I won’t lie: I love a good romance now and then. For some reason, romances that start with characters not liking each other all that much seem to call out to me in a particularly loud voice. I think it’s because I like the change away from insta-love, but it’s hard to say.
Either way, On the Edge, by Dani Collins, falls right within that category. I haven’t read it yet, but its summary and today’s excerpt easily had me putting it on my to-read list. Just as I’m sure they’ll have you adding it to yours.
About the book
When Glory Cormer’s father introduces her to ‘their’ new business partner, she’s appalled. Viking-like Rolf Johansson exudes the same alpha-intimidation that jocks used to torment her through high school. After nursing her mother the last several years, she’s trying to break out of her shell and secretly pursue a writing career, but Rolf insists she go through with the rotten deal her father struck with his brother to renovate an old chalet.
Rolf envisions this mountain as a world-class resort for elite athletes and other jet setters. As a downhill champion and owner of a world-renowned sports equipment empire, he knows what it takes to get what he wants. Nothing will stop him, especially not a hotheaded wallflower who turns the ice in his veins to lava.
Bonus Story! This book contains Glory’s novella Blessed Winter, a no-room-at-the-inn Christmas romance.
Rolf looked into the top of his mug. The foam heart made his own shrink and harden.
These flirty touches of hers, accompanied by hopeful smiles and eagerness to please, were piling up and setting off alarm bells. He was the full package. He knew that. She was hardly the first woman to eye up his looks, standing, and fortune, then make a play for a piece of it. He had an ex-wife who had taken a piece.
Maybe he owned a little responsibility for the way she was leaning in. He had cast one or two glances that she might have construed as interest. That was his dick doing his thinking and he needed to yank a halt on that as much as her. It was time to make clear that coffee art, and pillow chocolates, and inspiring quotes on the bottom of emails, didn’t affect him.
Drawing a breath, he went straight to the heart—pun intended—of the matter.
“I don’t know what you think might happen between us, but it won’t.”
She jolted like she’d caught a spark of static electricity. Her hand paused where she was writing something on a clipboard and she lifted her strawberry-blonde lashes, taken aback.
“I beg your pardon?” Her voice was so thin he barely heard it.
He bit back a sigh and licked his lips. “You seem to be making an effort to catch my attention.” He nodded at the foam heart. “I just want to be up front, so there aren’t any misunderstandings. I’m not interested.”
Maybe that was harsh, but he wasn’t someone who danced around, avoiding the hard jobs.
Her eyes widened even more, growing wounded and embarrassed. Pink bled into her face so deep, her freckles disappeared. Her bottom lip started to quiver before she bit down on it. Her brow pleated and her eyes began to gloss.
He set his back teeth, not having planned to make explanations, but maybe he needed to dial this back a notch. “We work together—”
“No, we don’t! You treat me like I work for you.”
He cocked a brow at that. Well, yeah. He was paying for a room and all.
“I’m trying to be nice.” Temper was gathering around her like storm clouds, making her voice grow loud and strident. “Not that you would know what that looks like. You think I’m coming on to you? You can’t even change your own toilet roll! You don’t get Valentines for that, you asshat. Making hearts with foam is so basic, it means I’m not even trying. But if you don’t like the way I’ve made your coffee, fine.”
She grabbed his mug and threw it into the bar sink where it bounced out and clattered to the floor, sending coffee exploding all over the walls, counter, and floor.
Adrenaline shot through him in reaction to the violence, sending a jolt of aggression into him that pushed him onto his toes, determined to grab control of a situation that was in full tailspin.
“Get a grip. This is a work environment.”
“This—” her hand flung above her head to indicate the lodge “—is a prison sentence. In Siberia. One where Herr Rolf rules. Do you know I’m supposed to be in Paris with my mom? Instead, I’m stuck here with a prick who goes out of his way to make me feel shitty about myself. Not interested? Fuck you, Rolf. Fuck you and your brother’s dog, too.”
She spat the words. Her whole body shook and her eyes showed white around fiery green centers.
“Are you done?” he bit out, dousing her tantrum with the unmoved ice in his veins.
“Great. Can I get coffee?”
“Help yourself.” Except she didn’t say ‘help.’ It sounded a lot more like ‘Gofuckyourself.’
She walked out, and he heard Devon say, “You tell him, girl.”
“Oh, now you want to act like we’re friends? Screw you, Devon.”
“Hey!” Devon said, but Glory’s footsteps clomped away.
Rolf became aware of the fact that music had been turned down in the kitchen. Everyone in the vicinity had gone quiet to listen.
He walked around the bar, dropped a towel on the spill, rinsed his cup, and helped himself to a regular coffee from the brew of the day. He walked back to his office through the kitchen, telling the kid in the dish pit to clean up behind the bar. Safety first.
Then he closed the door to his office with a firm hand and sat down to work, telling himself he had accomplished what he meant to. Maybe it hadn’t been elegant, but it was done. All was right with his world.
The coffee gave him gut rot.
About the author
Award-winning, USA Today Bestselling author Dani Collins thrives on giving readers emotional, compelling, heart-soaring romance with laughter and heat thrown in, just like real life. Mostly she writes contemporary romance for Harlequin Presents and Tule’s Montana Born, but her backlist of forty books also includes self-published erotic romance, romantic comedy, and even an epic medieval fantasy. When she’s not writing—just kidding, she’s always writing. She lives in Christina Lake, BC, Canada with her husband of thirty years who occasionally coaxes her out of her attic office to visit their grown children.