NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Rylie Stewart, daughter of SEAL legend, Admiral ‘Black Jack’ Stewart, is in trouble. Big trouble. Eight and a half months through a difficult pregnancy, she’s kept her silence about who the father of her unborn child is, but the closer she gets to giving birth the more the pressure mounts for her to reveal the man’s name. But she’s been a SEAL’s daughter for twenty-three years and she’s as good at keeping secrets as her father is.
Navy SEAL Eric ‘Viking’ Anderson has just come off a six-month deployment to find Rylie on his doorstep with news. He’s about to become a father, and she wants a promise in case something happens to her during the birth. Eric’s more than willing to give her his word, but he wants something in return. Another chance with the woman he loves. And this time they’re going to do things his way. No more hiding and no more secrets.
But there’s one truth he can’t reveal to Rylie without further damaging her rocky relationship with her father. He suspects Black Jack knew about their affair and deployed Eric to end it. But now Rylie’s carrying his baby, the Admiral will play hell getting rid of him again. His missions: To put a wedding ring on Rylie’s finger, making their relationship permanent, and to be the best dad in the world for their baby boy.
This book opens in the here and now, with Eric just getting home from a deployment and on a mission of his own to find Riley. He hasn’t heard from her in a month and wants an explanation. Then Riley shows up at his door, very pregnant and in labor.
While that in itself is a shock to him, her explanation goes back to when they met. Not that Eric was likely to forget, she crashed into his motorcycle. In the aftermath of that accident he invited her to join him and his friends for dinner.
This is a favorite scene as Riley meets Eric’s teammates.
Rylie cocked her head. The way he went from being upset about his motorcycle to asking her to join them seemed too surreal. “Do you always invite strange women to join your party when you’re here?” She bet he had to peel women off him all the time.
“No. Actually, you’re the first.”
She raised one smooth, dark brow. “I think your nose might have grown an inch or two with that one.”
Eric chuckled. “I usually bring a date, but I’ve been out of town for a while… and it was spur of the moment.”
Military. He had to be. His body was too toned and fit to a be a civilian. And oh, boy. Her father would shit if she hooked up with a sailor. Suddenly the idea was appealing. “Are you in the Navy?”
She shook her head, suppressing a smile. “I don’t know. I’ve heard stories about you guys. A girl in every port and all that.”
He grinned. “I’m usually too busy to find a girl in every port.”
“And here at home?”
“It’s kinda challenging here, too. My schedule’s a little erratic.”
A SEAL. He had to be. But he didn’t play the SEAL card, and she liked him for that. But then a lot of the guys were careful about owning it.
“What do you do for a living, Rylie?”
“I’m an interior designer. I work for a firm downtown.”
“I could use your expertise at my apartment. It looks like a cross between a locker room and… you don’t want to know.”
She laughed. “I heard you guys are self-disciplined and everything has its place.”
“Only on post, darlin’. The rest of the time we’re just like everyone else.”
She started cleaning her room for inspection when she was six. Her dad made it a game, but the need for order had been ingrained in her.
“What do you do in the Navy?”
“I’m a dive supervisor. Do you dive?”
“Yes, I do. Though I haven’t been diving in a while, I’ve kept my certification up to date.”
“That’s great. We could go diving together sometime.”
There it was. But it thrilled her, because he was suggesting they get together for something more than a hookup. If she encouraged him, it would really get her father’s goat… but it would also be petty and immature.
On the other hand, Black Jack deserved it. But this guy didn’t deserve the trouble Black Jack was sure to send his way.
She studied Eric’s rugged, handsome face and sighed inwardly. He seemed nice enough. And that deep voice appealed to her. In fact, the whole package appealed to her. “I don’t normally go to bars alone. I just went in to find you and report the wreck.”
“You look like you’ve been crying. Boyfriend?” he asked.
She shook her head and wiped beneath her eyes. “No. I got an eyelash in my eye and my eyes watered.”
She could tell he wasn’t completely convinced.
“Come join us. Drink a glass of wine, eat a few wings, relax. At least until you’ve shaken this off.” He offered his hand. His smile held enough warmth and charm that her heart did a jig.
Once inside she said, “I need to freshen up. You’re outside with your friends?”
“Go ahead and order your food. I’ll join you.” She slipped away to freshen her makeup and half toyed with the idea of sneaking away instead. But it seemed cowardly after he’d been so nice.
As she went to join them outside, the sun had set and the lights strung overhead were already on, though the night was stalled between daylight and dusk. The air felt moist, and the breeze carried the scents of food and flowers.
Eric beckoned to her, and she headed in that direction.
“Hey, guys. This is Rylie.” Eric grabbed an empty chair and placed it at the table, then introduced his friends. Tucker and his date Jodi, and Evan and his date Presley. Nick and Eric were flying solo. At least Eric had been before inviting her to join them.
“So how long have you known Eric?” Nick asked.
Rylie checked her watch. “About half an hour.”
Everyone at the table laughed.
Nick nudged Eric in the ribs with an elbow. “A new record, Viking?” Nick’s green eyes shone with amusement.
The nickname Viking certainly suited Eric, with his blond hair and sky-blue eyes. And with a last name like Anderson he probably had the genes to back it up.
Eric grinned. “She dives. It’s a match made in heaven.”
“How long have you been diving, Rylie?” Nick asked, his eyes alight with amusement.
“Twelve years. My dad’s a dive enthusiast.” No way was she admitting to this crowd who her father was. They’d shut down and lock her out in a New York minute.
With a momentary flash of surprise, he said, “She may be better than you, Viking.”
Eric shrugged. “Dive dates aren’t a competition.”
“So, you’re going on a dive date with Viking?” Tuck asked.
Eric frowned at him. “You don’t have to make it sound like she’d be putting her life at risk.”
Everyone in the group laughed.
Rylie bit her lip to keep from smiling. “I’m just a hobbyist. Eric’s the professional. I’m sure I’d be safe with him underwater.”
“Or anywhere else,” Eric said with another of those heart-jolting grins.
Teresa Reasor. Hot SEAL, Taking the Plunge (Kindle Locations 308-353). Teresa J. Reasor.
There’s a lot of reminiscing while Riley’s in labor. It also puts a few things in perspective for Eric. Including the reason why she hadn’t answered his calls or replied to his letters. It also makes him wonder about the hold on his promotion, her father could certainly done that.
One thing is for sure, he is going to marry Riley and be a good father to their son.
This book is a lot of fun, in spite of the problems ‘Black Jack’ Stewart causes. There’s laughter, tears and some sizzle as well.
I can’t wait to read the next book in this multi-author series.
5 Contented Purrs for Teresa!
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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Teresa Reasor was born in Southeastern Kentucky, but grew up a Marine Corps brat. The love of reading instilled in her in Kindergarten at Parris Island, South Carolina made books her friends during the many transfers her father’s military career entailed. The transition from reader to writer came easily and she was a closet novelist for many years until 2007 when her first book was published.
After twenty-one years as an Art Teacher and ten years as a part time College Instructor, she’s now retired and living her dream as a full time Writer.
Her body of work includes both full-length novels and shorter pieces in many different genres, Military Romantic Suspense, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Historical Romance, Contemporary Romance, and Children’s Books.