Love Grows in Alaska by Michelle Lynn
Being the oldest Washington Triplet hasn’t been easy for Marisa Washington. Labeled the “good one” at a young age embedded the burden she strived to build true. She graduated at the top of her class, never caused her parents trouble, and even settled down in their hometown of Chicago with her college boyfriend.
Her life was “perfect”, at least in the eyes of others. But when her mom unexpectedly dies, Marisa’s eyes open for the first time. She leaves her boyfriend of four years and takes a job in Alaska to gain the freedom and individuality she’s craved. After all, what would she gain by sticking around Chicago? She discovered her perfect family isn’t so perfect, and everyone she cares for left her.
Starting a new life in Anchorage, Alaska, she’s unable to escape her family’s hold when her dad’s wedding announcement comes a mere six months after her mother’s death. Attempts to contact her sisters, in order to face this together, are unsuccessful, leaving her feeling even more alone.
Her family issues have to be pushed aside when her employer sends her and three others to a team building retreat in King’s Gate. It’s the last thing Marisa wants to do, until everywhere she turns, she finds…Zach Greer.
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A hand wraps gently around my wrist, stopping me from moving forward. “Marisa Washington?” I freeze at the deep voice I only heard hours ago. Forcing my eyes to look up, my stomach flips when they find the gorgeous Zach Greer standing in front of me.
“Zach,” I murmur and then I try to compose myself as much as possible. As my body thaws slightly from the shock of seeing him again, I feel his fingertips rubbing back and forth along the inside of my wrist. It’s calming and comforting instead of creepy like it should be. I’ve met him twice and his touch doesn’t bother me a bit, whereas if Pete’s hand brushes along mine, I swipe it back like he’s a mosquito.
He smiles down to me and I notice there’s no sign of surprise in those blue hues. “Why am I the only one surprised here?” I ask him, tilting my head to the side and a billowing easy going laugh erupts from his mouth.
“You caught me. I figured I may run into you,” he admits and my eyes must give away my hesitation that it hasn’t been a coincidence running into one another again. “I mean King’s Gate isn’t huge and I fly a lot of the tour customers to their destinations. Not that I intentionally followed you here … I didn’t know you’d stay here. I mean I kind—” he adorably rambles. I could become accustomed to a hot guy being nervous around me.
“It’s okay. I understand,” I interrupt and nervously twist a strand of my long dark hair around my finger.
“So, you’re staying here?” he asks, shoving his hands in his pockets and casually leaning against the wall.
“I’m not so sure I should tell you,” I kid, and that mouth opens up in the most amazing smile with perfectly white teeth. Tell me this man has a fault.
“I have ways of finding out.” He winks and my stomach flutters at the thought that he may be attracted to me like I am to him.
“Hmm … maybe I should make you use those ways.” I boldly take a step to him. Not sure why this foreign cat and prey act is coming out of me. I’ve never been one to make a move on a guy, much less someone as out of my league as Zach Greer. Pushing off the wall, he takes a step and my pulse quickens.
“Be careful, before you know it, I’ll be at your hotel door.” He takes a hold of my finger and releases it from my hair. We are chest-to-chest and my usual guarded self vanished at some point during this impromptu meeting, because the only thing I want are his lips on mine. To feel the warmth of his tongue with mine, his hands on my hips, drawing me closer.
“Maybe I wouldn’t mind,” I softly say and one side of his lips turn up as our eyes fixate on one another’s. This current forms from him to me and I boldly wait for him to push this further. My heart races, wanting him to entice me to do something I’ve never done, to push me to give in to my impulses that I always deny.
“Today would be nice, Marisa,” Wes sneers as he passes us going to the bathroom.
“Boyfriend?” Zach asks, not stepping back from me.
“Co-worker,” I answer, admiring those blue eyes that haunt me.
“Go to dinner, Marisa. I’ll be at the bar when you finish so I can buy you a drink.” Then he turns on his heel and leaves me standing there with my heart racing and a pool of moisture between my legs. What the hell?
THE WASHINGTON TRIPLETS SERIES
Michelle moved around the Midwest most of her life, transferring from school to school before settling down in the outskirts of Chicago ten years ago, where she now resides with her husband and two kids. She developed a love of reading at a young age, which helped lay the foundation for her passion to write. With the encouragement of her family, she finally sat down and wrote one of the many stories that have been floating around in her head. When she isn’t reading or writing, she can be found playing with her kids, talking to her mom on the phone, or hanging out with her family and friends. But after chasing around twin preschoolers all day, she always cherishes her relaxation time after putting the kids to bed.
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