Pepper Prescott's world was shattered at the age of eight, when her parents were suddenly killed in a car accident. A series of foster homes taught her that she had to take care of herself, no one else could be trusted. Yet her warmth and intelligence sparkled through all the bad girl deeds until she carved out a shining new life for herself, landscape gardener to the rich.
Enter General Jennifer Napier, her childhood idol, whom she astonishingly gets to meet at a local book signing. And then, incredibly, witnesses her murder her aide in cold blood. Next thing you know Pepper is on the run. She knows she must flee, and she does. Who are they going to believe? The girl from the wrong side of the tracks who's only recently turned her life around, or a top general?
Enter Dan Graham. To all the world, a very young retired soldier, but in reality, a soldier very much on duty. Special Forces, Terrorist Unit.
A golden haired hard-body, who nine years ago was surprisingly drawn to the new girl/bad girl in high school - who didn't want him, when all the other girls did. To win her, he did things he'd do for no other girl, even chores and errands for her elderly foster parent.
And it paid off. He did win her eventually - one steamy hot yet tender night. But lost her the very next day, he thought, forever. And he hadn't been able to find anyone to dull her memory, though he'
d tried hard.
When Pepper runs to the only foster parent who gave her no-nonsense wisdom with a deep belief in her character and plenty of love, she finds the mountain ranch deserted and left in Dan's care. Dan, whom the instant she meets (in a tumble of bodies on a dark kitchen floor), lets her know in a thousand ways, that his body and perhaps something deeper, are still drawn to her. Despite what he wants.
But can she tell him what's happenned? Can she trust him? He was in the army - does he know General Napier, and is he loyal to her? And if she does trust him, will he stay and risk dying at her side to protect her? Does she love him enough to die alone, if she can't outwit those that are surely after her? The conclusion will surprise and delight you.
Christina Dodd paces the story of these two with action and charm, and her writing puts you right in the middle of each scene as a bystander. You see the beauty of the mountain mornings, as Dan and Pepper (her - grudgingly) go off to do morning chores with the ice-tinged grass blades and hard earth crunching under their feet. You delight as Pepper decimates Dan's father with her wit, as he tries unsuccessfully to keep these two apart. And the scenes of physical lovemaking, well, make room in your mind, cause no matter how you'
ve thought of new and interesting ways to spin this most basic of human interaction, you've never thought of these ways. Christina is a skilled weaver of sensuality and of, let's just say - new ideas that will delight you, as these two rediscover that their bodies know what their minds have been screaming at them. They just have to listen.
Join the adventure, go along for the ride, and delight in two people who actually deserve each other. And when you think you're done, you'll find yourself reaching for ALMOST LIKE BEING IN LOVE over and over again, just to visit Pepper Prescott and Dan Graham anew.