Authors: Melissa Schroeder
Tags: #interracial romance, #romance adult, #romance erotic, #Romance, #harmless, #romance between friends, #wwbm, #melissa schroeder, #a little harmless military romance, #military romance, #multicultural romance
To claim the woman he loves, he will have to be the Dom she desires.
Navy Seal Malachai Dupree has everything a man could want. Well, not everything. The one woman he wants is too innocent for his Dominant needs, so he plays the role of supportive friend even if it kills him.
Amanda Forrester is tired of being treated as if she were fragile. She might have been through a rough patch losing her husband in the line of duty, but she is not a wimp. Her feelings for Mal have grown and she is more than ready to be the woman he needs in and out of the bedroom.
One night she pushes him too far and the result is more than either of them ever expected. Mal wants forever, but after losing one husband, commitment isn’t in Amanda’s vocabulary. What she doesn’t realize is that Mal is one Seal who isn’t backing down until he gets exactly what he wants: Amanda’s total submission.
WARNING, the following book contains: Sexy Navy Seals, a stubborn woman, and of course, a little submission. This book has one of those hot Duprees, so you know that you will need a glass of water to cool off. Every
will tell you that reading a Harmless book is anything BUT harmless—so read at your own risk.
To my husband Les. After twenty years of marriage you still make my knees go weak with just a kiss. Thank you for loving me the way I am.
Again, seriously, you all know I could not do any of this without help. This marks the sixth new book from Melissa Schroeder Publishing and I am pleased that so many readers have continued on the journey with me. Thank you for your support and especially to the Harmless Addicts who continually make me laugh on a daily basis. Thanks to my personal assistant Brandy Walker who keeps me on the straight and narrow as much at possible. Thanks to Joy Harris who understands me as only another Capricorn can. And special thanks to my family. I finished off the last three Harmless books while in the middle of a move and a health crisis and without them, I am not sure I could have done it. Thanks to Kendra Egert for the wonderful cover, Jenn Leblanc for the kick ass photography, and to Chloe Vale for her hard work on editing and formatting.
transferable. They cannot be sold, shared or given away as it is an infringement on the copyright of this work.
This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locale or organizations is entirely coincidental.
Surrender: A Little Harmless Military Romance
Copyright © 2012 by Melissa Schroeder
Edited and formatted by Chloe Vale
Cover by Kendra Egert
Photography by Jenn LeBlanc
All Rights Are Reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
First electronic publication: July 2012 at Smashwords
Table of Contents
Malachai Dupree shook his head as he turned down the aisle of freezer cases. He’d sunk so low that he was spending Friday night at Wegmans grocery store. A box of wings caught his eye, and he slowed down the cart. He should have just stopped by some fast food joint on the way back to the hotel, but he hadn’t been in the mood for another meal like that. Mal studied the selection in the freezer case. Okay, this might not be much better, but at least it was different than what he’d been doing. He was still pathetic but at least he wasn’t eating another burger. Friday night at Wegmans was no way for a single man to live.
After his third week at the Pentagon, he just wasn’t in the mood to give a damn. Early mornings and late nights had worn old.
. Monotonous. That was a better word for the crap he was dealing with while on special assignment. Why anyone would choose to do the job was beyond him. He missed being out in the field, training…damn, he missed blowing shit up.
“A man like you should eat better, Dupree,” the sultry southern voice said from behind Mal. He knew without turning around who it was. The voice was imprinted on his mind…and haunted his dreams.
He turned around to face Amanda Forrester smiling at him, looking just as gorgeous as the first day he’d met her. She was petite and a little more rounded on the bottom than on the top. The green, long-sleeved knit shirt matched her eyes, and she was wearing her regular faded blue jeans that hugged her full hips. The moment he heard her voice, his heart had started doing a tap dance, but seeing her had his body heating. Even the cold air from the freezer case wouldn’t help.
If he repeated the word enough times, he might remember that she was
a friend. His brain knew it, but his body tended to ignore any sane thoughts when Amanda was around. He reminded himself that she’d been married to one of his best friends and only been a widow for eighteen months.
She glanced into his cart, making a tsking sound. He couldn’t fight the smile that curved his lips when he saw the amusement dancing in her eyes. Amanda had a wicked sense of humor, and with three older brothers, she knew just how to mess with him.
“Are you going to a frat party?”
When he looked down in the buggy, he realized that it did look like a party. Beer, hot wings, and chips. Boredom had driven him to shop for food, and it was a mistake to do that after skipping lunch.
But a man couldn’t admit it, especially to a woman.
“Look, woman, I live in a man house, and we eat the way we want to. And what are you doing here on a Friday night?”
She leaned her arm against the hand rest of her own shopping cart. The grin she gave him had his body heating more and his palms sweating.
“I have a morning wedding, so I figured I’d pick up something to eat.”
Amanda owned her own floral shop in the Woodbridge area, not too far from the grocery store. And, dammit, he realized he drove out there for a reason. It wasn’t until that moment he realized there was a Wegmans closer to the hotel he was bunking at.
“Ah. So what were you doing in this section if you think the choices are so bad?”
She let one eyebrow rise and damned if that didn’t turn him on more. “First, I wasn’t in this section. I was down there,” she motioned with her head, “looking for a good bottle of wine when I saw you. Oh, and secondly, I’m
younger and I can eat this stuff. Although I don’t. My mother would have a heart attack if she found out.”
“I thought your parents were living in Texas?”
She laughed. “Yes, but my mother always knows.”
He smiled. “Your mother and my mother have a lot in common.”
Then, silence. It had been happening a lot lately. They used to have such a comfortable relationship. It had been the reason he’d taken on the task of checking up on her. Most of the guys on his Seal team were married or involved with someone. He was one of the few left that was not in a committed relationship, so he had taken to looking in on her. She had been so young, widowed, and vulnerable. Their friendship had been natural…until the last couple of months. Now, they couldn’t seem to have a conversation without an awkward pause. It might have to do with the fact that he wanted nothing more than to strip her down and feast on her flesh.
Damn, he needed to escape. The more time he spent with her, the more those thoughts popped up in his head.
“Tell you what, Dupree. Why don’t we have dinner together?”
They had done it before. Since Kyle Forrester, her husband of less than a year, had been killed on a mission, he had been there for her, as had many of the guys on the team. But now…it seemed weird.
“I was looking forward to a quiet night at home.”
She laughed and patted his hand, which he tightened on the buggy to keep from reaching for her. His fingers were freaking itching to reach over and touch.
“Why not a light dinner, some good conversation, and then we can get to bed early.”
He knew what she meant, but it didn’t keep the image from popping into his head. Mal would like nothing better than to slip into her bed and pull her against him as they slept. She always smelled of roses. Until he met her, he had always hated flowery perfume, but hers was natural. He knew her scent came from the flowers she worked with all day long.
“Mal?” she asked.
He shook his head, trying to clear it. It was hard because the images of her wearing nothing but rose petals came into his head more often these days, and at the most inappropriate times. Like now.
“Is that a no?” she asked.
He gave his head one last hard shake and finally knocked enough brain cells loose to form words. “No, that’s a yes. I mean…” He drew in a deep breath, trying to get his brain to work. “I know what a good cook you are, so I would be an idiot to turn you down.”
She smiled. Not one of her little smiles, but one that lit up her whole face and brought out her dimples. He felt as if he had won the lottery. Damn, he was in trouble if that was all it took for him to get hot.
“I buy the food, you cook?” he offered.
She shook her head. “Why don’t you pay for the wine, and I’ll do the food?”
He cocked his head to one side. “That doesn’t seem fair.”
“You haven’t seen the price of the wine I wanted to get. It’s fair.”
He laughed. “Okay, but you better fix me something good.”
“You bet,” she said and turned her cart around. “Come on.”
He tried his best to ignore the way her hips swayed as she walked down the aisle, but it was more that a little difficult. Until he notice one or two men having the same reaction. He tossed them mean looks and hurried up to follow after her. The woman was completely oblivious, but it didn’t keep them from ogling her. Mal tossed a few of them death looks and then caught up to her. If there was one thing he could do for Kyle Forrester, it was protect her from men like that.
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