How far would you go for your friend?
Alissa Thompson has been the good girl her whole life. Her uninterested parents don’t understand her hopes and dreams. But this Christmas when her steadfast childhood friend Charlie needs her more than ever, she can’t back down. Crossing the line means being braver than she has ever been in her life. It means changing and growing and taking a stand.
Dakota Gray was brave in the face of debilitating fear. But he lost himself in that blood soaked day and has shunned everything he once knew. Now shattered and broken, he hides out in isolation, his wounds beyond healing. His heart closed, his emotions buried, he’s a man on the edge of self-destructing. Little does he know that courage would be found in another searching for the strength to be brave.
Now snowbound in the Colorado Rockies one week before Christmas, Alissa thought this was about her journey and her friend, about setting him free. But from the moment she meets Dakota, she learns about what real bravery is all about. What real love is all about. But is the season enough, her courage enough, her love enough to heal this hero’s brave heart and in the end set herself free?
Okay, the gorgeous, ripped guy looming over me was really angry. I couldn’t actually blame him, because falling off that cliff had been stupid. I was lucky I wasn’t dead. But almost getting killed wasn’t the only reason my heart beat faster. Not only was I safe and getting warm, really warm, I had finally gotten a really good look at the man who’d rescued me.
The guy was built. He had a powerful chest that tapered down to a lean waist and amazing washboards like I have never seen in real life. His biceps bulged with a glorious curve of muscle that literally made my mouth water. Shocked at my reaction, I could only stare.
Then there was his face. Thick, midnight black hair was brushed back off his forehead, tapering down the sides of his temples and falling on either side of his strong neck, just brushing the heavy muscles of his shoulders. His broad forehead spanned above deep-set, pale eyes with an intense gaze, with a firm chin and a hard jawline, a prominent but narrow nose, and sharply defined cheekbones. When he talked, the way he moved his mouth mesmerized me. His upper lip was thinner than the bottom, and it looked yummy and oh-so-kissable.
His chest started to heave as he met my eyes, and maybe I couldn’t quite hide my awe, but instead of looking smug, he just looked more freaked.
He turned on his heel and left the room. I wasn’t sure if he was coming back. The look on his face had been…tortured.
My curiosity jumped up a notch. While I waited, hoping he’d be back soon, I looked around. The cabin was beautiful, with its rough-hewn logs, stunning furnishings with scattered Native American throw blankets, and the huge fieldstone fireplace in front of me. I wished Dakota…what a beautiful name for a beautiful man…would put that fireplace to work, because it was getting chilly in spite of the cabin’s sturdy construction.
He finally came back into the room carrying a case. He’d put on a blue plaid shirt and buttoned it almost to his chin. I felt disappointed. Well, obviously, he couldn’t walk around half naked. It was December, for God’s sake. But, still.
He set the case down on the floor. “Let me look at your ankle,” he said, the request for my permission in his voice, but the anger still brushed each word.
I took a deep breath, but not because of the pain, but at the thought of those strong hands touching me.