Second Chance Summer

By: Jill Shalvis

About the Book

What do you do when you run into the man who broke your heart?

Lily’s been back in Cedar Ridge for less than ten minutes when she bumps into Aidan, the former love of her life. So much for sneaking back into town unnoticed. And thanks to frizzy hair and armfuls of junk food, she’s turning his head for all the wrong reasons.

No one knows why Lily is home after ten years, and she’s determined to stay no longer than the summer. But Cedar Ridge and Aidan have other ideas. As they set about persuading Lily to give them a second chance, she finds herself falling under the spell of the Colorado mountains … and the one man she could never forget.

Chapter 1

After fighting a brush fire at the base of Cedar Ridge for ten straight hours, Aidan Kincaid had only three things on his mind: sex, pizza, and beer. Given the way the day had gone, he’d gladly take them in any order he could get them.

Not in the cards.

He and the rest of his fire crew had finally managed to get back to the station. They’d been there just long enough to load their plates when the alarm went off again.

“What the hell!”

“Gonna break the damn bell and shove it up someone’s—”

“This is bullshit …”

Whoever said no one could outswear a sailor had never lived in a firehouse. Ignoring the grumbling around him, Aidan pushed his plate away and met his partner Mitch’s gaze.

“Gotta be a full moon bringing out the crazy,” Mitch said.

“Maybe the crazy just follows you,” Aidan suggested.

In turn, Mitch suggested Aidan was number one. With his middle finger.

They’d been playing this game since first grade, when Mitch had stolen Aidan’s lunch and Aidan had popped him in the nose for it. As punishment they’d had to pick up and haul trash for the janitor for two weeks.

The two of them had become best friends and had spent the next decade being as wild and crazy as possible.

Eventually they’d grown up and found responsibility, going through the fire academy and now working as Colorado Wildland firefighters for their bread and butter, volunteering on the local search-and-rescue team as needed. And here in Cedar Ridge they were needed a lot. Lost hikers, overzealous hunters, clueless novice rafters—you name it, they’d been called to save it.

Tonight’s fire call came in as a possible suicide jumper off the courthouse, which at five stories was the highest building in town.

As they pulled up, they could see a woman had climbed out a window on the fifth floor. She stood on a ledge that couldn’t have been more than a foot wide. Wearing nothing but her bra and panties.

“Well, at least Nicky left her Victoria’s Secrets on this time,” Mitch noted.

Nicky was a bit of a regular.

And Mitch was right. The last time Nicky had gotten upset was after finding the town’s councilman she’d been sleeping with going at it on his desk with his assistant. She’d stripped all the way down to her birthday suit before covering herself in Post-it notes. Aidan wondered what had set her off this time.

“I changed my mind,” she screamed, jabbing a finger down at them. “I don’t want to die! He’s not worth it!”

No Post-it notes this time. A bonus. The police had blocked off traffic, but the scene was still chaotic.

“Somebody get up here and save me!” Nicky yelled. “If I fall and die, I’m going to sue every one of you for being so freaking slow! Honest to God, what does a girl have to do to get a rescue around here?”

“So she’s changed her mind,” the captain said dryly to Aidan and Mitch. Aidan and Mitch exchanged glances. No one could reach her from inside the window. And climbing out on the ledge wasn’t an option; it was too narrow—and decomposing to boot. And thanks to the layout of the building and the hillside, their truck couldn’t get close enough to the building to be effective either.

They all knew what this meant. One of them was going to have to follow the half-naked crazy chick out onto the ledge. There were a few problems with this.

Aidan and his team had a reputation for being unflappable and tough as nails, but the truth was, plenty unnerved them—including a half-naked crazy chick on a ledge five stories up. They’d just learned to do whatever needed to be done, no matter what.

“Let the fun begin,” Mitch muttered.

Plan A was for the captain to head inside and attempt to talk Nicky back inside the window. Since Plan A had a high potential for going south, Plan B was to be run simultaneously—head to the roof and begin setting up rigging for an over-the-roof retrieval.

Through it all, Nicky never stopped screaming at them, alternately begging them to hurry and hurling insults their way.

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