Camp Firefly Falls, Book 5                August 30, 2016           

         Camp Firefly Falls, Book 5      
         August 30, 2016

        
 

Forget Netflix and chill...campfire and thrill. Camp Firefly Falls, a sexy sleepaway summer camp for grownups is ready for you...

Malcolm Turner can’t believe his sisters have tricked him into attending Get Your Groove Back Week at Camp Firefly Falls. Yes, he’s been busy trying to get his family’s lingerie business off the ground, but no woman has ever complained about his groove, thank you very much. He’ll just stay in his cabin and work on his marketing campaign. Well, until he sees her.

Dancer Valerie Shaw is working at the camp to save money for her new business venture. She is not there to meet men. Not even the preppy, yet hot (sooo hot) guy staring at her as she performs. Except she can’t stop thinking about him. Or pushing his buttons. Or hoping he puts his hands (and lips) all over her.

Maybe a fling is in order. A temporary distraction. But that’s as far as it goes—if they can let each other go at the end of the week.

Ebook: Amazon ·  Amazon Canada · Amazon UK · Barnes & Noble · iBooks · Kobo

For more info on Camp Firefly Falls and the other books in the series, click here.

More: PlaylistExcerpt
Playlist Was there any doubt?! The whole soundtrack! Every song! :)
Chapter One

What the hell was he doing here?

Malcolm Turner turned in a circle, taking in the scenery, while gravel, dirt and twigs—actual dirt and twigs—crunched under the soles of his Ferragamo shoes. If his shoes could talk, they would undoubtedly be asking why he was here. They were accustomed to the smooth floors found in city buildings. And he was definitely not in the city. No, he was out in nature. With the sun, trees, and mountains in the distance to prove it. No Starbucks or five-star restaurants to be found anywhere.

What the hell was he doing here? He should be sitting in his leather executive chair at work doing his job. But no, he was here. At Camp Firefly Falls. For adults.

All because of The BLT. Also known as his three younger sisters, Bianca, Layla and Tori. Apparently, it wasn’t enough he’d provided the money to get their company, Satisfied Lingerie, up and running. No, according to his siblings, he was also supposed to be a social butterfly.

“How can you expect to be a part of a company that celebrates the sexiness of women when you’re holed up in your office for twelve-plus hours a day?” Tori, the oldest sister, had asked.

“Easy. I write the checks,” he’d said.

She hadn’t been impressed with his irrefutable logic. “When was the last time you went out on a date we didn’t arrange? When was the last time you got laid?”

There was no way in hell he was discussing his sex life with his little sister. Shit, didn’t he deserve some credit for not flinching when they’d come to him with their business idea? Now he was expected to divulge the details of his love life? Not happening. Not now. Not ever.

His sex life was just fine.  A woman had never left his bed unsatisfied, that was for damn sure. But because he was discreet, his sisters thought that part of his life was nonexistent. Okay, yeah, it had been awhile since he’d indulged, but resurrecting his career had to take precedence.  He was determined to take their company to the next level. Determined to prove all his detractors wrong. Determined to prove to himself that he still had what it took to succeed. Determined to make his parents, especially his dad, proud.

He sighed. “I’m fine, Tori.”

She continued on with her clearly well-rehearsed speech like he hadn’t spoken. “You need to go, relax, and have a good time. Maybe you’ll figure out what makes our brand so unique. Come back recharged with some new ideas.” She beamed, looking entirely too pleased with herself. “I’m calling it How Malcolm Gets His Groove Back Week.”

He could have argued harder. Refused to take the suitcase Tori shoved at him as Layla, the middle sister, pushed him out the office door. But he was a sucker when it came to his sisters. Always had been. Always would be. He was the oldest. It was his job to look after them. To protect them, and when the case called for it, to indulge him. They’d all given him the saddest, most disappointed looks known to mankind when he returned from the one and only blind date he’d let them arrange and said he had no intention of seeing the woman again after she asked about his sperm count over appetizers. He’d felt guilty for a week.

So here he was. Indulging them. At Camp Firefly Falls. For Get Your Groove Back Week. Break out the champagne.

Malcolm sighed. Okay, enough bitching. He’d done enough of that on the drive from Boston. But he’d also conceded one point to his sisters. He could use his time at camp to get some work done away from their way-too-watchful and concerned gazes. He knew what they whispered to each other when they thought he wasn’t listening. Was he okay? Would he get back to his normal self any time soon?

The same questions he’d been asking himself for far too long.

He needed an idea for his presentation for the Sex Sells contest, which sought to award small businesses that celebrated sensuality in some way. Satisfied had been named a finalist based primarily on their business model. But to win the contest, which would come with significant PR and money their young company could definitely use, they would have to wow the judges with their presentation. So far he’d come up with less than zilch, which was unacceptable.

After graduating from Harvard with an MBA, he’d made a name for himself in the marketing world. His career had been on a meteoric rise until it came to an abrupt halt. But he would get back to the summit one day. Of that he had no doubt. Since he’d taken an active role in the company, Satisfied had doubled its profits. He wouldn’t be pleased until people spoke about their clothing in the same breath as Victoria’s Secret.

But first, he had a weeklong stay at Camp Firefly Falls to complete. He’d already checked in, received his key to his cabin, which he was sharing with absolutely no one because his sisters had realized a man they’d ambushed had his limits, along with a brochure of the week’s activities. He hadn’t looked at it yet. He could only imagine the festivities the camp directors had planned. Actually, he didn’t want to imagine them. He wanted to lock himself in his cabin and work. Feel like he was finally making progress, something that had been oh-so-elusive over the last year.

Malcolm popped the trunk of his Lexus and pulled out his suitcase and a large cardboard box. Tori had shoved the box at him on his way out, saying only, “Here. You’ll need this.”

He slammed the trunk shut and checked the map before heading in his cabin’s direction. Although tall, leafy trees lined the path on both sides, sweat still trickled down his back. August in the Berkshires was still pretty hot. Damn, he hoped his cabin had air-conditioning.

What the hell was he doing here again?

Oh yeah. Not complaining. He’d promised himself. 

He should enjoy the quiet while he had the chance. The camp session officially started this afternoon, so there weren’t many people around yet. At least he didn’t see or, more accurately, hear any. Shuffling along on the bumpy path, he peeked around the edge of the box and spotted a sign with an arrow pointing to his cabin. He rounded the corner.

And bumped into something.

“Oof,” a female voice said.

Not something. Someone.

Malcolm reached out like he could save the legs tumbling backward, the only parts of her body he could see. In his haste, his hold on the box loosened. The container hit the ground with a soft thud and toppled on to its side. The contents came spilling out in all their colorful glory. Their colorful, lacy, and silky glory. For Christ’s sake.

“Well, look at that,” a sultry voice drawled.

Malcolm shifted his attention from the garments getting acquainted with the dirt to his unexpected companion. His beautiful, unexpected companion.

Long, dark hair was pulled back into a ponytail, a style that served to highlight her large, brown eyes, full lips, and round face. Skin the color of mahogany glistened with sweat, which didn’t lessen her appeal. At all. His gaze slipped down to where her T-shirt clung to full breasts. The shirt didn’t quite meet the waistband of her shorts. He stared at the smooth strip of skin before finally lowering his gaze. Shorts that barely reached mid-thigh—if he was being generous and he didn’t know why he was bothering—showed off mile-long, shapely, toned legs. He lifted his eyes back to her.

A raised eyebrow spoke for her. I know you liked what you saw. You done looking?

He’d been challenged. There had never been a challenge he hadn’t met head-on. His lips quirked in silent answer. For now.

Her eyes took their own quick tour of his body before raising them to meet his gaze. Though her expression gave nothing away, he got the distinct impression she’d missed nothing. 

You like what you saw? he silently asked.

Her expression answered right away. Maybe.

Malcolm bit back a laugh and held out a hand. Sucked in a breath at the streak of heat that raced up his arm when her hand made contact with his. Had she felt it too? Her face remained impassive. He drew her to her feet and let go, ignoring the impulse to linger and caress the skin of her palm. “Sorry about running into you. I didn’t see you.”

“No need to apologize,” she said in that sultry voice. “It was my fault. I had my earbuds in and was daydreaming. I wasn’t expecting anyone this early in the morning. Campers aren’t supposed to arrive until the afternoon. On a bus.”

In other words, what was he doing here?

“I drove up on my own.” His sisters had tried to get him to take the camp bus. At that, he’d put his foot down. He was an adult. He wasn’t riding a damn school bus anywhere.

Malcolm dropped to his haunches and gathered the bits of lingerie, the silky material flowing through his hand, and stuffed them back in the box.

The mystery jogger joined him and grabbed a fire engine red teddy trimmed in black lace. “Wow. Lucky lady.” Her tone lightened. “Or maybe you have a serious fetish and came up here to indulge in the quiet? I mean, that’s a lot of lingerie you have. No judgment from me. After all, it is Get Your Groove Back Week.”

“Thank you for your open-mindedness, but in this case, it’s not warranted. I don’t have a fetish,” he said. He sounded stiff—boring—even to his own ears.

She twirled the lingerie around her finger and inspected it, then rose. He followed her like she was a siren drawing him closer to his surefire doom. She held the article of clothing out, laughter dancing in her eyes.  “Okay, you sound very, very serious, so I believe you. Back to my first thought—lucky lady.” He reached out to take the teddy. Their fingers brushed. Again, a spark of something hot and intense ripped through him. She sucked in a breath, then tapped him on the chest. “Too bad.”

She winked, put in her earbuds, and jogged off down the path he’d come from. Leaving him to stare after her and her bouncing ass in those barely there shorts.

What the hell was he doing here?

***

“You excited?” Gabby, Valerie Shaw’s friend and camp attendee, said, as she peeked around the edge of the black curtain.

Val finished the set of breathing exercises she did before every performance. She’d already warmed up. Now that her body was primed and loose, it was time to get in the right headspace. “Of course.”

“Good ’cause Hot Dude Alert at the table right in front of the stage. I’d love to be touched by him. Ooh, he’s alone! There’s only one place setting.”

Val shook her head. “You’re just horny.”

The recently divorced Gabby let go of the curtain and stepped back, tucking a strand of her reddish-brown hair behind her ear. “Truer words have never been spoken, but dude is also fine as hell.”

“If you say so.” Val found it hard to believe he was hotter than Lingerie Guy. Not that it mattered. Despite the appreciation she’d seen in his eyes, he was most definitely not alone. When she’d run into him, he’d been on the path that led to the camp’s most secluded, lavish cabin, which was reserved for whoever was willing to shell out the big bucks. He and his girlfriend probably planned to stay in the cabin for the whole week while she tried on all the lingerie he’d bought. Val was assuming he wasn’t married because he hadn’t been wearing a ring. Not that that meant much. She’d been burned before thanks to that line of thinking and lack of jewelry.

Why was she thinking about him anyway? Okay, well, there was no denying he was finer than fine. That deserved a couple of thoughts. But he had a girlfriend. Even if he didn’t, their encounter had taken place hours ago. Their brief encounter. She should have forgotten about him by now, especially considering men were strictly off-limits. A self-imposed ban. She had the worst taste in men. Her last boyfriend had stolen all her money and left her former business in shambles, which was how she’d ended up here. She’d the taken the job at the camp to earn some cash while she plotted world domination, i.e. winning the Sex Sells contest. Thoughts about men who weren’t good for her or who were unavailable like Lingerie Guy were not welcome.

“Well, make sure you give him a look when you go out there,” Gabby said, interrupting her thoughts. “He’s wearing jeans and a Henley that is doing the best things for his chest.”

Yeah, not her guy. Lingerie Guy looked like the type not to know what jeans and a casual shirt were, let alone know he could purchase and wear them. He probably lived in a suit. Which wasn’t a bad thing. Far from it, actually. The way his crisp, white dress shirt had molded to his wide shoulders had certainly caught and held her attention. And his ass? Hallelujah. So yeah, she’d turned around after jogging away to get one last glimpse of him. Best decision she’d made in a very long time. His ass had made his expensive, perfectly creased pants look damned good.

“It’s almost time,” Gabby said. “Break a leg.”

Val blinked. What was she doing? Thinking about—okay, obsessing—about guys, especially preppy, uptight guys with girlfriends was so not her thing. Especially when she was about to perform.

She took another deep breath and pressed a hand to her stomach, hoping the butterflies swan-diving inside would get tired and take a nap. She loved dancing, but nerves were nerves and to be expected. She was making her debut at Camp Firefly Falls. The owner, Heather, had been kind enough to take a chance on her on short notice after the last dance instructor quit, and Val wanted to repay her by making sure she performed as well as she could. Besides, this was the beginning of the next chapter in her life. Of course she wanted everything to go well. The guests needed to be entertained and leave feeling sexier than they had in a long time. She was their entry into Get Your Groove Back Week and she planned to deliver.

Starting now.

She took her position. As the opening chords of the music played, the curtain rose. Murmurs and a few gasps split the air. Perfect. Exactly the reaction she wanted. The reaction she adored.

Val spun to face the pole she leaned against and allowed the sexy, honeyed notes of Prince’s “Little Red Corvette” to sweep through her. She shimmied up the pole on the tips of her toes, relying on the strength of her calves, and did a split mid-air with her back to the pole that required her to balance with only one hand on the pole. The applause from the crowd brought a smile to her face. She held the pose as the clapping intensified.

Now it was time to acknowledge them.

She arched her back in an unabashedly sexy maneuver, then twirled around the pole three quick times, stopped on a dime, and looked straight into the crowd.

And met the gaze of Lingerie Guy. He sat at the table directly in front of the stage. Alone. In jeans and a Henley that did amazing things for his chest and shoulders. Watching her. He was more gorgeous than she remembered. Dark, piercing eyes. Skin the color of mocha. A mouth made for sin. A sharp jaw unencumbered by hair as if to emphasize its hardness.

Awareness sizzled across her skin. Her senses heightened, making her doubly aware of every breath she took, the touch of the steel under her hands, the strain of her muscles. Her heartbeat thundered in her ears and not from her physical exertion.

He refused to let her look away. For a moment, she forgot where she was. What she was supposed to be doing.

But that was unacceptable. She was here to entertain the campers, and she hadn’t given them nearly enough yet. She twirled around the pole, away from Lingerie Guy’s intense gaze. It didn’t help. When she returned to her previous position, he was there waiting. Watching her with hungry eyes.

That morning, in his suit, he’d looked out of place in this rustic setting, but no less in charge of his kingdom. He’d changed clothes, but still commanded the space. How could he not, sitting at the head table with his loyal subjects behind him?

What was she doing? She, who’d stopped believing in fairytales long ago, was being fanciful about some guy. That needed to stop. Right now.

Val poured all her mental resources into finishing her routine and dazzling the audience with her theatrical and athletic moves around the pole. Except it wasn’t the end. The aerial portion was only part one of her act.

She dismounted from the pole and skipped down the stairs into the audience, her hips and arms swaying to the music. She moved to the left away from Lingerie Guy to a table of women who were clapping along to the music. Perfect. It was her job to get the campers involved. She tugged one woman out of her seat and paired her with a man at the next table. She continued dancing across the room. As she urged people out of their seats, she couldn’t resist sneaking peeks at Lingerie Guy. Each time she did, she found his attention was focused squarely on her. Every time.

Against her will, her breathing quickened. When she neared him, she pirouetted to a position behind his chair. Unable to help herself, she brushed her hands across his wide shoulders.

“Hi,” she whispered in his ear. “We meet again.”

He took hold of her hand. For just a moment. For just long enough for her to wonder if he had any intention of letting her go. For her to wonder if she wanted him to let her go. But then he did and she instantly missed the connection. The sensations that danced along her skin when they touched. It was her job to be aware of her sexuality, but she’d never felt so aware of a man she hadn’t met yet.

Val executed another pirouette, a move that put her directly in front of him. His gaze dared her to look away. To deny the electricity arcing between them.

She’d underestimated him. He had an edge she hadn’t considered before.

Val let her lips curve into a flirtatious smile, then made her way back to the stage to thunderous applause from the campers. And yes, she put a little extra sway into her hips as she climbed the stairs. Why not? He wasn’t the only one who could issue a challenge.