Authors: Amy J. Fetzer
He leaned down to kiss the top of his daughter’s head.
Melanie’s heart melted just a little. She’d been alone with Juliana so long that sharing her with Jack felt strange…and sweet. She hadn’t known what to expect from Jack Singer, Navy SEAL, but watching him fall in love with their daughter in less than a second wasn’t it.
He looked at Melanie, his gaze moving over her with the same intensity as it did with their child. “I’m here. I’m staying, and I’m in her life whether you want it or not.”
“You don’t like it.”
“I think you’ve forgotten why we came together in the first place.” Jack brushed his mouth over Melanie’s. She tried a retreat, but he wrapped his arms around her and held tight until she responded to his kiss.
The instant she did, he drew back.
“Expect me in your life, Melanie. Constantly.” He grinned. “Daddy’s home.”
This season of harvest brings a cornucopia of six new passionate, powerful and provocative love stories from Silhouette Desire for your enjoyment.
Don’t miss our current MAN OF THE MONTH title, Cindy Gerard’s
Taming the Outlaw,
a reunion romance featuring a cowboy dealing with the unexpected consequences of a hometown summer of passion. And of course you’ll want to read Katherine Garbera’s
Cinderella’s Convenient Husband,
the tenth absorbing title in Silhouette Desire’s DYNASTIES: THE CONNELLYS continuity series.
A Navy SEAL is on a mission to win the love of the woman he left behind, in
The SEAL’s Surprise Baby
by Amy J. Fetzer, while a TV anchorwoman gets up close and personal with a high-ranking soldier in
The Royal Treatment
by Maureen Child. This is the latest title in the exciting Silhouette crossline series CROWN AND GLORY.
Opposites attract when a sexy hunk and a matchmaker share digs in
Hearts Are Wild
by Laura Wright. And in
Secrets, Lies and…Passion
by Linda Conrad, a single mom is drawn into a web of desire and danger by the lover who jilted her at the altar years before…or did he?
Experience all six of these sensuous romances from Silhouette Desire this month, and guarantee that your Halloween will be all treat, no trick.
Joan Marlow Golan
Senior Editor, Silhouette Desire
The Unlikely Bodyguard
The Re-Enlisted Groom
Wife for Hire
Taming the Beast
Having His Child
Single Father Seeks…
The SEAL’s Surprise Baby
was born in New England and raised all over the world. She uses her own experiences in creating the characters and settings for her novels. Married more than twenty years to a United States Marine and the mother of two sons, Amy covets the moments when she can curl up with a cup of cappuccino and a good book.
For Rhonda Pollero, Cherry Adair and Maureen Child
Our careers made us friends
Our support and love for each other made us sisters
Our circle is joined and powerful
ASPEN is just the beginning….
I love y’all.
ongratulations! It’s a girl!
Still in his field uniform, Lt. Jack Singer blinked and read the postcard again. The card was a picture of an old plantation and he recognized his sister’s handwriting.
“Hey, I’m an uncle. I have a niece!”
Jack’s SEAL teammate, Reese Logan, smiled. “Great! Tell Lisa and Brian I said congrats.”
A girl. Jack frowned. That was all she’d written. Odd for shutterbug Lisa not to send pictures. Odder still that his sister hadn’t even told him she was pregnant. Not that she could have reached him by any other means than this post-office box. He’d been gone fifteen months on special operations, and no contact with the world beyond his commander and
his team had been allowed. It was the toughest part of being a SEAL. Cutting ties, or letting them blur badly enough that people often forgot about you.
Melanie Patterson obviously had.
He flipped through the mail, not finding what he’d hoped. A letter. A message that the woman he’d spent a mind-blowing night with after his sister’s wedding hadn’t really dismissed him from her life. Closing his mailbox and pocketing the key, Jack strode to the command center, tapping the postcard against his thigh. He had thirty days’ R and R coming and knew exactly where he’d spend it. He’d take the time to see his sister, his new niece—and maybe find Melanie and ask why the hell she’d cut him out of her life with the precision of a surgeon.
The reality hit him that maybe she’d forgotten about him.
Bad news, when all he could remember about his sister’s wedding was Melanie. She’d been the maid of honor, Lisa’s best friend and three years older. And the kind of woman who made men damned glad they were men.
Jack headed for the phones and dialed Lisa’s number, realizing he should be more excited about his new niece than getting the chance to grill his sister about Melanie Patterson. That was a signal, Jack thought, he should be glad the woman didn’t expect anything from him. But he wasn’t.
When he’d managed to get near a ship-to-shore phone months ago and had clearance to call, he’d discovered Melanie’s phone was disconnected. It was as if she didn’t exist anymore. He’d phoned his sister and asked, but Lisa’d said she hadn’t seen or heard
from Melanie in months. He was worried and irritated at the same time.
Why wouldn’t she speak to him? They were good together, in and out of bed, and Jack, sifting through junk mail, replayed that night in his mind for the millionth time. The memory of making love with Melanie was enough to drive him crazy, just as she had that night.
“No mail from her?”
Jack shook his head, listening to the ringing on the other end of the line as the SEAL team members stripped off their gear and turned the most expensive components into the requisition officer.
“Give up, pal. I got the message, even if you didn’t.”
Jack’s gaze shifted to Reese. “SEALs don’t give up.”
“They fight the battles they can win, and the woman has made her feelings damn clear.”
Jack shook his head, wondering why his sister’s answering machine wasn’t turned on. “Melanie Patterson is worth going after for a straight answer.”
Reese smirked. “Grab a life vest, Lieutenant, because your ship’s already sinking.”
Jack scowled, more at himself than at his friend’s words. He’d never really thought of himself as that far gone. Sure, he’d thought about Melanie a lot and wanted to hook up with her now that he was stateside again. Yet there was more to it. They’d connected in more ways than in bed, and he wanted to see her again to find out if that connection was reality or just the memory laced in fantasy.
Fifteen months earlier
The wedding was over.
In his late father’s place, Jack had walked his little sister down the aisle, given her to the man she loved and, as of a few minutes ago, put them both into a limo and sent them off to start their life together. His mom was off with her friends. Now he could focus on the object of his torment for the past two weeks.
The maid of honor, Melanie Patterson. Just being near her was enough to make his mind fog. He didn’t want to think about what she did to the rest of him. He’d been fighting it for more than 336 hours. Since he’d first laid eyes on his sister’s best friend.
He’d suffered through about forty snags in what he considered a well-thought-out plan for his sister’s wedding, yet through it all there was Melanie. Calming Lisa, running errands and running Jack ragged.
Leggy, opinionated and so damn sexy he thought he’d burn up with his need to touch her.
When he wasn’t fixing a problem that threatened to ruin his little sister’s big day, he was with Melanie, talking to her long into the night, sailing on the river with her when they could grab a moment from the chaos of the wedding. When she wasn’t near, he was thinking about her, waiting till he could get the sassy redhead someplace private and dark. And find out if she tasted as good as she looked. He’d bet a month’s pay she did.
He wasn’t alone in this. He knew that for certain, or he’d have mentally shut down his libido and kept far away from her. They were subtle, the hints coming from her, and caught him dead in the chest. They made him want her even more.
As the limo rolled away from the officers’ club, he waved to his sister and looked at Melanie. She was holding the hem of her gown, bending down to pick up a ribbon-tied pouch of birdseed. The officers’ club wouldn’t let them throw rice, and Melanie had convinced them that birdseed was environmentally safe. She only wanted the tradition for Lisa, she’d said. No bride should leave without the wish of prosperity from those who loved her.
And no man should have to stand here, look at a woman like that—and behave. “Melanie?”
She looked up, smiled, then straightened. “Hey, Lieutenant. Did I tell you how very dashing you look in that white uniform?”
“You can start now.”
“A Navy SEAL with an ego,” she teased. “How rare.”
He held out his hand for hers. She dropped the pouch of birdseed into it. He glanced down, then stuffed it into his pocket.
“No, I’ll have the bills to remind me of this.”
She laughed and said, “So, the cynic emerges. I knew you weren’t all patience and knightly duty.”
Around them, the caterers began cleaning up. The band still played one last song, and while the guests departed, Jack pulled Melanie into his arms and onto the dance floor.
“You looked great this morning.”
“As opposed to right now?”
He smiled. She kept him on his toes, he’d give her that, and found himself wanting to give her a hell of a lot more. “The belle of the ball.”
“Thank you, and I won’t tell your sister you said that.”
He pulled her more firmly against him, and the single touch of her hand in his, her body to his, set off fireworks under his skin.
She inhaled a soft breath. “Jack.” She tried to ease back.
“Shh,” he murmured, sweeping her across the dance floor like a duke at a summer ball. “You feel it, don’t you?”
“Oh, yeah,” she breathed, and held on to him, laying her head on his broad shoulder.
He loved it, the feel of her; she fit perfectly in his arms. And he knew they’d be a perfect fit elsewhere. “Good. I was hoping I wasn’t in this torment alone.”
“Not a chance, sailor.” Her arms tightened around him, her hands moving up his back in a heavy caress.
He wished they were on his skin. Wished the two of them were naked and rolling across his bed. “You’ve been driving me crazy, you know,” he whispered close to her ear, and sent gooseflesh cascading over her skin.
“You’d never know it.”
“It wouldn’t be nice to go after the maid of honor while Lisa was falling apart over those flowers, would it?”
“You’re to be commended for your restraint, then, Lieutenant.”
“With what I’ve been thinking about, I should be court-martialed.”
Melanie lifted her head from his shoulder. Her gaze moved over his handsome features and under
stood the message she saw there. Heat, hunger. Need. She’d been receiving it for more than fourteen days.
Jack Singer had walked into Lisa’s living room amidst yards of tulle and satin, and one look had struck Melanie with the force of charged lightning. It wasn’t so much that he was good-looking, which he was, or that his naval uniform fit like a glove and the sight of him in it would make any woman weak-kneed. It was his eyes, eyes that shouted his emotions, as well as hid them from the world.
She remembered the way he’d looked at Lisa this morning, in her gown, the picture of a fairy princess, and she’d seen those deep-blue eyes gloss with tears. Of love and pride. Who’d have thought such a strong man with a dangerous job could melt at the sight of a bride? But just as easily, she recalled the stare he’d delivered to the florist who was going to ruin his sister’s big day, and the words “If looks could kill” came to mind in an instant.
“What have you been thinking?” she asked suddenly.
“Dangerous territory,” he warned, his blue eyes smoldering as they raked over her.
“I’m up for the adventure.”
“With me, right now?”
She slid her arms to his shoulders, the fingers of one hand sliding up the back of his neck and tipping his head down. It was as if she’d done it a hundred times before, as if she’d known him for a thousand years.
“I was wondering when you’d get busy,” she whispered, and pulled him closer. His mouth covered hers, devoured with savage need as his hands
climbed up her satin-covered spine and crushed her to him.
It was all-consuming, as he’d known it would be. Hot and fast and too private to be seen in public. His body was hard, hers firm and yielding against his.
“Whoa, Singer!” he heard from somewhere in the distance, and he pulled back. His breathing was hard.
“Can it, Reese,” he said to his buddy without taking his gaze from Melanie’s.
“Sir, yes sir,” came the response.
“Let’s get out of here?” The words came like a question.
She blinked and licked her lips. “We aren’t gone yet?”
He smiled and let her go grab her purse. Then they rushed from the club. During the cab ride to the hotel, he didn’t touch her, didn’t kiss her, not trusting himself if he did. He only held her hand. It was the most erotic thing he’d ever done. Fingers laced, palms tight. Intimate.
More than he’d been with any woman in a very long time.
At the hotel he climbed out of the cab, paid the driver and took Melanie’s hand again as they entered the building and stepped into the elevator. He couldn’t look at her. Her body was still imprinted on him from the dance.
He still felt her warmth. Smelled her scent. It was eating him up inside.
People smiled and nodded. A man mentioned being in the Navy during the Gulf War, and Jack hoped he made the proper respectful response. People got on and off and the elevator kept moving. Slowly,
slowly. Then, finally, they were alone, the only ones in the elevator shooting to the top floors. He couldn’t stand it and turned toward her.
She smiled, reaching for him at the same time, and when he backed her up against the wall, he kissed her like a madman.
And she answered him, clinging, her mouth hot and wild beneath his.
Jack felt himself fracturing inside. She grasped his hand and put it on her thigh, under the slit in her gown, and Jack groaned, driving it higher, feeling the stockings, then skin. He cupped her buttocks and wedged her closer. Little soft sounds came from her, and he wanted to hear more, hear her cry out with pleasure.
Then he dipped his hand between her thighs, rubbing.
She gasped, her fingers digging into his shoulders as he stroked her. She broke their kiss, whispered, “This is so naughty.”
And he said, “Yeah, I know. I’ll never forget it,” then hooked the edge of her panties and pushed a finger deep inside her.
“Oh, Jack,” she said, bowing away from the wall, gasping for air.
Jack toyed with her, a single fingertip sliding over slick, soft flesh. Her panting breath tumbled from her lips and filled the elevator. He introduced another finger.
” he growled, kissing her throat. She was wet and slick and tense against him, tuned for the explosion. Then the
of the elevator made
them draw apart, both moaning in disappointment. He muttered a curse and when the doors opened, grabbed her hand and damn near ran to his room. The hall was empty and he fumbled with the key card.
She took it, met his gaze, then inserted it in the slot. The door sprang open and he dragged her inside, kicked it closed and pushed her against the door.
She laughed at his impatience and he kissed her. Deep and heavy and thick. She popped the buttons of his dress white jacket and kicked off her shoes. He toed off his own and shrugged out of the stiff coat. Then she turned around, her hands braced on the door. Jack pulled the zipper of her satin dress down. His eyes flared and his body tightened when he saw the matching lavender bra and panties. He laid kisses down her spine, taking the dress with him as he did, and when it was a pile on the floor, he turned her around and looked his fill.
“Man, oh man,” was all he could say.
She arched a brow and unhooked her bra. His gaze raked her, his breathing quickened, and he stripped off his T-shirt.
She grasped his wrists and placed his hands over her breasts. Jack didn’t need encouragement. He was ready for her now. Had been ready for this for two long weeks.
Each time he’d brushed against her, electricity shot through him.
Each time she’d smiled or laughed, he felt alive and rewarded.
He rubbed her breasts, his palms brushing over her nipples. They hardened and he couldn’t wait to taste
them. Then he did, taking one nipple into the heat of his mouth and sucking deeply.
Her leg lifted, her foot sliding up his calf.
Melanie felt her world tilt and shift. Pleasure radiated outward from her breasts, singing through her like music, making her blood run fast and hot and to the rhythm of Jack’s touch. He nibbled and licked and her nerve endings grew taut. His teeth scored, his tongue soothed, over her breasts, her ribs and lower.