Title: A Bounty on Forever
Author: Connie Y Harris
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Former Navy SEAL Tony Franco is convinced his past is behind him. He now thrives as an emergency room nurse. But after learning there’s a bounty on his head, he will stop at nothing to protect those closest to him—including the new woman in his life, fiery Zumba instructor Sierra Sanchez.
Troubled by his secrecy and the escalating close calls, Sierra resists the sexual chemistry sizzling between them but Tony’s charismatic bedside manner disarms her. As desire heats up, danger edges closer, threatening their lives and putting their forever in the crosshairs.
Sierra stiffened and gulped the rest of the liquid nectar, her ears buzzing from, she wasn’t sure, the champagne or the heat blossoming between her legs from the proximity of the super-hot nurse, SEAL and flirtatious best man. Distracted, she didn’t see the copious bouquet of coral and white roses intermingled with Baby’s Breath as it plummeted straight for her face. From somewhere in the crowd, a feminine squeal jerked her attention skyward, “Sierra, catch it.”
Instinctively, she leapt straight up, her arm extended with fingers splayed until the ends of a satin bow draped her hand. Velvet petals from the roses brushed her cheek as she captured the stem and secured the flowers in her grip. Oh my God. I caught the bouquet? Now what?
As if in answer to her musing, Tony stepped into view, his wide palm outstretched, filling the air space as a blue garter appeared, descending like a frilly comet. Then it disappeared. Who caught it? She perused the males hovered in a semi-circle.
“Whew.” Tony said as he separated from the crowd and clutched the garter in a triumphant wave. He started toward Sierra, a shit-eating grin covering his face.
Tony caught the garter. She returned the smile. Of course, he did. Her gaze shifted to stare blankly at the clump of flowers in her hand.
“Nice catch,” He said. “I guess you’re the one I put this on.” He dangled the cloth in the air and then smoothed his arm around her waist.
“Impulse reaction,” she said, removing his arm as if it were a smelly sock. “Not a chance you’re sliding a garter on my thigh.” She scoffed and handed him the arrangement before stalking to the buffet table, although food was the last thing on her mind. The music resumed and drowned out his no doubt, smart-assed reply. Thank goodness. She had no doubt his response was another one of his witty retorts. What a jag-off. But what a hot, exciting, funny jag-off.
One of her favorite Salsa tunes came on and the other bridesmaids called her name to join them. She sidestepped in rhythm on to the dance floor her arms looping around her waist in perfect small circles.
The music stopped, and the DJ announced it was time to put on the garter. What? Was she really going to allow him to grab her thigh? She leaned toward Ariel and mouthed, “Have to pee,” before she bolted off the dance floor.
“Hey Sierra, wait a minute,” Ariel called, rushing to catch her best friend. “Time to don the garter… do you honestly have to pee or is this about something or someone?” She cocked her brow.
Caught in a selfish impulse, Sierra realized she had to go through with the ridiculous custom for her most cherished friend. “No, I was escaping. Your husband’s friend gives me the jitters.”
“Jitters as in you’d like to hold the beautiful jellyfish, but you might get stung?”
Withholding the snarky comment that popped into her head, Sierra put her arm through Ariel’s and turned them toward the stage. “I’m good. Let’s do this.”
Ariel hugged her closer and sighed. “Thanks.”
Wolf whistles and catcalls drowned out Tony’s words as he lifted Sierra’s dress high on her thigh. She sucked in her breath as his hand skimmed the inside of her leg.
Goosebumps popped up along her arms and the pit of her stomach somersaulted. She gazed at the top of his uncovered head, fixated on the thick layers of textured hair while he adjusted the garter a few inches above her knee. With an uncontrollable urge to massage the deep brown mop, she scrunched and poised her fingers an inch from contact but froze when he raised his head and locked eyes with her. Did he have x-ray vision? She gasped, dropped her arms, and plopped her hands in her lap.
His eyes, almost black with intensity, messaged clear desire as he offered his hand. “Want to dance?”
Her nipples hardened and moisture dampened her thighs. “Sure,” she squeaked.
The notes of a slow song drifted across the dance floor. No pressure, no pressure, no pressure. She stepped onto the platform and was hugged into a ripped chest. Engulfed by the musk scent, she laid her head on his shoulder, her nose pressed into his warm neck. The silence screamed while their feet shuffled together across the floor without missing a beat. The song ended too soon. Aren’t there more lyrics?
As they drew apart, Tony said, “Thanks.” And offered a smoldering look. “Am I forgiven?”
Ay dios mio. I’m a goner.
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If money were no object and there wasn’t a pandemic circling the world, where would you go for a Spring Break vacation and why?
Australia. I visited there about ten years ago and found it stunningly beautiful, with countless, unspoiled wild places, and fun-loving people. My only regret was I didn’t have time to visit the Western territories. I’d explore that area.
What’s your favorite thing about spring and why?
Spring represents birth in the life cycle and the continuation of many species. The future.
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Runs April 1 – 30
Drawing will be held on May 1.
With close ties to the Navy SEAL community, Connie’s mission as a writer is to offer the reader a realistic portrayal of men who transfer their alpha tendencies and athletic prowess into serving a noble cause.
A former English teacher and corporate executive Connie holds a B.A. from East Carolina University. Although she spent many years in the corporate world, her first love has always been writing. She maintains a portfolio of songs, poems and stories she wrote as early as ten. When she isn’t creating new plots, Connie enjoys Zumba fitness and claims her best story ideas come to her while dancing the Salsa.
Connie lives near the Gulf Coast of Florida with her German Shepherd Dog and a cat who takes no prisoners.
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Amazon Author Page http://amazon.com/author/connieharris