NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
When a Navy SEAL runs into an obstacle,
he climbs over it, under it,
around it, or destroys it.
So what if it’s a woman?
Master Chief Benjamin Blackwell has it all. Adventure, good looks, skills, and women. His life is perfect and he has no intention of changing a thing. Until her.
Holly Maxwell is a sexy woman unlike anyone he’s met before. A widow for ten years, she’s happy with her life even with the trials of raising a pre-teen daughter, and being the only girl in a nosy, boisterous family of Coronado cops.
But what makes her so inexplicable to this Navy SEAL is her total lack of interest in him.
Ben ‘C-Note’ Blackwell has a routine when he’s home, and even though he got little sleep after Ensign Davis’ wedding he wasn’t going to deviate from it. A seven mile jog down the beach to his favorite place for breakfast leads to him overhearing an amusing conversation between a mother and daughter. However, it’s as those two were leaving that he sees how tall and lovely the woman is. She acknowledged him and dismissed him, something of an unusual occurrence for him. Under any other circumstance he would pursue her to ask her out, but with the daughter there he couldn’t. Seeing the waves as he jogs home, he makes the decision to go surfing once he finishes up some paperwork on base.
Holly gets another look at Ben after he drags a novice surfer out of the water. She takes charge of the victim but she also notices the woman who calls out to him. Once she is done for the day she joins her family for dinner at which the always unpleasant conversation of a date comes up. This time however Holly insinuates she’s dating someone but refuses to give any more information.
The plan for the evening also includes the first of four monthly bachelorette parties for her brother’s fiancé, Bethany.
When Ben shows up in the bar it didn’t take much to for Holly’s sister-in-law Diana, and Bethany to put two and two together.
This is a favorite scene.
They had just toasted to the moon landing in the sixties when Bethany whistled. “Wow. Remember how I said I’d do Tuck-the-bartender for one-hundred K? Well, check out what just walked in the door. I think I’m going to melt off my seat.”
Diana followed Bethany’s gaze and moaned. “Oh, yeah. He is something. I’m thinking Navy. Maybe SEAL. Patrick would kick my ass for saying this, but Patrick who? That guy is totally yummy.”
Facing the bar put Holly’s back toward the door. She laughed at her tablemates. “Seriously? No guy looks that good.” She turned in her seat and almost dropped her drink in her lap. She whipped back around. “Shit, shit, shit.”
“What’s wrong?” Bethany asked. She studied the guy closer. “Hey, Diana. Does that guy look about six-three?”
“I’d say so.”
“Silver hair. Body to die for?”
“Yep,” Diana said. “Can’t see his eye color, but I’m guessing blue. What about you, Holly?”
“Don’t call him over here,” Holly said.
“Ben!” Bethany yelled. “Ben. Over here.” She giggled. “He’s coming this way. You were right, Holly. He’s totally luscious.”
Holly sprang from her chair and rushed to head him off. When she reached him, she threw her arms around his neck and pulled him close in hug.
“Please play along,” she whispered in his ear. “It’s a long story, and I don’t have time to explain, but we’re dating. Please.”
She pulled back and looked into his eyes. She must have looked pitiful or scared to death, because he nodded.
“Thank you.” She pulled his mouth down to hers for a kiss. A kiss that should have been a quick peck of lips to lips. Instead his large hands caught her waist and he pulled her tight for a long, tongue-thrusting kiss that made her knees go wobblily.
When it ended, she patted her hair and cleared her throat. “Thank you,” she said again.
“You might want to tell me your name if we’re dating.” His blue—thank goodness—eyes twinkled. His full lips smiled and she had to hold onto his arms to stay upright.
“Right, right. Holly. Holly Maxwell.” “Well, nice to meet you, lifeguard Holly Maxwell,” he said with a slight smirk.
He remembered her. Of course, he would. She’d been a total bitch at the beach, but it’d been her first day on the job as a seasonal worker and she’d felt like she had to prove herself to the other lifeguards on duty.
She wrapped an arm around his waist.
He dropped a heavy, muscular arm over her shoulder and walked with her to the table. Her heart was a sledgehammer beating her ribs. Her rubbery legs could barely support her weight. She plastered on a smile with quivering lips.
“Well, I guess you’ve figured out who this this,” she said as they walked up to the table. It was only then she realized she didn’t know his name. Oh, she’d heard the incredible creature in the teeny, tiny bikini call him Ben, but she’d been in the middle of CPR. Had she even heard that correctly?
“Ladies,” he said. “I’m Benjamin Blackwell. Apparently, Holly has kept me a secret.”
Bethany and Diana sat straighter in their chairs, their eyes wide as they stared.
“Diana.” She held out her hand. “I’m Holly’s sister-in-law.”
He took it and kissed her knuckles.
“I’m Bethany McQuiston.” She extended her hand. “I’m engaged to Holly’s brother Lawrence. This is my bachelorette party.”
He did the same knuckle kiss, and Bethany giggled.
“Congratulations,” he said. “Lucky groom. Is the wedding this weekend?”
“Oh, no,” Bethany said with a laugh. “It’s in September, but a girl only gets married once. No one said how many bachelorette parties she can have leading up to it, right?”
He laughed. “You do have a point. Well, I don’t want to intrude on the festivities.” He squeezed Holly’s shoulder. “Have a seat, honey.” He helped her back into her chair. “I’ve been out of country this week and forgot you were planning on being here. Sorry.”
“Out of the country?” Bethany asked.
“SEAL. We had a quick in-and-out mission this week. Okay, I’ll let you ladies get back to the celebrations. Take care of my gal.” He kissed Holly’s temple. “Have fun.”
It was all Holly could do to not roll her eyes. He’d poured it on a little thick, in her opinion. Still, the other two ladies were eyeing him dreamily.
“Okay,” Holly said. “Go on. Let the women drink in peace.”
He grinned, and a ripple of electricity rolled through her. She would bet her last dollar that smile had dropped more panties to the floor than a bathroom toilet.
D’Alba, Cynthia. Hot SEAL, Confirmed Bachelor: A Standalone Navy SEAL / Military Romance / Family Romance (SEALs in Paradise) (pp. 36-40). Riante, Inc. Kindle Edition.
The tangled web gets even more involved as this story progresses. Holly’s brothers all have something to say, and there may have been a competition of a sort. However, Holly’s daughter and her mother approve of Ben.
I did a lot of laughing in between the getting to know you and the sizzle. Such a fun read!
I can’t wait to read the next offering in this multi-author series!
5 Contented Purrs for Cynthia!
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Hi Y’All! I’m Cynthia D’Alba from Arkansas.Here’s a little about me…New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Cynthia D’Alba started writing on a challenge from her husband in 2006 and discovered having imaginary sex with lots of hunky men was fun.
She was born and raised in a small Arkansas town. After being gone for a number of years, she’s thrilled to be making her home back in Arkansas living in a vine-covered cottage on the banks of an eight-thousand acre lake. When she’s not reading or writing or plotting, she’s doorman for her two dogs, cook, housekeeper and chief bottle washer for her husband and slave to a noisy, messy parrot. She loves to chat online with friends and fans.