My sexy SEAL story, the second in the Seaside Heat Romance series, Sand and Sin releases today! Check out the giveaway link at the end of the post.
The heart has a mission of its own…
Wounded in more ways than one, Navy SEAL Jax Taylor only understands short-term commitments. And when he walks into the Trident Bar in Virginia Beach, beautiful bartender Peri Halstead sizes him up right away. But that doesn’t stop her from teasing him with her sultry sarcasm, or taking him home—after she finds him passed out cold in the parking lot…
Soon enough, Jax is recovering at Peri’s in return for doing some handyman work, and the sexy sparks are flying—in almost every room in the house. Peri tells herself she deserves some fun, especially now that she’s a single mom with a cheating ex to deal with. But when it’s time for her and Jax to go their separate ways, the miles between them—and the danger that’s about to touch both their lives—has them wondering if Jax can learn to love more than the mission…
Jax climbed from the rental car. Stiff from the transatlantic trip, he limped a few steps but righted his gait before opening the heavy oak door. In his bar experiences, such an entrance usually led to a man cave.
Inside, darkness enveloped him, matching his mood. Pain meds and exhaustion made him irritable. He was still pissed about not being allowed to rejoin his team, and doubly so because TJ had a training op circumventing their party. So much for buddy reunions.
Behind the bar, a tall, lean beauty glanced up from the beer taps. The gnawing ache in his leg disappeared under scrutiny of wide, sea green eyes. Long, wavy hair surrounded her shoulders like a lion’s mane. His fingers itched to tangle in the strands.
Other more intimate visions flitted through his mind. Months without a woman made him a sick bastard. Probably in stark contrast to the public’s standard perception of a SEAL, but they didn’t know or understand a Special Operator’s life. What they did for love of country and their brothers in arms. For him, the best antidote after a gruesome mission was down-and-gritty sex.
Before he readjusted his sour expression, she stepped in front of him.
Her lovely gaze branded him with I got your number, sailor.
Peri Halstead approached her newest patron as he saddled up on a bar chair.
His steely-eyed glint hinted at danger. Most of the Trident’s patrons did. “Wow, I’ve only seen one other man stride into this place with a more pissed-off expression than yours.”
“Your ex?” Mr. Dark Blues matched her sarcasm.
She liked him already. The small scar on his chin kept him from appearing too pretty. “Insightful. Let me guess…vodka tonic.”
He narrowed his gaze.
“Martini?” She smiled and tossed her hair over her shoulder. “You’re too GQ for domestic beer. Heineken?”
He tightened his jaw.
She must have struck a nerve with the pretty boy comment. “Whiskey on the rocks?”
Raising a brow, he lifted his chin.
Such swagger. She slid a cocktail napkin on the bar in front of him. “You gotta be a Jack man.”
He grinned, revealing near perfect teeth.
Delighted at winning their little game, she winked and stepped away to fetch his drink. Usually, she went for the rugged variety of handsome, but his straight nose with slightly elevated bridge was sexy as hell. She poured him a double shot over ice and returned, planting it in front of him.
“My buddy, TJ, said y’all have the biggest and best cheeseburgers.”
“Damn, a psychic bartender? Guessed my brand and my name.” He winked.
Eyes as dark blue as a stormy ocean. Lord, she needed to keep her distance with this one. “Wish I was. I’d have more money in the bank. Actually, I’ve seen the picture he carries of you guys partying after BUD/S graduation. TJ talks about you often. Are you here for training?”
“Currently in a holding pattern.” With a roll of his shoulders, he scowled and thumped his glass down.
Not linebacker thick, he was more like a running back—built for speed. “They call you GQ.” A Texan not rugged enough to be branded Cowboy and too handsome for Tex.
He sipped his drink, then cleared his throat. “Did TJ share my birthday, too?”
“No. Just a story about you chasing some bad guys through the streets of a South American country in your birthday suit.” Peri grinned.
“Touché.” He held up his glass and shotgunned the remainder of his whiskey.
Usually immune to her bar patrons, she was blindsided with a lust she’d lidded since her daughter was born. “Where’s TJ? Shouldn’t your buddy be showing you the hot spots?”
“Jumping out of a C-130.” He fiddled with his napkin.
“So, you just returned stateside today?”
He checked his expensive, matte-black, multi-function watch that would have marked him special-ops without their previous conversation. “About two hours ago.”
“Months.” He glanced around the bar, then to her.
“It’s early. You still have time to remedy your just-back virgin status.” She smirked.
His gaze burned into her like a blue flame. “Is that an offer?”
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