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Her Captain  -- Taryn Kincaid

Her Captain

Capricorn Slate Claybourne, an ex-Seal and former sniper who has seen and done things in country that no man should endure, returns to his bucolic hometown on Pieberry  Island, desperate for the mundane, everyday routines he once wanted to escape.

A broken, soul-dead man unable to be around people, his body still a lethal weapon when his night terrors wake him from sleep, Slate’s failed to keep the promise he made to the commander who died in his arms: to look after the older man’s baby girl.

But animated Aries Holly Harper is not the pigtailed tot Slate expected her to be, when she lands on the island to take over the decrepit Pieberry House, determined to turn it into an inn for summer tourists, and even more determined to yank Slate back into the land of the living.

First she crashes into him at the island’s holiday Winter Festival, dumping a towering stack of pies at his feet, then she drags him off to a fortune teller against his better judgment. Except for the sizzling attraction smoldering between them, they’re incompatible in every way.

But when a furious December nor’easter traps them together at Pieberry House, will Slate and Holly overcome their pasts and discover they are two halves of a whole?

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excerpt

His square, sharp-edged jaw solidified like frozen iron, so rigid over his clenched teeth, a muscle ticked in his cheek. She almost laughed at his stunned expression, his cold, gunmetal- gray eyes unblinking, his brows zooming skyward like tarnished McDonald’s arches. Except that the face in question devastated her. If she’d thought him ruggedly handsome in the photos her dad had sent home, the giant, live-action figure totally stole her breath away, turned her knees to jelly, and melted her core. Hell, in another second, she’d be coughing and wheezing, trying to draw in a sip of the sustaining oxygen the hot-as-sin SEAL all but sucked out of the surrounding atmosphere. Jeez Louise. Raw, overpowering masculinity poured off him in waves.

Yet, the smiling face she’d often drooled over in pictures had disappeared. Did the grim man before her smile at all anymore? His sharp eyes seemed haunted in a profound way, his stares hyper-vigilant and unwavering…focused on her but, at the same time, a million miles away. She detected no humor dancing in them at all, despite the comical barbs they’d traded over the smashed pies. Hell knew bottomless grief gripped her still from time to time, wringing tears from her when she least expected the reminders of her loss. But whatever embroiled Slate seemed worse, as if he’d slipped into a dark crevice of endless, dismal eternity and couldn’t find his way back.

I need to fix him. I have to.

Yeah, and good luck with that, girlie-girl.