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A childhood in foster care taught Carey Everett to hold tight to what he has. Enlisting in the Marines gave him purpose, but a life-threatening injury ended his career—and took his leg. Now fully recovered, Carey’s happier than he’s ever been. He has a fulfilling job, a chosen family and, best of all, a cherished friendship with Jase DeSantis, the platoon medic who saved his life.
Despite Jase’s heroism in combat, he’s haunted by his actions overseas. Playing music with his band keeps the demons at bay, but it’s a battle he’s starting to lose.
After a week of sun and fun in San Diego, Jase and Carey’s connection takes an unexpected turn. With change comes a new set of challenges. For Jase, it means letting someone else into his deepest pain. For Carey, it’s realizing love doesn’t always equal loss. In order to make their relationship work, they’ll have to come to terms with their pasts…
…or risk walking away from each other for good.
Read an Excerpt
“Mmm.” Jase wrapped his arms around Carey’s waist, his chin resting on his shoulder. “That was pretty darn good. No. Better than good. Beautiful. Sexy.”
“Ha. I think you have beer goggles on, my friend.”
“You…are…so…” Jase punctuated each word with a brush of his lips to Carey’s cheek, “…beautiful it hurts.” Then he took Carey’s earlobe between his teeth, worrying it lightly. “And you’ve got me twisted in all kinds of knots.”
“You’re not the only one,” Carey rasped. “Knot city, here.”
“Mmm, I can tell.” Jase splayed his palm over Carey’s chest. “Your heart’s beating like a drum.”
Carey couldn’t help the tiny sound of protest that escaped when Jase let go of him, but all he did was grab the audio remote and change the song to a slow, poignant country ballad. Then he held out his hand. “Dance with me?”
Time slowed down as Carey gazed at him, the sands of change shifting precariously beneath his feet. Fear and uncertainty welled up in his throat, but the patient understanding in Jase’s eyes and the steadiness of his hand made Carey reach out and place his fingers in his.
His lips trembling, Carey took a tiny step closer. “I don’t want to lose you,” he whispered.
“I’m a little scared.” He took another step. “A lot scared, actually.”
One more step, until Jase’s chest was just inches from his. Carey sucked in a breath. “Jase, I—”
“Hey. It’s only a dance, okay? Nothing more. Just dance with me.”
About the Author:
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