Title: Defending Hearts by Rebecca Crowley
Atlanta Skyline Series Book Two
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 236 pages
WHEN THE PITCH GETS PERSONAL
Atlanta Skyline’s star Swedish wingback Oz Terim—or as the fans call him, the Wizard—has an airtight plan for his life, his career, even his meticulously renovated house, but he barely gives a thought to the Islamic faith he inherited from his Turkish parents. So no one’s more surprised than he is when he’s the victim of anti-Muslim hate crime. Refusing to take the threat seriously, he resists the security detail Skyline insists on . . . until he meets Kate Mitchell. There’s no room for her in his plan and she’s the exact opposite of what he wants. Then why can’t he keep his hands off her?
After ten years in the military—and getting fired from her first post-Army job in Saudi Arabia—Kate Mitchell has slunk home to her Georgia roots. Private security isn’t the career she dreamed of, nor is she thrilled to work with an uptight professional athlete who plays a sport she has no interest in. She never expected to be attracted to him—or for him to fall for her, too. As their opposite lives tangle up—and the threat against Oz grows more serious—Kate has to decide who she wants to be in life and in love.
Her hand hovered over the button to shoot but suddenly the screen froze. The bare trees on the horizon became odd-looking stalks of pixels and she turned to Oz with a frown.
“Is it broken?”
He shook his head. “I paused it.”
“Why? I was about to kick some sniper ass.”
He turned to her with a concerned expression. “I think I should kiss you.”
Her jaw practically hit her lap. After a second or two of stunned silence she managed to yank it back up, realign her teeth and force her mouth to form words.
“What did you say?”
“Spoiler alert.” He raised an apologetic hand. “There’s some pretty serious fighting up ahead and I don’t want either of us to be distracted.”
“So you want to—”
“Kiss you.” He smiled and, hot damn, he was delicious. “Maybe I’m wrong, but I think we’re both wondering if it’s going to happen, when it will happen, should it happen… It’s drawing attention away from this mission, which is, frankly, pretty important to the eventual victory of the Allies over the German military forces.”
“You want to kiss me,” she repeated dumbly, struggling to wade through the shock and disbelief muddying her mind.
“It’s up to you. I’m just saying, there are ten million Soviet lives at stake.” He shrugged.
“Okay,” some distant, detached part of her responded.
And then it happened. He put two fingers beneath her chin, tilted her face toward his and pressed his lips against hers.
She stiffened, her mind and heart vying for the fastest pace.
She shouldn’t do this. Getting involved with anyone was the last thing she needed right now, not to mention a client—oh, shit, was this a violation of her terms of employment? Had she even signed terms of employment?
Her boss wouldn’t care, surely. She saw Rich, his crew-cut, his oversized belt buckle, his habit of spinning a tobacco tin in his hands during meetings. Would he fire her? Not if her sales figures were good. That’s all he cared about. But if they slipped, she bet he wouldn’t hesitate to…
Mentally she slapped herself. You’re making out with a guy you really like—the first time you’ve gotten any action in years. Stop thinking about your job. Stop thinking about the bigger picture. Enjoy the goddamn moment for once.
She wrenched her awareness out of her brain and shoved it into her body, forcing herself to be present, to experience his touch.
God, he tastes good.
Rebecca Crowley inherited her love of romance from her mom, who taught her to at least partially judge a book by the steaminess of its cover. She writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense with smart heroines and swoon-worthy heroes, and never tires of the happily-ever-after. Having pulled up her Kansas roots to live in New York City and London, Rebecca currently resides in Johannesburg, South Africa.
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