Corporate Lawyer, Damien Sharpe, finds Arianna Choktaw, missing granddaughter of his top client. But as star witness against a corporate criminal, and the target of hired assassins, he brings the threat of death with him. When he books a balloon ascent over the Grand Canyon with Ari, in order to plead his client’s case, he puts her life on the line with his. Shot down, and running for their lives, he depends on Ari’s ability and knowledge to survive in the desert.
Ari uses all the skills she learned from her errant father to keep them alive and reach safety. When the FBI informs Damien their safe houses have been compromised, Ari offers to hide him in her secret canyon. Here Damien finds the freedom he’s been denied by a manipulative father. The instant chemistry between Damien and Ari flares high, yet, the trial, a scorned woman, bullying father, and criminal wanting revenge put them in constant danger. When Damien realizes his love has made Ari the target, he protects her by leaving.
Frantically, Ari pulled the valve rope from Damien’s hand, closing the hole at the top of the balloon, and fired the burners, praying she’d get a little hot air into the ripped mass. Their descent slowed minutely, they were sailing a quarter of a mile above the ground, heading for a low escarpment that slanted away at a gradual angle. She aimed for the top of the rocky ledge, dumped as much air as she could, and grabbed a tight hold on the basket.
“Hang on.” She yelled at Damien.
Suddenly, his arms closed around her, he pulled her into the hard contours of his body, sank to the floor of the basket with her, and tucked her head into his chest. The basket scraped over the top of the rock, tilted and began sliding sideways down the incline. Her skill softened the landing and saved their lives, as the nylon canopy snagged on the tough fingers of the mesquite bushes, slowing their speed. They slid for countless seconds. She held her breath and pressed even closer. Damien’s arms seemed the only safe place in the spinning world. Rock clattered alongside them, as the basket threw it up, bobbing along at the end of the dying envelope. Then they were motionless.