of having to win at all costs gets to them. Ronan manages to keep a level lead in his dealings with other drivers –even Maddux Bates. He’s widely liked and respected by team members and opposing ones alike.
8. His Generosity: Money means little to Ronan. It’s a nice to have. But when he sees people have been wronged, he uses his own funds to put it right.
9. His Suaveness: Even though he’s drop dead sexy and in an environment where woman are flinging themselves in his path, he’s a still a British gent.
10. His Superstitious Nature: In such a high risk sport, every driver wishes for good luck. Not surprising when the consequences of bad luck are very grim indeed. Ronan has a thing about the color blue and …a certain item of female’s clothing which he insists on always having with him. We won’t tell you which one—you just have to read the book.
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