Not your mother's romance

Falling in Angels Falls

The black sheep . . .
Alexa Dayne shocked everyone by refusing to join the family bakery business. She’s worked hard to prove that owning her own salon in upscale San Francisco is more than just a dream; it’s her passion, and she’s made it a huge success, solo. After years of round-the-clock work, her finances are in the black, and Alexa craves both an escape and a new challenge. She’s determined to find both—in the wilds of Venezuela and the promise of exhilarating adventure at Angels Falls, the largest waterfall in the world.

A weary soldier . . .
Ben Marx is running from brutal memories. A career soldier turned entrepreneur, Ben has slaved to make Steel Force Adventures a reality. The business of offering thrill-seekers extreme adventures is how Ben intends to fulfill both a dream and a promise to the one person he was powerless to save. On the cusp of success, he’s approached by a long-legged vixen seeking a guide through the Venezuelan jungle to Angels Falls. Her fearless determination is proof enough she’ll make the dangerous trek alone if he refuses. Her animal print body-suit and makeup scream high maintenance, but her eyes, ice-blue and intense, promise something more.

Testing their resolve . . .
The Angels Falls journey is one of renewal for Alexa and Ben. But when passions flare and hidden motives are revealed, the flames of heart-wrenching pain forge bonds between them—bonds destined to be tested by life’s harsh realities . . . after Angels Falls.

AMAZON      APPLE      NOOK      KOBO 

What readers are saying…

“This story was very intriguing. I found myself laughing many times when Alexa and Ben interacted on their hike. The sparks between these two were off the charts!!! I was sad when they parted ways and happy when circumstances brought them back together and with a little surprise bundle no less!!! I enjoyed reading about these two strong people stumbling to make it to their HEA!!! Great story and well written!!!”

“Warning! Be prepared to get sucked in from the start. This one grabs hold and doesn’t let go! Sweet, sexy, and hilarious! This is my first read from this author, but it certainly won’t be my last. Alexa and Ben’s story is beautifully written and witty. With laugh out loud moments and sweet, steamy scenes, this is one that I can and will read time and time again.”

“Wonderful, comic, sexy romance! Ben or “Joe” is stunningly hot and sexy. Dealing with life, love and loss. Alexa is strong, determined and resilient. The two come together in so many ways bring a fantastic story for all of us.”

Excerpt:

“Whatever it is you have to say, make it fast. I have work to do.”

“So serious, GI Joe. You need to learn to relax.” She bit into the lime, and damned if his traitorous eyes didn’t wander to her full, blood-red lips. Lips he imagined hugging more than a wedge of lime.

Well, fuck.

“What do you want?”

She tossed back the tall shot in one gulp and grinned. “Besides a million dollars, the ability to drink as much as I want without hangovers, and a hot guy willing to bend me over and do me at the drop of a hat?”

He choked on the large bite of flank steak and potato. He coughed and his eyes watered. Forcing down a few hefty gulps of his beer, he glared at her.

“Jesus Christ; subtlety is not your thing, is it?” he choked out.

She leaned back and hooked her arm over the corner of her chair. “No, it’s not. You going to make it there, GI Joe?”

“Stop calling me that.”

“Sorry, no can do. It fits.”

“Are you ever going to tell me what the hell you want?”

“My guide is a no-show, so I want to hire you to guide me.”

“Fuck, no.”

“Why not?”

“I have work of my own to do, for one. Two, you look like you would be one huge pain in my ass out in the jungle. So, no.”

“Wait just a minute. You don’t know shit about me. I’m strong. I can handle it.”

“There’s a lot more to the jungle than a walk through the woods. There are venomous insects, reptiles, and dangerous animals, just for starters. It’s not for beginners, it’s not for rich chicks looking for a walk on the wild side, and it sure as hell isn’t for a beauty queen with long fingernails and high-heeled boots.”

She gave him a wounded look that told him he had pushed it one step too far. “You’re a real asshole, GI Joe. Forget I asked.”

He’d hurt her. He saw it before she dialed her features to “fuck off” and stood to leave. Shit. He didn’t want this. He wanted to do this trial run without having to worry about one God-damned thing other than satisfying the Venezuelan government for their final approvals.

Before he could talk himself out of it, he stood and reached for her wrist. “Wait.”

She glared at the hand wrapped around her wrist, so he let go. “Sit. Please?”

She dropped into her chair, but held herself away from him. With just a few words he’d smacked down the brazen women, leaving her closed off and, if he didn’t know better, ready to spit nails.

He pulled out his cell and scrolled through his contacts. “Who was your guide?”

“Romano Acosta. Why?”

He stopped scrolling and locked eyes with her. He knew the guy. A decent guide, if he could lay of the booze. Unfortunately, Romano’s wife took off with Romano’s brother a month earlier, and Romano had been three sheets to the wind ever since.

“He’s an unreliable drunk.” Even if Ben could locate him, he wouldn’t trust him to watch a goldfish let alone trek through the dangerous jungles of Venezuela with an inexperienced woman.

She threw her hands up in the air. “Well, isn’t that just great. I want my money back.”

“How much did you give him?”

“Three thousand.”

“What the hell? For just hiking through the jungle?”

“Yeah, why?” she asked with narrowed eyes.

“He took you for a ride.” He looked her up and down. “Surprising; you look more street-savvy than that.”

Her booted leg bounced where it crossed over her knee. She had to be sporting four-inch heels easy. Yeah, there was no way she would make it through the jungle with Romano, and the challenge in her glare told him if he refused she was going to do something stupid, like go off on her own.

She crossed her arms and tilted her head.

Yup, stubborn, pissed off, and itching to prove him wrong.

“If I agree to this, we’re setting some ground rules.” He wished he could snatch the words back. So far, the dumbest thing he had ever done was take his dad’s mint-condition 1965 Mustang for a joyride…across the country, ending with his arrest in New Jersey.

She leaned forward, a grin splitting her stunning face. “I’m all ears.”

Yup, this, he had a feeling, was about to trump his cross-country joyride. “First, and most important, you do everything I tell you, without question.”

“Done.”

Uh-huh. He would believe it when he saw it.

“Second, you dress for the trip. No heels, no body suits, no makeup, nothing scented.”

She crossed her arms and leaned back in her seat. “I’m taking my lipstick.”

Of course she was. “Why the hell do you need lipstick in the jungle?”

“I don’t, but I’m taking it anyway.” She stood and slid her purse off the back of her chair, hooking it over her shoulder.

“Where are you going?”

“To get my beauty sleep, GI Joe. Because you look like the kind of guy who gets up early. Right?”

Of course he got up early. “Meet me in the front lobby at 5AM.”

5AM?

“You have a problem with that, Princess?”

She gave him a glare, those blue eyes narrowed into icy slits, but he didn’t look away. He’d stared down the barrel of a gun less than a foot from his face, held by a twitchy Taliban recruit. He watched friend after friend, brother after brother, die. When he was lucky, it was a gunshot and over. Other times, they were lucky if they could collect all the pieces for burial.

Yeah, she could stare at him with that death glare all she wanted. He could wait her out.

She exhaled in a huff. “Fine, 5AM.”

“See, was that so hard? With a little more practice, you’ll get this whole following the rules thing down.”

She straightened her shoulders, held her head high, turned on those stilts of hers, and walked through the lobby to the elevators.

“Hey,” he called out.

She turned that hard glare on him but didn’t say a word. She stood there, all cool aloofness, arms crossed, brows arched, just waiting.

He pushed away from the table and approached her, one sauntering step at a time. “You’re just going to go off into the mountains with me without even asking my name?

She pushed the ‘up’ button then focused back on him. “I don’t need your name. I need you to know what the hell you’re doing.”

He slid his hands into his pockets and leaned against the metal frame of the elevator. “What’s your name?”

She cocked her head to one side. “Alexa Dayne,” she said.

He nodded. “Ben Marx.”

“And now we’ve met, so if you don’t mind…I’m going to get my rest,” she said as she backed away. The elevator doors opened and she disappeared inside without another glance.

© Casey Hagen, USA Today Bestselling Author