UPDATE: The winner is…Jackie Wisherd!
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I’m ready for this, aren’t you? ➡
The weather’s been oddly warm the past couple of weeks, which means I can bear putting my hands on the pool’s metal-poled skimmers and into the water to clean the traps. Already my thoughts are turning toward summer. Maybe we’ll have an early Spring? *fingers crossed*
In the meantime, would you like to dream about a vacation in the Caribbean? Well, I have just the series for you. Just three stories, all about women who get more adventure than they counted on during their “adventure vacations”—and all featuring those awesome, ex-military men. Want a Marine? Sexy SEALs?
Comment for a chance to win one of these stories!
Interested only in experiencing an adrenaline-packed adventure first-hand to give her credo when she books her clients’ adventure vacations, Lace McElhannon finds more excitement than she can handle when she meets and falls into bed with ex-SEAL Dex Haygood.
Fresh from protecting transport ships from Somali pirates, Dex figures his latest job will be a cakewalk, until he finds himself in deep water, swimming with sharks and trying to protect Lace when the yacht they’re sailing on is taken.
“Sweetheart, the sharks are down there.” Ice blue eyes wrinkled at the corners as the man bending over the side of the olive-green skiff pointed a finger into the clear blue depths beneath her.
Did he think she’d missed seeing the swarm, or flock, or whatever the hell you called a group of freaking sharks? They were busy ripping into the grisly bundle of fish parts and guts the dive crew had dropped to the sea floor in a wire basket—which was why she’d hurried over here.
“Exactly! Like any sane person would purposely swim with sharks?” She let her voice frag, then crimped her lips to keep from saying anything else that made her sound like she was twelve. Lace McElhannon was glad she hadn’t given him a snarky wag of her head while she’d said it. But seriously, who would blame her for being snotty? Great White sharks were swimming thirty feet beneath her toes and he wasn’t doing anything about it!
When her yacht-mates had blithely donned their snorkels and goggles then fell backward into the water without a care, she’d only hesitated for a moment. How scary could it be? And the dive team had seemed professional, assuring them the spotters’ job was to watch for any trouble, and they would swoop in to the rescue or drop fresh bait to distract the sharks.
Not until she’d glanced down and seen a dozen huge, sleek bodies—with rows and rows of jagged teeth—circling had she’d freaked out, leaving her ship-mates bobbing on the surface like live bait while she’d struck out toward the skiff.
Fighting for breath, Lace dog-paddled, then swam faster against a rising wave that sent her closer to the skiff’s hull. Salty water splashed into her mouth and she gulped without thinking, coughing and spitting, knowing she looked like an idiot, but her poor swimming skills didn’t have a thing to do with her breathless state. Fear froze her body, making expanding her lungs impossible.
Yes, she’d paid to swim with sharks. Or at least she’d paid for the plane ticket to get here to the Bahamas. But maybe she shouldn’t have watched Susan’s Shark Week DVDs beforehand. Her friend, and partner at the travel agency, had tried to dissuade her from choosing this particular adventure vacation, knowing she’d only ever swum in a heated pool. But who could pass up a week in the Bahamas? She’d had visions of watching the excitement through the window of a glass-bottom boat. But now was not the time to wonder why she hadn’t paid closer attention to Jake Halloran’s description of his “little ocean jaunt.”
“You have to help me up,” she said, sliding up her goggles to let the smirking hunk see her terror-stricken eyes. “I have a cramp.”
His eyes narrowed as he stared down at her. “We’re not here to rescue clients from their own bad decisions.”
“Make an exception.” She pushed the mouthpiece of her snorkel to the side so he could see the determination thinning her lips.
“Better pull her up, Dex,” another voice above her drawled. “The way she’s splashing, those whites’ll think she’s a fish in distress.”
Dex. So that was his name. But she didn’t have time to savor the mystery that had taunted her since she’d boarded the Clementine three days ago for one of Halloran’s daily jaunts. Despite the amenities aboard the 160-foot motorized luxury yacht behind her, she’d been much more interested in this man than the rock-climbing wall near the upper deck. On their first day aboard the yacht, he’d been introduced as the commander of the guard team providing security for the high-end adventure vacation. Unfortunately, he spent most of his time on the much smaller and faster escort boat which accompanied them while they sailed. She’d really hoped for a chance to get to know him. Everything about him had attracted her—his size, his muscled frame, his icy-cool gaze that landed like a hot laser, making her melt.
Funny how that calculating stare didn’t have the same effect when she was scared. Read the rest of this entry »