Rocky Mountain Freedom by Vivian Arend
Three hurting hearts. Too many secrets. One chance to conquer their fears.
Over the past year, Travis Coleman lost the two people he allowed closest to his heart. Both gave him ultimatums—then left. Hell if he needs that kind of pain again. Time to move forward without the friends he thought might save him from his dangerous cravings.
When Ashley Sims returns to Rocky Mountain House, her rambling lifestyle isn’t all she’s hoping to change. Travis snagged a piece of her, and while getting tangled in his issues again might be crazy, she hasn’t given up on him.
Nine months ago, Cassidy Jones walked away to stop his best friend from making a huge mistake. Temptation lingers, though, and when Travis shows up on his turf accompanied by a sensually uninhibited woman, the combination tosses fuel on the banked fire.
Passion flares among the three of them, as hot as the summer days. But are they willing to push the limits, and fight for love?
Warning: Dirty fighting, dirty talk, dirtier sex—secrets are coming out. Get ready for ménage a trois and cowboy-on-cowboy action, with ropes and crops and the kind of relentless love strong enough to set a man free.
Travis opened the door then followed her into the tiny cabin. His head full of memories, he was far more focused on the shock of discovering Cassidy than the actual living space.
Ashley dropped onto the teeny single-person bed, the springs squeaking ominously. “You sure you want me in here with you? I might have more room in my van.”
Other than the bed, there was also a dresser and a small desk with a chair. A row of hooks along one wall, a towel rack under the window. “It won’t be tough to keep the place clean.”
He stared out the window, catching a glimpse of Cassidy heading in the opposite direction. What a mixed-up, fucked-up situation.
When he turned back, Ashley had ditched her sandals and wiggled onto the bed. She leaned on the wall and was observing him with an all-too-knowing look.
She raised a brow. “Snapping at me already. That’s interesting.”
“I didn’t snap—” Her brow went even higher, and Travis gave up. “Don’t pull that goddamn Vulcan face on me. Yes, I snapped. No, it’s nothing bad. And you’re sleeping in my bed, not your van, got it?”
A smile played about her lips as she wrapped her arms around her knees. “Cassidy’s hot.”
“For fuck’s sake.” She was merciless. Travis grabbed the chair from by the desk and hauled it around so he could collapse onto it. “Start the damn questions because I know you’re about to burst over there.”
She grinned. “All your secrets belong to meeee.”
Almost true. “Cassidy and I met a couple years ago. He was working in the Rocky area, and we fell into doing stuff together. I thought he was about my best friend. Then last summer something happened and he took off, and I hadn’t heard from him since.”
“That was before we met then?”
Ashley frowned. “How come you didn’t know he was working here? I thought Karen gave you all the employee information and that kind of stuff.”
Travis could have kicked himself. “She did. Only the first page listed everyone by their initials, and I didn’t bother to go through the rest of the pages before we got here. His last name is Jones—not like that would set off any warning bells.”
“And it is a warning?” Ashley wiggled to the edge of the bed, her expression all earnest and concerned. “Before he took off, did you guys have a fight or something?”
The words or something stuck in his throat.
Sudden exhaustion hit like a two-by-four, carrying with it the recollection of pain. Travis stared into space and fought the rush of memories, and the confusion and the longings he had no right to have.
A soft stroke across his cheek made him glance into her dreamy eyes. “You’re drifting, Travis Coleman. You gonna tell me what’s got you all tangled into a knot? I won’t tease if you don’t want to share.”
Travis laughed. “Don’t take this the wrong way, but you let up on a secret? Bullshit. You’re like a dog worrying at a bone.”
“I can restrain myself if needed,” she insisted. She tugged him onto the bed and crawled over him, cuddling in tight and draping her arms around his shoulders until she was a human blanket. “I’m a good listener if you need one.”
Travis slid his hands onto her hips, stoking his thumbs over the soft stretch of bare skin at the waistline where her shirt had ridden up. He touched their lips together lightly, kissing her because he could. Ashley softened in his arms like always, leaning against him as if offering reassurance.
He pulled back far enough to watch her face as he spoke. He hated to confess, but maybe it was about time to give a little. There was no way he’d survive the summer without her support. “I hit on him.”
Her eyes widened. Not shock—more like delight. Then amazingly, a flush stole across her cheeks.
Ashley blushing? Well, there was a miracle.
“You going to say anything?” he asked.
Ashley swallowed. “Well, first off, I’m trying not to be distracted by the mental images of my angel and devil getting naked together, because holy shit, would that be hot.”
Travis’s body tightened involuntarily.
Her smile twisted up into self-mockery. “I’m a little embarrassed I flirted with him when he’s gay. No wonder he looked so uncomfortable.”
“Sweetheart, he totally looked uncomfortable because he wanted in your pants,” Travis reassured her. “Trust me, the guy likes women just fine.”
Her clever fingers were tangled in the hair at the back of his neck. “But you hit on him, which tells me you’ve got some explaining to do.”
“Fuck.” Travis took a deep breath. “Fuck, fuck, fuck.”
“You wish,” Ashley teased.
“God, you have such a smart mouth.”
Q: Romance readers have a lot of choices these days. What makes Rocky Mountain Freedom stand out in the crowd?
A: It’s finally time to go see what’s happening in Travis Coleman’s life. For the past five books there have been hints: now the answers are coming.
Rocky Mountain Freedom is a story with real people facing tough issues, centered in middle of a big extended family, and small town bias. Be ready to laugh and cry–
Q: We like to include our favorite quote in our reviews of the books we read. What is your favorite quote from Rocky Mountain Freedom?
A: My favorite quote from Rocky Mountain Freedom is:
There was no denying the facts. She’d give a hell of a lot to enjoy being sandwiched between them. But then, she’d enjoy watching them crawl all over each other as well.
About Vivian Arend
Vivian Arend in one word: Adventurous. In a sentence: Willing to try just about anything once. That wide-eyed attitude has taken her around North America, through parts of Europe, and into Central and South America, often with no running water.
Now a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of both contemporary and paranormal stories, Vivian continues to explore, write and otherwise keep herself well entertained.
The Author Wants To Know:
If you like ‘ongoing family saga’ stories, what’s your favourite part of them?