Snowbound

By: Janice Kay Johnson

“Stay.”

He sounded rusty, as if he didn’t know how to

ask for what he wanted. He tried again. “Talk

to me. Tell me about...” What? Her life? What

she expected the “right” man to be like? “A

movie. I haven’t been to one in a long time.

What’s the last one you went to?”

Fiona relaxed, as he’d hoped she would.

While he measured sugar, she told him about

a thriller with a huge budget, big stars and an

unlikely plot.

They hadn’t even been there twenty-four hours.

How, in such a short time, had he gotten to

the point where he had a thought like I need

her? He hadn’t kissed her, hadn’t touched her

beyond a hand on the shoulder, didn’t know

that she felt anything at all for him.

He didn’t need her. That had been a ridiculous

thought. But he wouldn’t mind if snow kept

falling for another day or two.

Dear Reader,

In 2009 Harlequin will celebrate sixty years of

providing women with pure reading pleasure. To mark

this special anniversary, we are pleased to offer you

this book written by popular Superromance author

Janice Kay Johnson.

With the focus on a complex and satisfying romance,

Harlequin Superromance has been entertaining readers

for almost thirty years. Each month you’ll find six new

books that deliver realistic, heartwarming stories.

If you want to read about real people and their journey

to happily-ever-after, then Harlequin Superromance is

the series for you!

Happy anniversary,




CHAPTER ONE

FIONA MACPHERSON was starting to get scared.

The rhythmic thwap, thwap, thwap of the tire chains

helped her shut out the chatter of the eight teenagers

behind her. With the snow falling so hard, she felt as if

she and the kids were in a bubble, darkness all around,

the headlights only reaching a few feet ahead. Snow

rushed at the windshield, a white, ever-moving veil.

She shouldn’t have taken this route—a thin line on

the map that promised to cut north of the projected path

of the storm.

“This way’s good,” Dieter Schoenecker had said,

when she told her vanload of students what she intended

to do. “We cross-country ski at a place up near High

Rock Springs.”

Hadn’t she been a high school teacher long enough

to know better than to take a sixteen-year-old’s word

for anything?

Not fair. She was responsible, not Dieter, and she had

had some doubts about whether the line on the map was

too skinny. But it was a highway, it headed westbound,

and they should have been able to make it across the

Cascade Mountains before the blizzard arrived.

8

SNOWBOUND

Only, they hadn’t. They’d left Redmond, out in the

high desert country of eastern Oregon, hours ago,

right after the Knowledge Champs competition had

ended. They should have been close to home in Hawes

Ferry south of Portland by now, or at least descending into the far tamer country in western Oregon. Instead they were in the thick of the storm. Fiona was struggling to maintain twenty miles an hour. It had

been at least two hours since she’d seen another

vehicle.

We should have turned back when we stopped to put

on chains, she thought. And when they realized they no

longer had cell phone reception.

The voices behind her had died out, Fiona realized.

“You okay, Ms. Mac?” one of the boys asked.

Despite the fact that her neck and shoulders ached

and her eyes watered from the strain, she called back,

“Yep. You hanging in there?”

Nobody had time to answer. A jolt shuddered

through the van as it hit something and came to a stop,

throwing Fiona against her seat belt.

“What happened?” Amy cried.

“We probably went off the road,” Dieter said.

Fiona made everyone but Dieter stay in the van. She

and he put on parkas and got out. With the engine turned

off, it was utterly silent outside, the headlights catching

the ghostly, slow fall of the snow and the white world

they found themselves in. Tree boughs were cloaked

with white, as were rocks and shrubs and ground.

“Awesome,” he said.

She opened her mouth to snap at him, then stopped

JANICE KAY JOHNSON

9

herself. He was young. She should be grateful he didn’t

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