Hot Shots Men of Fire #2 - Hot as Sin - Bella Andre

Bella Andre - Hot Shots Men of Fire #2 - Hot as Sin

Hot as Sin (Hot Shots: Men of Fire #2)
Bella Andre




COMING TO Colorado had been a mistake.

Dianna Kelley slammed the door of her rental car shut and turned the heat on full blast, then wrapped her hands around her upper arms as she shivered on the cold leather seat.

Earlier that day when she’d flown into the small Vail airport, the breeze had been cool and steady, but the sky had been blue and clear. Tonight, however, wind howled through the trees while black, ominous clouds spat out sheets of rain all over the quickly flooding sidewalk.

She closed her eyes and fought back a heavy wave of sorrow at the emotionally charged blowout she’d just had with her younger sister in a bustling café. Dianna knew better than to expect too much from April, but she’d never stopped hoping that the two of them would finally connect.

Growing up, Dianna had longed for a baby brother or sister, so when she was eight and April had been born, she’d showered her baby sister with love. Until the horrible day when their easily overwhelmed, usually broke single mother had decided there were too many mouths to feed and gave four-year-old April up to the state.

As soon as Dianna turned eighteen, she began her fight to pull April out of the foster system, but it took four years to bring her sister home.

In the decade that they’d been apart, April had changed. The innocent, cheerful, inquisitive girl she’d once been was long gone. In her place was a hardened, foulmouthed fourteen-year-old who’d seen and experienced way too much.

Dianna’s hands tightened on the steering wheel as she remembered the way April used to lash out at her, accusing her of ruining her life, of trying to control her every move like a jail warden. All through April’s high school years, Dianna had tried to protect her sister. From the mean girls in her classes who thrived on picking on the new girl, from the cute boys who would break her heart just because they could, and from the teachers who didn’t understand that April needed more patience and attention than kids with normal upbringings.

But it had proved impossible to protect her little sister.

As the years ticked by and she grew from a lanky teen into a knockout young woman, April retreated further and further into herself. She refused to share any details about her various foster homes with not only Dianna, but a series of therapists as well. By the time April eked out a high school diploma, they were nothing more than two strangers who passed each other at the fridge a couple of times a week.

In the two years since graduation, April had bounced from part-time job to part-time job and boyfriend to boyfriend, and Dianna worried that April was going to get pregnant and end up marrying one of the losers she was dating. Or not marrying him and becoming a broke single mother in a trailer park, just as their own mother had been.

Dianna blinked hard through the windshield wipers into the driving rain as she replayed the moment when she came home from work three months ago and found April’s key on the kitchen table. Running into April’s room, she’d realized her sister’s favorite ratty jeans and tops were gone along with her duffel bag. At least she’d taken her toothbrush.

For seven horribly long days, she’d waited for some word as to where her sister had gone, and when—if—she was coming back. Finally, April left a message on Dianna’s cell phone when she was taping her live television show and couldn’t possibly answer it. She was in Colorado and she was fine. She didn’t leave a new number or address.

Again and again during the past three months, Dianna had tried to tell herself that her little sister was simply going through a patch of self-discovery. After all, normal twenty-year-old girls tried things out and learned from their mistakes and moved on, didn’t they?

But nothing about April’s life was normal. Not after ten years bouncing from family to family in the state foster system. Dianna hated not being able to keep watch over her sister, hated knowing she couldn’t keep her safe.

So when April finally called and asked if Dianna could come to Vail to meet with her, although it wasn’t easy to shift all of her interviews on such short notice, Dianna couldn’t miss her chance to connect with