Exclusive Excerpt – LIGHT UP THE NIGHT by M.L. Buchman
They descended a steep little path fifty feet through the trees, and then Trisha knew it was perfect. The sound of rushing water blocked out all else.
A tiered waterfall almost thirty feet high poured over layers of worn rocks. From here they could see most of the cascading waterfall.
“The water is low this time of year.” The Huntington River was only twenty feet wide in the autumn, and swift but not deep. “My undercover informant said it would still be pretty.”
“It’s great, O’Malley.” Billy just stood there, his face up toward the cool mist rolling off the fall.
A broad pool spread before them at the base of the lowest fall, clearly the swimming hole the kid had mentioned. There was room for a dozen or more people to splash about comfortably, the last little tier of the falls feeding one end, and a stream draining the other. She considered suggesting that Billy take a go in there, but the water looked cold.
What the hell. She sidled up behind him and gave him a quick shove.
As he fell, he spun and grabbed her. His reflexes were so fast that he succeeded in catching hold and they both plunged in.
She was wrong. It wasn’t cold. It was freezing. She surfaced sputtering and surged for shore.
His arm snaked about her waist and pulled her farther into the pool.
She got a mouthful of water and spit a stream at his face.
He planted a hand atop her head and shoved her under.
The water was about four feet deep at this part of the pool. She let herself be driven down until she could grab his ankles. Then she tucked into a squat and drove herself back to the surface with all of the strength of her powerful legs. With the help of the water partly floating his body, she managed to flip him into deeper water.
A fast crawl almost got her to shore again, but trying to out swim a SEAL had clearly been a waste of effort. Billy clamped a hand around her ankle. Rather than kicking against it, she used it as leverage to double over and grab his wrist with both hands. Then using a nerve pinch to free her leg, she did a flip she’d seen on the wrestling channel and scissored her legs around his throat, locking her ankles behind his neck.
He got a hand on her face and shoved her under.
Trisha considered biting his hand, but thought better of it and nibbled on his thumb instead.
He let her pop up to the surface, and when she did, he was laughing.
She was still hanging with her legs about his neck like an overlong scarf, her back floating in the water. She squeezed his throat a bit with her knee, just enough to choke off his laughter.
Casually as could be, he reached up and dug a finger into the mid-thigh nerve junction. Not hard, just enough to make her want to let go really badly to avoid a severe charley horse. He gave her legs a push over his head after she eased up and she did a backflip into the water, landing with her feet on the bottom facing him.
“What were you laughing about?”
“Messing with you could be dangerous.”
“You bet, sailor.” She splashed a palm’s worth of water in his general direction just as he was trying to inhale, leaving his sputtering and wiping his eyes.
“You look like you’re freezing.”
“I’m not a big hunk of meat like you.” The water that practically reached her shoulders barely washed around the middle of his chest. His T-shirt clung to every curve of muscle. “God, Lieutenant. You’re gorgeous.”
“And you’re damned cute, Irish.”
She cocked an arm back to fire another load of water in his face, but he was too quick and grabbed her. She didn’t even put up a struggle as he dragged her against him and kissed her hard. Trisha wrapped her legs about his waist so that she couldn’t float away.
LIGHT UP THE NIGHT
Author: M.L. Buchman
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Trisha O’Malley rebelled against her affluent family by joining the U.S. Army’s secret helicopter regiment, the 160th SOAR. Now a Chief Warrant Officer, she found her toughest fight yet in the pilot’s seat of an MH-6M attack helicopter.
William Wallace Bruce is an undercover CIA agent who doesn’t trust the military. But when the Horn of Africa is threatened by Somali pirates, Trisha flies out to recover ships and hostages…including one very ungrateful Will. Everything about Trisha triggers his mistrust: her elusive past, her wild energy, and her proclivity for flying past safety’s edge. Even as the heat between them turns into passion’s fire, Bill and Trisha must team up to confront their pasts and survive Somalia’s pirate lords.
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M. L. Buchman has over 25 novels in print. His military romantic suspense books have been named Barnes & Noble and NPR “Top 5 of the year” and Booklist “Top 10 of the Year.” In addition to romance, he also writes contemporaries, thrillers, and fantasy and science fiction.
In among his career as a corporate project manager he has: rebuilt and single-handed a fifty-foot sailboat, both flown and jumped out of airplanes, designed and built two houses, and bicycled solo around the world.
He is now a full-time writer, living on the Oregon Coast with his beloved wife. He is constantly amazed at what you can do with a degree in Geophysics. You may keep up with his writing at www.mlbuchman.com.
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