Holiday Edition Book 1
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cat Johnson comes a fun, steamy, standalone, fake relationship love story featuring meddling friends and relatives and two frenemies with reluctant hearts and a profound hatred of all things valentine-related.
When one Navy SEAL heartbreaker gets a dose of his own medicine on Valentine’s Day, he realizes love isn’t the enemy, but he has to convince the commitment-adverse woman he’s fallen for of the same thing.
√ One match-making sister
√ One commitment-phobic woman
√ One hot SEAL heartbreaker
√ One fake relationship
√ Countless laughs
Alicia Lopez’s married sister Jenny is an incorrigible matchmaker, unfortunately her choices are not what Alicia would choose for herself. As Jenny plans her Valentine’s party she’s once again plotting matches for Alicia. Alicia really shouldn’t be having this conversation now, since she was in McP’s Irish Pub waiting for her friend Shelly to join her for dinner and ogling the Navy personnel who frequent the place. Hoping she finally got her point across, she ends the conversation with her sister only to get a call from Shelly cancelling.
Brian ‘Heartbreaker’ Anderson was out with his team celebrating their safe return home, and one leaving the Navy. After some toasts, including one to honor Ozzie, a lost teammate, the topic turns to Valentine’s Day. The one holiday Brian hates beyond all others. He’d been eyeing the lovely brunette but with that day so close it seems wise to stay away.
Alicia is about to get her order to go when she’s approach by Andrew, a man she doesn’t want anything to do with. Her sister shouldn’t have had time to pull this off. She’s trying to get rid of him when Brian steps in to help.
This is a favorite scene.
“Come on. Let me at least walk you to your car—”
“That’s not necessary. I’m fine walking alone.”
“It’s no problem.”
Alicia could see that Andrew was one of those men who didn’t believe a woman when she said no. The kind of man she had in mind when she and Ashley took that self-defense class. Sometimes the only thing they’d listen to was a knee to the groin.
“I don’t need you to walk me,” she said with more force, hoping she didn’t have to employ any of the moves she’d learned.
“Sure, you do—”
“The lady said she wants to be left alone.” The deep, take-no-shit voice came from behind her. And from above her too.
She twisted her neck and glanced up, way up, to see who had spoken.
The sight had her eyes widening. It was the hottie from the other end of the bar. The one who’d caught her ogling him. Damn, was he tall.
She angled her body so she was between the two men. Facing neither one as they flanked her.
“Stay out of it, buddy,” Andrew said, apparently unfazed that the dark-haired stranger had a couple of inches on him. Not to mention a whole bunch of muscles. Even out of the corner of her eye, she could see that.
“I’m sorry. I can’t do that.” The reply was as polite as if he were on a job interview.
“The lady’s with me,” Andrew said, still not backing down.
She wasn’t sure if it was hubris or stupidity that kept him there.
“Are you with him?” the tall, dark and handsome stranger asked, his copper-colored eyes focused on hers.
He’d surprised her. She wasn’t prepared to finally be included in the conversation. They’d basically been speaking over her head the whole time.
Alicia was very happy to answer the stranger’s question. “No. I’m most definitely not with him.” She shook her head.
Her self-appointed protector leveled a stare on Andrew and waited. It was the heaviest silence she’d ever felt.
Finally, Andrew read the room and took the hint that he wasn’t wanted there.
He narrowed his eyes and glared at her. “You know what? You can tell your sister to lose my number. I’m not interested. You’re both batshit crazy.”
With that, Andrew stomped out of McP’s, leaving Alicia to watch him go.
Heart pounding, she glanced around the room and saw all eyes on them. Great. Now she was a public spectacle.
Looking up at the man who’d come to her rescue, even though she’d never asked him to, nor had she wanted him to, she let out a sigh. “You shouldn’t have done that.”
She could have handled Andrew on her own. And in a less embarrassing manner too. One that wouldn’t have all of McP’s patrons staring.
He laughed. “Uh, you’re welcome.”
“I didn’t ask for your help.” And she certainly wasn’t going to thank him for making a scene with her in the center of it.
“You might not have asked for help, but you needed it.”
“No, I did not.” She folded her arms across her chest. “I could have handled him myself. I took a class.”
“You took a class?” He snorted. “You’re what? Five-foot nothing?”
“Five two. And what’s the point?” she asked.
“The point is, he had almost a foot on you. And a good hundred pounds.”
“I wasn’t planning on wrestling him.”
He let out a short laugh. “Well, I think he had hopes of wrestling with you.”
She scowled. “That’s crude.”
“It’s the truth. Some guys don’t know how to take no for an answer. Especially when it comes to attractive women.”
He thought she was attractive—No! Focus. It didn’t matter if this stranger was a walking, talking wet dream.
She was annoyed with him and his interference, even though he had come up with the same assessment as she had regarding Andrew’s ability to hear and accept the word no.
“Do you know how to take no for an answer?” she asked him.
He smiled, and damn it took him from just plain hot to panty-melting. “Well, to be honest, I don’t hear no all that often.”
Johnson, Cat; Authors, Paradise. Hot SEAL, Heartbreaker (SEALs in Paradise), Kindle Locations (342-388). Cat Johnson. Kindle Edition.
Brian offers to buy her a drink and the conversation somehow ends up on matchmakers and Valentine’s. It’s actually Brian who comes up with a solution to both their problems, fake date. If his team believes he’s involved they’ll stop with the jokes and her sister wouldn’t be able to matchmake either.
There’s a lot of fun, laughter, plotting and some sizzle as well while Brian and Alicia get to know one another in this unusual alliance.
I can’t wait to read the next book in this multi-author series!
5 Contented Purrs for Cat!
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Cat Johnson is a top 10 New York Times bestseller and the author of the USA Today bestselling Hot SEALs series. She writes contemporary romance that usually features hot alpha heroes (who often wear combat or cowboy boots) and the sassy heroines brave enough to love them. Known for her unique marketing she has sponsored pro bull riders, owns a collection of camouflage and western wear for book signings, and has used bologna to promote romance novels.