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Nichols Sisters


Sway with Me

Written By: Caitlin Ricci
Series: Nichols Sisters #1
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

All Ophelia Nichols has ever wanted to do was join the EPA and help save the environment. But all that changes whe...

Ophelia watched as the small plane taxied away, the sleek steel blending perfectly against the cold, gray Alaskan sky. She shouldered her worn backpack and lifted the handle on her small suitcase, extending it before dragging it along the tarmac behind her. She took long steps, her tailored suit sliding over her skin as she rushed to keep up with her boss. She had met the man only moments before, when her plane landed. She felt exhausted and had more jet lag than she knew what to do with, but the air smelled clean. Being back on land and not in stuffy airports full of crying children and the sound of crinkling bags of chips had her head reeling from more than just the bitter, windy cold.

“So, you’re Ophelia,” the man said as she finally caught up to him.

“Yes,” she said, panting lightly. She really had been forced to walk quickly to match his pace. She coughed as the icy air hit her lungs. And she really should have paid more attention to the Weather Channel yesterday when her family had driven her to the airport. There was no way that she had been prepared for whatever below zero temperature it actually was. “And you’re Doctor Brendan Michaels. I’ve read all of your research papers, sir. And I went to your lecture a few years back about the decline in waterbird populations in the Northwest. Great stuff.”

The much older man gave her a quick once over and with a pfft he dismissed her just as easily. She couldn’t pretend that didn’t sting. “You’re older than you look. I would have pegged you at barely twenty instead of the twenty-five I know your file says you are. Ever been to Alaska?”

“No, sir.” Her answer was prompt, although clipped.

He nodded and kept walking. “It’ll be a hard adjustment. It always is at first.” He led her to an older SUV, an Explorer if she guessed correctly, and got inside. She scrambled to put her things in the back and slide into the passenger seat. He stroked his hand lovingly over the steering wheel and started the engine. “Gotta have a good vehicle up here. Nothing like having a nice four by four to get you around. Betcha have one of those little Prius cars right? All of the girls do these days. My daughter tells me it’s cool or some garbage like that. She’s sixteen. I’m hoping it’s a phase.”

Ophelia bit her lip and shook her head. She had to force herself not to laugh. Her vehicle was a brand new Jeep Wrangler she had just purchased for herself as a graduation present. It was more of a 4x4 and had better steering than the man’s Explorer. And it got better gas mileage too. And unlike her new boss’s apparent love, her Wrangler was a bright perfect yellow that gleamed in her hometown Colorado sun and not this drab gray that everything seemed to be made of here in no-color Alaska.

They grew silent as he drove along the bumpy, unpaved roads. Or maybe they were paved. Too much ice lay under the wheels for Ophelia to be able to tell. She snuggled into her oversized parka and sighed softly as her boss turned on the radio and the soft sounds of Motown began filling the cabin. She closed her eyes and found herself singing along softly to the end of Midnight Train to Georgia. It wasn’t really Motown, but she loved it. As Boyz II Men picked up where the previous song had left a silent void she felt her eyes beginning to grow heavy. It had been many long flights, many changeovers, and too many random airports and security checks to count.

Just as her eyes were fully closed and that comforting fuzzy feeling of sleep began clouding her mind something occurred to her. “Is daylight,” she mumbled groggily.

“Is April,” her boss replied, all too cheerfully. “Just one more thing you’re going to have to learn Cheechako.”

Ophelia yawned and stretched. She smacked her lips together, then cringed. Really not a good time to realize she hadn’t brushed her teeth since boarding the first plane yesterday. “Sir, what’s that word? Chee...Chacheeno?”

Her boss laughed. “Cheechako. It means someone that’s new to Alaska. Like you, little one. And call me Brendan. You’re going to be working for me for the next three months, so we might as well get to be on first names. No one’s too set on formality around here.”

She nodded. At least now she knew that there would be a word for her particular brand of newbie.

“It isn’t so bad,” Brendan continued. “At least you’ve got your mukluks on.” When she eyed him strangely he pointed to her feet. “Your boots.”

Ophelia blushed deeply and turned her foot so that she could see the warm, knee-high boots more clearly. “My sister found them for me. She said she saw them on some nature show a month before I got scheduled to come here. I guess she got them right.”

Brendan nodded. “She did. You’ll need more, though. I could tell you didn’t pack correctly the moment you walked off that plane. There’s a small store in town. Nothing fancy, but it’s got some basic clothes that you’ll need and a good selection of books to read. There’s nothing newer than a few months ago but at least it’ll help you pass the long days.”

She frowned at him. “Long days? Shouldn’t that be long nights?” She thought it over for a moment then laughed quietly at herself. “I forgot. Daylight is longer up here. What are we up to now?”

“Fourteen hour days. By next month it’ll be nineteen and then in June we hit twenty-four hours of straight daylight. I suggest very heavy curtains and an eye mask if you’ve got trouble sleeping with the light.” He looked pleased that at least she had remembered that much from her “Intro to Alaska” packet that he had mailed her a few months back. Honestly, she had devoured it, savoring every bit of information that she could to prepare herself for her first trip away from her family. But her brain was murky right now and she knew she wasn’t giving her boss her best showing.

 

All Ophelia Nichols has ever wanted to do was join the EPA and help save the environment. But all that changes when she is assigned to visit an oil rig in Alaska and meets Leonardo McKenna.

Ophelia Nichols is a fresh hire for the EPA, and she’s ready to make her mark on the world. She’s idealistic, driven, and has a suitcase full of her favorite books to keep her company on her first assignment. Alaska wouldn’t have been her first choice of a place to go, but she can’t help but be excited by the adventure she hopes to find there. However, upon arriving to the barren land of ice at the top of the world, she realizes her team isn’t exactly full of what she would call gentlemen, and the guys they warn her about are actually pretty nice.
Then there’s Leonardo McKenna. Working on an oil rig has made him tough, and he likes his isolated life surrounded by his books and his big wolf-dog. He’s got a love for Shakespeare and the classics, and one look from him makes Ophelia realize Alaska may not be as cold as she originally thought. But his life is in Alaska and she works wherever the EPA sends her. A few days here and there might be enough for a friendship, but it’ll take more than letters and a few gifts to have something that lasts.
For Ophelia and Leonardo though, love can exist beyond the distances, and making it work is just one more challenge.
Price: $4.99
Give me Fever

Written By: Caitlin Ricci
Series: Nichols Sisters #2
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Juliet is pretty, bright, and might actually have her life together if she wasn’t so confused about love. ...

Juliet Nichols shimmied into the pale blue gown her sister, Ophelia, had picked out for her as her bridesmaid’s dress. Maid of Honor dress, maybe. Juliet frowned. What was her title when she was the only one standing with her sister?

Not that it mattered, really. What was important was that her big sister, her best friend in the whole world, was getting married in just two short hours and Juliet had yet to get her dress on. With a little bit of maneuvering she managed to get the silk zipped and then stood in front of the antique full length mirror in the corner of the room.

She loved the little bed and breakfast Ophelia and her soon-to-be husband, Leonardo, had chosen for their wedding. Ophelia said that was where they had been staying when they’d gone out on the whale watching tour and he had proposed to her almost six months before. To Juliet it seemed fitting that they would be married here, surrounded by their family and friends. It was nice. Intimate.

She even wanted it for herself someday. Not the Alaska part—they could keep that. The beautiful frozen landscape was far too cold for her. She much preferred the heat and sun of her Colorado home. She was a native and would always find her home between those flat plains and high Rocky Mountains.

She straightened the skirt, smoothing her hands over the fine material. Looking herself over in mirror she decided she would be keeping this dress. Absolutely. Her sister had excellent taste, sometimes. The dress was a beautiful 1940’s remake with the classic square neckline with black bows in the corners. It also had a black tie around the waist. And the final touch was bit of lace on the hem that fell just below her knees. It was elegant and beautiful. Classic without being snobby.

Just like Ophelia was.

The dress might have been her sister’s stroke of genius but the shoes though were all Juliet. They were black velvet peep-toe pumps. They would kill her feet after an hour of wear, but they were gorgeous and made her legs look amazing.

Not that she was conceited or anything. She giggled.

Juliet turned, checked herself one last time in the mirror, added a bit more lip gloss and then met Richie in the hallway. He was a good man, she thought as she took his arm. He was lean and wiry. And his hair was a shocking shade of bright red that matched his freckles. He was one of her sister’s closest friends, and although she had only met him a month earlier Juliet had already warmed to his easy charm and happy-go-lucky attitude.

He was handsome in his simple black tux, but he was no match to Leonardo when she caught sight of him. Her sister’s husband, as she had taken to thinking of him, looked comfortable in his gorgeous black tux as so few men did. He gave her an easy smile and a little wave as he saw her before turning back to the conversation he was quietly having with her father.

She was happy for their relationship as well. Leonardo was not hard to like, and her father was equally charming. Ophelia had lucked out with him and she was overjoyed for them both.

“Where’s your boyfriend?” Richie asked her as he snagged a warm tea from a side table for her.

She took the tea gratefully and drank deeply before answering him. Mm, Chamomile. Perfect. “He’s busy.” She almost snorted at herself. He’d been busy for at least a month now. Maybe more, though. She’d been so caught up in Ophelia’s wedding plans that she probably hadn’t noticed. Wasn’t that one of the reasons that they had broken up a few weeks before only to get back together a week later?

“Too bad for him,” Richie said as he grabbed a stuffed mushroom. The dinner would come later, but the appetizers were out now. Ophelia was ever considerate of her guests.

Juliet allowed him to lead her around for another half hour of snacking and introducing her to various people that Ophelia was close to but Juliet would probably never see again before the music began and her father started moving people toward their seats. She moved to the front of the small aisle, the warm sunrise filtering in through the windows around her, warming her skin even as the cold wind battered the panes. She grabbed her small bouquet of white roses from the side table and shared a smile with Leonardo.

“You’re fine,” she whispered to him.

His smile spread into a grin. “I know I’m supposed to be nervous, but I’ve got this stone in my gut that’s worried that she’s gone off and figured out that I’m completely unworthy of her.”

Juliet smiled through the tears in her eyes. This wonderful man could be so silly sometimes. “Tell the stone to suck it up. You two are awesome together.”

 

Juliet is pretty, bright, and might actually have her life together if she wasn’t so confused about love.
Juliet has watched her older sister, Ophelia, fall in love and she knows she wants that for herself someday. But right now she’s just having fun and enjoying what she has with her boyfriend. When he makes a big mistake, though, it might end up being the final straw for them, especially when a friend she’s never really thought that much about starts making waves in her life.
Price: $4.99