Dr. James Grierden, a renowned heart surgeon in San Diego, lost his beloved wife two years ago to a rare heart defect.

Bryce Langtree, a graduate student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, also suffered heartbreak by the loss of her parents - wildlife researchers - when she was only seventeen.

By chance of fate, friends set the two up, and after a long, great weekend, Jim feels it's a sure thing. But when Bryce's own insecurities get in the way, Jim settles the issue by whisking her off to Las Vegas and tricking her into making a vow of eternity.

But as the Las Vegas minister pronounces her married to the take-your-breath-away, handsome man she met only the week before, Bryce faints dead away!

Will Bryce manage to escape her insane situation! Or is her new, giant husband truly a dream come true?

What Readers are Saying!

"Sweet love story to make you melt!"Sara B.

"I literally couldn't put it down!"Barb H.

"… Jim is no dummy and he moves in on Bryce rather quickly. He does his best to make her feel comfortable and attempts to make her believe in herself. The marriage comes quickly, but the relationship is allowed to develop. Jim and Bryce do their best to "get to know each other" before embarking on the sexual side of their marriage. There is a good deal of foreplay, but don't worry, the author makes the "spicy" scenes worth the wait! I especially loved that these two people really ended up saving each other. Their relationship brings both people back into enjoying life fully again. This was an enjoyable debut story; I look forward to reading more from this author."Nightowlin, Review on Amazon

"I didn't get to bed until 5:30 this morning and it's all your fault. I opened up your book figuring to read a chapter or two and ended up reading it all the way through in one sitting. It's a real page turner! Great job - VERY well written!"Dan G.

"Hello! I HAVE to tell you that I read your book and…I absolutely LOVED it!!! I seriously could not put it down. I would set aside half an hour to read...and found that 2 hours had passed! As I got to the end of the book, I tried to save a couple of chapters for the next day...but I couldn't pull myself away! I think I was up until 1 am that night, and knowing I had to get up early for work...it wasn't as important as finishing the book!! I have passed the book on to my friend, who is going to start it as soon as she finishes her other."Lisa H.

"I read this book and loved it too. The…book is so wonderfully sweet and romantic and sexy that I saved it on my Keeper shelf. The author, Christine Heather, did a great job with the characters and building the sexual tension - can't wait for her to publish another book."Deb, on the RomanticTimes.com General Message Board

"… Jim then insists that they wait eight weeks to have sex, so they can get to know each other better. As Bryce falls more in love with her husband, she doesn't wish to wait, and there's a bit of a sexy cat and mouse game in the latter part of the novel, and the question becomes: "Who will seduce who?"Lauren S., Review on Amazon

"… Once they were married, though, everything seemed to fall into place and the reader could kind of move past the event as if it was under a normal set of circumstances. And boy did they have a steamy marriage once it got going. The author sure got that part right!!! Overall, I found that I couldn't put the book down ...I can't quite put my finger on what exactly I liked about this story, but I can say that I definitely did!"Sara B., Review on Amazon

"… I liked this author's writing style. It was flowing and easy-to-read, without tons of jarring point-of-view switches, and a good balance of dialogue and prose. She writes with humor (which is more difficult than you might think). I found myself laughing out loud a few times while reading this book..."Gemma, Review on Amazon

"All in all I would completely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a nice sweet romance novel, filled with plenty of heart and sexual tension. Sometimes the best romance novels are the ones that take you a little farther from reality and into the ultimate fantasy. Who didn't dream at 24 of meeting a handsome, kind, unbelievably sexy surgeon who's willing to love you and marry you and take care of you for the rest of your life. It's a nice fantasty and I enjoyed reading about it very much."Sara B., Review on Amazon

Prologue

San Diego, California

September, 2003


Behind the wheel of her red Corolla, Bryce Langtree crested the hill and winced as her eyes filled with a staggering view of the Pacific. The expansive water - its horizon awash in postcard pink and orange hues - conjured a magnificent scene, but one too similar to another engrained in Bryce's memory; an image of the South Atlantic off the Skeleton Coast of Nambia - viewed from her parent's Ultralite back when she was a little girl and not alone in the world.

Bryce brushed away the tears, annoyed at herself. Why would she even think of it? It was all so long ago. With a glance, she read the words on the canvas bag sitting on her passenger's seat: Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The words cheered her. True, her social life was a big zero, but she loved her work and how it kept her - most of the time - in the company of other SIO staff and students. No reason to be morose, she just needed to get home, do some reading and go to bed; she had to be at the institute early for a planning meeting.

The road continued curving along the ocean. She'd be home in twenty minutes. But coming up to a beach parking area she caught sight of two kids waving their arms as they struggled through the sand to get up to the lot. Teenagers - a boy and a girl. Except for them, the beach appeared deserted. Bryce turned in, stopped her car next to the opening in the low wall, and jumped out.

"Help us! Oh, God, please help us!"

Bryce squinted, straining to catch sight of a form out in the darkening water. And there he was, a dim shape - barely a speck - out past the breakers, a good thirty yards from the shore.

"Oh, God! It's my brother! He's drowning!" the girl cried, running onto the asphalt.

Bryce dropped her keys and tore off her shoes. Riptide. She was sure of it.

"How old is he!" Bryce yelled, running onto the beach.

"Thirteen! He's thirteen! Oh, God! Oh, God!" The girl's panic whipped against Bryce's back, her shrill cries piercing the evening's quietness.

Bryce peeled out of her jeans as she stumbled across the sand. Reaching its edge, she stomped into the cold water, wading and lunging with all her strength through its heaviness. Then she threw her arms over her head and dove into the waves.

Adrenalin surged through her body as she fought against the breakers. From her work she'd spent many hours in the Pacific; it was as familiar to her as her own bedroom. She had no fear of it. She wouldn't let it take the kid.

Out past the breaking waves, she surfaced and scanned the water. She spotted the boy, but he wasn't flailing as much and his cries were getting weaker. Bryce threw herself into a hard swim toward him. After a few strokes, she checked to see him again and felt sure she was going to make it... but then he disappeared. Damn it!

Bryce dove under the water and swam to where he'd been just a moment before. She fished through the dark water with her hands. He was right here! Her lungs burned, but she fought the urge to surface for as long as she could. Where was he! Frustrated as hell, she started upward, but then - thank, God! - she felt the side of her arm touch his body. She turned, grabbed him under the arms, and propelled them both up through the surface.

"Aaahhh! Aaahh, ah, ah!"

Bryce sucked in air as the kid coughed and sputtered, trying to catch his own breath. God, she'd just made it.

She wrapped an arm across the front of him and started swimming in a northerly direction, parallel to the beach. But the current continued pulling them out and, despite all her hours at the gym, Bryce started to tire.

"Hey," she called out. "You're gonna have to help me." She wondered if he could hear her. "Just kick your legs. Come on - try - just start kicking." In the next moment she lowered her eyes as his legs started moving, easing her burden.

She moved on a while more. Finally, it felt like they were out of it and Bryce turned back toward the beach, tugging the boy along through the cold blackness, steadily closing the distance.

"I think I can make it from here," the kid muttered.

"You think so, huh?" Bryce said grinning, as she stood them up in the thigh high waves. She kept a hand on him as they trudged up onto the dark beach. Squeals of happiness filled her ears.

"Oh, thank you! Oh, God! Oh, God! Thank you! Thank you!"

"Sure," Bryce mumbled, lying back on the wet sand. She started shivering, but she felt euphoric for having gotten the kid out and sparing his family the agony of losing him, knowing too well herself the pain of losing a loved one.

Read Chapters 1 - 3 (pdf download)