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A Question… (Contest)
Saturday, April 4th, 2015

UPDATE: The winner of the free download is…Galina Sulaiman!

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My day will be full of diapers and Spongebob today! I’ll have my feet propped up on the ottoman and my laptop on my knees. But it will be flung aside a dozen times as I chase down the 19-month-old—she tends to put things in her mouth that don’t belong there. Her favorite “food” right now is her Honest Company diapers. At least she’s no longer eating her crib—we traded the wood one for an industrial metal crib.  8-O

Anyways, my day will be exhausting. So I thought about what to do for a blog today, and I’ve got nada. It’s 6:10 AM, and there is no inspiration. Yes, I have new releases to talk about, and if you want to know about them, just click on the covers below, but for right now, I’ll ask a simple question and offer you a bribe to answer it. :)

Post a comment today, and you’ll be entered to win a free download from either my Lone Star Lovers series or my Delta Heat series! Here’s the question…

Which month of the year has the best aromas?

LOL. Easy right? If you love the scents of honeysuckle and pina colada tanning lotion, you might love July. Love the smell of roasting turkey…? You get the drift.

And just a reminder, I do have two sexy, fun-as-hell stories out there right now…

SmBitten_600  JohnnyBlaze_600

Here’s a short excerpt from Johnny Blaze!

Johnny Blaze stood, framed by the curtain, his fireman’s hat tipped low in front, the stage lights gleaming on the shiny top and shadowing his features. His tanned chest and ripped abs were bare except for red suspenders–thankfully, attached to yellow turnout pants. His large feet were encased by black boots. He raised a finger and curled it–twice.

I shook my head, glancing behind me to find the stairs, but gentle pressure on my shoulders forced me to my knees.

“Gotta crawl, Bridget,” biker dude drawled. “All the way on your knees.”

He knew my name? Kneeling, I cut him a quick glance. “I’m in a skirt.”

His smile gleamed white against his darkly tanned face. “I know. Sweet how that worked out.” Read the rest of this entry »

A New Shorty, Contest, and a Question… (Contest)
Friday, March 27th, 2015

UPDATE: The winner of this contest is…Ilona!

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Thanks for your help earlier this week with deciding which cover we should use for the Viking book. The authors had too many opinions, and I thought, why not ask readers? You tend to make more instinctual choices than we do, because we way overthink. :)

So it’s Friday….! Yup. New shorty. This one was in Penthouse magazine! If you look at the Penthouse cover below, it’s the “Raunchy Road Trip.” Such a proud moment. :) And the story has some naughty, light S&M. Remember, it’s free to KU readers and just $0.99 for everyone else. I hope you’ll pick it up. Click on the cover to check it out on Amazon!

The Long Ride Home

LongRideHome_600

 

Ride along with two soldiers, just returned from war, who find sweet release in the long ride home…

Note: This book was previously published in Penthouse Magazine and the Duty and Desire anthology, but has been revised and expanded.

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Excerpt:

Glancing toward Sergeant Maddox, I noted the hard edge of his jaw, the hand wrapped so tight around the steering wheel that the muscles in his forearm tensed. I didn’t have to crawl inside his head to know he didn’t want me there. So why had he told me to get in?

Was he attracted, too, but reluctant to act on it because he was still my superior? Like I’d ever tell a soul. He should have known me better than that. We’d been through hell together, and yet I’d never presumed on the bond, never asked for favors.

Did he want me to make the first move so he’d know my expectations, know just how far I wanted this to go? I smiled at the thought of all the fantasies I’d stored up over the months. And I was finally here–alone with a man who was still feeling edgy and angry.

Maybe I could help him out a bit. And maybe, he’d see me as more than a fellow soldier who’d shared the bench seat of a deuce-and-a-half truck a time or two. One I’d been driving when he’d had to talk me through a hail of gunfire as our transport convoy had come under attack.Penthouse

I unbuckled my belt, ignoring his deep frown. I turned in the seat and reached for the buttons of his jacket, flicking them open then parting each side.

He didn’t say a thing, but his nostrils flared, his jaw sawed tighter.

I gripped the front of his t-shirt, bunched it in my hand, and tugged it from his ACU trousers.

His stomach jumped, and he sucked it in, making just enough room for me to get my fingers behind the waistband as I unbuckled, unbuttoned and tugged down the zip.

“Dammit, Hollister,” he said, his voice rough as gravel. “You’re gonna get us both killed.”

“Not if you keep your eyes on the road,” I said, tilting up my chin. Then I leaned over his lap, folded down the elastic band of his boxer briefs and pulled his cock upright.

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The Contest

Leave an answer to the following question in the comments and you’ll be entered to win a copy of any of the shorties in the Amazon carousel below EXCEPT The Long Ride Home. That one, I hope you’ll purchase on your own!

 

If you wrote a naughty story for Penthouse,
which friend or relative could you never tell?

Catnip and a Contest!
Saturday, March 14th, 2015

I know f/f isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But I’ll tell you, sometimes the sexual orientation of a story doesn’t really matter. It’s the story. Straight up. Even if it’s short. Catnip is a lesbian paranormal that I wrote originally for the anthology, She Shifters. I like to joke that it’s one part Practical Magic and one part Josie and the Pussycats. The story’s just plain fun and naughty. And isn’t that what you want from one of my stories?

I’m nearing the end of my Friday spree of short stories. Just three more to go. I’m thinking I might want to continue with a monthly release after that, but I’ll need to write new stories. And I’m thinking, I should write some naughty taboo stories. You know the kind… The young heroine has been dying to do her stepfather, and now that her mom and daddy are divorced, well… Or he’s my cousin, and if it ain’t illegal it ought to be because it’s so damn hot we’re gonna burn the barn down…

Okay, so I’m just thinkin’ about tawdry ideas. And they’d be all about the sex, which is something I love to write. Man, I could write the hell out of those! But in the meantime, I hope you’re enjoying my series of shorts. It’s been fun revising/revisiting the stories. I wanted them all to be at least 5000 words so no one would feel cheated by the word count. Next Friday, it’s a sexy prison short, Pitch Black.

Catnip

CatNip600

 

A cat-woman doll found at a garage sale reveals a lonely woman’s magical destiny…

Note: This 5000-word short story was previously published as part of the SHE SHIFTERS anthology. It may be short in length, but it’s not short in passion!

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Excerpt:
Mallory set “Miss Kitty” on the bookshelf beside her computer. She’d brushed away as much dust as she could before sponging away the grime. She’d reattached the tail with tiny stitches.

While she’d worked, she’d admired the craftsmanship of the strange little doll. The fur suit was seamless and molded to the figure. The small face wasn’t hard plastic, but something softer, with the texture of real skin. The lips, with their cat’s cleft at the center, were parted with a row of individually attached teeth beneath them. She’d stroked her thumbnail over the soft lashes surrounding those shining eyes–each lash appeared to be embedded in the lids.Perhaps there was more to the doll than what she’d originally believed. Promising herself to do a little Internet search in the morning, she turned off the bedroom light and climbed into bed.Her head no sooner hit the pillow than she heard something drop to the floor. The sound was soft, but solid.

She sighed and reached to turn on the bedside lamp. Glancing in the direction of the sound, she scanned the floor, but found nothing out of place. Only mildly perturbed, Mallory reached for the light then paused. Her gaze flicked to the bookcase. Her new doll wasn’t on the shelf where she’d placed it.

Dammit. She’d never sleep until it was back where it belonged. She crawled from the bed and searched the floor beneath the shelf. Nothing. She pulled out her desk chair to see if it had somehow tumbled beneath her desk. “Weird,” she said under her breath as she pushed the chair back into place.

A skittering sounded in the closet beside the shelf, and her heart rate accelerated. “What the hell?” The sound was too small to be a hidden intruder. Wary, she approached the closet. The door was open only a crack. Did she have a mouse? The mystery over the doll was forgotten as she worried how she’d trap it. Inching the door open, she reached inside for the string attached to the lamp on the ceiling.

A loud thump came from the back of the closet, and Mallory jumped back. Too freaking big to be a mouse. Fuck! She backed up two steps, and then ran for the bedroom door.

Before she’d gone three steps, something pounced on her back, taking her to the carpet. Hands wrapped around her wrists, pinning them to the floor. Mallory bucked, panic making her breaths come in short, shallow sobs.

“Don’t be afraid,” purred a feminine voice from right beside her ear.

The raspy quality of the voice caressed nerves Mallory chose to ignore. “Get off me,” she ground out.

“I think I’ll stay here for a moment. I don’t want you bolting again, because I wouldn’t like to hurt you. You smell good.”

“What the fuck were you doing in my closet? What do you want?”

The body covering her back resettled, curves molding to Mallory’s. “I’m not sure why I’m here. Are you a witch?” The woman’s hips undulated, grinding against Mallory’s ass.

Which made it very hard to think. “Am I a wha–”

A snarl sounded. “Just shut up a second. I can’t think.” A rumbling purr vibrated against her, growing louder as the woman on her back nuzzled her neck.

“What are you doing?” Mallory asked in a very small voice, wondering if she was going to be raped by the woman and why that thought didn’t terrify her more.

“Mmm… I’m doing what I couldn’t when you groomed me.”

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The Contest

Hope you enjoyed! Leave an answer to the following question in the comments and you’ll be entered to win a copy of any of the shorties in the Amazon carousel below EXCEPT Catnip. That one, I hope you’ll purchase on your own!

 

So if I decide to write some really naughty, taboo stories, what themes would you love to read? I’m taking orders! :)

Where did February go? (Contest)
Saturday, February 28th, 2015

Psst! If you haven’t subscribed to my newsletter, now’s the time!
A new one’s coming today! Signup

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This never happens. Me, here at the end of the month. But it does give me a great opportunity to recap. :)

What’s my February been like? Snow, snow and more snow. Oh, and ice. And babysitting kids who should have been in school. Good news there is that menopausal women who babysit little ones have less chance of developing dementia. The problem is, if I spend any more time with them, I’ll want dementia!

But February’s been productive. Lots of stories spinning in my mind. Not any new stories actually started, but I did revise/expand/polish some things I’ve had lying around doin’ nuttin. If you missed them, here’s what released in February!

Short Stories!

One a week, as promised. Free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers and just $.099 for everyone else! And more are coming in March! So if you like a quick romantic/erotic fix—a story that gets straight to the point (er,his point), then these are for you!

The Obedient Wife Drive Me Crazy

The Obedient Wife: Find out what really happened between The Beauty and The Beast. Hint: It’s not your children’s fairytale!

Drive Me CrazyShe’s out for one night of passion in a trucker’s big rig…

Dr. Mullalley's Cure Dreaming by the Sea

Dr. MullaleyShe’d been warned the doctor was eccentric, but this nurse discovers his cures are of a mechanical nature…

Dreaming by the SeaA mysterious man rising from the sea awakens a woman to her past…

Longer Stories!

RulesofEngagemen_600t

Rules of Engagement (Lone Star Lovers)

This SEAL’s back in Texas and asking her to marry him one last time…

Callie Murphy’s never been one to moon over a man. Fairytale romances don’t exist outside of books and she’s seen first-hand how transitory love can be after watching her mother fall in and out of marriage.

Derek Tilden hammered home that truth when he joined the Navy to become a SEAL—he was the boy who couldn’t wait to see the world and she was the girl ready to plant deep roots. Now he’s back and asking her to marry him one last time…

Buy at Amazon — More venues coming!

Sweeter Than Honey

Sweeter Than Honey

Something’s on the rise in Two-Mule, Texas. And it ain’t just the temperature.

1880, West Texas

Honey Cafferty lives a happy, if precarious, existence as a traveling saleswoman. She sells her elixirs and potions while searching for the one thing she hasn’t been able to brew from the back of her colorful wagon—a sense of belonging. She arrives in Two Mule, Texas, with her Elixir of Love, a potion that improves a man’s libido but might just get her run out of town.

Sheriff Joe Tanner is protective of his little town. Downright hostile toward anyone who might take advantage of the fine folk under his protection. Any snake-oil salesman who rolls into town better just keep right on rolling.

Honey isn’t what Joe expected, from her vibrant red hair and cat-green eyes to her curvy mouth and hips. And when the men of the town begin to plead exhaustion—and place the blame squarely on her sweet-smelling shoulders—Joe has no choice but to launch an investigation. A very, very deep investigation…

Buy at: Samhain | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Contest

Because I’m lazy like this, my contest is going to be super simple!

Answer me this (I love this ungrammatical phrase!) for a chance to win a free download from among all my currently available short stories listed here:

Have you been dreaming of summer—hot days with sweat trickling down a cold glass of tea, you in a swimsuit beside a pool/the lake/the beach?

A Random Bit of Fun and a Contest
Saturday, February 14th, 2015

It’s Saturday morning and I slept in just a little. So I’m running just a little behind. I was going to post something mind-blowingly clever, but now I only have time for this. :mrgreen:

There are TWO chances to win something today. Look for ’em!

A Random Scavenger Hunt

I just completed updates to my website, and since I went to that expense, someone is going to darn well enjoy it! (Do you hear the maniacal laughter?)

Following are the questions. You can find the ALL the answers on my website. Be sure to email me your answers DIRECTLY to me at email hidden; JavaScript is required. Do not help everyone else by posting your answers in the comments! For everyone who sends me their answers, they will be entered to win a $5 gift certificate from Amazon.com! So, not a lot of money, but hey—that could get you five $.99 stories on Amazon!

The Questions:

1) What three stories appear on my Bookshelf page?

2) Which story cover on my Upcoming/Coming Soon page depicts a woman wearing a monocle?

3) Have you signed up for both my newsletter and to get my blog emailed right to your inbox? *hint* Glance down the left-hand column of this blog.

4) What book is coming April 15 and is ready for pre-order now?

Friday’s New Shorty

Drive Me Crazy

Just FYI. I promised a new short story every Friday until April.

This week’s new release is Drive Me Crazy. For now, these 5000-word stories can be found only on Kindle. They are free to Kindle Unlimited readers and just $.99 to everyone else.

She’s out for one night of passion in a trucker’s big rig…

Get it at the Kindle store!

I have a brand new page on my website devoted to the shorties. If you’d like to see what’s already out, as well as what’s coming, check it out! Shortie Page

Contest

Win a free download of either Wet Down or Watch Over Me! All you have to do is answer the following questions in the comments!

Which covers on the Shorties page most appeal to you?

Sweeter Than Honey (Contest)
Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

UPDATE: The winner of the gift card is…Mary Preston!

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Honey is heeerrrre! It’s a gorgeous cover, isn’t it? Enjoy the excerpt I’ve included. It’s just a tease. Things get zanier and sexier in a hurry. Honey has heart, too.

If you read it, I’d love to know how you enjoyed it. And if you have time and don’t mind, I’d love for you to post a review. Reviews do help other readers make up their minds to buy.

Post a comment today for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card. I’ll be awarding the prizes for the countdown postings later today, so you still have time to enter!

Sweeter Than Honey

Something’s on the rise in Two-Mule, Texas. And it ain’t just the temperature.

1880, West Texas

Honey Cafferty lives a happy, if precarious, existence as a traveling saleswoman. She sells her elixirs and potions while searching for the one thing she hasn’t been able to brew from the back of her colorful wagon—a sense of belonging. She arrives in Two Mule, Texas, with her Elixir of Love, a potion that improves a man’s libido but might just get her run out of town.

Sheriff Joe Tanner is protective of his little town. Downright hostile toward anyone who might take advantage of the fine folk under his protection. Any snake-oil salesman who rolls into town better just keep right on rolling.

Honey isn’t what Joe expected, from her vibrant red hair and cat-green eyes to her curvy mouth and hips. And when the men of the town begin to plead exhaustion—and place the blame squarely on her sweet-smelling shoulders—Joe has no choice but to launch an investigation. A very, very deep investigation…

Warning: Contains a sheriff who prides himself on keeping his town running as smooth as a well-greased wagon wheel, and a wandering saleswoman who’s more than a bump (and grind) in his road.

Buy at: Samhain | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

“Sheriff, you’ve gotta do somethin’ about that woman.”

The note of exasperation in Curly Hicks’s voice was one Joe Tanner had heard often in the past couple of days—at least from the unmarried men of the town. He didn’t need to ask which woman Curly was talking about. He already knew who was responsible for Curly’s agitation. Her name was on everybody’s lips, although the tones with which her name was spoken varied widely.

He was curious what the normally reticent shopkeeper had to say about the lady in question. “Just what do you want me to do about her, Curly?”

“Send her packin’! She’s up to somethin’. Cain’t tell you ’xactly what, but ever since she came, nothin’s been the same.”

So he wasn’t the only one to notice. Since the day Honey Cafferty’s fancy-painted wagon had rolled into town, the mood around Two Mule had seemed…expectant, like the town itself was wakening from a long slumber and had suddenly discovered every joyful holiday was all wrapped inside one bright, shining moment.

Which posed a dilemma for Joe. Two Mule had elected him to keep the peace and things had been riding smooth like a Conestoga over flat land—no bumps, no bone-jarring thuds. So far, the townsfolk had been pretty satisfied with their lives. It was a quiet place—the right kind of town to set down deep roots—and he intended to keep it that way.

However, Honey Cafferty had a way about her that was anything but quiet. She radiated shimmering sensuality, from her vibrant red hair and cat-like green eyes to her lushly curved lips and body. Everything about her shouted like Fourth of July fireworks and crazily spinning whirligigs, eliciting a restless hunger in him that had no place in his tidy little life. Read the rest of this entry »

Watch Over Me is here! (Contest)
Friday, January 23rd, 2015

The winner of the Amazon gift card (chosen by random number generator) is…Angel Shaw!

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I wanted to bring 2015 in with a fierce roar. That’s this year’s word: Fierce. I decided to put intense, fierce focus on my writing and publishing. So, I needed a fierce little book to start January with a punch. Watch Over Me is the first of the Uncharted SEAL series. I decided I’d do an all SEAL collection of unconnected stories, using my favorite SEAL tropes: The bodyguard, the captive rescue, the pirate rescue, etc. You get the picture. Something fun and sexy with a dash of action.

I hope you’ll read Watch Over Me, and if you do, that you’ll leave a review on your favorite bookseller’s website or tell a friend.

Buy at: AmazonKoboiBooks

Comment today and you’ll be entered to win a $10 Amazon gift card!

Watch Over Me
DelilahDevlin_WatchOverMe_600-2

Deke Warrick’s unsanctioned detail is to keep tabs on a congressman’s daughter while she vacations in the Caribbean. He’s determined to keep his distance from the beautiful Nicky Martir, but finds his limits tested when Nicky sets out to seduce him.

What seemed like a simple mission becomes deliciously complicated—and then dangerous, when she’s snatched from their hotel room.

AmazonKoboiBooks

Deke Warrick pushed his sunglasses down his nose to peer at the woman stretched on a chaise not five feet away. She laid face down, her head turned away, thick brown hair held in place by a clip. From the slowness of her breaths, he knew she was dozing. And since he figured she wouldn’t be leaving the beach anytime soon, he relaxed, forcing his fingers to stretch around the teak wood arms of his lounge chair.

After two connecting flights and a short leg in a specially chartered puddle-jumper, at last he had eyes on Nicky Martir. He knew the woman was her because a hotel staff member he’d bribed had pointed her out. Assistance he’d needed because at the moment she didn’t look anything like the air-brushed Facebook photo he’d been given. After finding her, he’d checked out the hotel’s parking and lounge area, all entrances and exits, the stairwells, and then greased the palms of the concierge and wait staff. His initial recon over, he now had time to focus on his target.

From his vantage point, he’d already determined his former commander’s “little girl” was all grown up. In fact, she was a very well-proportioned woman with lush curves above and below a narrow waist. Must have taken after her mother, he mused, because her father’s frame didn’t sport an ounce of excess flesh. At the moment, her bottom was most prominent—rounded, firm, and displayed all too well by the narrow thong bisecting her cheeks. Not that he wanted to notice, but hell, it was right there, and with more than enough curve that a healthy, hetero man could well imagine his hands gripping each mound as he…

Señor, would you like another drink?”

Deke jerked. No one had managed to sneak up on him in a long time, which said a lot about Nicky’s attractiveness.

The cabana girl’s voice held a note of irritation. Her dark brows were drawn into a frown, her lips pursed in disapproval. But not because he’d been ogling a sleeping girl. He’d claimed a spot beneath a thatched umbrella at the edge of the small tiki bar’s outdoor seating area, and he had yet to deliver on the promise he’d made with his smile when he’d asked for this prime piece of real estate. The seat with its attached table provided a perfect view of the beach, as well as the private gated entrance of the hotel parking lot. More importantly, the chair was situated near Nicky. Not close enough to touch, but from here, he could watch over her, amidst the other sunbathers.

Giving the waitress an equally irritated glance, he reached into his pocket and took out several bills, more than enough for five drinks and a generous tip. “Bring me a virgin mojito,” he murmured quietly. A ruse to disguise the fact he hadn’t had a sip of alcohol, because he was on the job—even if this mission was strictly off the books and a favor to a man he admired.

His gaze swung back to the dozing woman. She’d turned her head while he’d been talking to the waitress and was facing him now, a dark fringe of long lashes resting against her cheeks. Yeah, her photo hadn’t done her justice. Sure, he’d known she was pretty, but this close, he could see a smattering of freckles across her nose—a feature she must hide beneath makeup, but which he thought was cute. Made her seem more approachable. Her mouth was full, the bottom lip a little puffier than the top and wide. A mouth made for kissing.

Deke winced and glanced away, feeling guilty over lusting after Commander Martir’s daughter. He was here to do a job. Although Martir had retired from the navy and now held a seat in congress with special oversight of the administration’s war on drugs, he had maintained close ties with the SEAL community, working with his contacts inside the Drug Enforcement Agency to find positions for several of Deke’s friends when they’d started the next phases of their lives. Their special skill set had been a perfect fit for the spec ops work the agency did, and Martir wanted men he could trust working there—disciplined, honorable men. Martir had promised Deke he’d keep a spot open for whenever he was ready to leave DEVGRU/SEAL Team 6, something Deke had automatically refused a year ago. But after his last deployment in the sandbox, he was having second thoughts. Martir’s timing, approaching him the day after Deke set boots back on the tarmac at Oceana, VA, had seemed like a sign.

Deke had answered a summons to his present commander’s office, and instead found Martir standing with his back to the door as he stared out across the green, hands clasped behind his back. Other than the gray at his temples, Fred Martir looked exactly as he had when he’d been the one in charge here.

Deke entered the room and shut the door behind him. “Sir,” he said, coming to attention—out of respect for a former officer who had been a SEAL himself.

When the congressman turned, he raked his gaze over Deke, dressed in a fresh uniform, but still looking scruffy due to the beard he kept while deployed and the non-reg hair he’d let grow well past his collar. “At ease, Deke. Callahan,” he said, referring to the team’s present commander, “tells me you’ve accumulated leave which you refuse to take.”

As he narrowed his gaze, Deke slid his hands behind his back and braced his feet apart, wondering where that statement was leading. “I didn’t exactly refuse, sir. I prefer sticking close to base.” That he didn’t have family to visit or a girlfriend to spend time with was no one’s business but his own. And no one needed to know how uncomfortable he’d come to feel wandering outside his close-knit community.

The older man’s gaze locked on Deke. “This last rotation—I hear things got pretty rough.”

Deke straightened his shoulders. Not a secret, but definitely not something he wanted to discuss. “We lost two good men. Happens.” And while his words were spare, maybe even a little too nonchalant, he couldn’t keep the gravel from his voice at the thought of Sting’s death, or the fact he’d been the one to gather what was left of Mark’s body before he’d humped it back to the helo.

“Callahan says your OIC would prefer you take a break. But since I know you’re a stubborn son of a bitch, I have a proposition for you. Something that’ll get your commander off your back. A job. Strictly off the books. Something personal.” He cleared his throat. “For me.”

Deke met Martir’s gaze, steady as always, but noted there was a hint of worry there, a tension reflected in the deepened lines of his face. Whatever his reason for being here had to be pretty important because he’d never seen that expression on the older man’s face. “I’m listening.”

Deke learned that Martir had received death threats from a drug cartel unhappy with recent crackdowns he’d helped orchestrate. And while his ex-wife and daughter lived well-away from DC and out of the public eye, he was worried about their safety.

“I have eyes on my wife, but my daughter…” He shook his head. “She has vacation plans she’s refused to postpone. And she wouldn’t accept my offer of a bodyguard.” Martir winced. “If you haven’t guessed already, we’re not on the best of terms. She tends to do the exact opposite of anything I suggest.”

A situation that almost made Deke smile—the thought that anyone would stand up to the tough old bird. And just as quickly, he decided this “job,” even if it was a boondoggle, was an assignment he needed. A purpose to focus on beside the sorrow and guilt that weighed him down. “Sir, what exactly do you want me to do?”

Just a day later, he’d managed to track down his former commander’s daughter on this little speck of an island in the Caribbean. Despite Commander Martir’s fears his family might be targeted due to recent media leaks, Deke doubted Nicky was in any serious danger of retaliation. Not here. The island was too small—both in size and in population—for any group to infiltrate undetected among the small tourist population. But Martir was picking up the tab for this working vacation, so Deke would keep frosty.

Not that doing so required effort. Deke had forgotten how to relax. The attitude was one he had to force himself to try because he knew his constant edginess wasn’t healthy. Might even be a sure sign of some nasty issues he’d never admit to, but that could wind up biting him in the butt if he didn’t handle them on his own. A vacation in the Caribbean should have fit the bill. Not that an island getaway would have been on his short list of places he’d want to chill after a long deployment. He was sick to death of heat, even if a light sea breeze made the hot sunlight bearable. Still, the view wasn’t bad.

Again, he shifted in his chair, trying not to stare too long at Nicky’s lovely ass. Dressed in Hawaiian-themed swimming trunks, the only style he’d found in the hotel gift shop other than skin-tight bikini Speedos, he worried he couldn’t hide his growing interest in the pretty brunette’s many assets. She was off-limits. Any woman would be, because he wouldn’t allow any distractions. Even if this mission was a cake-walk, he’d give the work a hundred-ten percent of his attention. He was a SEAL; after twelve years on the DEVGRU team, mission focus was part of his DNA.

A movement caught his eye. Small hands slid up the side of the chaise, going for the bow securing her bikini top at the back.

Deke gritted his teeth. As the ribbons loosened and the bra fell away, he had a glimpse of pretty white breast, just the side, but the swell was generous. Now he was imagining a full frontal view. Would her nipples be pink or brown? Once he’d dated a girl with pale beige nipples that had turned a lovely rose when…

“Dammit,” he said under his breath and looked away again, breathing deeply as he willed his body not to tighten. He scanned the other chaises and then looked out to the ocean, counting through the approach of three sets of waves.

When he glanced back at the chaise, he spotted those pink-tipped fingers reaching to the ground and scooting a bottle of sunscreen across the sand. Toward him.

His gaze shot to her pretty cognac brown eyes, and he caught her small, one-sided smile.

“Do you mind?” she asked, her voice a little raspy, like a woman might sound when she first woke in the morning. Like maybe he was the first person she’d spoken to that day.

What the hell? Some covert operator he was—he hadn’t managed to hide his attraction. If he didn’t act on her question, she might come to the conclusion he was a perv or a stalker. Better to make a move, but he’d keep it light.

Slipping off his chair, he strode toward her, bending to snag the bottle. “Just the back?” he asked, keeping his tone amused.

“And anywhere you think needs it,” she said, her voice breathier this time.

Deke blew out a long stream of air then turned back to where he’d been seated, carefully placing the rolled-up towel he’d brought that hid the compact Beretta Nano the pilot on the puddle jumper had provided beside him. Then kneeling, he dribbled creamy liquid that smelled of coconut and Shea butter across her shoulders and gently laid his hands on her hot, golden skin. Under his fingers were firm muscles cloaking her slender frame. And tension knotting her shoulders. “Relax. I can’t get too fresh. Too many people around, anyway.” He smoothed the thick liquid over her shoulders, fingers wrapping around the tops to give her a light massage. “How’d you know I spoke English?”

“I heard you talking to the waitress.”

“Oh.” He’d tried to keep his voice lowered so he wouldn’t attract her attention. Either he was slipping, or she had super-power hearing.

“You here on vacation?” she asked.

Why would she think otherwise? He pressed his thumbs against the knots at the back of her neck. “I am.”

“Alone?”

“Yeah.”

“My dad send you?”