SEAL the Deal

Hot SEALs

#1 Bestselling Romantic Suspense title on iBooks!

"ADORABLE!" BJ's Book Blog

As more wedding invites pour in, Navy SEAL Zane Alexander is happy that he and Missy don’t need a legal document to prove their love. Or at least he didn’t think they did. Lately, he’s beginning to wonder if they’re still on the same page regarding their official relationship status or if he’s going to have to seal the deal. He’s happy to do just that, but being in the wrong place at the wrong time might cost him the chance . . . and his life.

In eBook & Print January 8th

Excerpt:

CHAPTER 1

Zane Alexander pushed open the heavily paneled wood door.

The still gorgeous and once stately three-story stone building had been a single-family home until it was broken up into three rental units years ago.

It was located in the best neighborhood in D.C. and was a home worthy of a senator's daughter. That was all Missy’s father, Senator Greenwood, cared about.

All Zane cared about was that it had big bright windows, a working fireplace and a bedroom big enough for a king sized bed.

And, most important, that it contained the woman he loved.

He reached the second floor landing and unlocked the deadbolt and the door lock to enter the apartment.

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Missy complained often because he'd insisted they take the second floor apartment rather than a ground floor unit. She could continue to complain. He'd sympathize appropriately but he wasn't going to change his opinion that higher floors were safer.

He could beef up the construction and the locks on the door, no problem. The tall turn of the century windows would be far harder to secure. He didn't think the landlord would appreciate him putting bars on the windows on the first floor unit, hence the second floor location.

Sometimes knowing what he knew, having seen what he'd seen, made life in the normal world, the civilian world, challenging. He'd get used to it. Eventually.

He'd been a decade in the teams, and only about two years out. These things took time he supposed.

It didn't help he was still working in the same world as the bad guys—on the side of good, of course—but the reality of the kind of elements out there lurking, waiting, was part of his daily life still. That was why the apartment alarm was armed day and night, both when the apartment was occupied and when it was empty.

After closing the door behind him, Zane punched the four-digit code into the control panel to prevent it from alerting the alarm company and the police, and then tossed his keys onto the table by the door.

A smile bowed his lips as the blonde inside turned as he entered.

Melissa Greenwood. The woman who'd tamed him.

At least that's what had happened according to his friends. Of course, they could just be jealous. Jealous he'd lived his life without regret or reserve for years until he'd realized what would make him happy was right there in front of him.

Missy was one of a kind. No doubt. He'd almost missed out on being with her because he'd been a stubborn stupid youth. And once he’d found her again, he'd almost lost her to kidnappers.

But that was almost three years ago. Now that he had her, he wasn't letting go nor was he letting anything or anyone near her—except for him.

His gaze roamed down her body as he appreciated the fit of the skirt that outlined her hips before ending at mid thigh to expose the legs he needed wrapped around him again sooner rather than later.

“Hey. You're home early,” she said.

He moved forward to close the distance between them. “Hey, yourself. Meeting got done faster than I expected.”

That was a miracle in itself. Usually anything involving CEOs parting with their money took three times the amount of time it should.

She lifted one well-shaped brow above ocean blue eyes. “Is that a good thing or a bad thing?”

“Good.” He dropped a kiss on her lips before continuing, “We video conferenced in Jon from GAPS headquarters. The prospects were impressed. We got the contract.”

“That's wonderful. We should celebrate.”

“Mmm.” He groaned and ran his hands down her sides. “We definitely should. And we should also celebrate that I finally convinced Jon we need an actual office space for client meetings here in D.C. too.”

“That's good.”

“It definitely is, except now I'm going to have to look at offices.” He was busy, but he'd make the time now that his cheap ass partner had agreed.

But not right now. Now was the time for celebration, as Missy said.

For a company that had sprung from an idea scribbled on a bar napkin by a bunch of SEALs a few years ago to still be in business, not to mention actually doing well, meant every new contract should be celebrated.

With Missy's warm curves beneath his hands, Zane knew exactly how he'd like to celebrate all of today's wins. He was about to make a suggestion when he saw that day's mail delivery on the desk behind Missy.

He reached past her for the envelope on the top of the stack and let out a sigh. “Shit. Another one.”

“Another what?” Missy twisted to glance down at the oversized ivory linen envelope he held in his hand. “Oh.”

No doubt about it. She knew exactly what had him scowling. Only one thing came in an envelope that big, that lush, that expensive, that wasteful.

Thick, heavy and oversized with the telltale LOVE stamp in the upper right corner and the elaborate calligraphy lettering for the address, this was most certainly a wedding invitation.

At last count they'd received two wedding invites already so far for this month.

And he didn’t just have to attend the weddings. Oh, no.

One of them had a co-ed shower he was supposed to go to, in addition to a brunch the day after the ceremony and reception. That one wedding alone was going to cost him three days of his life he’d never get back.

The invitations weren't even from close friends. Hell, some of these people who'd invited them to be a part of the most important day of their lives were barely even acquaintances.

That's what came from his being an Alexander and from his dating a senator's daughter.

This was life inside the Beltway. Politicians loved to mix business with pleasure until there was no longer a distinguishable line between genuine friends and valuable contacts.

The latest harbinger of upcoming nuptials—from whom and for when he hadn't bothered to discover as yet—increased this season's running tally to three. At this rate, they'd be attending a wedding a week, if not two in one weekend depending on the date of this newest one.

The whole situation was making him hate the month of June. It was enough to make a man long for the days of deployments.

“You'd better give me that.” Missy plucked the envelope from his hand.

“Why? Afraid I might accidentally drop it in the garbage pail?” His lips twitched as he worked to control the smile that idea brought on.

She cocked one brow high. “Or, more likely, the fireplace. I figure you'd prefer that method of disposal. No evidence.”

Zane wasn't going to deny it was a tempting idea. He smiled wide now. “You know me so well.”

“After all these years, I should know you.” She screwed up her pretty mouth as she pulled open the top drawer of the desk and dropped the envelope on top of the rest.

Her tone and expression of thinly veiled frustration led him to believe she wasn't referring to the years they'd spent growing up together at the country club their parents both belonged to.

The tone of her comment was more likely because she and he had been dating for a while now but they had yet to send out their own custom printed and embossed invitations.

Zane had been of the opinion they didn't need a piece of paper to make them a couple.

That it drove Zane's father absolutely insane that they hadn't sealed an alliance between the Alexanders and the Greenwoods by getting married yet was a nice bonus.

He loved Missy. She loved him. They shared an apartment, so there should be no doubt in anyone's mind that they were a couple.

Hell, he was so monogamous his friends from the old days mocked him about it. It had been the topic of discussion amid his teammates often enough to piss Zane off.

He'd thought that he and Missy were on the same page when it came to their relationship status. Maybe he was wrong.

He pushed aside his annoyance over the newly arrived envelope and the friction it was now causing between them even as it sat unopened in the desk, and moved closer to Missy.

Grasping her arms, he pulled her against him and dipped his head low, intent on kissing the bad mood out of her . . . until he noticed her bottom lip between her teeth.

Missy gnawing on her lip was just one more indication all was not well.

There had been a time, before Missy, that Zane would have ignored whatever was wrong and still gone in for a kiss. Not anymore.

That being with Missy had changed him was more apparent than ever—to him as well as his teammates.

Pausing his downward descent toward her mouth, he frowned. “What's wrong?”

“Nothing,” she said, not making eye contact.

Zane knew women and the word nothing when spoken by the fairer sex rarely—if ever—actually meant nothing.

He drew in a breath and let it out, about to push her further for an answer when her eyes narrowed.

Missy sniffed out a huff. “Zane Alexander, don't you sigh at me. I told you. Nothing's wrong.”

God, he loved how this woman stood up to him. Missy didn't let him get away with any shit. It was exactly what he needed.

Zane smiled wide. “Good. Then that means I can do this.”

Leaning down he captured her lips in a kiss that didn't even pretend to be innocent. Oh, hell no. This kiss was going to lead to one place and one place only. The bedroom.

Of course, he was fond of the Jacuzzi tub as well so maybe this kiss could go two ways.

But as he moved his hands down her body to cup her ass, a nagging in the back of his brain robbed him of his usual pre-coital enjoyment.

He broke the kiss. “You're all right with us not being married, right?”

“Yes.”

Why didn't he believe her? Because he was a suspicious bastard trained to look for lies? Or because Missy refused to meet his gaze?

Her arms were around his waist. The warmth of her body was pressed tightly against his. That coupled with the fact he'd been about to make love to this woman all should have had him accepting her words at face value and taking her to bed.

Instead, he shook his head. “I'm not so sure about that.”

Now it was her turn to sigh. Finally, she raised her gaze to meet his. “What do you want me to say?”

He drew back, frowning. “I want you to tell me what you really feel. Do you wish we were married?”

Missy surprised him by laughing. “Zane, I've been in love with you for two thirds of my life.”

That she'd fallen for him a decade before he'd even noticed she'd gone from girl to woman still made him feel strange, for lack of a better word. He never knew whether to be flattered or ashamed. If he should thank her for not giving up on him or apologize for taking so long to notice her.

Today, he simply said, “I know.”

She lifted her shoulders. “I guess it—us—would feel more real if we were married.”

More real? Zane shook his head. “Baby, believe me. It's real.”

So real she'd been all he could think about after being with her that first time. So real it had completely shredded him when she'd been kidnapped from the school where she'd been teaching in Africa. And so real he'd packed up his life and moved from Virginia Beach to D.C. to be with her.

The doubt in her eyes twisted something inside him. He might have been a little slower in discovering his feelings for her but there was no doubt they were on equal footing now in the head-over-heels department.

And if it really was going to take a fucking piece of paper to erase that expression from her face, he'd do it.

That was something they’d have to talk about more, but not right now.

Now, he had other ideas on how to prove to Missy that she was all he wanted.

Hell. More than wanting her, he needed her.

Zane Alexander, who'd before her had never given a shit about a woman past what he could get from her for the night, wasn't sure he wanted to live a life that Missy wasn't a part of.

She was his true north. The compass by which he lived. The thought on his mind for every decision he made.

Given that, it seemed like a small thing to do what his father had wanted for years and marry her, even when everything in Zane told him to do the opposite of what his old man wanted.

That was definitely something he'd have to think more about much later because he'd be damned if he let thoughts of his father ruin this moment.

Cupping her face, he pressed a kiss to her mouth before saying, “I love you.”

“I love you too.”

He could see she didn't fully appreciate what those words meant to him. How he'd never said them to another woman before her and would never repeat them to any other woman after her. She didn't see that yet, but she would.

Reaching down, he lifted her until her feet left the floor. Her eyes widened as she squeaked with surprise. “What are you doing?”

“Taking you to bed.” He turned toward the bedroom as he answered her.

“It's only four in the afternoon.”

He didn't quite get her point. Day and night had ceased to mean all that much to him over a decade ago except in regard to how it could aide in a mission, because for SEALs in night vision goggles, darkness was their best friend.

But for making love to Missy? That was something he didn't mind shining a little daylight on.

“Believe me, the time of day has got nothing to do with what I have planned.” Intent on proving that to her he strode through the doorway.

There would be plenty of time afterward to break it to her that he'd have to travel out of the country for this new job he'd just landed and that he was also going to have to go to Virginia Beach to the GAPS office.

Sex first. Bad news later. He wasn’t stupid.

(NOTE: those on my mailing list received the complete Prologue chapter that comes before Chapter 1. Not on the list? Join today and never miss a subscriber exclusive again!)

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Reviews:Bianca on BJ's Book Blog wrote:

ADORABLE! ... I loved every moment of it.