Jon and Ali have been together since I started the Hot SEALs series in 2014. They met in Book 1 Night with a SEAL and, as readers and reviewers have so lovingly pointed out, Jon never proposed . . . until now! But you know the course of true love never did run smooth and that’s true here as well. Ali is making Jon work for it! Please enjoy the below excerpt from ROMANCED BY A SEAL, available now in eBook and paperback.
Romanced by a SEAL (Hot SEALs)
As a SEAL, Jon Rudnick dodged copper and lead without flinching, but just the thought of one tiny gold band around his ring finger has always sent him into a cold sweat. Love is one thing, but marriage is another. He’s not sure he’s ready for that just yet . . . until a near miss serves as a wake-up call he can’t ignore.
Now he’s ready, but his girlfriend Ali has gone from rushing him toward the altar, to running in the opposite direction at full speed. Hell if Jon can figure out why, but he knows one thing. All’s fair in love and war and he’s not going to rest until he makes Ali his again. This time for good.
Romanced by a SEAL Excerpt
Jon drove faster than he should have given the conditions and it wasn’t long before he stood at the door of his condo.
He drew in a big breath as the emotions he’d kept on lockdown while he’d been gone started to surface, unlocked the door and swung it open.
The first sight to greet him was Ali, curled up on the sofa, wrapped in a blanket.
At the sound of his entering, she spun around. Her eyes flew wide when she saw him in the doorway . . . before they narrowed beneath her frown.
“Nice to see you made it home alive. And nice to see that you finally shaved.” She’d obviously gotten over her shock of seeing him home and had moved right on to her anger over him being gone.
It didn’t take a genius to see she was good and pissed at him, but he didn’t care. He’d been to hell, danced with the devil and made it back to her and he’d be damned if he wasn’t going to at least kiss her now.
Determined, he strode across the room, pulled her off the sofa and drew her to him in an embrace that was as much for his benefit as hers.
She let him hold her, but she remained stiff in his arms. He decided to take what he could get and be grateful.
“I know you’re mad but it’s so good to hold you.” The words were muffled as he clasped her tight and buried his face against her hair. She smelled familiar and felt like home.
He’d missed her. He didn’t realize how much until now while she was in his arms. He pulled back and tipped her face up. There was no controlling the urge to take her mouth.
The danger of posing as an ISIS fighter hadn’t scared him as much as knowing that just days away from being safely home and with Ali he’d nearly died.
It only proved what he knew already. No one could predict what could happen or when. He could live to a hundred or he could die tomorrow. It was about time he started really living.
“God, I missed you.” The words were barely out before he crushed his mouth against hers.
Overwhelmed by the need to feel safe and alive, he kissed her hard and thoroughly. The long list of miracles that had brought him home mostly unscathed grew by one more when Ali didn’t push him away.
She sank into his kiss, clinging to him through the jacket he’d never taken the time to remove.
He wanted to get her to the bedroom. Wanted the clothes separating them—his damp ones and her warm ones—gone.
But he wanted something else more.
Breaking the kiss, he blurted out the words that would make her his for the rest of his life. “Marry me.”
She pulled back from him. “What?”
“Marry me.” Now that he’d said it once, the words spilled out even easier.
Her eyes narrowed. “Why are you asking me that now?”
“What?” He was too confused to comprehend her frown or the suspicion in her tone. Wasn’t this what she’d wanted?
“Did you come right here or stop somewhere first?”
Further confused by that question, he said, “I stopped at the office.”
Her nostrils flared. She was mad he went to the office?
He continued, trying to diffuse this bomb while blind. “I had to. My truck was parked in the lot. And my house keys were there too. Ali, I don’t know what’s happening here. All I know is I want to marry you.”
“You didn’t before you left.”
“I did. I just—”
“I can’t be here with you right now.” After cutting him off she moved toward the door.
What the fuck had just happened?
How could things have gone to shit so fast? All he’d done was try to give her what she wanted. What he now realized he wanted too.
He knew one thing, as the tears streamed down her face and she struggled to get her shoes on by the door, he wasn’t going to be able to reason with her now.
“Ali. You stay. I’ll go.” Confused at why she refused to be under the same roof as him, Jon still wasn’t going to make her go out in the rain just to get away from him.
He knew he could crash at Chris and Brody’s apartment for the night. The office was probably a better bet. He really didn’t want to deal with any questions. This was his mess and he’d deal with it on his own in private.
“No. You stay. This is your place. It was never mine. I can sleep at Darci’s. She already offered me Rick’s bedroom.”
Why the hell would Darci be offering her a place to sleep when Ali was living with him? What had happened while he’d been gone? Had Ali been confiding in Darci about wanting to leave him?
He had a feeling he wouldn’t like the answer.
Meanwhile, Ali continued to ramble as she reached for her jacket. “Sierra’s in LA filming a movie and Rick will be out there with her for the next few weeks. It’s been all over the television . . . but you wouldn’t know that since you haven’t been around.”
He didn’t argue that he probably wouldn’t have known about Sierra and her movie even if he had been around. If Rick wasn’t Darci’s brother, and Darci wasn’t Ali’s best friend, Sierra Cox wouldn’t even be on Jon’s radar.
He honestly couldn’t give a shit where Rick was at the moment. All he could focus on was that she was leaving for some reason he couldn’t even begin to guess. “Ali, I don’t want you to go. Can’t we talk about this?”
Dry-eyed now, she just shook her head. “I’m not sure you know what you want, Jon.”
There was no anger in the statement. Just resignation.
Jon would rather she yell at him. Rant. Throw things.
At least that would show some passion and make him feel as if she cared. Not like this new freakish calm that had settled over her as she grabbed her purse and walked out the door and out of his life.