I’m thrilled to host Author Marilyn Baxter and her new contemporary romance, WHEN YOU TOUCH ME. Part of the Barefoot Bay Romances, this story of loss, and love found is sure to please. Treat yourself.
A woman torn by family. A man scarred by war.
Jillian Logan has returned to her home on Mimosa Key to tend to family issues and is hired by the island’s top spa, Casa Blanca’s Eucalyptus. As a licensed massage therapist with a focus on alternative therapies, she is given a special assignment to provide ten days of therapy to Sam Hartman, AKA Hart Throb, a soldier wounded during a tour of Afghanistan. She quickly comes to the realization that Sam’s a player and is making a play for her. Since her life is currently a balancing act between work and family needs, Jillian doesn’t want her growing attraction for this good-looking, appealing man to throw everything off-kilter.
Sam is less than thrilled to be anywhere there is sand. Sand in any form is a constant reminder of the hell-hole where he was injured. Jillian’s massages take his mind off his pain, but her other suggestions are pure voodoo as far as he’s concerned. Her touch makes the pain from his injuries fade, but her touch also forces him to face his inner demons. Can he convince her that he’s worth moving their relationship off the massage table and into his bed? Can the heat of their unlikely connection heal them both?
He looked up and saw the woman with the dark braid standing beside his chair. Hot damn, indeed.
Her question pulled him from his thoughts. If he had to be disturbed, she was a fine specimen to do it. And maybe a fine candidate for some suntan oil and his bed.
“I’m Sam Hartman.” He’d almost added ‘sir’ since his military training died hard. But he wasn’t in the Army any longer. He rubbed his shoulder, the low pinch of pain a constant reminder. The RPG had seen to that, and he was still angry over his “retirement.” Old men retired. Not young men who still wanted to do their jobs.
“I’m Jillian Logan, the massage therapist assigned to you during your stay here at Casa Blanca. I wanted to introduce myself and see about getting a little information from you before our sessions begin tomorrow.”
Sam slid his Ray Bans down his nose a bit and peered over the top of the frames. If he had to be stuck here, at least he had a gorgeous massage therapist instead of an ugly Amazon or some seven-foot brute with arms like logs and hands the size of dinner plates. He’d had a few of both during physical therapy.
He let his gaze slowly wander from her gold-flecked eyes down to her pink-tipped bare toes curling into the sand. Pink lips. Pink toenails. What other parts of her might be pink too? Sam felt the telltale twitch and knew that line of questioning needed to stop before he embarrassed himself in front of all these high society people.
“I’ll be working with you from nine until twelve and from two until four daily. We’ll start tomorrow morning, with Sunday off in case you want to go to church.” She paused as if waiting for some reaction from him. Sam slid the Ray Bans back into place with his index finger and leaned back in the beach chair.
“I have a little bit of information that Mrs. Granger provided,” she continued. “If you don’t mind answering a few questions now, I can work on a treatment plan and be ready to start in the morning.”
Sam lifted his glass to his mouth and let an ice cube glide onto his tongue. He crunched it between his back molars and let the cold shards soothe his parched throat.
“As a matter of fact, I do mind. Today is my free day, and I just want to relax, sip these wonderful drinks and get drunk,” he said, raising the glass for emphasis. “And if I’m real lucky, darlin’, maybe I’ll get laid too. I don’t suppose you’d like to volunteer for that, would you?”
Jillian’s eyes widened. The color drained from her face and she took a step backward. She tightened her grasp on the folder she clutched against her ample bosom, and a muscle twitched in her jaw. Sam castigated himself silently. If she was single and available, he may have just blown any chances with his too-direct approach.
“Well,” she drawled, “that’s not a service we offer here at Casa Blanca. The last part, that is.” She lifted her chin and smiled sweetly. “But I can respect your wish to relax today because for the next ten days—”
“With Sunday off,” he interrupted.
“For the next ten days, minus Sunday, I’m going to be your new best friend. In the strictest professional sense, to be precise. I have ten days to work on your injuries so that you leave Casa Blanca feeling better than when you arrived. Someone is paying for you to be here and I intend to see she gets her money’s worth.”
Jillian Logan had spunk. Sam had to give her that.
“Fair enough,” he replied.
“I can tell from here you need body work. Your shoulders are up around your earlobes, and if you keep crunching ice like that, you’ll probably end up with TMJ if you don’t already have it.”
He swirled the liquid in his glass. “This will help me relax just fine. But if you want to talk about body work, my earlier offer still stands.” He raked his gaze over her body once more and ran his tongue across his bottom lip.
Jillian white-knuckled the folder and sucked in an audible breath.
Sam chuckled. “Now look who’s not relaxed.”
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About the Author
After discovering romance novels quite by accident, Marilyn revived her interest in writing. Since 2001, she’s had over 40 short stories published in both confession and romance magazines, and in 2013 she sold her first book. She is an active member of Romance Writers of America and her local chapter, Heart of Dixie Romance Writers. Her involvement in RWA’s local and national levels has combined to give her a great love of the romance genre as well as friendships that span the globe.
In addition to reading and writing, Marilyn loves watching TV crime dramas, cooking for one and gardening in a few pots on her patio. Her motto is “Have passport, will travel” and she is always ready to add another location to the list of 32 states and 21 foreign countries she has visited so far.
A native of North Carolina, Marilyn arrived in Huntsville, Alabama by way of Frankfurt, Germany. She has lived in Alabama longer than anywhere else and calls it her home. She raised two great sons and now loves to dote on her two terrific granddaughters. And, amidst all of the above, she fits in a day job as an administrative assistant for a boutique law firm.
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Better as a Memory: http://www.amazon.com/Better-as-Memory-Marilyn-Baxter-ebook/dp/B00KB4DLMO/