Saturday, September 30, 2017
I'm participating in Stuck in a Good Book Giveaway Hop hosted by Valerie at Stuck in Books, and will be giving away a $10 Giftcard to US Amazon or US Barnes & Noble or up to $10 at The Book Depository to one reader. See below for a list of participating blogs or click HERE.
I'm featuring books I couldn't put down and high on that list is the Will Trent series by Karin Slaughter! There are eight books out, but I even read the in-between novellas and loved them! I went on a binge read of the series earlier this year and I totally recommend it!
Click on cover for Goodreads link:
My giveaway is for a $10 Gift Card to US Amazon or US Barnes & Noble or up to $10 at The Book Depository to one reader. The giveaway is International as long as The Book Depository ships to your country. Just fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win. Good luck!
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Carolyn Brown does write the swooniest cowboy romances! I loved Nash and Kasey's story so much! So I'm thrilled to be part of the Blog Tour for Long, Tall Cowboy Christmas! I have my review, an excerpt and giveaway below. I dare you not to fall in love with this sexy cowboy!
Publication Date: September 26th 2017 by Forever
About the book:
A heartwarming holiday read from USA Today bestselling author Carolyn Brown – Nash Lamont is a man about as solitary as they come. That's exactly why ranch life in middle-of-nowhere Happy, Texas suits him. So what the heck is he doing letting a beautiful widow and her three rambunctious children temporarily move in? Before he knows it, they're stringing Christmas lights and decorating the tree... and he's having the time of his life. But after everything he's been through, Nash knows this kind of happiness doesn't last.Kasey Dawson thought she'd never get over the death of her husband. Nash, with his strong hands and infinite patience, is stirring something she hasn't felt in a long time. Kasey knows the sexy cowboy isn't telling her everything about this past, though. And she refuses to risk heartbreak all over again. But her kids have a plan of their own: Nothing will keep them from having a real family again-even if it takes a little help from Santa himself.
Long, Tall Cowboy Christmas was everything I love about Carolyn Brown’s romances, and more! A sexy cowboy, a sweet, but feisty heroine, playful banter, and three beyond cute kids! I guarantee this one will melt your heart!
Kasey Dawson McKay is a young mother left a widower when her Army husband, Adam, was killed on mission two years ago. She’s back living at the family ranch, Hope Springs in Happy, Texas, but she’s had trouble dealing with the hole her husband’s death has left in her heart.
Nash Lamont has returned to his family’s ranch, Texas Star, to find peace after his time in the Army left him with PTSD which includes guilt and nightmares. He never dreamed he’d be living next to Kasey McKay, and that he’d be running into her and her adorable kids all the time. An accident throws them together until Christmas, and he’s hoping, wishing for a Christmas miracle; that the circumstances will become permanent, and he’ll get to keep Kasey and the kids forever.
Oh, my stars, I just loved this story! I don’t want to divulge too many details about how Kasey and Nash are thrown together, but it’s quickly a passionate match. Add in Kasey’s seriously cute kids and how Nash bonds with them and this is a recipe for a 5-star story! This is Carolyn Brown at her finest!
Padding out of the room in her flannel pajama pants and an oversized faded shirt, Kasey found Nash washing dishes and no kids in sight.
“Shhh…” He put a finger over his lips. “They just now dropped off for naps. If they hear your voice, they’ll wake up.”
She frowned and pointed toward the dining room. “What is that?”
“Camping out,” he explained.
A white sheet had been draped over the dining room table, creating a tent. Underneath were pillows, books and two sleeping children.
“They’re camping and I’m watching out for bears and skunks,” he explained. “Hungry?”
“Starving. I’m always nauseated at the onset of one of the headaches and afterwards so hungry I could eat one of those bears if you catch it.” She caught a whiff of Italian food. “You cooked?”
“Of course,” he said. “Sit down right here and let me work on your neck. Lots of headaches are stress related and come out of the neck.”
She eased down into a chair and Nash went to work on her temples first, placing his hands on her cheeks so that his thumbs worked on the spots between her eyebrows and hair line. Making lazy circles and increasing the pressure every few seconds, he kept up the massage for a good five minutes before moving around to the back of the chair. He took her neck in his hands, heating her hormones to the boiling point. Rolling it around in his hands, she could feel the tension leaving her body by degrees. Then he began to massage her shoulders, digging his fingers into the knots and dissolving them. The pain in her head dissolved to half strength and her stomach grumbled.
“Now for food. Sit right there and I will bring it to the table.”
Kasey couldn’t remember the last time a man had waited on her. “God, this is amazing,” she said after taking a bite of the spaghetti he put in front of her. “Did you make the sauce from scratch?”
He nodded. “Just like my cousin Amanda taught me. She married an Italian, and she’s an amazing cook. After eating her marinara, that stuff you buy in a jar at the grocery store is pretty bland.”
“You cook and watch kids, run a ranch—what can you not do?” Kasey asked.
“I’m not real good at talkin’ to most people,” he said.
“That’s not what I see.” She almost groaned when she bit into a slab of garlic bread.
“Oh yeah? And what do you see?”
“I see a man who’s got some demons, but you talk to me just fine,” she told him between bites.
“Well, you’re special,” he replied softly.
Happy, Texas series:
(click HERE for Goodreads link)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Carolyn Brown is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author and RITA® Finalist who has sold more than 3 million books. She presently writes both women's fiction and cowboy romance. She has also written historical single title, historical series, contemporary single title, and contemporary series. She lives in southern Oklahoma with her husband, a former English teacher, who is not allowed to read her books until they are published. They have three children and enough grandchildren to keep them young. For a complete listing of her books (series in order) check out her website at CarolynLBrown.com.
Click HERE for details at a chance to Win LONG, TALL COWBOY CHRISTMAS by Carolyn Brown!
Friday, September 22, 2017
Ride it Out (Desert Dogs #4) by Cara McKenna
Publication Date: September 19th by Intermix
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
About the book:
There’s a new deputy in town, and she’s a law unto herself.
Jeremiah Church is still aching for justice to be served after his father’s murder. Though the killer has been caught, the authorities are no closer to knowing why the Churches were targeted—and if the family’s still at risk. When Miah receives an anonymous letter hinting at a darker conspiracy, he decides it's high time he seeks justice on his own terms, with the help of his fellow Desert Dogs.
Patrol Deputy Nicki Ritchey is new to Fortuity, and hoping to make a clean start for her and her son. Involved in the Church’s case, she's kindled a friendship with Miah that's evolving into something more. But Miah is crossing lines with his personal vendetta, and Nicki’s attraction is making it tough to tell right from wrong…
We finally get Miah’s story in Ride It Out and I couldn’t be more pleased. I felt bad for him when Raina didn’t return his feelings, and moved on with Duncan. I’m happy that they’re a couple, but I wasn’t thrilled that Raina would pass up Miah, because I thought he was such a catch! Well, her loss, and I can’t help but think Miah is better off without her. Miah’s always been a favorite of mine because he’s been the one of the Desert Dogs that wanted to settle down with a wife and family, and I do love a guy that craves a traditional future instead of the usual player/no commitments kind of guy that’s more common in romance novels.
Miah’s all out of sorts since his father’s murder, and who can blame him? He’s had to take over the business end of things instead of tending to the ranch, and he hates paperwork. More than that, Miah hates the fact that the police have no new leads, no clue who murdered his father and it’s been six long months. The only silver lining in this dark cloud is Nicki, the new Fortuity Deputy. She gets his despair, and anger over his father’s death like no other since her father was murdered as well. Nicki checks in regularly and so they’ve formed a friendship and a simmering attraction that just grows stronger the more time they spend together. I loved that they had a solid foundation of friendship before they ever took things to the next level. Made it so much hotter when they finally came together.
Miah and Nicki are tentative and not without the usual new relationship insecurities, but they fall hard, irrevocably before they’ve even noticed. There are obstacles, mostly on Nicki’s side as she has a son, Matty, who’s not settling in Fortuity all that well, at first. Miah takes the boy under his wing, assigning him duties on the ranch inspiring a love of the land, animals, and the cowboy life that makes such a positive impact on Matty. Love seeing Miah in that fatherly role, because he was such a natural at it.
There is some drama with the murder investigation of Miah’s father, which ties into the ongoing mystery in the series. Miah and his father were targets, but why? Miah sidesteps the law to get answers because there’s been no advances in the investigation, and Nicki reluctantly helps because she knows exactly how Miah feels.
Ride It Out was a solid and satisfying end to the Desert Dogs series. Cara McKenna writes beautifully sensual, and compelling stories, and Ride It Out was no exception!
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Publication Date: September 18th 2017 by Pocket Star
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
About the book:
New York Times bestselling author Chantal Fernando returns with BREACHING THE CONTRACT, book one in a brand new series—The Conflict of Interest Series—about a brigade of lawyers who, despite being bad boys at heart, always end up just on the right side of the law.Katerina Dawson knows exactly what she wants from life. And as the new associate at the top law firm in the city, she’s ready to live out her dreams of becoming a criminal lawyer. But going on coffee runs and babysitting kids during the day was definitely not what she had in mind. She knows that anyone else would kill to be in her shoes, but she has to draw the line somewhere. That’s easier said than done, though, when Kat has to confront her handsome boss…
Tristan Channing and Jaxon Bentley run a successful law firm together and the two partners couldn’t be busier right now. When Jaxon suddenly takes a leave of absence, Tristan begrudgingly assumes responsibility of the new associate, the hot new associate, who has curves for days. Needing to keep his distance from her, Tristan sends Kat on needless errands and has her doing work even an intern wouldn’t touch, like picking up his kids. But his plan backfires when he sees his children grow attached to Kat and sees her getting comfortable in his home. It triggers something deep within him, and it feels right to have her there. Will Tristan be able to keep his work and personal lives separate, or will he find that his heart holds the final verdict?
Kat’s dream job came through when she’s hired as an associate in a prestigious law firm, but when her primary boss takes a leave, Tristan takes his place. He’s sexy for sure, and there’s immediate attraction between them, but he comes off as a rude jerk their first meeting. Also, Tristan has no problem sending Kat for personal errands, including picking up his children from school. Kat doesn’t relish those chores, but knowing she’s the newbie she doesn’t balk. Surprisingly Kat ends up forming a fast bond with Tristan’s kids, and in turn, Tristan. As they work together the attraction they’ve felt from the beginning becomes irresistible. Will their professional lives suffer if they give in?
At only 130 pages, Breaching the Contract was a fast, sexy little story you could easily read through in one sitting. Yes, things happen pretty quickly, but sometimes I like a quick fix of romance without long, drawn out drama, and this is exactly what I got with Breaching the Contract.
I’m looking forward to Jaxon’s story next in Seducing the Defendant.
Chantal Fernando is the New York Times bestselling author of the Wind Dragons Motorcycle Club series and the Maybe series, along with several other novels. She lives in Western Australia, where she is working on her next book. Find her online at AuthorChantalFernando.com, and on Twitter and Facebook.
Thursday, September 14, 2017
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
About the book:
Sparks fly when a journalist and a Navy SEAL cross paths in Thailand in this third entry in the thrilling and sexy Alpha Crew series from New York Times bestselling author Laura Griffin.
Journalist Karly Bonham is on her first overseas mission, covering the new United States ambassador to Thailand, when she is taken hostage by terrorists, with only her wits and courage to keep her alive—until help arrives in the form of Navy SEAL Ethan Dunn.
As part of an elite SEAL team called Alpha Crew, Ethan has been on countless harrowing missions, but he knows this one is different the instant he meets Karly—the sexy young reporter who somehow managed to escape the terrorists’ clutches. Ethan is impressed by her, especially when he learns she has intel that could be the key to a successful rescue op. Ethan knows working with a civilian raises the stakes on an already dangerous mission. But with the clock ticking down, he enlists Karly’s help to thwart a vicious plot and bring a terrorist mastermind to justice.
Karly’s career has taken a positive, upward direction when she’s to cover the US Ambassador’s trip to Thailand at a paradise-like resort. It soon turns into a nightmare when terrorists invade and take over. Karly manages to escape their clutches and proves to be a useful source of information and help for the Navy SEAL Team sent in for reconnaissance and rescue. Ethan, one of the SEAL operatives, is struck by Karly’s resourcefulness, and in amongst the chaos of the situation they share an intense, heated attraction. Can their brief interaction lead to more in real-life? Ethan’s never felt the way he feels for anyone but Karly, so he hopes so. Trouble is Karly’s been recently burned by a long-distance relationship, putting her trust in the wrong man, and so she’s very hesitant about getting involved with Ethan. She can tell her feelings could grow to love very easily and doesn’t want her heart shattered.
Their romance was kindled during an intense, dangerous situation where emotions were running high. The little amount of time Ethan and Karly got to know each other may have been condensed, but they got to know each other on a base level, under pressure and were irrevocably connected. I enjoyed their story, both had realistic insecurities, even so, it was sexy as hell. I do wish Karly would’ve done a little less avoiding, wasting precious time that could’ve been spent together, but it was short lived (the story is only 166 pages), so I can’t complain.
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Julie Ann Walker's name is synonymous with addictive romantic suspense stories, so I'm excited to feature an excerpt and giveaway for her new release: Hot Pursuit, book 11 in her Black Knights Inc. series!
Publication Date: October 3rd 2017 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
About the book:
He puts the hot...
Christian Watson, a former SAS officer and current BKI operator, never thought he would return to England after a terrible turn of events forced him to abandon his homeland. But now he's back on British soil where old enemies are determined to do him in. Fighting for his life is pretty much SOP for Christian. Doing it with the beautiful, bossy Emily Scott in tow is another matter entirely.
In hot pursuit.
Emily lost her coveted job at the CIA because of a colleague turned rogue, and now she has just one rule when it comes to men: they're for recreational purposes only. But when she and Christian are thrust into very close quarters while evading two mysterious men who want Christian dead, she can't help but question all her ideas about love and life lived on the edge. Battling the bad guys is hard enough, battling her feelings for Christian just might prove impossible.
So many questions buzzed through Emily’s brain that she felt like she’d shoved her head in a beehive. She had to grit her teeth to keep from asking them.
And why the hell wouldn’t he stop rubbing her hip? Warmth had spread from the skin beneath his hand, and now her whole body was suffused with it.
“Is she the reason you stayed in England after Boss invited you to join him at Black Knights Inc.?” she asked.
The look he shot her had her lifting a brow. “What?”
“That’s the second time today I’ve thought you were either a mind reader or else practicing witchcraft.”
“Really?” The thought delighted her. “When was the first time?” Then reality sank in. Shit, that was question number three. “Never mind!” She slapped a hand over his mouth. “Don’t answer that.”
His eyes sparkled mischievously. He’d tried using her own technique against her, piquing her interest so she’d use up her truths.
“I’m not the only one who fights dirty,” she accused.
“And don’t you forget it,” he parroted her words back to her. Then he placed a hot kiss in the center of her palm.
She snatched her hand away, dropping it into her lap. If he noticed that she curled her fingers, trying to hold on to the heat of his kiss, he gave no indication.
“So out with it,” she demanded. “Is your mother the reason you stayed in England after Boss invited you to join him at BKI?”
“Yes.” His nod was perfunctory. “After I was let go from the SAS, when I was trying to make my way as a civilian, I moved back in with Mum. After Dad died, she didn’t only get soused on the weekends. She did it all day every day. Held on to the bottle like a lifeline. She was self-medicating, of course. When she was pissed, she could forget she’d been the one behind the wheel that night. But miracle of miracles, with me back home looking after her, suddenly it seemed like she was trying to pull her shite together. She stopped spending all her government support checks at the pub and instead started buying decent food for the flat. She even went ’round to the local Jobcentre offices and applied to be placed in a position.”
From the tender age of six, he’d lived with a drunk mother and a dead father.
Snap. Crackle. Pop.
That wasn’t Rice Krispies. That was the foundations of Emily’s walls. Because she got it.
Her parents might not be drunks, but she knew all about addiction. Her mother and father were both addicted to love, addicted to the high it brought them. They’d sought it with single-minded determination, and their searches had, more often than not, left Emily all alone.
“Then one night, about three months after I got back, I found her in an alley,” Christian continued. “She was half frozen, half dressed, and totally piss drunk. And that’s when I knew.”
He stopped there. Didn’t say another word for a full minute, simply stared into space.
Even though she’d used up her three truths, Emily posed a question anyway. “What did you know?”
Christian turned to look at her. There was so much sadness in his eyes that her heart lurched toward him, and her arms were around his neck before she could stop them.
“That I couldn’t change her,” he said, his voice deep and husky. “That I couldn’t help her, couldn’t save her. And she was too far gone to have any hope of saving herself. So, I trundled her off to the best rehab facility in the country the next morning. It cost all my savings to get her in a six-month program. Then I bought a one-way ticket to America. Got on that plane with nothing but a change of clothes in my rucksack and a paltry roll of pounds secured by an elastic band.”
Emily desperately wanted to know what had become of his mother, if she had ever sobered up, how she’d died. But she’d already pushed her luck and gotten one more truth than he’d agreed to give her. So she bit back the questions poised on the tip of her tongue and said simply, “I’m so sorry, Christian.”
Although sorry didn’t come close to describing what she was feeling for him in that moment. She wasn’t sure there were words in the English language that could do her emotions justice.
Then, because he had given her one more truth than he’d agreed to, and because her emotions were running high and she felt she should do something, she decided to answer the last question he had posed. After all, turnabout was fair play. She prided herself on being an equitable woman.
“I can’t imagine what it was like to lose a father so early in life,” she said, playing with the ends of his hair where it brushed the back of his warm neck. “Or to know what it was to grow up with an alcoholic mother. But like you, I’m sort of the collateral damage of my childhood.”
His dark eyebrows slashed into a vee. “What do you mean?”
“You asked me to explain to you what I couldn’t explain to Richard. Why I couldn’t fall in love with him.” Part of her mind was on the ugly truth she was about to reveal; the other part was distracted by the feel of his hair between her fingertips. It was so soft. Strange for a man who in all other respects was the epitome of hardness. Hard body. Hard head. Hard…ahem. “I’m willing to give it a try.”
The look he sent her was guarded.
“But I want to make another deal with you,” she said.
“I want you to let me go back over to the sofa.” His pretty green eyes narrowed. “What I’m about to tell you is important, and I need to be able to concentrate to get it right. To explain it right. I can’t concentrate when we’re like”—she motioned between them—“this.”
One corner of his mouth twitched. “Why not?”
Her pursed lips told him you know why without having to say the words.
Indulge me, his twinkling eyes answered.
She blew out a windy breath. “You’re distracting, okay? You’re all…” She waved a hand to indicate his entire form. “And it’s distracting.”
Not to mention destructive. As in, sitting on his lap, his arms around her, her arms around him—when had that last thing happened exactly?—was destroying her emotional fortifications, ripping them apart brick by brick until it was hard to remember why she was so determined to keep him at arm’s length.
“You do want me.” A satisfied grin kicked up the corners of his mouth. That mouth that she now knew from experience was magic. If she was a witch, then he was definitely a warlock. A sexy, tattooed English warlock.
She clucked her tongue. “Ah, ah, ah. Your arrogance is showing again.”
“Admit it,” he demanded.
“Okay, I admit it. You, sir, are arrogant.” Devilment had her fighting a grin.
“Admit that you want me, woman. I’m not letting you go until you do.”
“Fine.” Her frustration had her raising her hands and letting them fall back into her lap. “I want you. What red-blooded heterosexual woman wouldn’t? You’ve got that whole unholy trifecta thing going for you.”
“Unholy trifecta?” He looked genuinely confused.
“Tall, dark, and handsome,” she explained, touching his chin dimple. She couldn’t get enough of it. “Plus, there’s the accent.”
“I’m not the one with an accent, darling. You’re the one with an accent.”
“Whatever. The point is that it doesn’t matter that I want you; I can’t have you. And I’ll try to explain why if you’ll let me go back over to the damned sofa!”
She clamped her mouth shut, heat flooding her cheeks when she realized he’d gotten under her skin and made her lose her shit. Again. He had an unnatural knack for it.
“Fine.” He opened his arms, letting them come to rest on the arms of the chair. “You win. Your freedom for an explanation. Although, in truth, I’m hardly sure this is a better deal than the last one.”
That Emily should feel so bereft without his strong arms around her, without that thumb drawing maddening circles on her hip, was completely absurd. Which was why she scrambled off his lap and flounced over to the sofa. She didn’t want him to see the truth of her feelings on her face.
Only after she had settled into the corner, drawing her feet up onto the cushion and hugging her knees to her chest, did she dare look at him. “Like I said earlier,” she grumbled. “You wouldn’t know a good deal if it—”
“I’m warning you, Emily.” His expression was so fierce, so focused that she found herself fighting for breath. “If you mention the words bite and pecker in the same sentence again, I can’t be held responsible for what I’ll do. Likely bite you and then try to use my p—”
“Okay!” She screwed her eyes shut and covered her ears. It felt as if someone had tossed a bucket of scalding water over her head. “I get it!”
When she blinked open her eyes, it was to find him reclined back in the chair, a smug half-smile plastered over his irritatingly attractive face.
Click HERE for details.
The lovely people of Sourcebooks Casablanca have generously provided on Paperback Copy of Hot Pursuit by Julie Ann Walker to one lucky reader! The giveaway is open to US Residents only. Simply fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win. Good luck!
Friday, September 8, 2017
I loved Going Dark by Monica McCarty and can't wait for the next installment, so I'm thrilled to share my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway!
Publication Date: September 5th 2017 by Berkley Books
About the book:
The members of a top secret SEAL Team can't keep their passion under wraps in this thrilling contemporary romantic suspense series from New York Times bestselling author Monica McCarty.
Like Rome's Lost Legion, a SEAL platoon goes on a mission and vanishes without a trace.
After walking into a trap on a covert op in Russia, the men from top secret SEAL Team Nine are presumed dead. Not knowing whom they can trust, and with war hanging in the balance, the survivors must go dark and scatter around the globe.
Marine ecologist Annie Henderson joins her new boyfriend on a trip to the Western Isles of Scotland to protest a hazardous offshore drilling venture. When she realizes that she may be swept up in something far more dangerous than she'd intended, there is only one man she can turn to. . . .
She and the mysterious but sexy dive boat captain haven't exactly gotten off to the best start, but something about his quiet confidence makes her think that he's the kind of man she can depend on. Because he's gruff and guarded, she can tell Dan Warren has secrets. But she could never imagine how high the stakes are for him to keep his cover, even as he risks everything to protect her. . . .
Annie, a marine ecologist, left the US to protest an oil drilling off the pristine coast of Scotland with her boyfriend, Julien. Her new boyfriend, and she can’t hardly believe her hasty decision. Sure, she’s all for saving the planet from greedy big corporations that care for nothing but the bottom line, but now that she’s in Scotland the plans seem a little more intense that she bargained for. Also, Annie’s getting wicked bad vibes from Julien’s best friend, Jean Paul, the leader of the group.
Annie’s in the middle of the ocean when she realized exactly how dangerous her situation is, and unfortunately, she has no one to confide in or ask for help except for the rude boat captain, Dan. Even with his gruff demeanor, there’s something about Dan that feels trustworthy, and she has no other options.
Dan is working as a boat captain in Scotland, lying low after his covert SEAL mission went to hell. Helping Annie could blow his cover and his isn’t the only life at risk.
Going Dark is romantic suspense at its finest! After a little settling in, sorting out the members of SEAL Team Nine, the story takes off, and we focus on just one of the guys, Dan. Not his real name, but you find out exactly which teammate he is relatively quickly.
Dan and Annie don’t get off to the best start, because he’s kind of an ass, but who can blame him with everything that happened? Doesn’t matter what kind of manners he had, because he turned out to be Annie’s rock. They try and stay ahead of the danger and survive, whether from the elements or evil people, and it’s a non-stop action filled ride to stay alive! Let me tell you, Dan’s pretty impressive; that SEAL training definitely paid off! The attraction Dan and Annie felt from the moment they laid eyes on each other simmers and spills over into some wickedly hot encounters sure to leave you hot and bothered! That lifeboat ride, oh my!
No worries about the “boyfriend” Julien. Things didn’t look good early on, and he’s basically a non-issue, IMO.
Even though the romance and current situation is settled nicely, there is an ongoing story arc, the covert mission that went horribly wrong for SEAL Team Nine. The reason they’re hiding out. They’re getting some inside help, trying to figure out how they were betrayed and by whom. This sets up the stories to come, and there’s a couple of romances in the works from what I can tell. I’m curious about Kate and Colt. Will they be a couple of will Kate be paired with Scott? I’m kind of rooting for Colt, but either could be possible.
At any rate, Going Dark was an excellent kick off to The Lost Platoon series! Monica McCarty’s writing was fast-paced and addictive, balanced with well-developed characters I grew to love. Count me in for the coming books!
Dean was about to turn up his street when a woman darted past him. She was so preoccupied with whatever was bothering her that she didn’t notice him.
But he noticed her. The sexy brunette had been the focus of too many of his sex-starved thoughts for him not to have recognized that shadowed figure right away.
His thoughts immediately turned to anger. What the hell was she doing out here alone at this time of night?
Granted Stornoway wasn’t exactly the mean streets of name-your-favorite American inner city, but it had its share of illegal activity—especially along the waterfront—and it wasn’t a place where a young woman should be walking alone in the middle of the night.
He went after her without thinking. Proving his point, she took way too long to realize he was behind her.
He could tell by the way she jumped when she turned around that he’d startled her.
But it didn’t last. As soon as she recognized him, her eyes narrowed angrily. “Why are you following me? You scared me!”
“Good. You shouldn’t be out here alone—” He stopped suddenly, seeing her expression. She looked about ready to burst into tears. “What’s wrong?”
Unconsciously he’d reached for her arm. Why the hell he’d done that he had no clue. He didn’t go around touching women without an invitation.
He released her before she could protest. But if she’d noticed the too-personal gesture, she didn’t let on.
“Nothing,” she replied, her expression too blank.
He held her gaze long enough for her to see that he knew she was lying. It must not be something she did often, because a guilty blush rose to her cheeks.
She was so damned cute. He wanted to . . .
He took a step back.
Go dark. Don’t do anything to risk your cover.
He heard the warnings loud and clear. But he couldn’t very well let her walk around alone. What if something happened?
“Where’s your boyfriend?”
The tightening around her mouth before she responded gave a big hint of what might be bothering her. Trouble in paradise? Now, that was a cryin’ shame.
“He’s still at camp. He’s hanging around for the music. Julien plays guitar.”
Dean didn’t care if he was Jimmy Hendrix returning from the dead for one last show. “And he let you walk back alone?”
She immediately stiffened, giving him a scathing look. “He didn’t let me do anything. I make my own decisions.”
From the way she said it, it was clear she thought he was some kind of medieval misogynistic pig.
One of those, was she? He should have guessed. That kind of oversensitive feminist crap drove him crazy—not everything was a “microagression.” Being a strong woman didn’t mean you could be stupid about personal safety. And all he’d meant was that douche bag should have cared enough about her safety enough to insist on accompanying her.
Although admittedly Julien probably wasn’t much of a defense.
“Then your decision was a shitty one.”
She looked stunned. “You just say whatever you think, don’t you? I wasn’t asking for your opinion.”
“Well, you got it.” He gave her a long look, taking in the Tulane sweatshirt, tight jeans that left no room to hide anything, and flip-flops. “And unless you are a black belt jujitsu specialist or trained in self-defense and carrying some kind of weapon, I’m walking you to the guest house.”
She looked up at him half outraged and half bemused, as if she couldn’t quite believe someone like him actually existed. It was a look he’d been on the receiving end of more than once.
Eventually her mouth twisted with a smile. “How do you know I’m not?”
“Because if you had any secret ninja skills, from the way you were looking at me a few minutes ago, I’d be on my ass right now.”
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