USA Today Bestselling Author
He’s got a secret.
She’s telling lies.
Anders Olsen has a big problem. When he joined forces with nine other Navy SEALs to build a model sustainable community, he didn’t know he’d be filmed—or that the resulting television show would become a nationwide sensation. Now everyone’s watching Base Camp, which means everyone’s watching him. The show’s rules dictate it’s his turn to marry. Can he find a bride before someone exposes who he really is?
Evelyn Wright believes she’ll change the world until an accident sends her home to Virginia. Now instead of an adventurous life as an aid worker in foreign lands, she’s stuck in a dead-end job, facing a dead-end future. So when an image crosses her desk that could bring a major oil corporation to its knees, Eve decides to find a way to share it with the widest audience she can. Base Camp has got great ratings. Can she find a way to get on the show?
When Eve turns up at Base Camp, will she be the answers to Anders’ prayers, or the end to everything he most cares about?
In every one of these books there has been a struggle for the two main characters to overcome before they marry.
In this book there is far more than just a struggle, it’s a matter of secrets, lies and another twist by Fulsom, the addition of another director, Clem…who’s without a sense of anything but the sensational.
Anders is the one who needs to find a bride, and the prospects aren’t all that good. Plus Clem and Fulsom want a spectacular courtship and wedding.
Now Eve has to find a way to get the word out about Hansen Oil’s environmental problems. There are some interesting discussions as her friend Melissa helps plot to get her on Base Camp. What better venue to expose the major oil company.
It’s risky but sure to work, walking in the bitter cold without a coat or adequate shoes, she’s lucky she didn’t get frostbite before Anders sees her.
This is a favorite scene.
Now she faced the men and women of Base Camp. She’d have to tell a lot more lies before she was done.
“Eve, did your boyfriend hurt you?” Anders pressed.
“No.” His concern nearly undid her. Up close, she could see the laugh lines at the corners of his eyes. The stubble on his jaw. She wanted to touch him—to confirm he was real. “He just gets so angry.” She allowed her voice to break on the last syllable. “He was driving fast—to scare me. He said—” she broke off. “He said he hated it when I argued with him.” Thank goodness Melissa had helped her come up with a backstory about “James,” her fake boyfriend. Eve had dated some losers in her time but never anyone who scared her.
“What were you arguing about?” Avery asked.
“His parents. We’re supposed to be visiting them—so they can meet me,” she explained. “The whole time I’ve known James he’s told me stories about how controlling his dad is. How he’ll lose his temper and break things or punch holes in the walls. I was already pretty nervous about going, and James kept picking on me.” She took a breath.It was a lot harder to lie to these people than she’d thought it would be. Before they’d just been participants on a show. Now they were flesh and blood. “He said I should have worn a dress, but it’s so cold out! He said it’s disrespectful I wore pants. That I’m always disrespectful. I said, ‘What is this? The sixties?’ James really lost it. He said he hates it when I make fun of him. Suddenly I knew what was going to happen. He was taking me to meet his parents because he’s planning to propose. He’s been hinting about it for months, and it’s nearly Christmas. He was going to make that his present to me.”
“He must love you,” Anders ventured.
“No,” Eve told him. This was the genius part. Melissa had come up with it, basing it on a movie she’d seen. Eve made sure to hold Anders’s gaze as she spoke. “No, he doesn’t love me. He only wants to control me. He’s exactly like his father—I don’t know why I never saw that before.”
Anders winced. She wondered why. Had someone tried to control him?
“I had to get out of there,” she said.
Anders nodded. “Of course you did.”
“How did you get here?” Greg asked suddenly. A good question, Anders thought. He’d gotten so caught up in Eve’s story, he wasn’t thinking about any of the details.
“Walked. I… I made him stop the car. I got out and started walking. I thought…” She hung her head again, as if too ashamed to go on. “I thought he’d pull over and park. Follow me and apologize. It all happened so fast I didn’t have a plan. Then I heard the engine. He—took off.”
“And he didn’t come back?” Anders was outraged. You didn’t leave a person miles from anywhere alone at night—
“Where’s your coat?” Greg pressed.
“I—I’d taken it off. It was hot in the car. I put it in the back seat to make room. I didn’t think he’d just leave me there,” she added. She wouldn’t meet any of their eyes, and Anders couldn’t blame her. She’d been through a humiliating ordeal.
“We need to get you out of those wet clothes,” Avery said, making an end to the conversation. “Sounds to me like you were lucky to get away from a guy like that.”
Eve nodded, but she looked unhappy. Anders hoped she wasn’t regretting what she’d done. Avery was right; any man who treated his girlfriend like that wasn’t going to treat his wife any better. If this… James was here, he’d have a few things to say to the guy.
He wondered if James was looking for Eve right now. He might have driven off to prove a point, but most men wouldn’t walk away from a woman like Eve. She was pretty. Athletically built but feminine, too. When she got to her feet with Avery’s help, her damp jeans and sweater clung to her figure in a distracting way, and Anders felt a tug of desire low in his gut.
James was an idiot to leave her behind.
“Avery’s right. You should get changed,” he said. Eve was shivering. She was lucky she hadn’t gotten hypothermia.
“Curtis, can you make Eve some tea? Eve, I’ll let you borrow some clothing of mine,” Avery said. “Can you walk?”
“I think so.” Eve limped after Avery, following her first to where Avery stored her clothes and then to the bathroom. When the door closed behind them, Anders exchanged a look with the other men in the room, struggling to tamp down his libido. It wasn’t surprising to find himself attracted to Eve. He was looking for a wife, after all, and she was the right age range—and apparently single now.
Bad joke, he told himself. It wasn’t appropriate to consider her for the part. She was scared. She’d just been left unceremoniously by a man with whom she’d been in a long-term relationship. She must have been afraid she might come to harm out there in the dark and cold.
“What do we do with her?” Greg asked quietly.
“Send her home, I guess,” Anders said reluctantly. He didn’t like the idea at all. What if this James guy came at her again?
“Send her home?” Curtis, on his way to the kitchen, came right back. “Are you kidding?” When Anders shrugged at him, he lifted his hands skyward. “The Universe—it heard you. You need a wife—there she is!”
“We know nothing about her,” Greg pointed out.
“We know she’s been dumped, she’s freezing and she needs help,” Curtis countered. “She’s the perfect candidate for a quick wedding.”
Seton, Cora . A SEAL’s Devotion (SEALs of Chance Creek Book 7) (pp. 54-58). One Acre Press. Kindle Edition.
Now one of the biggest secrets comes to light as Johannes Hansen pays a visit to Base Camp.
Plenty of suspense as Anders and Eve fall for each other in spite of all the things they’re hiding. Top it off with family drama on both sides and some sizzle to boot.
I can’t wait to read the next book 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.