Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Two and the Proud (Always a Marine #8)

The Two and The Proud

The eighth installment in the Always a Marine anthology in 1Night Stand (1NS) line for Decadent Publishing. 1Night Stand is the business name of an exclusive online dating service run by Madame Evangeline who provides her clients with a possibility of happily ever after or happily for now.

The Two and The Proud
Always a Marine #8
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Roger Michael Easton IV, better known as Rowdy, flouted the family’s Naval tradition to enlist the Marines—not as an officer, but a ground-pounding grunt. He never expected to see as much combat or valor as he did in the field, but every engagement furthered his commitment to his brothers in arms. Now, with an offer to end his contract early on the table, Rowdy has to take a long look at the life he left behind, the life he’s built, and the future he longs to have.
Rowdy wants a woman who gets him.

Inactive Marine, Kim Wakefield, continues to serve her country as a Naval Criminal Investigator. She’s hard on the grunts and sailors because she is one of them—and they didn’t sign up for easy.  Tired of the seedier side of military life—picking up drunk Marines, AWOL sailors, busting drug running operations, or worse, sending drug addicted servicemen to court marshal and treatment.  She longs to have her faith in her fellow Marines restored.

Kim wants a man who knows what she needs.

Thrown together by chance on a 1Night Stand, these two jarheads have a combustible chemistry—but do they have what it takes?

Not sure how those results could be a bad thing he tapped the side of the shot glass. “Put the piece in the safe. They have the kind you can program here. I’ll keep my eye on the tequila.” He wouldn’t have tried to memorize her combination anyway, but he didn’t miss the minute relaxation around her eyes when he told her he’d watch the drinks.

True to his word, he kept his attention on the alcohol while she stowed the gun. When she leaned against the bar next to him, he pushed a shot glass over to her. “Let me preface this by saying I absolutely want to have sex…but I don’t want to be limited by the one night stand.”

She hesitated in mid-reach for the glass and stared at it, not him. “Clarify?”

“I like you. You’re smart—which is both good and bad.”

“How can it be good and bad?” Her chin came up and she swung a hard gaze on him. Temper flared just beneath the surface, bright as the lightning outside, it enhanced the outrage in her eyes.

Gotcha. Just one little nudge to crack the cool fa├žade and the passionate woman beneath glared at him. Yeah, that’s more like it.  A second knock on the door interrupted and he let her think about it while he took the tray from room service and sent them away. He set the tray on the luggage stand and ignored it for now.

He sprinkled salt onto the side of his hand.  “It’s good, because it’s sexy.” He bit into a lime and tossed back the tequila. He finished off the ritual with a quick lick of the salt. “It’s bad because you’re playing a game with me.”  He poured himself another shot, the first warming his gut and loosening more of the tension. He barely added the salt to his wrist when she slammed back her own drink, caught his hand and stroked her tongue over his pulse point before gliding up the side of his hand to take the salt.

All the blood in his head rushed south and he let out a low whistle. “Damn.”

“Courage isn’t doing something because you know you can do it.” She moistened her lips and he couldn’t look away. “It’s doing what you’re not sure you can be successful at.”

Sarah's Review:

Heather Long has done it again!  She gave us another great story about Marines.  This time though, she gave us a pair of Marines, one of which is an NCIS Special Agent.  Since I follow Ms. Long on Facebook, I know she is a fan of the CBS show, NCIS.   She combined my favorite show and this amazing series.  

Rowdy and Kim, our beloved Marines, meet up for drinks as part of their mutual 1NS courtesy of Madame Eve.  I love the way that Rowdy was trying to scope of the place to find Kim but Kim had him beat.  I love the way Rowdy was able to cut through Kim's hardcore presentation.   I love that Kim didn't take Rowdy's bluntness to heart and was able to let him in.

These two characters reminded me a lot of the beloved TIVA (Tony and Ziva) from NCIS.  Kim reminds me of Ziva in that she is confident with who she is and that she isn't willing to let a guy walk all over her.  Rowdy reminds me of Tony because of his ability to call Kim out on the reason she is the way she is. 

I hope to see these two again in the future.  I would love to see where Kim and Rowdy end up considering the ending.

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