Today I’m teasing you with a tiny sampler of my story Saved By The Marine, which is featured in the box set Romancing The Military Man: Ten Hot Military Heroes. This box set is available on preorder July 1. I’m excited to be in this set with Jan Springer, Adrienne Bell, Toni Anderson, Monique DuBois, Lisa Hughey, Kathy Kulig, Carded Pineiro, Sharon Hamilton and Karen Fenech. Here’s a taste of the box set.
Romancing The Military Man: Ten Hot Military Heroes
Whether it’s romance, suspense, or action/adventure—Romancing the Military Man: Ten Hot Military Heroes Box Set offers ten romance stories with something for everyone who craves a hot military hero. For a limited time this is your chance to enjoy books from today’s New York Times, USA Today, and national bestselling authors.
Excerpt from Denise A. Agnew’s Saved By The Marine:
Explosive danger creates a whirlwind of heat between two strangers…
At forty years old, Candy Cartright isn’t eager to indulge in girlish dreams of ‘happily ever after’ when she attends her friend’s wedding. When she runs into a suit and tie guy at the hotel bar, she thinks he’s a nerd businessman.
Retired US Marine Mike Compton finds it amusing that Candy at first mistakes him for a nerd. He’s not looking for a hookup, but he can’t resist the challenge in her eyes. However, when unexpected danger forces them into tight quarters, they discover there’s a hell of lot more to both of them than meets the eye.
Mike followed her onto the dance floor. As they eased into a tight spot, she flowed into his arms on instinct. He didn’t hold her close—he kept their distance formal. She placed her hand on his shoulder, and he cupped her waist and hand. As the music grew a little louder, she smiled up at him. Mike was tall. Even with her heels the top of her head only came level with his eyes. She drew in a deep breath and found his all-male scent a bit intoxicating. Right. It is just the whiskey. But one whiskey didn’t usually cause her to feel this giddy, and being this close to Mike Compton gave her a definite thrill she couldn’t explain. As they moved slowly, the love song’s sultry sound drew her nearer to Mike. She appreciated his formality, yet one part of her wondered what it would feel like to be held close in his arms. His big hands were so damned gentle on hers, yet she sensed a lot of leashed power within them. She caught site of Jessica and Arnie watching her, and Jessica gave her a thumbs up sign. Arnie had a big grin. For a half second she wondered if they’d set her up. Nah. Jessica wouldn’t do that. Would she? She had to know.
“Did Jessica put you up to this?” she asked.
He leaned in closer. His gaze was puzzled. “Put me up to what?”
“I thought maybe she sent you over to dance with me.”
He smiled. “She didn’t send me over. I was late getting to the bar because I was on the slopes skiing earlier today, then I went to dinner with an old friend. Just got in not long ago.”
“Ah, I see.” Time to change the subject. “Did you grow up around here?”
“Yeah, I did. My parents did, too. They owned a ranch here. Mom still works it with my brother and his wife.”
After that they clammed up, and she wondered if his silence meant she’d made a horrible first impression. They moved around the dance floor and after two songs her feet wouldn’t take it any more.
“Afraid these shoes are killing me,” she said with a groan.
He smiled. “Let’s get back to our drinks.”
As he released her hand the warmth of his fingers passing over hers sent a sweet tingle through her skin. She sank onto the barstool and nursed her drink, while he took his time with the remainder of his beer.
“Thanks for the dances,” he said quietly, his eyes still intent on her.
She hadn’t experienced this level of male attention in so long she wasn’t sure what to do with it. She was out of practice making clever conversation.
“You’re welcome. You’re a good dancer.” She didn’t know what the hell to say next, so she said the first odd thing that came to mind. “How tall are you anyway?”
“Are you a friend of Arnie’s?” she asked, elevating her voice a little as a loud song cam over the speakers.
“From way back. We’ve worked together before.”
A little spark of surprise hit her. “Military?”
“Yep.” When she gaped at him, he grinned.
She bit her lower lip. “I was thinking you could be anything from a soldier to an accountant.”
His nose wrinkled and he chuckled. “Oh, man. Accountant.”
Slightly embarrassed that she’d assumed so much, she said, “Sorry. The glasses threw me off.”
He peered at her. “Are you telling me you’re one of those people who judges by looks?”
Feeling like an idiot, she fessed up. “I don’t usually. But I confess I did this time.”
“It’s okay.” He gestured at the glasses. “I usually wear contacts. These are my BC glasses.”
“Birth control glasses.”
She gave a short burst of laughter. “I see. Because…”
“If you wear them no one will want to make love to you,” he said in a deadpan tone.
Wow. Warmth filled her lower body at the thought of kissing him much less doing the nasty with him. Her imagination went riot. What would he be like as a lover? Were his muscles as glorious as she imagined? Stop Candy. Despite the personal admonition, her body didn’t care. Her nipples tightened against her bra. Thank God the slight padding would camouflage high beams.
Time to get some perspective. “I’ll be right back. Off to powder my nose.”
He nodded. “Where are the restrooms anyway?”
“In the hallway down toward the exit.” She stood and shifted the small clutch handbag over her shoulder.
“I’m going that way, too. Meet you back at the bar?” he asked as he stood and followed her toward the door leading into the hallway.
“Meet you there.” She smiled as he headed in the same direction as her—the men’s room lay across the hallway from the women’s restroom.
Minutes later she stood near the sinks using a hand dryer when she thought she heard a few noises outside she couldn’t identify. Shouts? She stood still and tried to hear over the obnoxious roar of the hand dryer. Again she heard something. A booming noise? What the—?
Her heartbeat picked up the pace. Hands dry, she headed toward the door when she heard shouts outside and then screams and then— Oh shit.