A redhead with long legs, creamy kissable skin and a big fat wad of cash? That’s the kind of trouble former Air Force pilot J. T. Carmichael can’t resist. With his charter flight business on the verge of bankruptcy, J.T. can’t afford to say no to the money or the uniquely sexy woman who needs to get to South America immediately. Until the bullets start flying…
When his plane goes down somewhere in the Mexican jungle, J.T. realizes two things: (1) he might not make it out alive, and (2) he wants Hope Larsen something fierce. Stranded and fighting for their lives, neither Hope nor J.T. can avoid the inevitable rush of pure, heated lust. Now this flyboy isn’t just flying in the face of danger…he’s sleeping with her.
J.T. awoke to the mother of all headaches — worse than any hangover he’d ever experienced. If he’d had a hammer handy he would’ve buried it in his skull to stop the pain until he remembered that he was lucky to be alive.
He struggled to open his eyes but when his vision finally cleared he saw the leggy doctor curled up next to him in a leafy bed that he knew for a fact he hadn’t put together.
He gingerly touched where his head throbbed and found a respectable goose egg where he must’ve smacked his nob on the control panel when they were going down. Best guess, mild concussion, which would explain why he’d passed out.
Hope stirred and she awoke, rubbing at her eyes as she sat up with a tired yawn, relieved to see him still alive.
“Thank God,” she breathed, her hands fluttering to her chest where her formerly fancy cream blouse was now tattered and torn. “I was so worried you were going to die in the middle of the night.”
“Ye of little faith,” he grumbled, scooting to a sitting position, wincing as his head protested the small movement. “Takes more than a bump on the head to put me down. Trust me, others have tried.”
“Well, tough guy, you’ve no doubt suffered a concussion and if your brain had continued to swell, I would’ve been helpless to do anything about it.”
“Lucky for me, I woke up just fine,” he replied dryly, surveying their situation. Great, they were somewhere in the Mexican jungle. Deep. Which put them squarely between up a creek and wedged against a hard place. He rose to his feet, groaning without shame at the way his body screamed with pain. “Been a long time since I had to bring a plane down like that. It’s as shitty as I remember.”
“You’ve done this before?” Hope asked, rising to her feet as well, swiping at her behind as if that small motion was going to make a difference in the grime they were covered in. “You might’ve mentioned that before I chartered your service.”
“Settle down, Doc. It was a long time ago, another life,” he said, scanning the jungle, looking for something that might tell him where they’d gone down. Thunderclouds rolled ominously on the horizon, temporarily blotting out the early sun. “My guess is that the plane didn’t blow up?”
“No, I was afraid that it might though so I pulled you away from it.”
Awww, she cares. “Thanks. I owe you one.”
“Well, don’t get the wrong idea. You’re still on the clock, Mr. Carmichael. I need you to get me to South America.”
“Lady, my plane is in pieces. How am I supposed to do that exactly? Put you on my back and flap my wings? We’re going to have a bitch of a time getting out of this jungle alive, much less find another plane to fly your happy ass to Timbuktu.” He paused, adding, “And I told you, my father was Mr. Carmichael. It’s J.T. or else I’m not answering.”
“Fine. J.T. Here’s the situation as I see it…we need each other to get out of this jam so I suggest we work together instead of against one another so we can survive.” She squared her shoulders and adjusted the fluttering sleeves of her mangled blouse and asked, “Do you have any idea where we might’ve landed?”
“Best guess? Somewhere in the Lacandon jungle, likely the southern part of the Yucatán Peninsula.” He bracketed his hips, squinting against the morning sun playing peek-a-boo with the clouds. “And if that’s the case, we’re well and truly screwed.”
“Why is that?”
“Well, because we have two possible situations and neither are good.”
“Which are?” She gestured impatiently.
“First, we have the potential of running into Mexican guerrillas who are using the jungle reserve to grow their illegal crops and guard their crops with semi-automatic weapons and a shoot first, leave the body for the bugs mentality or second, we have the potential of running into the last Lacandon Maya, who are mostly untouched by civilization and don’t take kindly to strangers. I think they might even be cannibals but don’t quote me on it.”
“That doesn’t sound promising,” she murmured in distress.
And since he didn’t believe in sugarcoating things, he added, “Yeah, and that’s not counting the bugs, snakes and apex predators that call this patch of Earth home.”
Hope paled and a bridge of soft brown freckles appeared on her nose. “I don’t like snakes.”
“Yeah, I don’t either but we did land in Satan’s armpit, otherwise known as the Mexican rainforest.”
“So what do we do?”
“Try not to die?”