Second in NYT & USAT bestselling author Julie Ann Walker’s new romantic suspense series featuring former navy SEALs
The former SEALs of The Deep Six return in a sizzling series from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julie Ann Walker.
A COVERT MISSION
Maddy Powers’s life revolves around cocktail parties, political fundraisers, and charity events — but she can’t forget the daring former SEAL who appropriated her father’s yacht a few months ago … or the scorching kiss they shared before he disappeared into the deep blue sea.
SPARKS A FLAMING DESIRE
Bran Pallidino carries a dark secret behind his lady-killer eyes — one that keeps him from pursuing a serious relationship with Maddy. But when she’s taken hostage during a trip to the Dry Tortugas, the men of Deep Six Salvage drop their treasure hunt for a sunken galleon and embark on a dangerous mission to save Maddy.
WITH EARTH-SHATTERING REPERCUSSIONS
As they fight her merciless kidnappers, they discover this isn’t a simple hostage situation, but something far more sinister. Passion boils between Bran and Maddy, but what good is putting their hearts on the line if they don’t survive the dawn?
“I’m sorry,” Maddy whispered when Bran whipped off his tank top and started wrapping it around her head. “What’s happenin’ right now?”
“Your hair is gonna get us killed,” he said. His broad chest with its smattering of crinkly dark hair was an inch from her nose. She was absolutely drowning in his scent. And the silver piece of eight caught her eye where it lay between his flexing pectoral muscles, glinting in the moonlight.
H-h-holy mackerel, he was hotter than a two-dollar pistol. Literally and figuratively. He radiated heat like a blast furnace. And he was straight-up, panties-on-the-floor, legs-in-the-air, have-at-me-big-boy sssssmokin’ sexy.
Considering she was dealing with wildly celebrating hormones and fifty shades of scrambled gray matter, it was amazing she had the wherewithal to come up with the super articulate reply of “Huh?”
“I said your hair is gonna get us all killed.”
Uh-huh. So she had heard him correctly the first time. Unfortunately, the second time was not a charm. His words still didn’t make a lick of sense.
“How in God’s name is my hair goin’ to get us killed?” she whispered as he continued to fashion her a makeshift turban. “I mean, my brothers told me it was a crime against coiffures, but surely it hasn’t crossed the line into bein’ fatal.”
Bran stopped what he was doing to glance down at her. “I like your hair,” he said simply. No artifice.
He might as well have told her she was the most beautiful woman in the world the way her cheeks heated and warmth spread across her chest. “Th-thank you,” she stammered. “But I…um…I’m still not trackin’ when it comes to—”
“It’s too bright,” he told her, getting back to the business of tucking a piece of the damp fabric above her left ear. “It shines like a candle against the night. We don’t need it drawing unwanted attention.”
She was only listening with half an ear. Why, you ask? Well, because his nipple was suddenly right…frickin’…there. Staring at her. Daring her. She blew out a ragged breath and watched, fascinated, as the flat brown disk furled tight around the little bud in the center, making it poke up proudly.
Bran sucked in a startled breath. Then he pulled away, checking his handiwork and not meeting her eyes.
Aha! She felt like pointing a finger at his nose. And you think we’re just pen pals? Instead, she did the totally adult thing and refrained from calling him on his bullshit all while testing the security of her new headgear. Scenes from Lawrence of Arabia flashed through her brain.
“We’ve gotten rusty,” Mason mumbled, looking over his shoulder and giving Maddy the once-over. “We should’ve thought of that before we left the ranger’s station.”
“I know.” Bran frowned. Then he shook his head and picked up his big, deadly gun, checking something on the side before tugging the strap over his shoulder. It made a quiet clacking sound. “You ready?” he asked her, finally meeting her eyes. To her great annoyance, his face didn’t show an ounce of the excitement and hunger that had passed between them ten seconds ago. He did, however, wince and make a grab for his wounded thigh.
“Question is,” she said, “are you?”
She flayed him with a look.
“It just twinges every once in a while,” he assured her. “Now, we’re gonna head toward that southwest corner. And we’re gonna do it double time. You gotta stay close.” Staying close to Bran had never been a problem. “This is where things could get hairy.” She liked hair, especially the smattering across Bran’s chest. “We’ll be totally exposed ’til we reach the moat.” Exposed? Have I mentioned that Bran is now shirtless?
“I understand.” She nodded, the weight of her improvised turban making the move feel awkward. As for the weight of the task ahead of them? Well, not to put too fine a point on it, but it didn’t get any more real than this.
Which convinced her that doing the adult thing was for the birds. If they were about to drown in a dark tunnel or get filled full of lead once they managed to make it inside the fort, she had one final point to make.
“But before we go,” she whispered, stopping Bran with a hand on his forearm. “There’s somethin’ I need to do.”
She grabbed his big shoulders and went up on tiptoe. “This,” she said before slamming her mouth over the top of his.
She didn’t stop there. She took advantage of his slack-jawed surprise by sliding her tongue between his teeth. His breath was hot and sweet, just like she remembered. His lips masculine and firm. She remembered that, too. Her own lips tingled at the contact, every single nerve ending zinging with approval.