My novella is titled SEAL's Lost Dream. Here's the blurb-
Former Navy SEAL K9 Handler Joe Flynn doesn’t understand why every stray in Denver seems to head his way. After losing his Military War Dog in Afghanistan, he doesn’t want anything to do with animals. But he doesn’t mind seeing Willow take care of his charges. Lusciously rounded, she’s the best thing he’s experienced all year.
Veterinarian Willow James loves seeing Flynn walk her way, though he brings her some truly sad cases of animal neglect. He tries to keep his emotions locked away, but she’s learned to read him over the past year. When one of the animals he brings in decides to adopt him, she starts to see the thaw she’s been waiting for.
She’s ready to take on the sexy former SEAL with all his ghosts, but is he ready to let them go for her?
And here's the Excerpt! Enjoy!
Flynn tightened his spine as Willow walked down the hallway toward him. But as she looked up at him with bright curiosity in her burnished golden eyes and her cheeks lifted with her broad smile, he felt something clutch in his gut. Willow had a wispy, soft beauty. Her hair was a mess again, but it was who she was. She didn’t try to make herself into something she wasn’t.
The jeans she wore outlined her voluptuous shape, even under the ridiculously nondescript black t-shirt she wore. Her nails were blunt and a little ragged, but he knew for a fact she had the softest touch imaginable.
Emotion tightened his throat as he thought about last night and the way she’d completely taken him over. It had been…a revelation. That he could be that open with somebody and not feel like a freak.
Her plump pink lips were moving and he slammed back into his head to respond to her query. “I, uh, found him hiding under my truck tire when I left work.”
Willow took the fluffy, dirty kitten from his hands and propped it against her breasts, cooing to it. “This is exactly what I needed at the end of a long, tough day. Thank you.”
She smiled up at him and he was struck with the urge to lean down and kiss her to tell her she was welcome. He’d never felt the urge so strongly before and he wasn’t sure what to do with it, so he stayed where he was, just gazing down at her.
The little cat rumbled in happiness at the attention it was receiving.
Willow held him up high enough to look at him. “He seems fairly healthy. Weight is good.” She lifted the kitten’s lip to press at his gums. “Good color response, so he’s not fighting anything obvious. I wonder if he just didn’t wander away from someone’s house?”
Flynn shrugged, unable to come up with words to respond. He felt dumb just standing there, but he wanted to watch her. He didn’t care if she gave the kitten a rectal exam, he’d watch her.
Actually, he wanted her attention on him again. Last night had been surreal. Blocks of time were gone. But he felt lighter in his skin than he had in a long time.
“Do you want to go grab a pizza or something?”
Willow looked up at him in surprise, but almost immediately smiled. Her eyes flicked to the side, then back to him. “I would love to, Flynn. Can you give me some time to clean up?”
He nodded, remembering too late that they weren’t the only ones in the office. Sue had a mile-wide grin on her face and the vet tech stepped forward to take the kitten. She had a sly smile on her face as well, and he felt a little embarrassed at inviting their boss out so abruptly.
Not so smooth anymore, Flynn.
“Why don’t you move your truck over to the house and I’ll meet you there. Maya will be glad to see you.”
He nodded and escaped the stares of the three grinning women, his skin prickling.
The drive took all of fifteen seconds, but he sat there in her driveway, hands clenched around the wheel as he tried to decide what kind of nut he had turned into. He hadn’t been on a date in years, but the evening suddenly stretched in front of him. What were they going to talk about? Do? Should he take her out or stay inside? The thought of crowds made him shudder. Crowds watching him make a fool of himself on a date made him feel sick.
This was an incredibly bad idea. His hand reached for the key in the ignition, then stopped. No, he couldn’t leave. He was man enough to go on a freaking date, no matter where they went. He’d been a SEAL, for fuck’s sake. Man up.
Flynn slid from the truck and circled the house to the backyard gate. Letting himself through, he smiled when Maya bounded out to meet him. Willow had just let herself through the gate from the exercise yard.
“Give me a few minutes to get cleaned up and we can go.”
He almost told her not to bother, they could just order in, but he didn’t want to voice his insecurities. Or disappoint her. So he let her disappear into the house.
Maya leaned into him, tail wagging. Guinness came over to investigate the visitor, gave him a lick on the hand, then wandered away to chew on a red rubber Kong.
Willow came out the back door just a few minutes later and Flynn almost swallowed his tongue. The black t-shirt had been replaced with a pretty, delicate, blue shirt and skirt outfit. Her long black hair had been curled toward the ends, and drawn back into a wide clip to sway across her back. Subtle eye makeup made her eyes positively shine. Her pink lips were even pinker than normal, and glossy. Flynn felt his mouth water at the thought of tasting those lips, to see if they were as sweet as they looked.
A hard slam of need hit him in the gut, and it was all he could do to stay where he was. He did stand and offer her a slight smile. “You look very nice, Willow.”
She beamed at him, her cheeks flushing. “Thank you very much. I don’t get a chance to be pretty very often.”
“You’re always pretty.”
She stared at him for a long few seconds, then glanced away to clear her throat. “Thank you, Flynn. I think that’s the sweetest thing I’ve ever been told.”
Shit. He’d made her cry. He didn’t mean to do that.
I hope you love Flynn and Willow! The Anthology will be released February 17!