From the author of Welcome to Forever (“Full of heart and emotion!”—Lori Wilde) comes a sweet, sexy novel about breaking all the rules. In Seaside, North Carolina, the boys on the base are heroes—but that doesn’t mean they’re always well-behaved. As a preacher’s daughter, Valerie Hunt only dates the very respectable, very boring men who meet her father’s strict standards. In private, however, she leads a double life as a romance writer of steamy stories about the least respectable sorts of men. Valerie has always kept her hottest fantasies separate from her real life, but when she nearly runs a hot-blooded biker off the road, the lines begin to blur. Even though Valerie almost killed him, Griffin Black can’t be angry after he learns the reason for her distracted driving: an unruly puppy belonging to her ailing friend. As a member of the military police K-9 unit, Griffin insists on training the dog himself. But he soon wonders how he’s ever going to stay disciplined around the most alluring, down-to-earth, and totally unattainable woman he’s ever met. Valerie is the ultimate good girl. And Griffin is going to need all his old tricks to unleash her wild side.
"Enjoy the fun and try not to fall for Griffin...it appears he's already taken." - Reviews from the Heart
"this story captured my heart and left me enamored." - Books and Spoons Blog
"Welcoming the Bad Boy had me hooked from the start!" - Pink Lace & Silver Buckles Book Review Blog
"The chemistry between these two was amazing to read" - Sassy Moms Say Read Romance
"Readers (and dog lovers!) who like their romance on the sweet and light side will love this one." - Girl Plus Books
"The read was light, fast, sweet, and hit the spot for the lazy day that I turned it into." - The Book Junkie
Thunder cracked and Trooper nudged closer to Griffin’s leg. “Is he afraid of thunder?” Val asked, glancing over at her small, wimpy dog in comparison, who seemed unconcerned with the noise.
“Spooked by loud, unexpected noises. Being deployed in a war zone does that to us all. I have a compression jacket for him at my place. It helps a lot during storms.” He petted Trooper’s head and whispered calming affirmations. The dog seemed to melt into his leg.
Val wanted to melt into his leg right now, too. “Anything I can do for him?” she asked.
Griffin had his arms around Trooper now, hugging him tightly. “Do you have any heavy blankets? The deep pressure is what helps him relax.”
“Sure.” She headed back through the house. She had a stack of heavy quilts in her bedroom closet. A moment later she returned to the living room holding one. “Here you go.”
Griffin took it and nudged Trooper to lay down. Keeping it folded in half, he laid it over the dog’s body. “He should be relaxed in about five minutes. No way I can take him outside until the storm is over, though.”
“Of course.” Val nodded. The only thing she’d be doing if they left was write, which she needed to be doing. After seeing Griffin with his shirt off, she was sure she could muster up some romantic scenes for her novel tonight.
She walked over to the couch and sat, letting Sweet Cheeks pounce on her thigh. Griffin’s gaze was heavy on her, watching her across the dimly lit living room. The rain pelted the roof all around them as they waited for the next boom of thunder. “Trooper’s been through a lot, huh?” she asked, not knowing what else to say.
“More than most dogs.” He nodded.
She took that to mean the same of Griffin. He’d been through a lot, too. She was sure some of those experiences were tattooed on him somewhere, which made her mind wonder where. She wanted to locate every memory that he had scribed on his body in ink. After a moment, Griffin stood, leaving Trooper lying with his eyes closed on the floor.
“I really hope there’s no more thunder,” he whispered, sitting beside her. He had to sit close so that they could whisper and still hear one another over the symphony of rain.
Val angled her body toward him. “What should we do now?” she asked, her voice coming out huskier than she’d intended. She swallowed hard.
Griffin removed Sweet Cheeks from her lap and laid the little pup gently on the floor. “I have a few ideas.”
Val’s breath hitched in her chest, seeing the way he was looking at her. He was looking at her like a man who wanted to kiss her. His gaze dropped to her mouth, which opened for him. Traitorous mouth. Not that she didn’t want to kiss him. Kissing Griffin would feel good. Her gaze ran over the side of his cheek where he had new growth of hair. It was sexy and she wanted to feel it scraping against her own cheek. She inhaled deeply, waiting for thunder or a kiss.
He leaned closer, his hand bracing the weight of his body on the couch’s armrest behind her.
“Do you want to hear my ideas?” he asked, hovering only a couple inches from her face.
Her heart boomed louder than any thunder outside. Boom, boom, boom. “Okay,” she said. “Or you could just show me.”
A small smile lined his glorious mouth. “Talking about it increases the anticipation. It’s like when your parents take you to the fair. You’ve spent half the week talking about it, so when you finally get there it’s the most wonderful place on earth.”
With each word he seemed to lean closer until his body was touching hers. She was starting to wonder if they were talking about the same thing. Maybe her warped mind only went to kisses and touching now. Maybe he was just talking about training dogs. “The fair,” she repeated, meeting his dark, heated gaze.
“The fair,” he whispered back, finally leaning in and touching his lips to hers.
She latched onto his shirt, pulling herself into him hungrily. As she did, her mouth opened, inviting him where no one had been in a very long time. It was just a kiss, but her body had geared up to offer a full invitation.
His tongue swiped against hers, once, twice. She ran her hands down the sides of his chest, a little moan emitting from deep inside her. He leaned forward until she was laid back against the armrest and he was holding himself over her, pressing his body into hers. It was hard to think. Her mind had slipped off somewhere into the distance and her body was in control. Except she felt out of control suddenly. He kissed the corner of her mouth, trailing his way down along her jawline, the side of her neck. Val closed her eyes, savoring the feel of him on her skin. It was wrong and very, very right all at once. She arched as his hands trailed along her ticklish sides. The movement sent her parts flush with his, and oh, love, his parts had an invitation of their own.
Her eyes flew open, meeting his. “Griffin,” she uttered, unsure of what her next word would be.
And then a crack of thunder shook her little apartment.