“The sultry sex and seduction scenes are just the icing on this incredibly rich and satisfying cake. Readers will sit down, read this book from cover to cover in one sitting, and then pick it up to read it all over again.”— RT Book Reviews, 5 Stars
A FLING MIGHT BE JUST THE THING…
Gavin Donnigan left the Marine Corps a shell of a man, hounded by guilt for deaths he couldn’t prevent. But teaching a self-defense class at the local gym brings some stability to his life—along with a gorgeous leggy woman who won’t give him the time of day.
Zoe York lost her twin sister to a freak car accident a few months ago. She’s been struggling to bury her grief, but it isn’t until she signs up for a self-defense class with its distractingly hot instructor that she begins to come out of her shell again. With the memory of her sister telling her to live a little, Zoe decides a fling with buns-of-steel Gavin Donnigan might be just the thing.
Soon they’re sparring both in and out of the gym. And for the first time in a long time, each is looking forward to tomorrow.
They worked well together for close to an hour, under the cool wind and dappled moonlight making fairy patterns on the grass.
“Fairy patterns?” Gavin asked when she commented on it. He hunkered next to her as he patted at the soil around a freshly weeded cucumber plant. “Someone’s a little too fond of Lord of the Rings.”
“Why is that the only movie people associate with fairies? And they were elves and dwarves, technically.” She paused. “And hobbits.”
He rolled his eyes. “Fine. Name another fairy movie.”
She opened her mouth and closed it. Suddenly blank. Before she could come up with a better argument, she felt a raindrop hit her cheek. Then another.
Gavin glanced up. “Hell. At least it held off for a while.”
She would have agreed, but then the sky opened up, and a torrent of rain fell from out of nowhere.
In seconds, she was drenched. “I’m getting soaked!”
“Shit. Let’s go.” He hauled her with him to the back porch, then left her to ease Leon and his new pals under the eaves, so that the water wasn’t pummeling directly on top of the transplants. Instead, the wind sprayed the drops like mist over the fragile blooms.
Once inside again, they stood dripping onto the kitchen floor.
Gavin swore. “That rain is not gentle or warm. I think a few more minutes out there and we’d be missing skin. Damn storm.”
“No kidding.” She started to shiver.
“Wait here.” He hustled away and came back with towels and a robe. “I raided the downstairs guest room, where Hope’s staying. This place is better than the Ritz. Leave your muddy shoes here. You can change in the guest room around the corner.” He pointed past the kitchen toward the main hall.
She left and returned, clad only in the fluffy blue robe. She refused to feel self-conscious, because the wet cold of undergarments had been like torture. Especially in contrast to the soft warmth of the robe.
She found Gavin in the kitchen in nothing but jeans, towel-drying his hair. Droplets graced his muscular shoulders and biceps. A dusting of hair covered his firm chest and ran down his corded abs.
Holy mother of… She pretended to yawn to cover her gaping mouth.
He froze when he saw her. “Blue’s your color.”
“Tan is yours,” she quipped, earning a grin.
But there was no mistaking the hunger in his gaze.
“So, ah, what now?”
The loaded silence about killed her, until Gavin nodded to the hallway. He skirted her, careful not to make contact, she noted. Then he walked past the living room, leading her back down another hallway toward a smaller living space. It was cozy, filled with a large-screen television, a soft, thick sectional, and a fireplace. With the flick of a switch, he had a fire going.
“Gotta love natural gas.”
“Yep. No chopping wood for these folks.” He smiled. “And no smelly smoke from the flue being blocked. Had that happen a time or two growing up, back when my mother thought it would build character to take us all camping.”
He placed the towel down over a faux bearskin rug in front of the fire and sat, his back to the fireplace. “My mother and father realized we are not a ‘roughing it’ kind of family. Landon and I basically tormented Hope, Mom, and Theo with spiders. Dad refused to cook in such a primitive setting, without his designer pots. And it rained on our borrowed tent…that had holes. Unfortunately, Mom hadn’t listened to Aunt Beth about trying it out and checking for tears before we camped.”
She chuckled. “I consider myself a hotel kind of camper, myself.”
“But you were in the Marines, right? You must have done plenty of camping in the woods.”
To her surprise, his face closed up, and she realized his time in the service had come with a hefty price. He said he’d seen horrible things. It appeared the memory of them wasn’t far away.
Then Gavin seemed to shake off the memories, because he smiled. “I’m a better camper than Landon, that’s for sure. I was enlisted. I worked for a living. My prissy older brother was an officer. Major Pain in the Ass, for sure.” He snickered.
“What rank were you, if you don’t mind me asking?”
“Master sergeant. I wanted to stay a gunny, but they forced the promotion. Most of my time was spent away from a desk, thank God. I’m not an admin, peacetime kind of Marine. I do better out in the field.”
He seemed calm talking about his time in. Then she noticed his fist by his side, clenched in the rug. He saw her watching him and relaxed it, brushing through the fur. “Great place, isn’t it? Want to watch a movie or something while our clothes dry?” He blinked. “Ah, speaking of which, let me find the dryer. I’ll be right back.”
He darted from the room, returning minutes later. “I threw the stuff in the dryer. Hope that was okay.”
Great. He’d seen her polka-dot panties and plain cotton bra. Way to go, May West. Wow ’em with your sexy lingerie.
She nodded and moved closer to the flames, hoping he’d attribute the heat in her cheeks to the warmth of the fire. Keeping her back to him, she held out her hands, enraptured by the flickering oranges and reds.
She started when his breath swept her ear. “Love those panties, by the way.”
She went from nervous to hot and wanting in seconds. Even though she knew it wouldn’t be smart, she turned and saw bare, muscular flesh inches away. Lifting a hand, she stroked his shoulder and saw him shudder. Then she followed the trail of muscle, and one thick vein, down his biceps to his dense forearm.
“Yeah? Well, I love your shirt too.” She stroked his fingers, then traced a pattern over his chest. Deliberately grazing his nipples, she stared up into his eyes, now dark with need.
“Do you?” he growled. “’Cause I’m not wearing one.”
“Uh-huh.” She bit her lip, aware she was aroused all over. Wet between her legs, her nipples taut, her belly doing somersaults as she breathed in Gavin Donnigan. “I don’t do casual sex,” she reminded him—and her.
“Right. No one-night stands,” he agreed, his voice impossibly low.
“Exactly,” she whispered.
And then, somehow, his mouth was on hers, and the passion building between them exploded.
BLP REVIEW ~ Tracy
A Sure Thing (Book 1)
Just the Thing (Book 2)
The Only Thing (Book 3)
ABOUT THE SERIES:
Meet the Donnigans
With the eldest Donnigan brothers adjusting to civilian life, their younger sister constantly in trouble, and their little brother clueless about life in general, falling in love is the last thing on anyone’s mind…
A Sure Thing
Can this Bossy Badass Marine…
The Marine Corps was everything Landon Donnigan ever wanted in life…until a bullet sent him home with a medical discharge. Teaching a self-defense class at the gym is old-hat for a marine, but when he meets sexy Ava Rosenthal, his combat skills are useless for protecting his heart.
Be her Mr. Right?
Ava can take care of herself and likes quiet, bookish men-not muscular warriors who think women need to be coddled. But Landon is more than he seems, and when they come together, the results are explosive.
A SURE THINK ~ EXCERPT:
He chuckled and invaded her space, pleased when she tensed. Then he gently tucked away that strand of flyaway hair behind her ear. And man, was it soft, smelling like flowers.
“Okay, Dr. Ava.”
“Actually, it’s Dr. Rosenthal.” She lifted her pert nose.
He stroked her cheek, pleased when she trembled, yet she never backed down. “Well, Doc, I’m a Marine, or I was before a bullet took me out of commission. So you see, I live to serve and protect. Now I work for a logistics company protecting my boss’s ass from inept employees.”
“That’s…” She blew out a breath. “That’s not very flattering to your employees.”
“Not mine. I just work there.” He paused for effect. “Nah. Kidding. The guys and gals I work with are great. The ones who aren’t I already fired.”
“You have a controlling nature, don’t you?” She narrowed her eyes. “Were you an officer or enlisted in the Army?”
No doubt she said that to needle him. Army? “Marine Corps, honey.”
“Oh, sorry. Doctor Honey. So, was I an officer or enlisted? What do you think?”
“Officer. You’re exceedingly bossy.”
“You noticed.” He sighed. “You do care.”
She shook her head at him, but she was grinning again. “You really are obnoxious. And you’re not even trying, are you?”
“Not yet. You should see me when I’m on a roll.”
The wind blew again, and her teeth chattered.
“Okay, Doc. Enough flirting. Get in your car before you freeze your fine ass off.”
She scowled, then opened and closed her mouth, as if not sure whether to be annoyed or flattered. He had mentioned her fine ass, after all. She gave a sniff, stalked around to the driver’s side, and let herself in the vehicle.
She drove away in her sensible, compact little Prius, but he’d bet money she’d looked in her rearview at him before turning the corner.
Landon blew out a breath and wondered what the hell he was doing. He had no time for woman problems. Especially not the kind with an advanced degree and trouble written all over her. But he hadn’t been able to get the gorgeous woman out of his head since seeing her at the gym. Then running into her at his favorite bar? What were the odds? It was like fate planting her in his sights. Because that dud of a date drooling all over her couldn’t keep up.
Charles I’m Boring Myself Silly had no game. Not like Landon. Marines came, saw, and conquered. And he’d just decided he had a need to see what kinds of games Dr. Honey liked to play…between the sheets.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Caffeine addict, boy referee, and romance aficionado, MARIE HARTE is a confessed bibliophile and devotee of action movies. Whether hiking in Central Oregon, biking around town, or hanging at the local tea shop, she’s constantly plotting to give everyone a happily ever after.
Award-winning author Marie has been writing professionally since 2005. She’s both a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author and has written over 100 books and counting. Marie writes books with heat, humor, and character. She writes independently and for several publishers, to include Sourcebooks and Samhain. Though currently writing contemporary romance, she also writes paranormal and romantic suspense. Before turning to writing full-time, she earned a B.A. in English from Pennsylvania State University and spent several years in the United States Marine Corps as a communications officer.
The Facts According to Marie:
- I’m a mood reader. If I read a book with a bad ending, it throws me into a funk for days.
- If it’s paranormal, I’m digging it.
- I majored in English and have yet to read Jane Austen. Seriously. *I hang my head in shame*
- I’m naturally lazy but perform best under deadlines.
- I’ve fired a 9mm pistol, a Squad Automatic Weapon, an M16A2 rifle, an M203 grenade launcher, and have thrown live grenades. And I loved it!
- Grammar is my rock. I respect those who know when to use their, there, and they’re correctly.
- I’m definitely a night owl.
- Long live the Oxford comma.
- I love books. I’ll read until they bury me, and then I’ll haunt libraries.
- I can’t write to music or television. I need perfect quiet.
PRAISE FOR MARIE HARTE:
“A blazing hot, emotionally intense love story…from an author on the rise.”— Kirkus for A Sure Thing
“This is truly a must read!”— Night Owl Reviews, 5 Stars, Top Pick! for Roadside Assistance
“Readers will swoon at the romantic gestures… in this easy-to-read tale of self love, trust and taking chances.”— RT Book Reviews for Roadside Assistance
McCauley Brothers series:
“Packed with sass, sensuality and heartwarming emotion…an absolute delight!”- Romance Junkies
“Funny, addicting, and full of hot sex scenes.”– Booklist