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Rain Shadow
Cover of Rain Shadow
Rain Shadow
A Bluewater Bay Novel
by L.A. Witt
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Jeremy Rose came to Bluewater Bay to work as Anna Maxwell's bodyguard, not to escape his increasingly bitter relationship with his estranged kids. He just wants to focus on his job and be alone for a while. He's done with love, especially now that three years after his long overdue divorce, he's got a front-row seat to the rapid deterioration between Anna and her girlfriend. Cynical doesn't even begin to describe him.

Then Anna and Leigh's attempts to reconcile put him in the crosshairs of marriage counselor Scott Fletcher. Scott's exactly what Jeremy needs right now: gorgeous, hot, horny, single, and 100% uninterested in a relationship. The problem is, too much no-strings-attached sex — and too much time in each other's company — inevitably builds emotional connection.

Except Jeremy refuses to seek counseling for his broken family, and Scott refuses to get seriously involved with men who work dangerous jobs. They both need to realize they can only hide for so long from the pain they came here to escape. They must face their pasts before they lose their shot at a happy future.

Jeremy Rose came to Bluewater Bay to work as Anna Maxwell's bodyguard, not to escape his increasingly bitter relationship with his estranged kids. He just wants to focus on his job and be alone for a while. He's done with love, especially now that three years after his long overdue divorce, he's got a front-row seat to the rapid deterioration between Anna and her girlfriend. Cynical doesn't even begin to describe him.

Then Anna and Leigh's attempts to reconcile put him in the crosshairs of marriage counselor Scott Fletcher. Scott's exactly what Jeremy needs right now: gorgeous, hot, horny, single, and 100% uninterested in a relationship. The problem is, too much no-strings-attached sex — and too much time in each other's company — inevitably builds emotional connection.

Except Jeremy refuses to seek counseling for his broken family, and Scott refuses to get seriously involved with men who work dangerous jobs. They both need to realize they can only hide for so long from the pain they came here to escape. They must face their pasts before they lose their shot at a happy future.

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    Chapter One

    Four o'clock was way too fucking early for this.

    Okay, so I was used to early mornings after late nights — kind of came with the territory of guarding a workaholic in the entertainment industry. But getting up at the ass crack of dawn to stand in a parking lot with a bunch of strangers, clinging to a cup of coffee, in the middle of January? This was bullshit.

    Beside me, Anna burrowed her face into the zipped-up collar of her parka. "Please tell me the bus is almost here."

    "Should be." Leigh glanced at her phone, then stuffed it and her hand back into her pocket. "We're supposed to leave by four fifteen."

    Anna grumbled something I didn't understand. Leigh shot her a look, but Anna ignored it.

    Come on, you two. It's too early. Give it a rest.

    Their counselor had planned to go on the trip with his wife, but couldn't, so he'd passed his tickets on to Leigh and Anna, suggesting it would be a good change of scenery for them. It was a chance for them to do something together that they would both enjoy so maybe they could reconnect. Ideally, it would alleviate some of the tension caused by Anna working too much, and whatever else had had the two of them butting heads since well before the production company had hired me as Anna's bodyguard.

    And a day trip that started in a freezing-cold parking lot at four in the morning seemed like just what they needed.

    I rolled my eyes. Wasn't like the two of them needed to just sleep the fuck in and relax or anything. But whatever. I wasn't getting paid to grade their counselor. I was here to keep overzealous Wolf's Landing fans and a handful of deranged stalkers from putting their hands on Anna. If she came to me for advice, I gave it, but otherwise I kept my mouth shut about the quack and stayed out of it.

    Anna yawned, wobbling a little on her feet.

    "You all right?" I asked.

    "Uh-huh." She rubbed her eyes. "Tired."

    "It's a three-and-a-half-hour drive." Leigh nestled her face into her collar. "We can probably catch up on some sleep on the way."

    "Good idea." Anna yawned again. "C'mon, stupid bus. Mama needs a nap."

    And so does her bodyguard — not that he'll get one.

    Anna had been working ridiculous hours all week, which meant I had been too, but they'd been taking a bigger toll on her than me. Though I suspected it wasn't just the show that was keeping her up at night. The air between her and Leigh had been frostier than usual. They hadn't been screaming at each other lately, but that probably wasn't a good sign. Usually, those two argued more than I had with my ex-wife or my kids did with each other. Combined.

    But lately, it had been chilly silence. At least when they were fighting, they were talking.

    Or maybe I was wrong and the snake-oil peddling counselor was actually helping. Maybe they were calmly working through things now. One could hope, anyway. I knew all too well how long a relationship could continue even when it was well past salvaging — and how miserable it could make anyone within a ten-mile radius.

    "Oh, thank God," someone said. "There's the bus."

    The whole group turned as a repurposed school bus with Mount Olympus Tours emblazoned on the side pulled into the lot. If the driver knew what was good for her, she had every heater on that thing blasting.

    The brakes squeaked, then hissed. The door opened, and a cute blond guy in a red Mount Olympus Tours golf shirt skipped off the bus and singsonged, "Well, good morning, everyone!"

    I cringed. That kind of cheerfulness at this hour was like someone kicking on a strobe light when I was...

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L.A. Witt
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