Whitewater-rafting guide Hunter Kincaid lands his dream job–guiding sportswear models through Idaho's rugged wilderness for a week-long photo shoot. When he meets Toni Russo, the goth New York manager of Action Models, there are enough sparks to set the forest ablaze.
When Hunter finds Toni's book on how to marry the man of your choice, he studies it as a joke. Before long Hunter realizes he's never cared enough for a woman to bother working this hard to get her. But the last man in the world this city girl wants is a Survivor Man wannabe...
~ ~ ~
Toni Russo stood on the porch of the Sawtooth Inn ignoring the mountains cutting the bright blue sky, concentrating instead on Hunter Kincaid’s very confused, very green eyes. She recognized him from the photos on the River Runners’ website. They didn’t do him justice, probably because there was no way to transmit the pheromones rolling off the man onto an image.
Hunter stared at her the whole way from his old Land Cruiser to the porch. He stopped, tipped his baseball cap back, and then put his hands on his hips. “You’re not who I expected to see.”
Well, no. “Yeah, I guess you’ll have to learn to live with the disappointment. I know I have.”
“Toni?” A look of relief flashed across his face then a smile ticked up the right side of his mouth as he made a slow perusal of her from head to feet and back again.
She waited, knowing it would take awhile. Ever since she’d landed in Boise, she’d experienced the same thing. No one quite knew what to make of her. Holding her clipboard to her chest, she wondered if it would have been better to have spent her time in Boise shopping for less interesting clothes. She mentally shook her head and knew it would never have worked. You could put her in a sack, and she’d do something to stand out. She’d long since given up trying to rein herself in. As Catherine Aird said, “If you can’t be a good example, then you’ll just have to serve as a horrible warning.” So far, it had worked for her.
Blowing her bangs out of her eyes, Toni looked down at her outfit. The short, red plaid kilt wasn’t too offensive. She pulled her clipboard away to see she had on her Stay Away T-shirt. Maybe he had something against the collage of pistols, brass knuckles, knives, and bullets. But really, he didn’t look like a pacifist, not that she wasn’t—it was a T-shirt for goodness sake, not a personal manifesto. The kitty-face Mary Janes and red skull-and-crossbones knee-socks were a bit busy. Okay, Hunter’s thirty seconds were up. She fingered the D-ring on the studded collar around her neck and cleared her throat. “Do you mind?”
Hunter took a sip of whatever was in the travel cup he held. “Not at all—just wondering if you were going for that naughty-schoolgirl-fantasy look.”
“No, I was going for my not-quite-sure-what-to-wear-for-a-meeting-with-Davy-Crocket look. How’s it working for you?”
Hunter’s mouth worked its way into a full smile. Great teeth. She had a thing for nice teeth, and yeah, his mouth was full of them.
“Really well, thanks. Over the phone, it sounded as if you wouldn’t be caught dead out here. When Bianca came to scout for photo shoot locations, she said something about you having a phobia. What changed your mind?”
Toni took in the rustic porch wrapping around the log cabin lodge and decided to sit on a rocking chair. There was nothing else to sit on except the steps, and they needed a good sweeping. “You asked Bianca about me?”
Hunter leaned against the rough-hewn post holding up the corner of the porch. “I didn’t know it was a federal offense.”
“Bianca was involved in negotiating a big deal so she sent me.” Toni placed her clipboard on her lap and clicked her pen a few times in rapid succession. “I had no choice.”
Hunter’s big hiking boots filled her line of sight. Her gaze wandered up to where neatly rolled, rag-wool socks met hard, tanned calf muscle with just the right splattering of leg hair—not so much you’d be tempted to take a brush to it, and not so little you’d wonder if he routinely waxed. He wore khaki shorts low around the hips, his green River Runners T-shirt pulled tight against his chest and abs. She’d seen him without a shirt thanks to the picture on the website, so she knew if she poked him it would feel like poking a brick wall. She’d bet dollars to doughnuts he didn’t get that hard body in a gym.
When her eyes hit his stubbled chin, she encountered another full-toothed grin. Damn, she hadn’t meant to be so obvious.
The slap of an old-fashioned screen door broke the tension. “Sorry.” James, Bianca’s right-hand man, appeared with two cups of coffee. He handed Toni hers. “That’s decaf. Maybe you’ll be able to sleep tonight.”
Robin Kaye was born in Brooklyn, New York, and grew up in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge next door to her Sicilian grandparents.
Living with an extended family that's a cross between Gilligan's Island and The Sopranos, minus the desert isle and illegal activities, explains both her comedic timing and the cast of quirky characters in her books.
She's lived in half a dozen states from Idaho to Florida, but the romance of Brooklyn has never left her heart.
She currently resides in Maryland with her husband, three children, two dogs, and a three-legged cat with attitude.
THE WILD SIDE OF ROBIN
ANGI: How often to you get lost in a story?
ROBIN: I try to get lost in a good story every time I sit down to write and to read. If I don’t, it’s not a good day.
ANGI: What’s the first book you remember reading?
ROBIN: I don’t remember the first book I read, just the first book I couldn’t read. I was about three years old when, for some strange reason, my mother bought Dr. Seuss’s One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish in French. My mother didn’t speak French and neither did I. I remember opening the book, expecting to see words that made sense, and completely freaking out when I couldn’t read it. It was as if someone had stolen the gift of reading from me.
ANGI: Can you tell us about a real-life hero you’ve met?
ROBIN: My youngest daughter. She’s defied the odds and has surpassed every expectation. She works harder than anyone I know and takes almost nothing for granted. She runs when they said she’d never walk, and she never allows anyone to put limitations on her. She’s the bravest person I’ve ever met. She’s my hero.
ANGI: Where do you read and how often?
ROBIN: I read everywhere. People in town call me the book lady because no matter where I am, I have a book (or my Kindle) in my hand. I’ll be waiting for a school bus, in line at the grocery store, at Starbucks, in my kitchen boiling pasta, and I have a book in one hand. Before I was writing under deadline, I was a book-a-day reader. Now I’m more of a binge reader. When I sit down to read, I sometimes find myself not stopping until the book is finished.
ANGI: What sound or noise do you love?
ROBIN: The sound skis make while going through virgin snow.
ANGI: What was the first story you remember writing?
ROBIN: It was a fan fiction of a Don Knotts cartoon/movie The Incredible Mr. Limpet—about a guy with big glasses who turns into a fish. I was about four years old and my parents had just separated. I didn’t want my dad to be lonely, so I wrote him stories using a big old manual typewriter. It took two hands to push down the keys.
ANGI: Who’s your favorite villain?
ROBIN: The Joker—ever since I was a little kid. I remember running into Adam West when I was a kid and the first thing I asked him was if the Joker was as cool in person as he is on TV.
ANGI: Is writing or story-telling easier for you?
ROBIN: Story-telling is always easier. It comes naturally to me—there’s nothing I love more than telling stories. Writing them down is work.
ANGI’S GOTTA ASK: “Living with an extended family that's … Gilligan’s Island…minus the desert isle.” So, Robin… uhm, can you share more details? Like…who’s Gilligan? *grin* Or maybe just let us know who the quirkiest character is that you’ve ever written?
ROBIN’S GOTTA ANSWER: In order to keep peace in the family, I’m going to take the easy way out. The quirkiest character I’ve ever written would probably be Aunt Rose—she’s Rosalie, Rich, and Annabelle Ronaldi’s psychic aunt and a great cook. She loves them for who they are, but she’s not afraid to get them a smack on the back of the head and tell them when they’re being stupid. Aunt Rose always tells it like it is. I adore that about her.
ROBIN's DRAWING from those leaving comments for a TWO copies of WILD THING.
Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only unless specifically mentioned in the post. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants. Winners of drawings are responsible for checking this site in a timely manner. If prizes are not claimed in a timely manner, the author may not have a prize available. Get Lost In A Story cannot be responsible for an author's failure to mail the listed prize. GLIAS does not automatically pass email addresses to guest authors unless the commenter publicly posts their email address.
FIND ROBINCatch Robin at CasablancaAuthors Blame It OnThe Muse KillerFiction Writers
UP NEXT from ROBIN: CALL ME WILD, Fisher Kincaid’s book. It should be out in August or September of 2012.
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GOT A QUESTION FOR ROBIN?
Ask away...... or answer Robin's question for you:
What are some of the characteristics that make up a great heroine?