A SEAL’s Seduction by Tawny Weber
Publication date: Apr 1, 2013
Published by Harlequin
Current Status: Two weeks of enforced leave
Mission: Distract himself in any way possible
Obstacle: A woman who tempts him to break the rules…including his own!
Navy SEAL Blake Landon (aka “Boy Scout”) knows the rule book inside and out. Checked. Rechecked. But when a mission ends badly, his entire team is ordered on leave. And that’s when Blake sees the tall redhead whose dark eyes suggest that the rules–especially those in bed–are made to be broken.
Scientist Alexia Lane has sex on the brain–partly for work, but mostly because she needs a man who makes her girly parts do the happy dance. Her only no-no? No military dudes. But Blake’s rockin’ bod promises delicious pleasures, and Alexia is halfway to sexual Nirvana before she can find out he’s actually a Navy SEAL.
And where one rule is broken, more are sure to follow….
A loud blast filled the air as seven guns exploded in succession. Once, twice, thrice. Twenty-one shots. Faces implacable, the honor guard shouldered their guns and stood as tall and rigid as the oaks lining the cemetery.
The echoing silence broke when the bugler sounded taps. Lieutenant Blake Landon stood at attention, his eyes narrowed against the bright morning sun. The chaplain’s words of honor, bravery and sacrifice rolled over him like the gentle breeze, teasing, hinting but not really making an impact.
There was no mention of Phil’s sense of humor, of how he always carried a rubber snake on missions to break the tension. That he’d hit a McDonald’s the minute they were stateside for a bagful of French fries. The chaplain didn’t know that before jumping from a plane, Phil always kissed his mother’s picture, then rubbed a rabbit foot. He wouldn’t mention Phil’s love for the beach. It didn’t matter how godforsaken hot their assignment might have been, the minute he was off duty, he’d hit the beach–sun, surf and girls in bikinis. He’d often said those were his reward for getting shot at on a regular basis.
But that wasn’t the Phil they were honoring right now.
Here, at Arlington National Cemetery, Lieutenant Phil Hawkins was a soldier. Here, the sacred tradition of honoring the noble warrior focused on service, dedication and sacrifice to country.
The entire SEAL platoon in attendance, Blake stood shoulder to shoulder with his team. His squadmates. The men he served with, fought with, trained with. Prepared to offer up the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
Later tonight, they’d all celebrate Phil, the man. Their squadmate, buddy, friend. The Joker.
He clenched his jaw, his eyes glancing off the flag-draped casket, then shifting to the distant trees again when the captain began the ritual of folding the red, white and blue material. As the chaplain offered his final words of comfort, the captain gently placed the folded flag into Mrs. Hawkins’s hands.
Blake’s focus locked on that triangle of fabric and didn’t waver as the funeral finished. The people around him moved, shifted, left. He didn’t. He couldn’t.
They’d gone through BUDS training together. He, Phil and Cade. All cocky as hell, all determined to push their limits, to be superheroes. The Three Amigos, the rest of the team had called them. Inseparable.
Now permanently separated.
A large, beefy man joined him, scattering his thoughts. Grateful for the distraction, Blake directed his attention to the admiral. His hair as white and gleaming as his uniform, the older man topped Blake’s own six feet by at least two inches.
“Lieutenant,” Admiral Pierce greeted quietly. “I know this is a hard loss for you and your team. You have my sympathies.”
“Thank you, sir,” Blake said, his words stiff as he watched Phil’s mom softly smooth her fingers over the folded flag, as if running her fingers over her son’s cheek. Blake cringed when she lost it, her slender shoulders shaking as she sobbed into the triangle.
Desperate for distance, he ripped his gaze away. He looked at the trees. Oaks, mighty and strong, stood tall. Symbolic, probably. But he was having trouble finding solace.
“It never gets easier,” the admiral said.
“Should it?” Blake asked, looking at the older man. His superior. His trainer. His mentor.
“No.” The admiral glanced over at the trees. He sighed, then looked at Blake again. “No. But it’s something you’ll revisit. One way or another. Make sure you don’t let it get in your way.”
Just like that? Blake wanted to protest. To…