Semper Paratus. Always ready.
HIS LAST DEFENSE
Released March 21, 2017
Semper Paratus. Always ready.
Years ago, Coast Guard rescue swimmer Dylan Holt left Kodiak, Alaska, with his heart in pieces. He thought Nolee Arnauyq and her mouthwatering curves were behind him—until he's sent to rescue the crew of a capsizing boat…including Nolee. And Dylan is definitely not ready for the too-familiar way his body aches at seeing her again.
Nolee's always gone after what she wanted, and to hell with the risks. Now she's a rookie ship captain taking on the deadly waters of the Bering Sea. But out on these treacherous waters, there's no way to avoid the sizzling sexual tension between them—or the dangerous pull of emotions that could leave both their hearts lost at sea…
At a knock on her door, Nolee froze. The ship seemed to be running smoothly. She’d already dealt with her crew crisis. So now what?
She scrambled to her feet. “Who is it?” she called through the door.
Her heart hammered as if clamoring to be heard. “Oh. I’m—uh—sleeping.”
A pause. Then a low chuckle drifted through the panel. It moved through her body, melting her insides. “So that makes me a dream?”
The corners of her mouth lifted. Oh, yes. A very naughty one if it were true… She’d had quite a few lately that’d begun exactly like this, starring PO1 Dylan Holt.
“What’s up?” she squeaked, then cleared her throat. Tried again. “What can I do for you?”
There. Less pirate wench. More captain of the Bering Sea.
“We need to talk.”
She looked around her small stateroom. The V-shaped bed dominated the space that held only crammed shelves and a narrow bureau. A small door led to her private bathroom and shower.
Much, much too intimate.
“Isn’t that something only women say?” she tried to joke, her voice catching, running out of air.
“I’m in touch with my feminine side,” he protested in a very deep, very manly growl.
She laughed. “Yeah. Right. Listen. How about in the morning? We can—”
“I want to say I’m sorry, Nolee.”
Whoa. Not what she expected at all. Faintness stole over her, and suddenly she couldn’t feel her feet.
She yanked open the door before she could weigh the action. Dylan leaned against the jamb, filling the doorframe. His evergreen eyes burned dark in the dim light.
Her throat swelled. Desire pulsed between her thighs as his gaze dropped to her feet then slid upward. The slow, sexy perusal made her acutely aware that she wore only a wash-shrunken tank top and boy shorts. Her toes curled.
The front of her shirt peaked over her beading nipples.
And the sight of him.
He was magnificent.
His bronze shoulders and defined abs, the ridges visible through the tight, thin material of his white tank, could have leaped off an action film screen. Or a televised MMA fight. No wonder he had won medals, saved countless lives. With a physique like that, he looked invincible.
A force unto himself.
Her body buzzed with hunger.
She needed to shut the door on him.
Award-winning author Karen Rock is both sweet and spicy—at least when it comes to her writing! The author of both YA and adult contemporary books writes red-hot novels for Harlequin Blaze and small-town romances for Harlequin Heartwarming. A strong believer in Happily-Ever-After, Karen loves creating unforgettable stories that leave her readers with a smile. When she’s not writing, Karen is an avid reader who’s typically immersed in three different books at a time, all in different genres. She also loves cooking her grandmother’s Italian recipes, baking, Christmas (no need to specify—she loves every bit of it), and having the Adirondack Park wilderness as her backyard, where she lives with her husband, daughter, dog and cat who keep her life interesting and complete. Learn more about her at her website.