Availability date: 03/16/2016
Determined to protect her life and heal her broken heart, equine vet, Ariel Armstrong, seeks a refuge from her violent ex-boyfriend. Her job working with prized race horses enables her to hide in plain sight and care for her brother, an injured Marine. After losing her father to war and witnessing her brother’s daily battle to overcome his injuries, she’s sworn off military men forever.
Gavin Cross, Navy SEAL, and the son of Ariel’s new boss has one mission in life—to serve his country. After showing signs of PTSD, he’s sent home but vows to get back in the action ASAP. The last problem he needs is an emotional entanglement but the beautiful vet’s love tempts him in an undeniable way and has him questioning his need to return to duty. Will Gavin choose a future with Ariel or protection of America from terrorism?
Her gaze flicked to an imposing male figure planted directly in her line of vision, his stance wide, wearing leather combat boots seemingly bolted to the earth. Whoever the man was, he surveyed every detail of his environment with the presence of someone whose self-confidence couldn’t easily be shaken. He carried himself like he belonged here. Hell, like he owned the place. The startling combination of blue eyes, the color of glacier water, against an olive complexion and full black beard created a commanding presence. Glued like a sentry next to the man, Wager, the farm’s border collie exuded absolute devotion with his tongue lolling out and head tilted up to the hand stroking him.
Jesus, who IS that dude? He can’t be a new buyer interested in our foals the way Wager is fawning all over him but he’s someone important, no doubt. Focus Ariel, you’re here to work, not get infatuated with the first cowboy who comes along.
As if he sensed her curiosity, the enigmatic stranger turned his attention toward her. The intensity of his stare invaded her comfort zone as he coolly and completely assessed her with a visual review of her body that left her feeling undressed. The hair on her arms stood erect. She rubbed them as if removing a chill. The physical reaction was her own intuitive warning system and experience had taught her to listen to her body. She understood all too well about arrogant, possessive men. Her controlling ex-boyfriend was a moral zero and the most deceptive man she’d ever met. The image of him sent shivers skidding down her spine but she quickly thrust the memories aside. He’s out of my life and nowhere near here.
Ariel slid the dog tags back and forth on the chain she wore around her neck, as her new boss, Jeff Cross, walked up the path toward her, wearing a face-splitting grin. He had an athletic build and in spite of suffering a recent, mild heart attack, walked with a definite stride and self-confidence in his step. The hair on his temples was streaked with gray giving him a distinguished, gentleman farmer appearance and the crow’s feet around his blue eyes crinkled when he smiled.
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