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Sultry Storm (Kimani Romance) [Kindle Edition]

Celeste O. Norfleet
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Mia James will do anything to save her family home--even drive into the eye of a hurricane. But from the moment she comes to the rescue of a rain-soaked stranger, another kind of storm rages.

Stephen Morales thinks he's dreaming when he sees the sultry beauty tending to his wounds by candlelight. And he wants more than shelter from the storm. Soon the sexy deputy sheriff is tempting Mia to throw caution to the gale-force winds and give in to a night of passion neither will forget.

But a new tempest is gathering, swirling around a tumultuous family secret that threatens their future. With the Florida Keys erupting, Mia and Stephen can play it safe--or risk everything for a love that's sweeping them beyond danger, beyond deception...beyond anything they've ever known.

Editorial Reviews

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

"The U.S. National Weather Service has issued an updated severe weather warning. Tropical Storm Ana has upgraded to a Category One hurricane and is headed northeast at approximately fifteen miles per hour. Local authorities are warning…"

"Whoa." The car rocked from side to side as the winds raged, taking turns beating against both sides. Mia James gripped the steering wheel tighter and held steady against the near eighty-mile-per-hour winds. She took a deep breath and released it slowly, trying to calm her fraying nerves.

Driving on the vast expanse of Florida's scenic Overseas Highway was usually a pleasurable experience. Divided by the emerald waters of the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other, the view was breathtaking. But not today. Today the waters were gray, the sky was gray and the horizon looked ominous.

Mia knew it was guilt that was pushing her to do this, but that didn't matter now. What mattered was that she was finally doing it. It was long overdue and her obligation was clear. She needed to make things right the only way she could.

Her dad was right. He was always right and yet she hadn't listened to him. If she had, none of this would have happened. Her heart wouldn't have been broken and he'd still have his honor and his legacy. But she didn't, and now she needed to put it right.

"With the eye less than seventy miles offshore, landfall is expected directly across the Florida Keys in about…"

"Okay, that's enough doom and gloom from you, radio announcer," Mia said impatiently, then pressed the button on the steering wheel to tune to another station. "Let's see what else is going on."

"The storm has maximum sustained winds predicted near ninety miles per hour and with the probability of higher gusts. We're in for a major storm system today. If you're not prepared I suggest…"

"Don't care. Next," she said, pressing the button again. She glanced at the empty lane beside her and noticed that the train of brake lights and bumper-to-bumper traffic had long since dissipated. There were only a few cars on the road, and all of them were headed north.

"The weather is definitely getting worse…"

"No joke, next," she muttered sarcastically as she turned to the next station.

"The storm is expected to reach the area within the next five hours."

"Looks to me like it's already here, dude. You're late," she muttered, and then pressed another button, then another. Frustrated, she turned to several more stations. She'd been listening to the same rhetoric off and on for the last few hours. At this point she was tired of it. Every station spouted the same severe warnings, and she didn't need a radio announcer to tell her that she was headed into trouble.

The idea of driving directly into the path of a Category One hurricane was ludicrous. But at this point she was driving on pure adrenaline. She didn't have much choice. Her deadline was today, and getting away from it all was exactly what she needed to do.

She pressed through a few more buttons until she found something of interest. Smooth jazz played in the background, plus the DJ had a soothing voice—exactly what she needed. "Perfect."

"All right, folks, listen up, it's no joke out there. Hurricane Ana is picking up momentum. The Keys are getting hit hard with heavy rain and wind gusts. Authorities are warning to expect the worst. If you're out in this, you need to get indoors fast. It ain't pretty and it's not for the faint at heart. So do whatever you need to do to be safe."

Mia looked out the front windshield. He was definitely right, it wasn't pretty out here. The rain came down so hard she could barely see the highway through the rapid-fire windshield wipers. Thankfully this was just about over. She abandoned the highway at the next exit. Finally she was in Key West. She breathed easier for the first time in over an hour.

"For those on the road helping others, I'm tippin'my hat, thanks. We appreciate your time, devotion and dedication. On a personal note, I'd like to give a special shout-out to my homeboys, Stephen Morales and Lucas McCoy. I know you guys are helping others out there, so take care and be safe.

"One more thing. I got a message from my good buddy Deputy Sheriff Morales asking me to pass on a good word of advice. Stay in your homes and off the roads unless absolutely necessary. And I gotta add a piece to that. The streets are dangerous right now, so be safe and listen to him. He's out there doing his job. Help him out and do yours. Stay inside.

"Okay now, here's another updated weather advisory. Hurricane Ana is still hovering less than a hundred miles south of Key West. Wind gusts range seventy-five to ninety miles an hour locally. Expect fallen debris and dangerous travel, so stay inside. Sit tight and let her pass."

"Unfortunately, not an option," Mia muttered, coming to a complete stop and looking at the horrendous sight. The traffic signal had fallen down and the street was littered with just about everything. She looked both ways, then proceeded across. The heavy winds shook the car again, but she held tight. The storm was definitely getting worse. The rain was horizontal and the winds were brutal.

"I have a few local warnings. The Seven Mile Bridge is looking bad. It'll probably close to all non-emergency traffic…"

When another strong gust of wind hit the car, Mia grasped the steering wheel tighter. This was even worse than being on the bridge. Her nerves were rattled and her hands shook. She needed to calm down.

"If you're headed out toward Tingler Island, local authorities are warning everyone to turn around. Bottom line, folks, sit tight and I'll get you through. This is Terrence Jeffries, the Holy Terror, easing your evening. Sit back, be calm, relax and listen."

Soft melodious jazz began playing. "Okay, this is more like it. Exactly what I need." Mia smiled and nodded her head to the easy rhythms. "Thanks, Holy Terror," she said, hoping to feel more at ease. She turned the volume up higher.

Holy Terror. She'd heard of him, of course. Everybody knew the Holy Terror, Terrence Jeffries. On the football field he was legendary, and his so-called antics in romance were almost as well-known. Mia had watched him play football when her father was alive. He was awesome.

"So, you're a radio disc jockey now, cool." She tried to do as he instructed and relax, but it was getting more and more difficult to see and drive. At one point she realized she had gone in circles. It was no use. She was miserably lost. Each turn was the wrong turn, and the horribly flooded roads didn't help. She reached over and adjusted her pre-programmed GPS. The monotone voice announced new directions to the courthouse.

She hadn't been to Key West or her father's house in almost three years and everything about the town seemed different. Following instructions, she turned onto a familiar street that led directly to the center of town. But the street was blocked by a huge uprooted tree. She pressed the button on the GPS for an alternate route, backed up and continued.

She zigzagged through scattered debris down the next few blocks. At one point she quickly glanced down at the clock. It was three minutes to five and according to the GPS, she was still a few miles away. That was when she heard the loud crash. Looking up, she saw the better part of a tree had just fallen across the road. She slammed on the brakes and hydroplaned before coming to a complete stop. Her heart racing, her breathing fast and furious, she stared at the tree that narrowly missed her.

"Are you kidding me?" she screamed, slamming her palm on the steering wheel in frustration. She hit the wheel again and again, then began breathing even harder. "No, no, I will not hyperventilate, I will not feel sorry for myself and I will not let this get to me," she said, trying to calm herself down.

"Okay, enough of this pity party. I can do this. I will do this," Mia affirmed with determination. After a few minutes she gathered her nerve, then glanced at the clock on the dashboard. It was five o'clock already. She backed up and quickly sped around the tree. To her surprise she met two headlights with flashing red and blue lights coming directly at her.

Reacting fast, she steered out of the way, giving the speeding oncoming police jeep just enough space to wedge between her and the fallen tree. As soon as they passed each other, they came to a complete stop. In the rearview mirror. Mia saw the officer open the car door.

"Oh crap, this is all I need," she muttered as she watched him run to her car. Frustrated, she muted the music and reached for her pocketbook to get her license and registration. As soon as he got there she opened the window, and heavy rain poured in. She began digging through her purse for her ID.

As the driving rain poured down his face, the officer hunched toward her window and squinted down at her. "Lady, are you out of your mind, driving reckless in a hurricane?" he asked. His voice boomed as loud and thunderous as the rumbling above them. Irritated and infuriated, he stood firm against the whipping wind gusts beating down on him.

"Me? What about you? You were driving like a madman around the tree. You could have killed us," she said, equally infuriated while still digging for her ID.

"What?" he yelled as a loud clap of thunder sounded right above them. "I'm a deputy sheriff on an emergency call. What exactly are you doing out here?"

"What?" she yelled and continued looking for her license and registration.

He leaned in closer, bowing the brim of his hat against the wind. "All nonessential personnel are ordered off the streets. You need to be inside now," he yelled over a loud roll of thunder as wind-driven rain peppered his face harder.

Finding her ID, she finally looked up. The first thing she saw was smooth caramel skin, dark eyes and a too sexy mouth. Like her, he was wet, soaked. Her breath caught in her throat. She half smiled, as chapter three, page thirty-seven of her book quickly popped into mind, Getting Wet...

Product Details

  • File Size: 220 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Kimani Romance (May 1, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002B9MH1S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #332,920 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SULTRY AND HOT August 19, 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I purchased this book because it was in a series about three friends. I hadn't heard of this author and was excited to read this book.This story was very good. In fact I read it twice.Stephen and Mia connected from the very beginning after she pulled him from his Jeep and took him to her fathers place. It was a dream come true for Stephen since he fell in love with her before he had even met her. This is soul mate love. When she was checking his bandages and she was looking at him and then she started kissing him and when he returned one of those kisses that is when she started to fall in love with him. If it hadn't been for her sisters she might have left town and not had any of her questions answered and married the man she loved.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sultry Storm May 18, 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the second book in the Mother Nature Matchmaker series and it is sultry! Mia James is trying to the Florida Keys to save her deceased Father's home. Hurricane Ana is hitting the area but she still proceeds cautiously to get to there in time but runs into Officer Stephen Morales who advices her to get to a shelter. She does not heed his word and he runs into her again on the road and crashes his car when a tree falls in the path between his car and hers. She rescues him and they make it to her Father's home. She finds out that he knew her Dad but does not tell her all the details how. When the truth comes out will she hate him or try and understand why things happened between her Dad and Stephen that caused her Dad's downfall. Great story! Now I am ready for the next book in this series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sultry Storm May 24, 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Sultry Storm
Reviewed on 4/18/09

Hurricane Ana you could just as well being describing Mia James. Mia was trying to get to the county court house to stop foreclosure on her father house. Can you see a woman who is determine, stubborn and driving into the Florida Keys where the storm is. Then you have meet Mia James. Against everybody advise Mia does exactly what she wants because she believe that the court house will be open.

While driving there are weather report asking all people to get off of the road and low and behold she is stop by the on and only Esteban Stephen Morales.

Stephen Morales can't believe his eyes when her come in contact with Mia, he has heard about her and fell in love with her from a distance. Seem like Stephen has been waiting forever for Mia. Of course there meeting in the pouring down rain are not helping when he is telling everybody to get off the road, and their first meeting they are going back and forth. Mia wants to keep driving and she is so stubborn the sheriff and nobody else was going to keep her from going into town and to her father house.

Now I can't tell you too much about the book as so many of my friends tries to tell me when I ask but I can tell you this attraction between Stephen & Mia is so intense and the love scene is HOT HOT HOT. Now this is Celeste first Kimani Romance and she did an AWESOME job.

Mia & Stephen both have issues that they need to resolve and it is going to take given up control, forgiven and trust before they can move forward with there lives

There is a lesson in fulfilling her fantasy, and then there is the balcony scene TWICE...........that is all I am going to say..............with the exception of BUY THE BOOK...........................

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Format:Mass Market Paperback
Guilt is an emotion so strong that it has caused Mia James to drive into a hurricane. When Mia receives a notice that her recently deceased father's house will be auctioned off due to matters she thought were being taking care of, she heads to Florida during Hurricane Ana. Mia feels like she has to save her father's house because it is all she has left of him and their time together. She is being eaten up with the guilt she feels about their relationship and not coming when he called for her. Multi-millionaire deputy sheriff Stephen Morales has been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Mia but certainly not during a hurricane. Stephen is in love with Mia and knows that she will someday be his wife. The only catch is that Mia has never met Stephen before. Stephen has got to tell Mia who he is and what he meant to her father before she hears it from someone else. It just never seems to be the right time with the hurricane and their love-making acting as distractions. When she does find out, Hurricane Ana will have nothing on Mia James.

Sultry Storm is an interesting read. It causes you to stretch your imagination. It is truly a fantasy. While reading you have to remember that it is designed to have a "happily ever after" ending. Sultry Storm is the second book in the Mother Nature Matchmaker series. Norfleet is a good writer that does a wonderful job developing the characters and plots of her part of the series. Her writing style also flows which keeps the story moving.
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5.0 out of 5 stars NEW AUTHOR TO ADD TO MY LIST August 18, 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I admit I am book snob, not in a bad way I just know what I like and what author's I like. i.e Brenda Jackson, Melanie Schuster, Adrianne Byrd, Niobia Bryant, Beverly Jenkins, and a two new authors to me, Ann Christopher and Angie Daniels just to know a few. I am not sure what some of the other negative reviews read, but for me being a reading snob this book has everything, lust, sex, misunderstanding, forgiveness, and love. Mia and her father had a fall out he has passed away, and Mia soon to be husband has ran away with someone else and got married, did I mention this all happens in the first few chapters? Mia has also found out, the last piece of her father his house is being sold, she rushes to Florida although she knows its hurricane season. That is where is meets officer Stephen he is fine as wine, BUT the brother has secrets BIG ONES, and surprises but you have to get to the end of the book. The question throughout the entire book is "Can you look past someone past for your future?
This book was really great; she is a new author to me but I plan on reading more of her books.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I truly enjoyed this book.
Published 28 days ago by The Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars so surreal
I stared to read and found myself not wanting to put my tablet down wow I so enjoyed this book.
Published 2 months ago by Arlene Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars I am hooked
Even though the story lines are predictable, I love how she intertwined the characters. I would recommend her books. Nice read.
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
This is a great book that kept me intrigued. Stephan found the true love he had dreamed about for months. Mia found true love in less than a week. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Indy
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
The characters were great. The story was intriguing. You could feel the connection between the characters. I can't wait to read another book by this author. Another winner!
Published 14 months ago by Ernest L. HIckman, Jr.
4.0 out of 5 stars Better luck next time
I liked the chemistry between the characters. However, the ending was a let down. There was an opportunity for this great emotional conflict, but it fell extremely short. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Fernandzie Sargent-Hall
5.0 out of 5 stars Sexy...Hot...Sizzling..Need to Fan Myself
Wow...that's all I can say...Wow. I couldn't put this book down. The twists and turns in the story line was fantastic, the sexual tension between the two was incredible, the... Read more
Published on May 29, 2012 by T. Brame
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Read!
This book is about a crazy black woman that goes into a storm to make up for not listening to her dad. Read more
Published on June 15, 2011 by darkmare
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved It
Celeste is a new author for me and now is one my favs. I really enjoyed the story and chemistry between Mia and Stephan. Read more
Published on August 25, 2009 by Suebhoney1
5.0 out of 5 stars Stormy Weather But Smooth Reading
Mia and Stephen were destined to meet. Mia must face demons from her past. Stephen hopes his secret won't put a wedge between them. Read more
Published on July 16, 2009 by Shelia M Goss
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More About the Author

National best-selling author of over twenty-five critically acclaimed multicultural romance and young adult novels, Celeste O. Norfleet was a late bloomer to writing. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, she is a graduate of Moore College of Art & Design. An art director and graphic designer for many years, Celeste now devotes her time to writing and creating novels letting her artistic imagination flow through the computer keys. Her romance novels, realistic with a touch of humor, depict strong characters with unpredictable plots and exciting storylines. Her young adult novels delve into dramatic fiction, reflecting current issues facing African-American teens. Celeste currently writes for Harlequin's Kimani Press Arabesque, Kimani Romance and Kimani Press TRU (young adult) lines. Celeste has won several prestigious awards including RSJ 2011 Best Sequel, 2011 Best Hero and 2011 Best Heroine. She has been nominated numerous times for her romance and young adult novels including the 2010 and 2011 RSJ Author of the Year Award, 2009 RT Book Reviews Career Achievement Award, 2009 Urban-Reviews Best Romance Award and the 2009 YALSA "Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers" Award. Celeste currently enjoys a quiet life in Virginia with her family.

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