The Special Ops Heroes of My Military Romantic Suspense Series Back to Blog
Update: Kaylea’s winners are: Larena Wirum, Stacey Smith and Sue Brandes. Congratulations, ladies!
A big thanks to Cynthia for having me here today! I’m Kaylea Cross, and I write military romantic suspense featuring yummy alpha male heroes. I love researching their military training, and I love putting them in dangerous situations. What makes them yummy? Well, they’re all hot, for one thing. But they also ooze the kind of masculine confidence guaranteed to make a woman’s toes curl in her shoes. Whatever the situation confronting them, they’ll handle it. No matter what. And when a man like that gets all protective of one of my heroines and lets her see his softer side as he starts to fall for her…oh yeah, baby. Fireworks.
Blurb: Targeted by a terrorist cell, Bryn McAllister survives a bombing at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut only to be left to die in a desert cellar. When she is rescued by Navy SEAL Lieutenant Declan McCabe and his team, Bryn must rely on the handsome officer to get her to safety. But just when she thinks the nightmare is over, family friend and legendary CIA operative Luke Hutchinson recruits her and McCabe to help track down the terrorist mastermind responsible for the attack.
With Bryn determined to see the terrorist brought to justice, Dec joins up to protect her, prepared to do whatever it takes to keep her safe during their dangerous mission. Battling the explosive attraction between them, Dec fights to keep his distance from her so he can do his job and keep her alive. But when plans falls apart and Bryn is captured, he must make the agonizing choice between his duty as a SEAL and the life of the woman he loves.
When Dec knocked on Bryn’s door, she didn’t answer. After calling her name and waiting a few seconds, he figured she must still be in the bathroom and used her extra key. The shower was running behind the closed ensuite door. How long had she been in there now? Long enough to have a good cry by herself.
He knocked. “Bryn, you okay in there?”
She didn’t sound fine, but he’d give her some more time. Four minutes passed, then five, and still the water ran. “Bryn, say something.”
“I’m f-fine,” she repeated.
More time passed, and with each minute, his tension levels increased until his gut was tied in knots. “All right, that’s it. I’m coming in,” he warned, and jimmied the lock free. A cloud of steam hit him, thick and humid as it wafted from behind the shower curtain. She didn’t say a word, didn’t give the slightest indication she was aware he’d intruded on her privacy. “Bryn, tell me you’re okay at least.”
The hell she was. He covered the four steps to the bathtub and gripped the edge of the plastic curtain. When she made no objection he grew really worried and pulled it aside to peek in.
She huddled in the tub, fully clothed, directly under the spray of scalding water. Her dark eyes were haunted as she gazed up at him, arms wrapped around herself, shaking, her hair plastered to her skull. “I’m fine. J-just cold.”
Something twisted in his chest, as though a giant fist had reached in and squeezed his heart. “Baby,” he whispered. Unlacing his boots, he tossed them aside and climbed in beside her, fully clothed, squeezing against the wall to pull her into his arms. She burrowed into him like a frightened child waking from a nightmare. Only she hadn’t been dreaming.
Heart aching for her, he held her tight, her shivers wracking them. The water beat down on them and he bent over her, sheltering her from the full brunt. Her fingers curled into his wet shirt. Her face pressed against the base of his throat, warm breath washing over his sensitized skin. He stroked one hand down her hair and the length of her spine, marveling at how perfectly she fit against him. She calmed, her breathing becoming slow and even, the convulsive shudders subsiding. Then she sighed and leaned her weight against him as though content to remain in his arms under the cooling flow of water. His body, however, was raging hot. If he didn’t put some distance between them soon, he wasn’t sure he could hold back.
“Better now? Want me to order us some food while you get out of these wet clothes?”
“Okay.” But she didn’t move. In fact, she didn’t seem in a hurry to go anywhere. She turned her face into his neck and nuzzled him, setting every nerve ending on fire. Her lips touched a kiss under his ear, making his growing erection jerk. Not good.
He set her away from him, surging to his feet and grabbing a towel to drape around her. “I’ll let you dry yourself off,” he blurted, snagging another towel for himself, stripping off his soaked t-shirt and tossing it in the sink on his way out. When he shut the door behind him, he leaned against it and took a deep breath, scrubbed a hand over his face. God. Another second in there with her and it would have been too late. As it was, his hand was shaking as he picked up the phone and dialed room service.
He rubbed the towel over his hair, peeled off his jeans and underwear, then wrapped the towel around his waist, flopping down on the bed while he waited to place his order. Bryn wasn’t thinking straight right now, he reminded himself. She needed soothing, to feel safe and protected, and she needed sleep. Shoving her down onto the mattress and getting inside her as deep as he could get wasn’t going to help matters.
Maybe something light to eat, fruit and cheese and bread or something, to settle her stomach and help her unwind. He’d have to check out some of the more serious cuts and scrapes she’d suffered, too. Maybe rub her neck for a while. Then he’d tuck the covers around her and stay while she slept, so she wouldn’t be alone. In case she had nightmares. He knew how much of a bitch flashbacks could be.
Still on hold, he turned his head at the sound of the bathroom door opening, and the air sucked right out of his lungs. Bryn stood, backlit in the doorway, stark naked, every gorgeous line of her body silhouetted in eye-popping relief. Her black gaze stroked over him like a caress, bold and possessive as she crossed the room toward him in a movement he could only describe as a prowl. His penis leapt to urgent attention.
A voice came on the other end of the line, but Dec didn’t hear a thing besides the roaring in his ears. He dropped the receiver into the cradle with a clack, his heart thudding against his ribs.
Oh, shit. He was so screwed.
*end of excerpt*
Blurb:CIA communications expert Samarra Wallace is on the run from a faceless enemy when she learns terrorists have kidnapped and threatened to execute her cousin. She will do whatever it takes to free her, including breaking cover to contact the former teammate she is dangerously attracted to. Now all she has to do is convince him she’s not working for the bad guys.
Ex-Army Ranger Ben Sinclair isn’t sure he can trust Sam, but he can’t turn her away. Lives are at stake and she may be the only way to capture the terrorist mastermind his team is hunting. Despite his reservations, he finds himself falling for her. But when Sam’s innocence is questioned again during a botched operation in the remote mountains of Afghanistan, the team pays a terrible price for trusting her. In the wake of that staggering betrayal Ben must decide if she’s the innocent woman he fell in love with, or if she’s a traitor who’d set them up to die.
Ben’s heart squeezed. Sam needed comforting, but given what they’d just gone through and the fact they were alone, he should put some distance between them now, before the temptation to go further overwhelmed his good intentions. But when she wrapped both arms around his neck and trembled, he didn’t have the heart to push her away. Instead, he returned the embrace, locking his arms around her back to let her take whatever solace she could from him. God knew, he needed it as much as she did.
“Tighter,” she croaked.
Ah, sweetheart. Upping the pressure, he closed his eyes. As he held her, what started out as an attempt to comfort her began to soothe him as well. She did that to him. With her warm weight settled in his lap and her heart beating against his, some of the tension melted out of his muscles. Sam burrowed in even closer with a shuddering sigh and laid her cheek on his chest, her arms straining to hold him tight.
He turned them, shifting on the couch so he was stretched out the length of it and she followed him down to lie grafted to his side, her face turned toward the laptop. His body reacted instantly to the feel of her thigh draped across his groin but he did his best not to react any more than that, focusing hard on the batter taking a ball inside to make it full count in the bottom of the fourth. If Sam noticed his erection, she didn’t show it. She pulled in a few deep, slow breaths and released them, growing pliant in his arms as he continued the gentle caresses over her hair and back. Damn, she felt good.
Way too good.
As thought reading his thoughts, she lifted her head and looked at him.
He strove for something light to say, anything to maintain a sense of normalcy. “Better?”
Her thigh came up to tuck between his, pressing against the aching length of him. He sucked back a moan. Her red-rimmed eyes darkened with longing before dropping to his mouth, inches beneath hers.
Shit. He wanted her so bad he didn’t know if he could say no if she started anything, and knew for sure he wouldn’t be able to stop once it did.
She met his gaze again, and surprised him by asking, “Why did you stay, Ben?”
His hand ceased its rhythmic motion on her back. “What do you mean?”
“You know what I mean. Before.” She settled more fully atop him, making his hands bite into her waist to hold her still. “You would have died with me if Luke hadn’t disabled the bomb.”
Swallowing, he fought not to kiss her. He wanted in her, even if it was only his tongue in her mouth. “But we didn’t. And there’s no way I could have walked away and let you face that alone.” As it was, he’d remember the terror on her face until the day he died.
She pressed her lips together a moment, as though fighting not to cry. “Thank you,” she whispered.
Ah, damn. “Anytime.”
She laid her palms against his bearded cheeks, freezing him. His heart started a slow thud. He had plenty of time to avoid the kiss he knew was coming, but couldn’t make himself move. Her lashes lowered as she dipped her head toward him, and he even raised his head to meet the brush of her lips against his.
The sweet contact hit him like a fist, had him opening to the tentative caress of her tongue and winding his hands into her thick hair to hold her closer. She surrounded him with her warmth, following as he dropped his head back against the cushion, her lips gentle as she explored him, the glide of her tongue erotic as hell. She gave a soft murmur and moved deeper, gaining confidence with each slow twirl. When her luscious breasts pressed against the wall of his chest, he groaned and arched his back, helpless to stop as pleasure swamped him. One of his hands went down her back to grasp her butt, holding her tight against the aching length of him, ready to burst at the thought of pushing into her.
*end of excerpt*
Blurb: Former Delta Force operator Rhys Sinclair defied the odds by recovering from a traumatic brain injury that should have killed him. Given the chance to repay the beautiful doctor who saved his life by guarding hers, he can’t say no–even if it means facing an unknown threat from the cunning terrorist his CIA-sanctioned team had been hunting in Afghanistan. The catch is, she can’t know about it without blowing their cover.
Trauma surgeon Neveah Adams is finally putting her life back together after her horrific experience in Afghanistan. Giving the keynote speech at a medical conference in Vancouver is her starting point. With Rhys there to watch over her she feels safe for the first time in months, and her biggest problem is trying to hide her intense feelings for him.
But Rhys knows something Neveah doesn’t. The terrorist who targeted her in Kabul is coming after her again, and he’s relentless enough to ensure all his past mistakes are erased with one final strike. Now that the nightmare from her past has resurfaced, Neveah has no choice but to put her trust in the one man who has the ability to break her heart, never knowing an assassin is closer than they realize.
“Damn it,” Rhys muttered, coming off the couch. Her eyes widened and she backed up a step, but he kept going. “You’re not listening to me—I don’t want an apology.” Reaching out, he took hold of her upper arms and pulled her until her breasts brushed his chest.
Neveah’s eyes were huge as she gazed up at him. “What—what do you want?”
More than he’d ever imagined wanting. He had no clue what to do with his feelings for her, but all he knew was they were getting stronger and weren’t going to go away. This was a whole new world of unknowns. “You had every reason in the world to go back to New York and put everything behind you, but you stayed. Not even to be with Sam, but for me.” His eyes bored into hers, refusing to let her shrink away from the truth. “Tell me why you did it.”
“I…” She licked her lips, staring up into his eyes.
“Because you operated on me? You felt responsible for me? What?”
“A-all those things,” she whispered, then hesitated and bit her lip to keep from continuing.
“So that’s it?” He was ready to explode.
“You know it’s not.”
Yeah, but he wanted her to say it out loud so he knew he had it right. “Tell me.”
She broke eye contact and stared into the base of his throat. “Because of my personal…attachment to you.”
The whispered admission knocked the breath out of his lungs. “Nev. Look at me.”
She hesitated, but then raised her head. Her eyes were wide and her heart was thudding hard against his chest. Was she actually afraid that he’d reject her or something? That he’d laugh at her?
He shouldn’t touch her at all, but they were way past that now, and he couldn’t keep pretending he didn’t need this as much as she seemed to. It didn’t matter that everything between them had been forged out of dramatic and emotionally charged circumstances that were no basis for a relationship. It didn’t even matter than he wasn’t good enough for her or that he’d never been in a serious relationship before. All he knew was she was there in front of him with her heart in her big blue eyes and he was going to die if he didn’t kiss her.
Moving slow so he wouldn’t startle her, he took her delicate face in his hands. Nev was subconsciously wary of him, so he had to be careful not to crowd her. Keeping that firmly in mind, he leaned down to kiss her. Her sharply indrawn breath was her only protest as he brought his mouth to hers. A quiet brushing of lips, to let her know that no matter how much he wanted her, he had complete control over his strength and would be gentle with her. In response, Nev slid her arms around his neck and returned the kiss, her lips soft and warm, tasting of spearmint as he slid his tongue inside to stroke hers.
She let out a breathless moan and wiggled closer, setting him completely on fire with the way her firm body pressed full length against him, soft breasts pushed against his chest and one knee sliding between his, not touching his groin, but close enough to have him rock hard in his dress pants. And aching to pull up her dress, unzip his fly and push into her.
His arms went around her back, one hand coasting up her spine to cradle the back of her head in his palm to hold her as close as he could. The heavy weight of her thick, shiny hair spilled over his arms and shoulders, enveloping him in a luscious, scented cloud. His starved senses feasted on the sensory input. God, he’d been empty and cold for so long… And Neveah was the heat he needed to melt the core of ice inside him. The strength of that need shocked him.
Her fingers crept up to cradle his head as she angled her mouth for deeper contact, caressing the sensitive inside of his mouth. Her fresh, lemony scent enveloped him, swirling through his consciousness in another layer of sensation. She smelled good enough to take a bite out of.
Tamping down his rising hunger, he took a little more, still in control of his needs. But the beast was there inside him, prowling restlessly. Her mouth was so soft and inviting, the little moans coming from her throat turning his muscles to steel. The dark part of his nature wanted to push her onto her back on the floor and completely dominate her with his power.
He wanted to watch her eyes flare with arousal and the tiniest bit of hesitance as she realized how helpless she was, then take her apart with a well executed seduction campaign that left her writhing and begging him to take her. And then, when she was twisting beneath him and blind with pleasure, he’d take her hard and deep until she came over and over again. Christ, he could see it happening in his mind as he kissed her, fighting to stay mellow and be a gentleman.
Neveah arched her back and pressed her breasts into his chest, moaning as she rubbed against him with a feline motion of enjoyment.
God. Rhys tightened his hold on her hair and clamped down on his baser needs to pin her flat beneath his weight. Just kissing her was the most erotic experience of his life, but the driving need to dominate kept getting in the way. It scared him. He didn’t want to do anything to frighten her or destroy the fragile trust she had in him, but if they kept this up he wasn’t sure he could hold on. She awakened needs in him that no one else ever had. With Nev, he wanted more than he’d ever wanted before. He wanted to possess her. Literally, and with a power that shocked him. He wanted her submission and her surrender, her passion. God dammit, he wanted her soul.
Shaken, Rhys disengaged gently and moved back, gritting his teeth at the way she whimpered and reached for him. Wanting more. He closed his eyes. That’s what he wanted; for her to need him with every cell in her being, and for her to feel empty without his touch.
What kind of a selfish bastard was he, to want that from her?
He sucked in a breath when she ignored the gentle pressure of his hands in her hair, holding her away, and leaned in to set her lips against his throat. Her tongue flicked out to tease his skin, making his fists tighten in her hair. She had no clue what she was doing to him. No idea what he wanted to do to her or how close to the edge of his control he was. Or what would happen if that darker side won out.
*End of excerpt*
Well? Do you have a favorite yet?
Contest:I’m going to pick a winner from the commenters here, and I’ll send you a digital or print copy of the book that intrigues you most. So now I’m all ears. Which hero do you think is yummiest so far, and why?
Kaylea Cross bio: Kaylea is an award winning author of romantic suspense. She loves military alpha male heroes, dark chocolate, the Civil War, gardening, belly dancing, softball and the Boston Red Sox. (Well okay, mostly Jason Varitek, but only because catchers are sooo sexy!) Come visit me at www.kayleacross.com or my blog, www.kayleacross.blogspot.com.