Meet the Donnigans
With the eldest Donnigan brothers adjusting to civilian life, their younger sister constantly in trouble, and their little brother clueless about life in general, falling in love is the last thing on anyone’s mind…
Can this Bossy Badass Marine…
The Marine Corps was everything Landon Donnigan ever wanted in life...until a bullet sent him home with a medical discharge. Teaching a self-defense class at the gym is old-hat for a marine, but when he meets sexy Ava Rosenthal, his combat skills are useless for protecting his heart.
Be her Mr. Right?
Ava can take care of herself and likes quiet, bookish men—not muscular warriors who think women need to be coddled. But Landon is more than he seems, and when they come together, the results are explosive.
All in all, a perfect late evening companion. Or he would have been, if the blond giant hadn’t been making odd gestures behind Charles’s back, causing her to wonder if she should look deeper into her date than the surface perfection he’d presented.
“I hate to leave, but work tomorrow, you know.” Charles shrugged.
“I know what you mean.” She smiled. “I had a wonderful time, Charles.”
He brightened. “Me too. Would you consider dinner some evening when you’re free?” He handed her a business card. “You have my email, but here’s my number.” He gave a sheepish grin. “I confess I wrote my cell on the back earlier, hoping you’d be as lovely in person as you are online. You totally are.”
“How sweet.” She was touched.
Blond guy sounded like he was choking on something. If only.
“Dinner sounds great.” She pumped enthusiasm into her tone, because she meant it. Charles had fit all her criteria. No reason for her to feel let down by her night with him. She inwardly gave blond giant a scowl while still smiling at Charles. No, no reason at all.
“Can I kiss you good night?” Charles asked. A gentleman to his bones.
“Please.” She met his kiss on her cheek and blushed. “I look forward to our dinner.”
“Me too.” He looked flushed and brushed back a strand of hair that slipped over his forehead. “Can I walk you to your car?”
“I’m parked right next to yours.” Which sat directly out front thanks to the timely departure of two couples earlier. “But I need to use the facilities before I leave. Go on without me. I’ll call you later in the week.”
He nodded. “Sounds great. Have a good day tomorrow, Ava.”
“You too.” She watched him leave, ignored blond guy staring at her with what seemed to be a smirk, then searched for the ladies’ room. Once finished, she had every intention of leaving and not looking back.
But she paused next to blond guy and, noting the still-open seat, she sat.
“You.” She glared at him.
“Ava, huh? Pretty name.” He turned in his seat and grinned down at her while guzzling a beer.
“And you are?”
“Landon.” His grin nearly did her in, because his whole face lit up with joy, making it seem as if he’d brought the sun into the darkened restaurant. “But I’m sure there are a few other names you’d like to call me.”
“What is your problem?”
“Me? I’m good.” Before she could lay into him, he added, “But you’re not.”
She blinked. “What’s my problem, besides you?”
“You and boring guy.”
She frowned. “That’s not a nice thing to say.”
“Yeah, I’m not known for nice. But I’m honest. Honey, Charles is not the guy for you.”
“Excuse me, but Charles was a perfect gentleman.”
A jazz band started playing in the corner, making it harder to hear, so he leaned closer. Unfortunately, she got a good whiff of his cologne, and it went straight to her head. Just her luck Landon smelled like a dream.
She cleared her throat. “And my name is not ‘honey.’ It’s Ava.” She would have added Dr. Ava Rosenthal in a haughty tone, except Landon’s breath brushed her ear, and her entire body locked up. Tight.
“Ava, you need someone who makes you hot. Boring is no good. Not for someone like you.”
She’d swear his lips touched her, and her system seemed to go haywire. Her breasts tightened, she got a funny feeling in the pit of her stomach, and she clenched her thighs together, feeling a lower torso shiver from out of nowhere.
“Like me?” She felt weak and slowly pulled back.
Except that put her at eye level with the man a breath away. He was so close she saw gold flecks in the irises surrounding pinpoints of focus, directed at her. His cheekbones were high, his nose straight, arrogant, his chin square. Manly. His firm lips parted when he inhaled, as if breathing her in.
About the Author
Caffeine addict, boy referee, and romance aficionado, MARIE HARTE is a confessed bibliophile and devotee of action movies. Whether hiking in Central Oregon, biking around town, or hanging at the local tea shop, she’s constantly plotting to give everyone a happily ever after.