When love presents itself, take your shot.
Red, Hot, & Blue,
When Emily Price is assigned to an ad campaign featuring one of Uncle Sam’s finest soldiers, she’s thrilled. Who better to break up the monotonous parade of smooth, perfect models than a rough, war-hardened alpha male?
Maybe she’ll even get lucky like one of her colleagues and find romance. Unfortunately, when she meets her model, he’s more caveman than Prince Charming. Now her dreams of love—and her career—are dangling precariously from his callused fingertips.
Staff Sergeant David Hawk Hawkins never imagined refusing a command…until he loses a bet and is ordered off the battlefield and into a new role: poster boy for the Army’s recruiting campaign.
From the start, their relationship is more fire-and-ice than fairytale. Yet beneath their sparring simmers an attraction that finally explodes into a night of lovemaking that, after they part, haunts them to opposite sides of the globe.
But love isn’t through with them—and neither is the public. The campaign is a hit and Hawk becomes a star. Soon he and Emily are thrown together again, but this time it’s on Hawk’s turf, where flying bullets could settle their battle before it begins.
This book has been previously published.
Product WarningsContains sex hot enough to travel halfway around the world, and a love strong enough to bring them back home again.
Copyright © 2012 Cat Johnson
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication
This had not turned out at all the way she’d pictured in her dreams. In fact, it was becoming more and more like a nightmare.
Jai looked as if he was nearly ready, so Emily figured she’d better be brave and broach the next subject. “So we’d like to um…” how to say this without getting shot down again, “…make your, uh, physical form stand out in the photos.”
There was that brow again, but this time accompanied by a smirk.
He remained silent, so she continued. “So maybe you could roll up the sleeves of your camouflage uniform shirt so we can see your arms a bit?”
Even though she’d remembered to call it a uniform and not an outfit—as if she would ever forget that again—she still got the disapproving look and head shake.
“No can do. And it’s called a jacket, not a shirt.”
Why couldn’t he just do one little thing without being difficult as well as correcting her terminology? Humph. As if she should know what military clothes are called.
“Why can’t you?” Emily widened her stance, ready for battle. He wanted to argue, she could argue.
“Because it’s against the rules, that’s why.”
“But I swear I’ve seen guys with their sleeves—” The steady sway of his head still shaking at her finally stopped her in her tracks. “What?”
“You may have seen it, but it is against our regulations and I can’t do it.”
He meant won’t do it. Emily couldn’t imagine that his captain really gave a darn what his sleeves looked like.
“Maybe we can ask someone if it would be okay—”
He actually laughed at that. “No.”
With a huff, she gave in.
“Fine. Are you allowed to take off your jacket?” Emily emphasized the word that he’d insisted on correcting her on. “Can you wear just your T-shirt or is that against the rules too?”
“Yes, I’m allowed.”
Finally, a yes, but still he didn’t move.
“Could you please take off your jacket?”
Hawk smirked boldly but thankfully complied. With a chuckle, he took it off.
Now he was laughing at her? Emily planted her hands on her hips. “What’s so funny?”
“It’s been a long time since a woman ordered me to take my clothes off. Maybe this gig won’t be so bad after all.” Hawk hung what still looked more like a shirt than a jacket on the back of a chair and turned back to her. He paused with a hand on his nylon belt. “Pants too, doll?”
She narrowed her eyes at Hawk. “No, thanks. Maybe later.”
Pig. Worst of all, a pig with bulging biceps and beautiful pecs beneath a very tight T-shirt. His dog tag chain nestled right between those delectable pecs. Emily suddenly imagined him standing before her without the shirt. All big and burly.
What was she doing? He was such a…a… There simply were no words to describe him.
The chuckle from Jai’s direction didn’t help Emily’s mood. She shot him a nasty look as well.
Emily turned back to Hawk and sighed. She had to get into a professional mindset. No more pouting that he wasn’t Prince Charming. No more bickering because he was acting like the typical difficult model. She was used to that at least.
Thinking like Katie would, Emily imagined the finished print advertising. Hawk, standing in his T-shirt and camo pants. Arms crossed…make that hairy arms crossed.
Darn. BB was practically hairless but Hawk, no such luck. What were the chances of Emily being able to get him to wax the hair off his forearms? And if they chose to do a few topless shots, would he wax his chest? Probably his back would require de-hairing, also. Stifling a laugh at the ridiculous notion, she figured the odds of him agreeing were slim to none.
Could they airbrush out that much hair? And exactly how many tattoos were the tan T-shirt and camouflage pants hiding? Now that she was getting to know him better, he seemed the type to have ink, and lots of it. Probably a really crude naked lady or obscenities. Or maybe some morbid, bloody skull tattoo. Emily could only guess. She and Katie hadn’t discussed the possibility of tatts. Perhaps they could airbrush any of those out too.
Then a small detail she’d missed before hit her.
She frowned. “Your shirt. It’s tan.”
“So, shouldn’t it be green? You know, Army green. No?”
“Because it’s the rules.”
“Oh, come on. I know I’ve seen military men in olive-green shirts.”
He nodded. “I’m sure you have. Marines wear green shirts. The Army wears tan T-shirts with the universal-camouflage pattern for our combat uniform.”
She sighed again, deeper. Fighting the rules seemed useless, but she couldn’t resist one last word. “Well, that tan does nothing to bring out the color of your eyes.”
Hawk smiled broadly at that, looking genuinely amused, an emotion Emily had begun to doubt was in his repertoire.
“I’ll make sure to point that out to my superiors. Maybe they’ll consider changing the regulation uniform in deference to the color of my eyes.”
Well, that was the highest amount of syllables she’d heard come out of him all at once the entire day.
Emily had a strong urge to stick her tongue out at him. He’d probably laugh at her for that too, so she didn’t give him the satisfaction.
She heard Jai’s shutter and looked up to see him snapping candid photos of Hawk, who went from a laughing smile at her expense, to a frown, to looking stern and kind of scary in a matter of seconds.
“That’s great, Sergeant.” Jai wore a grin. “Perfect. I want your whole range of expressions over the next few days.”
That led to an even more comical expression of horror clearly written across Hawk’s face. Had he just realized that whether he was happy about it or not, this photo shoot and this ad campaign starring him was going to happen? Difficult or not, he was stuck with them for the next few days and there was nothing he could do about it.
Now it was Emily’s turn to smile.