He can never resist a dangerous challenge…especially when the chemistry is volcanically hot.
Welcome to the first book of the Fantasy Island trilogy!
For daredevil and extreme athlete Daxon Miles, free solo climbing is as necessary as breathing. Just him facing off against the face of a mountain. No gear, no ropes…just the exhilaration of success. One wrong move and it’s all over. So being on enforced “rest and relaxation” in Hawaii before a major climb is seriously killing him. Fortunately, there isn’t a single restful thing about the woman at his door…
Kendall Clark. The hot-as-hell physical therapist who took over Daxon’s fantasies six months ago after they shared a scorching, hungry kiss. Now she’s here at the ultraluxe exclusive Kalani resort, still as cautious as ever. But Daxon can’t resist a challenge…and Kendall is his ultimate distraction.
Drowning in her kisses, her taste, her skin. It’s a dangerous precipice of temptation and lust…and something else that neither of them are ready to admit. But when it comes to conquering deadly heights, fear is the enemy. And falling for Kendall is the one thing guaranteed to put them both in danger…
* Excerpt *
“Let’s get started.” Kendall scrolled through his files on her tablet until she found the one she was looking for: the doctor’s report she’d reviewed a few days before. “You tore your calf a few weeks ago, Grade 1, and it still hasn’t fully healed.” She looked up at Daxon. “The doctor thinks the slow healing is a combination of not enough physical rest and possibly stress.”
Daxon shrugged. “I doubt it’s stress. I have the best job in the world. Cliff diving last season, rock climbing this season and a bunch of other adventures planned for the future.”
“But a free solo climb has absolutely no margin for error. One missed foothold, one loose rock, one bee sting—if anything goes wrong, you could die.”
He nodded solemnly, and for a moment she thought she was getting her point through to him, but then he smiled. “That’s why people love to watch it.”
His raspy voice strummed something inside her, but Kendall was trying hard not to be swayed by it, or his enthusiasm. He made it all sound so natural, so…sane. “You’re talking about the rush of all this, but you have to understand that at some level this is stressful, both physically and mentally, even if it’s fun. You jumped out of an airplane with no parachute a few months ago, for God’s sake.”
Daxon flashed her a cheeky grin. “Did you watch?”
This man was incorrigible.
“Maybe,” she hedged. “Just to make sure you got to the ground safely.”
Daxon waved off the comment. “I trusted my partner enough to put my life in his hands. Besides, Calvin wouldn’t have shown the footage if I didn’t make it.”
He winked at her mischievously. “Which is why my free climb of Moonlight Buttress is going to have a live broadcasting element. Everyone will be watching, wondering if I’ll make it. One slip of my fingers and…” He lifted his hands in surrender, adding, “It ups the stakes.”
“Aaaand now we have the answer to where your added stress level is coming from.”
Daxon’s smile turned cocky.
“Not a chance. I thrive on the pressure. And I perform best that way, too.” He lifted his eyebrows as that last sentence left his lips. “Just in case you’re wondering.”
It was the kind of thing a guy said right before he headed into bedroom talk. She could tell Daxon’s mind went there for a moment by the way his eyes glittered with heat. And despite the fact that it was one step away from a bad pick-up line, that tempting heat traveled right through her body.
Don’t get distracted.
“I’m sure your performances are…fine,” she said evenly. His eyes narrowed at that last word. “But that’s still stress, and it has to come out somehow. In your case, it could be taking on physical manifestations.”
“Like tension, which means the slow healing of my calf muscles?”
“I see,” said Daxon.
He actually looked serious, like he was really considering what she was saying. He was quiet, staring out the open French doors at the ocean, but she got the feeling he wasn’t seeing it.
And for just a moment, she wondered what it was like to be Daxon Miles. He probably didn’t even let himself think about his own vulnerabilities two weeks before a free solo climb. He’d have to have shut all his doubts out long ago, build a wall so they didn’t creep in. Kendall knew exactly how people like this worked. She grew up with a man like this in her very own home.
She studied Daxon for an extra beat. “Can we rewind back to when you answered the door a bit ago?”
“What would you have done if someone else had been standing outside your door, someone you didn’t know?”
Daxon laughed. “Well, for starters, I wouldn’t have dropped my towel.”
Yeah, right. Her face must have said exactly that because he tilted his head to the side, his brow wrinkling.
“Truthfully, I probably would have sent someone else away today. I’d also probably dodge them a few times this week, just for a little space.” His mouth turned up, sliding back into his signature grin. “But I’m definitely not going to dodge you.”