Tired of waiting for her big break in the fashion industry, Sky Gonzalez, eternal part-time student and overworked retail drone, quits her job, sublets her New York apartment, and embarks on a semester abroad study program in Paris. Paris! Time to throw caution to the winds and jump-start her dreams. What’s the worst that could happen?
How about getting sent to the wrong Paris? As in Paris-frigging-Minnesota?
Bye-bye career dreams. Bye-bye glamour and haute couture. Hello flannel shirts, mind-numbing cold, zero bars on the cell phone, and socially challenged mountain men with tons of unruly facial hair.
So yeah, let the truck barreling her way hit her, please. Less painful.
Logan should have dodged the little lost waif and kept on driving. Who in their right mind walked in the middle of the road, dressed in white from head to high heels, during a snowstorm? Clueless city girls, that’s who. Sky is all that Logan has gladly left behind: stylish, cosmopolitan, and a massive pain in the butt. He wouldn’t trade a single day in his quirky little corner of the woods for all the high-maintenance beauties the city can offer.
Too bad this beauty has been deemed a health hazard and quarantined in his house. Damn his doomsday-prepper neighbors and their paranoid emergency protocols. Now he has to keep Sky in and the pandemic squad out until the roads are clear. The question is, will that happen before or after Sky realizes she’s under house arrest?
Ah, the best-laid plans…
This was so not happening. “Are you serious?” Sky choked out.
“I’m afraid so. I’ll make it up to you later, I swear. Get dressed.” Logan reached for the keys, unlocked one cuff, freed her from the headboard, and jumped off the bed. “Dark clothes. Camo if you’ve got it.”
She snorted, sitting up. “You’re joking, right? The closest I’ve gotten to camo was watching—with contempt, I might add—an episode of Duck Dynasty.”
“Black sweatpants then.”
Sure, like she had packed that for Paris. The only sweatpants she had were gold and pink. Prada, spring collection.
“Where’s the key for the cuffs?” she asked, looking around.
“I left it on the bed,” Logan shouted from the closet.
Sky patted the bedsheets but no luck. “Can’t find it.”
Logan came back carrying a big rucksack. He left it on the floor and lifted the bedcovers. No key. “Maybe it fell on the floor?”
Sky pointed at the rucksack, ominously similar to the ones she’d seen the 10K participants carry. “Don’t tell me. Bug-out bag?”
“Bug-out bag. We need to hurry. They time these drills. If we mess up their schedule, we won’t ever live it down. Get ready. I’ll search for the key.”
Where had she gone wrong? She’d had a nice, comfortable city life. Friday meant cosmopolitans, sexy clothes, and a fancy date with dinner and dancing. Hot sex if she was lucky. Now? She was in the middle of nowhere, getting ready for an evacuation drill, her mascara down her chest, her hair a mess, and her clit hurting like a bitch from not coming. No dinner. No dancing.
She heard the front door opening and a woman yelling, “Logan! Move it! Where are you?”
“My sister got tired of waiting outside.”
“Forget the key and go meet her downstairs,” Sky urged him. “Before she gets in here. Or worse, before Arnie attacks her.”
“Fuck.” Logan grabbed the bag and dashed out of the room. “We’re coming! Go back to the car. Give us a minute.”
“You got thirty seconds,” was the annoyed reply.
Sky pulled the first long-sleeved-shirt she could find over herself, hoping to cover the cuffs hanging from one wrist. It was Logan’s, so it went down to her knees. Whatever. She ran to her room and put on the pink-and-gold sweatpants and the black-and-red rubber boots. Jesus Christ, talk about hillbillying it.
She dashed downstairs. Logan was holding the front door for her. Outside, the horn on a big, black truck was blaring.
“About time,” said the driver, a gruff man dressed in camo, as they jumped in the vehicle. A woman with pixie-cut hair, also wearing camo, was riding shotgun. Megan, Logan’s sister, Sky presumed.
“If you batshit wackos would schedule your damn drills at a more reasonable hour, or let us know beforehand, this wouldn’t happen,” Logan snapped back.
“It wouldn’t be much of an emergency evacuation drill if we gave notice beforehand, would it?” the pixie lady said.
After a colorful array of jobs all over Europe ranging from translator to chocolatier to travel agent to sushi chef to flight dispatcher, Elle Aycart is certain of one thing and one thing only: aside from writing romances, she has abso-frigging-lutely no clue what she wants to do when she grows up. Not that it stops her from trying all sorts of crazy stuff. While she is probably now thinking of a new profession, her head never stops churning new plots for her romances. She lives currently in Barcelona, Spain, with her husband and two daughters, although who knows, in no time she could be living at the Arctic Circle in Finland, breeding reindeer.
Elle loves to hear from readers!