Rocky Mountain Angels

Free Rocky Mountain Angels by Jodi Bowersox [romance]

Book: Rocky Mountain Angels by Jodi Bowersox [romance] Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jodi Bowersox [romance]
her in a big Victorian house in Old Colorado City. These three men had taken her under their wings as if they actually were angels—her rescuers, her helpers, her advisors, and now, even her own personal designer.
    She glanced at Eli while he was maneuvering through traffic. He’s so handsome . She had been able to hold him at a distance that first night when he was just another charmer, but what she had seen of him the last few days was chipping away at her resolve to steer clear of any romantic entanglements with him.
    “So did you pick out the paint colors for your house? They’re absolutely beautiful.” In the light of day, Mari had marveled at the intricate paint design on porch railings, trim, and gables. The rose color used on the door was repeated, but there were also darker shades of green, lighter shades of rose, and ivory.
    Eli slowed for a corner. “Thanks. That was a lot of fun. I’d love to do more stuff like that.”
    “Well, why don’t you?”
    Eli shook his head. “Joe keeps me busy doing the large-scale stuff.”
    “You’re taking off today and tomorrow.” She looked at him with mock seriousness. “Maybe you should make better use of your time, Mr. Rhodes.”
    Eli kept looking ahead, but his mouth curved slowly into a smile. Mari’s curiosity rose up. “Okay, what are you smiling about?”
    Eli feigned ignorance. “What?”
    She braced a hand on her seat and leaned her shoulder toward him. “You know.”
    He glanced her way then faced the road and chuckled. “That was a favorite phrase of my father’s, and back then he was right. I could have made better use of my time. In fact if someone said that to me last week, they’d be right.” He stopped for a light and looked at her. “But right now, they’d be dead wrong.”
    Mari blushed and smiled shyly, settling back into her seat. They drove for awhile in silence; then they changed direction, putting mountains directly ahead. Mari was in awe of the row of snow-dusted peaks and gave an audible sigh.
    Eli flashed her a smile. “We’ll have to go to the top of Pikes Peak when it’s warmer.”
    “How does one do that? Can you drive up?”
    “You can, but you might find the twisty mountain roads unnerving. The Cog Railway is a much more relaxing way to go.” He paused as he changed lanes and turned a corner. Mari saw a sign for Manitou Springs. “You can, of course, hike it. Are you a hiker?”
    “I’ve done a bit, but I doubt I’m ready for Pikes Peak.”
    “How about The Incline?”
    Mari looked at him questioningly. “What’s that?”
    “It’s an old abandoned incline railway track that hikers have claimed. It rises 2000 feet in elevation in less than a mile. It’s a 68% grade in one spot.”
    Mari was taking in the interesting shops they were passing. “Have you hiked it?”
    “Once or twice.”
    She looked back at him, curious at his tone. “You’ve done it more than once or twice, haven’t you?”
    He slowed and pulled into a parking space with a sparkle in his eye. “Yeah. The Rhodes brothers race it at least once a year.”
    “Race it? Are you serious?”
    Eli turned off the ignition and looked at her squarely. “I never joke about physical fitness, Mari.”
    He looked so serious that Mari didn’t know what to say. Then his lips twitched and his eyes twinkled, and Mari laughed. Yep, her heart was losing this battle.
    ***
    After a light lunch, Eli and Mari perused the unique shops and art galleries of Manitou Springs. Eli was beginning to see what Mari meant by being a “spontaneous shopper.” Without him shaking his head over 90% of the things she “just loved,” she would have ended up with the most colorful, but disjointed, house in town.
    Luckily, she didn’t dislike the things he found for her: a colorful mountain meadow painting to replace the gaudy cowboy number and bright floral paintings to replace the modern poster prints in her living room. He even found her a painting of a fiesta ware teapot

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