The guys in STUD take some kidding about the name of their Special Ops group. Actually, the teasing is well-deserved. STUD special ops warriors are drawn from the ranks of SEALs. They’re hard-bodied, tough, smart—and incredibly hot. Women hit on them all the time.
Declan Sanchez is a STUD warrior. At six feet two inches he has the black-as-midnight eyes of his Colombian father and the chestnut-shot-with-gold hair of his Irish-American mother. Dec is gorgeous. He’s a man who always goes after what he wants—and gets it.
Annie Stanton is a petite, hazel-eyed brunette. She’s beautiful, shy and she’s also the first woman Dec has ever wanted and not bedded. Annie wants him too. He knows that. But she’s inexperienced and he senses that rushing her would be a mistake. That’s okay. He’ll wait. He’ll do anything for the woman he’s starting to think of as his Annie.
Then, without warning, Annie disappears from Dec’s life. The next time he sees her is at the wedding of STUD Chay Olivieri—except she isn’t Annie Stanton anymore. She’s Princess Anoushka of the Kingdom of Qaram. Dec is furious at how she’d deceived him. He’s determined to forget her, but that’s hard to do—especially when, weeks later, it turns out that the only man who can save Annie from becoming the unwilling bride of a brutal dictator is Lieutenant Declan Sanchez and a raiding party of tough, combat-hardened STUDs.
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About the Author:
I've been a writer, one way or another, all my life. Before I could read, I made up poems and my mom wrote them down for me. In elementary school, my teachers almost always let me write poems or stories instead of requiring me to do art projects. Always, I dreamed of becoming a published writer...and that dream came true! I write novels about sexy, powerful men and independent-minded women, and what happens when they find each other and fall in love. My books are sexy and romantic, and they've very often full of romantic suspense. I write the kinds of books I love to read, and I hope that makes my readers happy.
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Dec ran to where he’d left Annie and scooped her into his arms.
She buried her face against his throat. Her face, her body were hot. His heart thundered. Even her breath felt hot.
Quickly, he carried her to the boulders and sat her behind them.
“Annie. You’re going to stay right here. No matter what you hear, what you see, you’re not to leave this place. Understand?”
“Yes.” Tears glittered in her eyes. “I’m sorry. So sorry.”
He crouched down and clasped her hands. “For what? There’s nothing to be sorry for.”
“So much trouble…”
“Trouble? You? You’re never been trouble, Anoushka. Never.”
“Are they coming?”
He wanted to lie. No, he’d say, they’re not. We’re just going to wait here for our ride home…
Instead, he let go of her hands and cupped her face . “Yes,” he said bluntly. “But they’re not going to get you.”
“Who is it? Which of them is coming for us?”
Dec hesitated. “Amjad.”
A tremor went through her. “He’ll kill you,” she whispered.
“Kill me?” He forced a laugh. “Hell, sweetheart, tougher bastards than a guy with a lice-infested beard have tried to kill me. And I’m still here.”
“I love you, Declan. I love you, love you, love—”
He kissed her with a hunger that was soul-deep. How could he have ever thought she’d willingly left him? He should have searched for her even it meant going to the ends of the universe.
“We’re going to get through this, honey. We have a lifetime to spend together. I won’t let anybody take that from us.”
“I know you’ll do everything you can to save us.” She drew an unsteady breath. “But if—if things should go wrong.…”
She was right. Things could go wrong. It would be stupid not to acknowledge that.
Dec took his Glock from its holster and put on the ground next to her.
“Remember the trigger safety,” he said, looking straight into her eyes. “Pull, then fire.”
Annie was crying. “I know,” she whispered.
“Don’t use the gun except to defend yourself.” He paused, knowing his next words would be the most difficult he’d ever spoken. “And only, only if you know there’s no choice left, if I’m down and you’re absolutely certain that everything is lost…”
His heart rose into his throat. There was no mistaking the throaty growl of Amjad’s oncoming vehicles.
“Annie. It’s time. Get down. Stay down. And never forget that I love you.” Annie flung herself into his arms for one last kiss. It tasted of dreams and despair, of hope and sorrow, of a love that would last through eternity.
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