The Colony by Cami Checketts To protect her sons from the mistakes of her past, Brinlee Trapper escapes to a secluded mountain home. But there are dangers lurking in the mountains she has never encountered. The little family is saved from injury by Jed, a mysterious hunter. Brinlee is drawn to him, but she worries about his involvement with a peaceful commune hidden deep in the mountains behind her property. Lance, Brinlee’s attentive neighbor, has his own troubled history. Between his obvious attraction to Brinlee and his developing love for her children, Brinlee finds it more than difficult to guard her heart against this tender intrusion. While Jed offers a life of excitement and freedom, Lance holds the key to the family Brinlee always wanted. When it comes time to choose, she learns that both men have secrets that could shatter her fledgling trust in men and the wrong decision could leave more than her heart exposed to danger.
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“You’re going to give me a lesson in shooting?”
He grinned. “I figured you’d want to try it out before I brought Trevor. Make sure it’s safe and everything.”
Brinlee waited by the truck while he retrieved the .22 and a box of bullets. The gun range was empty, which was nice. She didn’t need any die-hard hunters laughing at her as she fired a gun for the first time in her life.
Lance escorted her to a box. He set up the target and showed her how to load the gun, take off the safety, and fire. Brinlee was hyperaware of him tonight. How he smelled like musk and metal when he leaned in close to her. The feel of his strong hands wrapped around hers as he taught her gun techniques. The bulging muscles in his chest brushing against her back. The look in his eyes every time he glanced her way.
She shivered with delight. The way Lance looked at her made her feel clean and desirable at the same time. He wanted her, but he respected and admired her more.
Brinlee sighted in the target with Lance’s arms wrapped around her own.
“Okay, you’re looking good,” he whispered against her neck.
Her skin tingled. Brinlee closed her eyes and inhaled his musky cologne.
“Gently pull the trigger.”
Opening her eyes, she squeezed the trigger.
“A bit harder,” Lance whispered, his lips brushing her neck.
Brinlee jerked and pulled the trigger. The shot went into a nearby straw bale. Lance chuckled and straightened with his arms still around her. “Looks like we need to try again.”
Brinlee set the gun on the table and spun in his embrace. She stared straight into his eyes. “Yeah, maybe this time you can keep your lips off my neck so I can concentrate.”
Lance’s eyebrows arched. “Oh, was that distracting you?”
She glanced at him from beneath her lashes. “What do you think?”
Pulling her closer, Lance lowered his head. His lips touched her ear. “Is this distracting?”
Brinlee shut her eyes and leaned. “Yes.”
His lips trailed down, along her jaw line and to her neck. “How about this?” he murmured.
“Worse.” Brinlee savored each touch.
One of his hands rose to cup her cheek while the other covered her lower back. He guided her mouth to his and took his time, gradually increasing the pressure of his lips until every nerve tingled. “How about that?”
“That’s terrible,” Brinlee said. “I can’t even think when you’re doing that.” Heart thundering, she hoped for more. Lance didn’t disappoint. His kiss was sweet yet all-encompassing. She didn’t ever want it to end.
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