USA Today Bestselling Author
Ten days… No strings attached…
The perfect vacation…
He’s a SEAL married to the team.
She’s his teammate’s little sister, all grown up.
He’s on the vacation of a lifetime.
She’s playing tour guide.
He’s everything she remembers and way more.
She’s no longer a gangly teenager.
He doesn’t ever want to get attached to a woman.
She doesn’t date military men.
How can they hook up and then walk away?
How can they not?
Everything about this no-strings-attached arrangement should be easy.
Except the part where they have to guard their hearts.
Hot SEAL, Australian Nights is part of the SEALs in Paradise series. Each book stands alone, and they can be read in any order.
When planning a ten day vacation to Australia, Justus’ friend and fellow SEAL Tony has him contact his sister. Arianna is in Australia on a work/holiday visa.
Little does he know she has taken the entire time off to spend it with him, touring the sites and she just might have other things on her mind.
This is a favorite scene.
“You’re not kidding. This is truly one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been in my life,” he stated as they rode the ferry into Darling Harbour. Arianna took about a dozen pictures of them as they glided through the water.
She leaned into him again, lifting a finger. “That’s Pyrmont Bridge. We’ll walk across it and eat dinner on the other side of the harbour.”
As they exited the ferry, Justus took one of hundreds of deep breaths. He liked this woman. A lot. Too much. Why did the first woman to tempt him in years have to be Arianna Gallo?
After another selfie, she grabbed his hand innocently and tugged him toward the bridge.
He smiled at the back of her, unable to stop himself. After months of stressful serious work in Djibouti ending with an intense mission in Yemen, he couldn’t remember the last time he’d smiled so often, or even at all. Yes, he’d enjoyed a fun night with the rest of his team at McP’s in Coronado Island before traveling to Australia, but before that, he’d gone months without a break of any kind. His team had used that night to unwind a bit as a unit, reacclimate themselves with regular society before splitting up and going their separate ways.
Hell, even that night could hardly count as a break considering he’d spent it in the company of his team. Not a woman. And certainly no one nearly as appealing as Arianna.
Maybe the real reason he was so attracted to Arianna was because he hadn’t been with a woman for so long. Maybe it had nothing to do with her personally.
Right. Keep telling yourself that.
She released his hand to stop in the middle of the pedestrian bridge and against the green railing. Her face flushed, and he realized he was staring at her instead of the view.
He jerked his gaze toward the harbour and rested a hip on the railing next to her. If this were a date, it would rank as the best one he’d ever been on. She was so easy to be with. After taking in the view of various restaurants, shopping, and tourist attractions, he resumed looking at her profile.
“When did you change your hair?” he asked without thinking. He even lifted a hand to stroke down the length of it before he could stop himself. He found himself making every possible internal excuse to touch her.
She shrugged. “I don’t know. Probably senior year of high school or whenever I realized I was never going to get a date to any school dance with those out-of-control curls sticking out in every direction.”
He shifted his gaze from the smooth, grown-up version of her thick, dark hair to her face again as he let the soft lock fall through his fingers. He cleared his throat, knowing he needed to address the elephant nearly shoving them off the side of the bridge. “This wasn’t supposed to happen.”
“What wasn’t supposed to happen?” she whispered.
“You. Me. The chemistry between us.”
She tucked her lips under her teeth.
“You’re attractive and fun and sweet and so many other things. My thoughts around you are not appropriate.”
She released her lips. “I could say the same about you.”
He feared she would say that. A mutual attraction was even worse. “There are nine hundred reasons why I shouldn’t touch you.”
She leaned in closer and flattened a hand on his chest, her hair blowing in the breeze while they stood in the center of this bridge in one of the most romantic places on earth. “You’ve already touched me.”
He smirked, setting his hand on top of hers and pressing her fingers into his pecs. Her skin was so soft. When he glanced down at their connection, it took his breath away. Her fingers darker than his, smaller, perfectly manicured pink nails, dainty. He wanted to lift those fingers to his lips and kiss the tip of every one.
Instead, he shifted his gaze back to meet hers. “We can’t get involved. Tony asked me to check up on you. I’m certain that was all he intended.”
She rolled her eyes. “Spare me a lecture about overprotective brothers. Tony isn’t here. I’m a grown adult. What I do with my time is none of his business.”
“Yeah, well. I would know, and there’s no way in hell I could face him when I return to base if I slept with his sister.”
She shrugged. “So, we won’t sleep.”
He groaned. “Arianna…”
“Why does it have to be such a big deal? How about if we just go with the flow and see what happens?”
“Because you’re not some woman I just met who’s interested in a fling.”
She shrugged. “Why the hell not?”
He narrowed his eyes. “Because I would never do that to you, even if Tony weren’t your brother. You’re not that kind of woman. I’m not a relationship guy. I have nothing to offer anyone. My entire focus for all but four weeks out of every year is on saving lives and staying alive myself. I’ve never wanted to be involved long-term with a woman. It’s a choice I made years ago. I see what it does to the rest of my team when they have to worry about someone other than themselves. It can put lives in danger.”
He lowered his voice, taking a deep breath. “I’m married to my job. I don’t have time for a woman.”
“Whoa.” She leaned back, tugging her hand free of his tight grip. “Who said anything about a relationship? If that’s what you’re worried about, you can ease your mind on that right now. I don’t date military men. Ever. For the same reasons you just listed. While you’ve watched what it does to your team, I’ve spent my life watching what it does to my relatives and friends, the ones left behind. The ones who worry and cry and stress over men they rarely see and have no idea where they’re even located. I’ve watched women give birth alone and raise kids alone and devote themselves to a very stressful life of single parenthood.” She shook her head rapidly. “I never want that, so don’t worry about me looking for anything long-term.”
Jesus. Her words shocked him. They also unnerved him. He couldn’t picture her having a fling and then walking away. He couldn’t even picture himself doing so, not with Arianna. Not with Tony’s sister.
“The point is we agree on this issue, so it’s not an issue.”
He smirked again. “Except it is, because Tony is still your brother.”
“So don’t tell him. He’s not my keeper, Justus. He doesn’t get to decide who I date or even who I sleep with. I’m sure he still thinks I’m some virginal girl who hasn’t been kissed.” She laughed.
Justus winced. He would also like to think that were true, even if it was unrealistic.
She groaned. “Come on, Justus. I’m twenty-three years old. You don’t really think I’m a virgin, do you?”
Now he cringed. “Can we perhaps not talk about your sex life with other men?” He gripped the railing with his left hand, trying to shake away images of Arianna in bed with another man. Another man who wasn’t himself.
She laughed again. “Sure. If it makes you feel better.”
“It does.” He rubbed his forehead, staring at her. Dammit. What a mess. The only reason he’d brought this subject up was because he needed to put his foot down and ensure she didn’t have any ideas. Apparently, she did have ideas and his plan had just backfired on him.
Becca Jameson. Hot SEAL, Australian Nights (Kindle Locations 322-379). Becca Jameson Publishing. Kindle Edition.
Let me just say here, this book is kindle melting hot. The attraction between these two is off the charts. Which I’m sure was aided by Arianna having a crush on him since she was a teen.
There’s a bit of suspense and some trouble but nothing a SEAL can’t handle. With mind-blowing descriptions of the sites they visited, I really felt like I was there. Australia is on my bucket list.
I can’t wait to read the rest of this multi-author series.
5 Contented Purrs for Becca!
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Becca Jameson currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, two kids, and the various pets that wander through.
After editing for about five years she recently started writing. She is loving the journey, dabbling in various genres.
When not writing or editing she can usually be found taxiing kids to and from their activities, scrapbooking, and reading!
Late at night she can usually be found sequestered in her office creating fantasy with a glass of red wine and a bar of dark chocolate.