Sean looked up—and stared.
Eden was walking straight toward him, looking good enough to eat.
She wore a short black dress that made the most of her curves. Oh, hell, yes, it did. The fabric clung to her body from her breasts to the flare of her hips. He it was wrong, but he couldn’t stop his gaze from raking over her from her bare shoulders to that hint of luscious cleavage to those long, smooth legs.
Desire warmed his blood, scattered his thoughts, left his brain blank.
She’d reached the table before he got a hold of himself. “Hey.”
He swallowed, stood. “Hey.”
Trey stood, too, and pulled out a seat for her. “Good to see you, Eden.”
She sat, her hair sliding over one soft, round shoulder. She wore makeup on her face, her lips glossy and red. “It’s my sister Maria’s thirtieth birthday, so we’re here to celebrate. Maria loves clam chowder.”
Trey grinned. “Then this is the place to be.”
“You’re looking much better. I mean, you always look great. But you look better than you did. I… uh… you were really sick and…” Sean got a sharp kick to the shin from Trey under the table, and his brain started working again. “How do you feel?”
Her lush, red lips curved in a sweet smile. “I feel so much better. Thank you again for all you did to help us through that.”
“I hear you had scarlet fever.” Trey shook his head. “Nasty stuff.”
“Poor Maverick still has bright red cheeks. The pediatrician said that should go away within the week. He’s back to being his happy little self.”
“Good.” Sean did his best to act normal, the urge to touch her, kiss her, and carry her out of this place overwhelming. “Happy I could help.”
“How have you been?”
“Good. Fine. Okay. Yeah.”
Trey looked like he was trying not to laugh. “We’ve kept pretty busy. A surfer broke his leg and ended up on a tidal rockpile. We got him before he was washed out to sea. There was also a case where a fisherman caught himself in the eye with his hook.”
Eden winced. “Oh, God.”
This time it was Sean who kicked Trey under the table.
Trey’s grin vanished. “Sorry. That was probably TMI.”
On the stage, the Outriggers broke into their rendition of Footloose, quickly filling the dance floor. Then the server was there to take their orders, all of them half-shouting to be heard above the band.
Sean ordered a salmon burger and a beer, while Trey went for the steak.
“Nothing for me. I’m actually sitting at the table with my sisters.”
“Oh, right.” The server smiled. “I recognize you now. Another glass of wine?”
While the band went from number to number, they talked about little stuff, the conversation moving to everyone’s favorite topic—the weather.
The Outriggers ended one song to applause and then launched into their rendition of Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On, which quite possibly was the very last song Sean needed to hear at the moment.
Trey was still talking about the weather. “They’re saying we’re in for a major storm system next—”
Eden stood, held out her hand to Sean, invitation in her eyes. “Dance with me.”
Sean had just taken a drink and almost choked. “I… uh…”
Trey kicked him again—hard this time.
Sean shot him a look then stood and took her hand, his skin seeming to ignite at the touch. He led her onto the dance floor, where only a handful of couples remained, slow dancing. “Everyone’s watching us. Your sisters are staring.”
Eden came easily into his arms, rested her palms on his shoulders. “Let them.”
Sean closed his eyes, drew a breath, and gave in to the moment, savoring the soft feel of her body against his, inhaling the sweet scent of her skin. “You smell so good.”
She rested her head against his chest in a way that was unmistakably intimate, unleashing an answering pull inside him.
God, he wanted her.
Worse, he was beginning to think she wanted him, too.
He rested one hand on the curve of her hip, splayed the other across the bare skin of her upper back, the contact setting him on fire. He nuzzled her ear, breathed her in, felt her shiver.
What the hell was he doing?
Eden was Justin’s wife. No, she was his widow. She was alone now.
Justin is gone.
And just like that, Sean found himself balanced on a razor’s edge, torn between past and present, right and wrong, duty and desire.
The book is available for preorder now for Kindle, Nook, iBooks, and Kobo.
Copyright (c) Pamela Clare 2022
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Hard Target — When a US senator asks Cobra to protect his daughter, a midwife volunteering in Afghanistan, Derek’s gut tells him to turn the senator down. The last thing he wants to do is babysit an aid worker. But Jenna isn’t just another assignment. She’s also the younger sister of his best friend, the man who died taking bullets meant for him. There’s no way Derek can refuse.
Hard Asset — On the run from a genocidal madman and his army, Connor will have to use all of the skills he learned in Delta Force to keep Shanti safe.
Hard Justice — When Quinn McManus’ best friend from his days in the British Special Air Service is found dead in an alley in Glasgow, he turns to Elizabeth Shields to help him find the man who did it. As they cross the line from friends to lovers, they find themselves in the sights of a stone-cold killer
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