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He wasn’t looking for a commitment…
Sgt. Dean Sparks is used to keeping women at a distance, and yet he can’t resist Violet’s snapping wit or smile. So when he suggests a friends-with-benefits arrangement, it seems like the perfect solution to their undeniable attraction. No emotional entanglement, just mind-blowing sex.
But with their lives becoming more and more entwined, Dean realizes that casual isn't enough for him anymore. And as Violet finds herself leaning on Dean in a way she never has, will her fears put more distance between them? Or can she let go of the past, and take a chance on happily ever after?
Between work, taking care of her siblings, and going to school Violet Douglas's plate is pretty full, she doesn't have time for romantic relationships and her social life is almost non-existent... but she wouldn't have it any other way! She doesn't have the time or space needed in her life for another person, but that doesn't stop her from occasionally dreaming of forever. The minute she took over caring for her siblings her forever was placed on hold indefinitely, so now she just has to settle for an occasional hook-up here and there to tide her over until it's time to finally find her forever. When she agrees to attend a concert with her best friend she is looking forward to finally letting loose, and having the freedom to just be herself for one night and if she finds a male companion for the night then so be it! She was ready for anything, but nothing could have prepared her for meeting the slightly irritating, but OH SO SEXY Sargent Dean Sparks!
After finishing the first book in this series I was left dying to get my hands on the next and have the opportunity to get up close and personal with another one of Ms. Gary's Heroes... and I have to say meeting Sargent Sparks DEFINITELY made up for the wait!! The minute this brooding, sexy soldier walked onto to the pages I was hypnotized by his charisma, smooth one liners, and fierce protective nature, and he managed to keep me under his spell long after the last page was swiped!! There is just something so sexy, and admirable about a take charge alpha that has his woman's best interests at heart and will stop at nothing to make her happy, and see to it that she gets everything she deserves and Mr. Sparks was nothing short of amazing when it came to caring for Violet. Even though she was adamant that she could do things on her own, he found a way to help her out, and be her saving grace without making her feel like less of a woman, and that is one thing I loved about him the most!
I have to say that there isn't a single thing about this story that I didn't absolutely love, it shined a light the importance of being an independent woman, embracing your inner strength and knowing that even though you are capable of standing on your own to feet, sometimes it's okay to let someone else take lead once in a while too!! Ms. Gary has totally outdone herself with this one... it is one of the best reads I have had the pleasure of devouring this year, and I HIGHLY recommend you make a point to read this book...it is inspiring, heartwarming, and truly spellbinding!!
ARC requested through Edelweiss, and kindly provided by Avon Impulse Publishing in exchange for a honest and unbiased review.
Dean’s eyes narrowed and glittered. “You don’t know me well enough to screw with me. I might be dangerous.”
For a half a second, his words kick-started Violet’s heart rate. He was right about that, and he definitely had the guns to twist her head off with one jerk.
“Are you?” she asked.
He leaned over her slowly, and she stiffened, her body screaming to step back.
“No, I’m not.”
His soft words sank in, and she let out a huge breathless laugh. “That’s not something you should joke about.”
“Hey, you were messing with me first.”
And now the heat radiating off his body was screwing with her senses, drawing her closer to him. The light scent of cologne drifted up, and she had the craziest urge to press her nose against his chest and get a better sniff. Violet caught herself in the nick of time, knowing that there was no coming back from that.
“I wasn’t threatening and trying to intimidate you with my very presence. I don’t know who told you that you were a funny guy, but you aren’t. At all.”
“You’re right, it was a bad joke,” he said. “I’m not really used to being around civilized company. Most days, I just hang with this guy”—Dean pointed at Tyler—“and a bunch of other dudes who think I’m hysterical.”
“Are you the boss?” she asked.
“Then they really don’t think you’re funny, they are just lying because they don’t want to get fired.”
She said it all with a straight face and was secretly delighted when he chuckled. He was close enough still that the rise of his chest was only a few inches from her, and her gaze was drawn to the definition of his muscles through his T-shirt.
Geez, was she really so desperate that she was willing to hook up with a jerk with a weird sense of humor? She waited for her subconscious to give her a definite hell no, but apparently, the jury in her head was still deliberating.
“We don’t really get fired from the military, unless we are suddenly unable to do the job.”
“Well, regardless, if that’s a sample of your humor, you need to watch some comedy. And not dark comedy like The Cable Guy or The Ladykillers.” Violet glanced over at Tracy and Tyler, who were still nursing their beers. She was running out of witty things to say to Dean and wouldn’t mind another drink in her system, but waiting on Tyler to buy another round was slow going.
Besides, it wasn’t like she couldn’t buy her own alcohol. Especially if it was something other than hops.
“I’m going to grab another drink. You want one?”
“I’ll come with you and get one myself.” He drained the remainder of his plastic cup, and she sighed in exasperation.
“It’s a beer, not a proposal. You can grab the next round.” Violet tapped Tracy and Tyler on the shoulders. “Another?”
“Sure, thanks,” Tyler said.
Tracy nodded and mouthed, Isn’t he hot?
Violet answered with a large smile, although he wasn’t in her opinion. No, she preferred her men with dark eyes and no manners, apparently.
Except maybe the rudeness was an act. For a second there, she’d thought Dean might have a sense of humor. Granted, a dark and twisty sense of humor, but she liked that.
Maybe he wasn’t a total loss. He might be suffering the effects of a bad breakup, and saw all women as the enemy.
Or you’ve been watching too many Hallmark Channel movies.
She could take the pressure off, give him notice that she wasn’t looking for a boyfriend. Boyfriends were just one more thing to add to her ever-growing list of responsibilities; they were time consuming, needy, and the last thing she wanted was to put one more person’s needs before her own.
As she grabbed their empty cups, saving Dean’s for last, she looked up at him from beneath her lashes and went for broke.
“By the way . . . I wasn’t looking for a date.”