Met Her Match - Jude Deveraux

Chapter 1

Lake Kissel

Summer Hill, Virginia

Terri Rayburn was looking out the glass front of her house at the lake. She liked the early morning calm, the few moments she had alone before she had to... Well, start solving problems. As the daughter of the owner of a resort, it was her job to fix everything. Arguments, leaky roofs, finding things, organizing people and events. Any and all of it was her job.

Her eyes widened. A man in swim shorts was coming out of the lake. That wasn’t an unusual sight, but this one wasn’t like the usual renter or cabin owner. This man was different.

The sun was just rising, sending light across his body and making shadows on his muscles. He looked like a well-toned football player. His face was turned to the side so she couldn’t really see it, but she was sure she didn’t know who he was.

She liked that his shorts were modest. Too many visitors to the lake thought it was fashionable to wear as little as they legally could.

His was the kind of body she liked. She’d never been attracted to men who were thin. She liked them big and muscular, a man who could pick up a rowboat and move it around. One who looked like he knew what a pickup truck was for. A man who could hold you and—

She shook her head to quiet her thoughts. It had been too long since she’d had a boyfriend!

When he walked toward one of her deck chairs and retrieved a towel thrown across the back, she came back to reality. As great as the vision of him was, he should not be there! He was on her property! Using her chair. Why couldn’t the visitors learn to respect private property? And why couldn’t her dad ever remember to tell them the rules? If she hadn’t been away for the last two days, she would have made sure this new visitor understood that he couldn’t go swimming wherever he wanted to. There were other cabin owners and renters to consider.

So now it was her job to explain to the man that even though the houses surrounded a lake and everyone here wanted to have fun, there were still rules to be followed.

She took a step toward the glass doors, then paused. The man was drying off now and the sunlight was hitting his back. He was very broad in the shoulders and small at the waist. Muscles moved about under his tanned skin. He looked like he spent a lot of time doing something that made muscles.

Okay, so no matter how good he looked, she was going to have to bawl him out. He had no right to be on her property. He needed to go back to wherever he was staying.

But as she watched him, her mind wandered to a different scenario. It was an unspoken rule that she, the manager’s daughter, couldn’t date any of the visitors at the lake, but usually that was easy. Skinny boys in Speedos; lecherous husbands who thought she was fair game; unmarried men who believed every woman wanted them. They were all there and Terri wasn’t interested.

But this guy... She really liked the look of him! The size, the shape, even his skin color were all her favorites.

He tossed the towel over his shoulder and turned to face the sun. His face wasn’t beautiful. Not like those high-cheeked models you saw everywhere. His was a man’s face, strong jawed, coated in black whiskers, and he had short dark hair. No nonsense. Nothing pretentious. The only thing soft-looking about him was his lips. They appeared to be very kissable.

Terri closed her eyes for a moment, telling herself to cut it out. He was a visitor and it was her job to take care of him in a professional way. She was not to fantasize about pouncing on him!

She put her hand on the door latch. It was time to be the warden and tell him he had to go back to his own cabin and—“What in the world?” she said aloud.

The man walked across the terrace and slid open the door at the other end. She heard the whoosh of the door as he entered her house.

Terri instantly knew what had happened. Her father, Brody, was at the bottom of this! She had no doubt whatsoever that he was trying to matchmake and introduce her to this man. “Damn!” she muttered. As if she didn’t have enough problems to take care