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Copyright by Rayne Forrest   
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A Hidden Heaven
a novella of love after life
What if you were a ghost and didn’t know it?

Daniel Woods is passing through the timeless and mysterious
Appalachian Mountains on his way to Kentucky and his inheritance. A
misstep tumbles him and his horse down the side of a mountain.
Battered and bruised, they come upon a small homestead and help in
the form of the lovely Justine Noakes. Daniel finds himself
inexplicably attracted to Justine - and determined not to embarrass
himself by acting on impulse.

Justine recognizes the blue-eyed trouble that just led his horse into
her settled world is something she never bargained for. Irresistibly
drawn to him, Justine has a problem. She needs to come up with a
way to get Daniel to stay in her mountain aerie. The only way that can
happen is if Daniel accepts his new reality.

What Justine knows, and Daniel must discover, is that sometimes
heaven is found in unexpected places.

They reached the barn and she darted to the corral, slipping between the rails and clapping her hands.
Lady trotted to her then followed her into the barn. The mare was steady and he had quickly had her
harnessed to the little buckboard. Daniel placed his foot on the wagon step, preparing to swing up onto
the seat when Justine placed her hand on his arm. He froze, looking down at her.

“Thank you again for doing this,” she said quietly, smiling.

Impulse seized him. He put his boot back on the ground and pulled her into his arms. He caught a quick
glance at her eyes before her eyelids closed and she rose on her toes to meet him halfway.

He was not trespassing.

He meant the kiss to be gentle. He meant the kiss to be soft and tender. He meant the kiss to be
something to lure her closer to him and suddenly it didn’t need to be.

Suddenly she was as eager for the kiss as he was. Suddenly she was the one in control of everything but
the kiss.

Daniel grabbed what little wits he had left and slanted his mouth across hers. Her trembling lips opened
under his as her arms came up around his neck. He moved his lips on hers then swept his tongue over
her lower lip, a slow, lazy stroke that made her hold him tighter. A small moan escaped her and it was all
the encouragement he needed.

He backed her into Lady’s stall, pulling her down to the clean straw. She clung to him without protest. He
rolled her beneath him, never taking his lips from hers, feasting on her as she feasted on him.

She moaned again when he flexed his hips to hers, digging her fingers into his shoulders. He flicked his
tongue to hers and she responded in kind. The heat in his groin spread, coiling in his belly. His cock
swelled, filling with unbridled anticipation.  

He cupped her breast, feeling the hard peak of her nipple through the thin cotton of her shift and bodice.
She arched up to him, pulling her mouth from his and sucking in a great lungful of air. He sobered

God, he couldn’t take her here in the straw, on the ground, in a livestock barn. She deserved clean
sheets and a soft bed, a man fresh from his bath, not a restless night spent sweating in the grip of barely
recalled dreams.

He rose up and blinked her into focus. She met his gaze without pretense.

“I don’t want you to stop.”
Review Snippets
This is an interesting amalgam of genres, including both historical and paranormal
elements. I’ve read several of Ms. Forrest’s books, and this, despite its brief length, is my
favorite so far. The plot is simple, and yet complex; sweet, and yet sinfully erotic; happily
ever after, and yet bittersweet. The writing is exquisite, depicting for us the everyday
life of a simpler time and place, while, at the same time, preparing us for more serious
events to come. I became caught up in the lives of Daniel and Justine, who seemed like
real people. The love scenes between the two are sensual and moderately explicit, and
very emotionally satisfying. In my opinion, this is a story that transcends genre. It doesn’t
matter if you prefer to read historical romance, science fiction, or fantasy, you will find
Skipping Heaven irresistible.
   - Reviewed by: Jean, October 2005

(Note: The sidebar information on the review page is out of date but the review content
is still valid as no changes were made to the book.)
Formerly published under the title "Skipping Heaven"

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