Chief Wyatt Lockwood is fascinated by Marine sniper Captain Talia Culver. But
she wants nothing to do with him after learning of his reputation as a
heartbreaker. The cocky Texan refuses to take the hint and keeps placing
himself in Tal’s path. When she agrees to help him tend to needy families in an
Afghan village, she learns there’s more to this SEAL than meets the eye. But is
she strong enough to risk having her heart broken again?
stay away from the beautiful, surly Marine. Tal is fascinating—and
frustrating—and he is determined to crack through her tough exterior and get to
know the soft woman he knows lurks beneath the surface. When he joins Tal on a
sniper mission in the Afghan mountains, their bond continues to grow. But the mission
takes a dangerous turn. Has he lost his chance with Tal forever?
“Hey,” Chief Wyatt Lockwood called softly, wanting to catch Tal Culver’s attention but not have her reach for that pistol on her thigh. “How are you feeling now, Captain?”
Tal jerked to a halt and spun around, her hand automatically going for the damned pistol. Even in the dusk, Wyatt could see the fear and shock in her narrowing eyes, her palm automatically coming to rest on the butt of her safed .45. He smiled and held up his hands, leaving a good six feet between them.
“Hey, I’m unarmed, darlin’,” he teased in his drawl. He saw her eyes move to his two drop holsters with SIGs in them.
“You’re never unarmed, Chief,” Tal muttered, pulling her hand away from her .45 pistol and slowly straightening to her full six feet.
He lowered his hands, allowing them to rest easily on his hips as he studied her in the dusk. The entrance to the B-hut was a good hundred feet away. She couldn’t just turn, slip into it, and slam the door in his face. Not this time.
He noticed that her voice was sharp with adrenaline, and he felt guilty for alarming her. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare the bejesus out of you.” He hitched a thumb toward the chow hall in the distance. “I spotted you coming from chow and thought I’d intercept you, see how you’re feelin’ after your coughing and choking episode.”
Well, that was half true. It was a good reason to get her to drop that icy shield she kept around her. The fear dissolved in her eyes, replaced by a spark of anger. Why?
“I’m fine,” she muttered, the tension bleeding out of her. “Now leave me alone, please.”
He adopted his old cowboy slouch and said, “Hey, I’d like to take you out for pizza and beer some night. If you’re like me, you could use some downtime after those last ops we were on . . .”
“Are you crazy? I’m not going anywhere with you, Lockwood.” She couldn’t believe his gall. Hadn’t he gotten the point yet? She wasn’t interested! Well, that wasn’t quite true. Her body sure as hell was interested in the lanky, casual SEAL, but her heart? That was wholly another matter. Tal wasn’t a love-’em-and-leave-’em type; she was never interested in one-night stands. What interested her was a long-term, serious relationship. And she knew Wyatt Lockwood wasn’t interested in that sort of ongoing affair.
He looked down at himself and then up at her. “Crazy? Not since the last time I checked. Why not go out with me?”
Okay, so sweet-talking wasn’t going to work. Wyatt knew they had simmering chemistry between them. It had always been there. He wasn’t a SEAL for nothing. They went after what they wanted. He straightened and walked right up to her, took her gently by the arm, and led her over to the side of the materials and supply building, placing her back against it. This way, she had no place to go, since he was standing a foot away from her, looking into her shocked eyes.
Taking her completely by surprise, he said, “I really like you, Captain, but you won’t even let me get my foot in the door. It’s been three years now, so you can’t say I’m not patient. So satisfy my curiosity, okay? What’s going on here?”
Unsettled by his bluntness, she took a minute to get her thoughts together and came up with the most important reason first. “It’s obvious, even if it’s escaped your notice. I’m an officer and you’re enlisted, and never the twain shall meet. You know those are the rules, even if you are a stubborn damn SEAL and think you can break rules whenever it suits you.”
She reminded him of a cornered female bobcat, all hisses, spits, and growls. “That’s never stopped me before, and it shouldn’t stop you, either.” He looked around the base, watching the night throw its shadowy cape across the busy desert Army base. Returning his gaze to her, he said, “I know a number of safe places here on base where a man and woman who want total privacy can get it.”
“I’ll just bet you do,” Tal retorted, her fists clenched at her sides. “Listen carefully, Lockwood. I want nothing to do with you. Period. Does that compute?”
He took off his baseball cap and scratched his combed hair. “Well, no, not exactly, darlin’.”
Her fine nostrils flared and her voice quivered. “Don’t you dare call me that word. Save that for all the other women you routinely chase around here.”
His brows rose. “Ahhh, my legendary reputation has preceded me. Well, I’d like to share my philosophy with you—”
“Don’t bother! Matt told me all about your ‘living for today’ attitude.”
“It’s a good philosophy, don’t you think?” He allowed a hint of a smile to leak from his mouth, wanting to kiss the hell out of those petulant, full lips of hers. Had anyone ever told this woman how sexy, how earthy and sensual she was beneath that godawful uniform she wore? Just because she was a Marine didn’t mean she wasn’t sexual.
“No! I don’t do sex for sex’s sake, so get me off your radar, Chief Lockwood.”
“Now,” he crooned in his best drawl, “the woman I want to take to bed and make love to is my whole world. She’s the only thing on my radar, darlin’. I want to hear her talk, listen to the tenor of her voice, feel how soft her skin is, how responsive she is when I start to please her. My woman is all I live for in that moment. Nothing else exists for me except her heart, her soul, and what I can do to please her.”
McKenna lives her
life as a risk taker, and it shines through the books she loves to write:
romance, adventure and suspense. She started writing at age thirteen and
continues to hone her writing skills to this day. She sold her first romance novel
in 1981. The rest is history.
this experience became the backbone of her writing—she is credited with writing
the first military romance novel (Captive of Fate, 1983, Silhouette Special
Edition) and has created a thriving sub-genre within the romance field! As a
New York Times Best Selling author, she has sold 23 million books and in 32
foreign languages in her career thus far. Her many experiences in the U.S. Navy
are backdrop for her understanding of the military in general, and also her
very successful Morgan’s Mercenaries, which is an ongoing series in Silhouette
to this day! Forty-five books strong!
has created a new family saga on par with Morgan’s Mercenaries It is known as
the DELOS SERIES. There will be paperback and eBooks created under Blue Turtle
Publishing, her company for her fans. Readers who love Morgan and his family
are bound to fall in love with the Culver family. Delos is romantic suspense,
which Lindsay is well known for. It took her five years to create and bring
DELOS to her readers. It was worth the wait, but we’ll let you decide that.
readers and loves to know what they’d like to see her write next. Stay up with
the latest on the Delos Series here. Please visit her Web site at
www.lindsaymckenna.com. And be sure to sign up for her free quarterly
newsletter. It contains exclusive content found nowhere else on the Net. Plus,
giveaways and other surprises, to her loyal and faithful subscribers!
I love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl