Piper McGee can smell a set up a mile away. She can smell a Marine even further. Born to a dual-enlisted couple who divorced before she was old enough to remember a single family holiday together and proceeded to redefine the very definition of family through several marriages and even more step-siblings, Piper has made it her life’s promise to herself to never become involved with one of the few and the proud. They’re among the most irresponsible people she knows, leaving destruction in their wake and broken hearts paving the way to their next duty station. And in her opinion, Alec Douglas is just another example, until he pries her heart open along with other parts of her, making her question everything she's ever let herself believe about honor, courage, and commitment.
What does a man do with six month’s down time and no warm body to share his bed? For Sergeant Alec Douglas, contemplating that question led him to fall prey to his two best friend’s plan to find him that very thing. They know Alec has yet to stay with any one person for more than a few dates. They also know a tragedy from his past created the problem and while that haunts him, making it nearly impossible for Alec to trust his heart to anyone, they also know he’s a sucker for a challenge. Will the enticement of a few thousand dollars riding on him breaking his own rule be just the thing to disrupt his cycle? Taking their bet might be profitable, but is winning the money they’ve dangled under Alec’s nose worth losing himself to the girl they’ve picked out for him?
In his quest to get her to say yes to his crazy proposal, he tracks her all over town only to discover the beautiful, long-legged blond isn’t the studious book worm he mistook her for. In fact, she's one of Jacksonville’s finest in the form of Orchid, exotic dancer. Her rejection only spurs him to make sure her dancing days are over and she only performs her private pirouette for him, and only him, for the rest of their lives if he has his way.
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She rubbed her eyes and opened them. The first streaks of sunlight were pushing the envelope of the horizon, the pitch black of dark being replaced by the first lavender signs of day. Then she heard something besides Alec’s voice. It sounded muted at first before becoming much clearer. Cadence calls? On a Saturday morning?
“Is that what I think it is?” she begged, pushing up on her elbows. She discovered Alec was already standing, trying to get his pants on.
“Yes, it is. Marines. An entire company from the sounds of it.” He finally got his pants up and left them hanging open in lieu of dragging his shirt over his head. “Seems we weren’t alone last night. The MEU is offshore and now the ones that stayed ashore last night are awake.”
“Shit, if they see us, you’ll be in trouble.” Piper jumped up and began looking for her clothes, the whole while the baritone rumble getting closer and closer.
“Forget the clothes, long legs. Wrap up in the blanket.”
She looked down the beach and could now see the source of their wake up call coming. Not knowing whether to laugh or cry, she grabbed the blanket and wrapped it tightly around her body, watching as Alec grabbed her clothes, his boots, and what was left of the six pack. Before they completely got over the dunes, though, they were spotted in their getaway attempt. A cacophony of cat calls, whistles, and barking followed them the rest of the way to the car.
Lila Munro currently resides on the coast of North Carolina with her husband and their two four-legged kids. She’s a military wife with an empty nest and takes much of her inspiration for her heroes from the marines she’s lived around for the past fifteen years. Coining the term realmantica, she strives to produce quality romance in a realistic setting. Her genre of choice is contemporary romance that spans everything from the sensual to BDSM and ménage.
When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading everything she can get her hands on, trips to the museum and aquarium, taking field research trips, and soaking up the sun on the nearby beaches. Her works include The Executive Officer’s Wife, Bound By Trust, Destiny’s Fire, Salvation, Three for Keeps, the Force Recon series, the Slower Lower series, and the Identity series. She’s a member in good standing of RWA and Passionate Ink. Currently she’s working on sequels to several series to be released throughout 2012. And has a brand new line scheduled for winter 2012-13.
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