NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
NAVY SEALS WANTED:
Join a planned eco-community. Must be knowledgeable about sustainability, committed to the goals of our organization, comfortable with being filmed for a reality television show documenting our progress-and willing to marry within the year. Wives provided for those lacking them.
When Navy SEAL sniper Harris “Hawk” Wentworth stumbles on the ad calling for participants in a new sustainable community and TV show, he can’t wait to join Base Camp in Chance Creek, Montana, and get started building a new future. After a lifetime of living on the fringes, always on the lookout for danger, he’s ready to hang up his rifle and finally relax. And if someone else is willing to find him a bride, he’s all for it. He’s always been more at home behind enemy lines than talking to women. He can’t wait to meet his wife to be. But it’s not his turn yet.
BACKUP BRIDE NEEDED:
Are you female, single, between twenty-five and thirty-five years of age? Looking for a husband? Think you’ve got what it takes to join Base Camp? Follow the link below to apply now.
Samantha Smith is willing to do anything to escape her long time job driving the tour bus for the band her parents and sister play for. She’s ready for marriage, a settled home-and motherhood. And she wants them all right now. She knows she could be happy at Base Camp, so when an episode of the reality television series ends with a call for a backup bride for one of the participants, Sam applies for the position-no questions asked. She’s ready for whatever adventure awaits her. So when Harris picks her up at the airport instead of Curtis Lloyd, the man she was told she was meant to marry, Sam assumes Harris is Curtis’ replacement–and if she’s honest she’s relieved. The quiet, sexy sniper always caught her eye when he appeared on the show, and in person he’s everything Sam’s ever wished for in a husband.
Harris has to make a choice, fast. Correct the mistake Sam’s made about why he’s picking her up at the airport–or elope with Curtis’ bride. What’s a Navy SEAL to do?
Samantha is tired, she drives the bus and keeps the family on schedule for their tours but she wants something for her. When she sees the Base Camp add for a backup bride, she jumps at the chance. A backup bride for Curtis would be a great way to have everything she wants. Marriage, children and a home that doesn’t move.
When Harris wakes up the morning after Clay and Nora’s wedding the entire camp is sleeping. He knows Curtis’ backup bride is arriving today so he takes it upon himself to pick her up at the airport. He didn’t expect to fall hard and fast for her but he did, and he wasn’t taking any chances.
Samantha doesn’t realize that Harris isn’t a backup for Curtis so she goes along with everything. Getting a marriage license, the wedding in a small chapel a town away from Chance Creek and a celebration picnic with an awesome view.
Then they returned to Base Camp and everything hits the fan! From Renata to Curtis, no one is happy about this turn of events.
This is a favorite scene.
“Where have you been?” a man Sam recognized as Boone Rudman asked.
“I went to the airport,” Harris said. Boone nodded at Sam. “The backup bride.”
“That’s right,” Harris said.
“I went to get her, too, but she was already gone. I thought maybe she’d changed her mind.”
Sam wasn’t sure what to make of the confrontation between the two men. Neither seemed angry, but there was definitely tension between them. Boone looked beyond Harris at her. When he moved to greet her, Harris stepped in his way.
Boone hesitated, as if waiting for Harris to say more. When he didn’t, he asked, “You must’ve picked her up hours ago. What have you been doing ever since?”
Boone stiffened. “Marrying her? What do you mean marrying her? She’s Curtis’s bride.”
“Not anymore,” Harris said.
The gathered crowd went quiet. Sam clutched her hands before her, her palms damp. She looked for a friendly face among them, but only saw confusion and concern. They were all just like they had been on-screen, the men weathered warriors, the women beautiful in their Regency gowns. Except instead of welcoming her with open arms, they were staring at her like she’d dropped in uninvited to a party.
Harris stepped back to take her arm and lead her forward. “Everyone, meet my wife, Samantha Smith… Samantha Wentworth now.”
Samantha tried to smile, but she was afraid it wasn’t convincing. The silence that had settled over the crowd deepened and just as she became afraid it would never end, a woman stepped forward, her bonnet framing her sweet face, her bodice encasing a beautiful figure. She wore a green gown that set off her fair features. Savannah Edwards, if Sam wasn’t mistaken.
“Welcome to Base Camp,” she said. “We’re glad to have you.”
Sam relaxed just a bit. Maybe everything would be all right after all. But even as she thought this, another woman pushed forward. Unlike the beauty in the green gown, she was dressed all in black in modern clothes, and Sam wondered how she could negotiate the rough ground in her high heels. She recognized this woman, too. Renata Ludlow. She was the one who always conducted the interviews on the show, and her piercing questions often reduced the men and women of Base Camp to stuttering answers.
“Say that again,” Renata demanded of Harris.
“This is my wife, Samantha Wentworth.”
Harris stared her down, but Renata didn’t even blink.
“You are mistaken; this is not your wife. For one thing, you haven’t married her. For another thing, Boone’s right, Samantha is Curtis’s bride. Curtis will romance her for the next forty days, and then he will marry her in front of the cameras, so our viewing audience can see every minute of the ceremony, just as they’ve been promised. Whatever foolishness you two have concocted between you is over right now.”
“There’s no mistake about it.” Harris stepped closer to Renata, looming over her. “And you’ll stay away from her if you know what’s good for you.” “You’ll stay away from her, if you know what’s good for you,” Renata parroted in a squeaky voice. “You might think this is all a big game, but it’s not, and I have the contracts to prove it. You don’t get to marry until you draw the short straw, which you haven’t. You definitely don’t get to marry the bride who’s been promised to another man. Curtis drew the short straw, he’s going to marry next. And he’s going to marry her.”
“Over my dead body.”
Renata was as formidable in person as she was on-screen. Sam was glad she was addressing Harris and not her. Just when Sam thought it couldn’t get any worse, a man pushed his way through the crowd to stand before them. Curtis Lloyd. She recognized him from the show. She remembered how Boone told her it wasn’t fair to demand Clay and Nora decide their future while Nora was recovering from the attack. It wasn’t fair to demand that Clay marry somebody else and live a life of regret because he couldn’t wait for the woman he loved to heal. Curtis, who had drawn the short straw, had manfully agreed.
But he must have changed his mind about going through with it if he’d gotten so drunk last night he couldn’t be bothered to come and pick her up this morning. She didn’t blame him for wanting to choose his own bride. Still, it was strange to see him in real life and know if he hadn’t slept in, she’d have married him today.
“What’s all this?”
“Just introducing everybody to my bride,” Harris said. “Curtis, meet Samantha Wentworth.”
“Samantha?” Curtis looked her over, took in her wedding dress, and understanding dawned. “Samantha?” he said again. “Wait…you married my bride?”
“I married my bride. You said you weren’t interested. You hit on every woman you saw at the wedding last night. You couldn’t be bothered to get up and go to the airport to meet her this morning. You made it perfectly clear that you didn’t want to marry Sam. So I stepped in and married her for you.”
Curtis sputtered. “But… but… I just wanted a chance to meet her first. To—” He broke off, color rising in his handsome face. “Damn it, Harris!”
“You didn’t want her,” Harris said again.
“I didn’t know she’d look like that!”
Seton, Cora. A SEAL’s Pledge (SEALs of Chance Creek Book 3). One Acre Press. Kindle Locations (1080-1121). Kindle Edition.
The decision from the top, doesn’t make anything better. Fulsom is going to have the marriage annulled and Samantha has to date both men and give her decision in thirty days. Oh and no hanky-panky.
Of course none of this is going to be pleasant, least of all when Samantha’s parents, sister and the crew show up with protesters.
From the initial defiance of the rules, to the controversy, to some hold your breath scenes this book is filled with tension, jealousy, romance, family drama and so much more.
It is definitely one of my favorites in this series.
5 Contented Purrs for Cora!
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USA Today and NYT Times bestselling author Cora Seton loves cowboys, country life, gardening, bike-riding, and lazing around with a good book. Mother of four, wife to a computer programmer/eco-farmer, she ditched her California lifestyle nine years ago and moved to a remote logging town in northwestern British Columbia.
Like the characters in her novels, Cora enjoys old-fashioned pursuits and modern technology, spending mornings transforming a one-acre lot into a paradise of orchards, berry bushes and market gardens, and afternoons writing the latest Chance Creek romance novel on her iPad mini.