August Cotton shouldn’t be here. When a tragic accident calls him home to Magnolia Springs, this returned Veteran adds his parents to the list of things he’s lost in recent years, right along with his IED detection dog and his left leg. As the sole guardian of his four-year-old sister, August must rely on his Marine training in raising a tiny hellion who’s as stubborn as he is. But the Corps could never prepare him for this. Nor could they prepare him for Olivia Anders, a woman who’ll stop at nothing to get her way.
As owner of Paws for Cause, Olivia is no stranger to the broken men and women who return home from war. She’s no stranger to broken dogs either. In fact, she’s made it her mission to pair the two and enrich both of their lives, but pairing ornery and aloof August Cotton will take some work. The last thing August wants is some pushy southern woman occupying his parents’ bed and breakfast and forcing him to open up about the hell he narrowly escaped, but that’s exactly what Olivia intends.
They complete one another, and yet they can’t stand to be in the same room.
Can Olivia make this hardened Marine feel again and finally show his heart the way back home?
*** Intended for a mature 18+ audience only. This book may contain triggers for some readers.
“You know, if you want to see me naked and sweaty, all you have to do is ask, darlin’.”
“I do not . . . I wasn’t . . .” My words are stolen from me as he stalks forward with a maddening smirk on his face. “What are you doing?”
“Getting tired of waiting for you to be okay with this.”
“August, we talked about boundaries.” I press my hand to his chest because he’s too close, and I can’t think straight with the heady scent of his sweat and sandalwood soap distracting me. It wasn’t my intention to run my hand over that sweat, to feel the hard-won muscle beneath, but here I am, petting him as if he’s my favorite kitty.
“No. You talked about boundaries. I told you I was gonna fight, and I ain’t above fightin’ dirty.”
“How dirty?” I breathe.
August’s lips curl up into a smile. “So dirty.”
Both hands snake around my waist and he lifts me onto the counter, wedging his hips between my thighs. He hooks a finger in the sash and unties my robe as if he were opening a gift made just for him. I wrap my legs around his hips to pull him closer, and that’s all the admission he needs. He threads a hand through my hair and pulls my neck back to expose the tender flesh to his mouth. I close my eyes and whisper his name as my whole body turns to flame, starved for the oxygen that only his touch can bring. His hot mouth trails down my neck, his hands cup my breasts, squeezing, kneading, and I slide a hand between us, into the waistband of his shorts. I take his hard length in my hand, stroking him from base to tip. August grunts as he pushes my negligee out of the way with frenzied hands. His fingers find me bare and exposed with no panties.
“So fucking’ dirty,” he groans, wetting his lips.
A tattoo enthusiast, hardcore makeup addict and zombie fangirl, Carmen lives on the sunny North Coast of New South Wales, Australia, where she spends her time indoors wrangling her two wildling children, a dog named Pikelet, and her very own man-child.
A romantic at heart, Carmen strives to give her characters the HEA they deserve, but not before ruining their lives completely first … because what’s a happily ever after without a little torture?
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