ISBN Digital: 978-1-5092-1445-7
Page Count: 151
Word Count: 33285
Book 2 of the 7 Brides for 7 SEALs Series
Viv LaClare is so over being the matron...the widow. She wants to live again, laugh, maybe even dabble in a little affair…if she can find the right guy. Enter the studly Navy SEAL designated to drive her around town on wedding errands. She's hot for his body, but when her newly healed heart gets ideas, she's not sure she can risk it on a man with one of the deadliest jobs in the world.
Britt Ackermann is done with one-night stands and women who party with a SEAL for bragging rights. He wants a lady with guts, sass, and more than a lick of sense. He has doubts a woman like that exists. So when he meets the Matron of Honor at his teammate’s wedding, she hooks him at ‘hello.’ He wants all the nights she’ll give him even if he can't promise her tomorrow.
“Last night, I heard a fortuneteller predict I’d meet you. He was specific, describing you and how we’d—”
“How we’d do what?”
“And when you met me at the front door this morning,” Britt said and arched both dark brows, “you believed him?”
“I didn’t want to.”
His left eye twitched. “Why not?”
She lifted her shoulders. “Even though lately I’ve told myself I wanted to live again. Really live. I took one look at you and clutched. I didn’t want to let go of what I was.”
“Care to explain that?”
“I’ve been a widow for nine months. I gotten used to it. Gotten used to being alone.” She shivered and rubbed her arms. “But I grew to hate being lonely.”
He frowned and considered his glass. “If you’re interested in me, I wouldn’t ask you to forget what you were, who you loved. I’d just expect you to be what you are. Expect you to want what we might be. Together.”
“I know that.” She smiled. “I believe in the vibes, too.”
“Okay. So then the problem is what?”
She exhaled and stared at the ceiling. Discussions with Paul had always been long, full of nuance. This rapid fire was uncomfortable, demanding. “I’ll be thirty-eight on Monday.”
He shrugged. “If I needed your birth certificate, I’d have asked for it up front.”
She shook her head.
“You have a medical problem I don’t see here?” he asked, his eyes running over her torso.
“No. I’m healthy.”
He gave a laugh, one side of his mouth hitched up. “I’ll say. But birthdays are not what concern you, are they?”
She shook her head.
He covered her hand with his, one of his fingers outlining the edge of her nail. “Today was the best time I’ve had in years. Just living.”
“So then what you’re saying is you’ve got rules about time and men?”
He nodded. “You think you can’t spend more time with me? Tonight? Tomorrow? After? Because why? You fear I won’t respect you? Or you’ll hate yourself?”
She turned to face him. His dark hair dipped low over his brow in a rakish elegance. God, he was beautiful. Sweet. “Maybe I come from a different era than you or—”
“How many years were you married?”
He nodded. “Happily, I assume.”
“Good for you. Whereas, I’ve never been married. Never thought of it, except in abstract, cuz I never met anyone I cared for enough. But if I did, I told myself I’d grab her and keep her.”
“Sounds like what you believe?” he asked but would bet a million bucks he was right.
“Great. We got that checked off. So then are you afraid if you hooked up with me, you’d like Chopin and I’d dig hip-hop?”
She rolled her eyes. “I like hip-hop.”
“And I like Chopin. So there.” He had to keep pressing her for whatever other little details gnawed at her. He wasn’t walking away from her without revealing every force against him. “What else you got worrying you?”
She bit her lower lip. But the way she lifted a shoulder told him she had a question about sex, how long, how much, how significant it could be.
He barked in laughter. “Having a good time together does not mean we have to jump into bed.”
Her face fell.
Her disappointment that they might not do the nasty was what he needed to run a victory lap. He beamed at her. “Well, then, I see we have agreement on one thing.”
She blushed, her cheeks hot as flames.
“It’s all right,” he whispered in comfort and squeezed her hand. “Trust your gut. I’ll give you time.”
The wolfish look on his face said otherwise.
He took a long swallow of his drink, then pinned her with stark blue gaze. “How much do you need?”
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