“My dating life has starred cupcake men—sweet but more icing than cake and nothing that could keep my mouth busy for a more than a few minutes. Finn Callahan? He’s cake. A five-layer, lusciously frosted gateau.” – Valentina Fuentes
I’ve never met a woman I couldn’t love—for one night. I’m the bad boy, the player, the sexy heartbreaker you meet in a bar and take home. And after my last hellish tour of duty as a SEAL, sun, sand, and sex are my new mission in life. Happily ever after? Pass. I’ll give you the best twelve hours of your life, and then I’m gone because why settle down when playing the field is so fun?
All that changes when I meet Valentina Fuentes. Actually, I rescue her from a ditch, which should score me major hero points. She’s even willing to admit I’m hot—and she’ll fool around with me. But convincing her that I’m anything but a sun-and-good-times boy toy? That’s mission impossible. She argues I’m the loaner car girlfriends pass around… and, sure, she’s willing to take me for a ride. A short ride. And for the first time in my life, I’d like more than a twelve-hour relationship.
When did one woman make my smooth-talking bad boy self start dreaming of forever?
When you’re a SEAL and elite sniper, you learn to live in the shadows, how to watch, and when to make your move. I’m Vann O’Reilly and you can like me or leave me. I don’t make small chat, I don’t do crowds, and I’ll be honest. Most days? I don’t like people and I’ll never, ever be Prince Charming. I make sure women come hard—and leave faster.
Rescuing Marlee Williams was my first mistake. Now, she thinks we’re wingmen. That we have each other’s back. And there’s something about Marlee that makes me smile, makes me want to a better man even as I want to lock her in my bedroom and kiss her until we both run out of air. So when she asks me to do her a favor, I’m all in. I’m her wingman, after all. Except she needs someone to knock her up, to give her the baby she craves… and then leave.
I rock the bedroom. I’m an expert at heading out the door. You might think I’ve got this under control—and you’d be wrong. Because now that I’ve had a taste of her, the last thing I want to do is give her up.
You can call me Commander. My SEAL Team follows my lead, takes my orders, and acknowledges my authority. It’s not just that I’m in charge—it’s that I’m the best at what I do. You might think I’m arrogant, but if you follow my rules, we all come home. Cause and effect. Sure, I might be an asshole, but I’m the asshole in charge and I’ll keep you safe.
The only trouble is, Hindi Alvarez never swore an oath of allegiance. She’ll never raise her right hand and vow to obey—she’s far more likely to flash me the bird because that woman hasn’t met a rule she didn’t intend to break. She’s spontaneous, sexy as hell, and downright dirty. She’s also the sole owner of an island for sale in the Florida Keys. I have cash and three weeks before I redeploy. But what should be a quick, straightforward business transaction is rapidly becoming something else. And when she demands I prove that I’m the right owner for her personal piece of paradise before she’ll close our deal, what’s a SEAL to do? Looks like I have one more mission to win…
|You’ve seen the picture. The one where the returning sailor sweeps a lovely lady off her feet, kisses her, and they all live happily ever after? That’s not what happens when I come home.
Three years ago, I met a girl, we fell in love, and we got married on the beach in the Florida Keys. Then I went back to my SEAL team and she launched a career designing lingerie (yes, I’m a lucky man). While I fought in the sandbox, she became the star of a reality TV show because her stuff’s that good. Hindi’s loud and colorful and everything I’m not. She lives for the moment and tying her down would be like forcing a firefly into a jar.
I’d like to let her go. I should let her go. We’re explosive when we’re together, and that’s not just the sex (which is amazing). She drives me crazy. I need to be in control and I’m too serious, too sober, and way too old for her. The problem is, she’s special. She takes my breath away, makes my heart beat faster, and I have a sinking feeling that I’m still her SEAL no matter how many miles and years there are between us.