Trusting a Warrior
by Melanie Hansen
Published by Carina Press
George Monteverdi always had one goal, to become a navy SEAL. Now that he’s both a SEAL and a K-9 handler, saving lives is his priority. When tragedy touches his own life, he handles it—with the help of his crew and his dog, Bosch. Having those guys by his side means he’ll never be alone…though any sort of romance feels like a faraway dream.
Heartbroken after her fiancé falls in love with another woman, Lani Abuel seeks comfort in the arms of a stranger, only to find herself pregnant and alone. She’ll do whatever it takes to be a good mother, which means finally facing the trauma in her past. The last thing she expected was a warrior with wounds all too similar to hers finding his way into her heart and loving her child as his own.
As their worlds entwine, Lani and Geo find the joy and redemption they’ve been seeking. But despite the sanctuary they’ve created, a forever love seems impossible. A K-9 handler who spends most of his time deployed with his SEAL team, staring danger in the eye, is far from what Lani—or her baby—needs, and Geo can’t imagine a future doing anything else.
When they reached the reception hall, Geo and Lani stood just outside the pool of light, watching while the wedding couple danced together on the gazebo. The bride was radiant in a light pink cocktail dress, her groom in khaki pants, the sleeves of his matching pink button-up shirt rolled to his elbows.
“Aww, they look so beautiful and happy together, don’t they?” Lani whispered. “Best wishes to them both.”
Loud laughter drew their attention to a knot of young men leaning against a nearby railing, bottles of beer in hand, their boisterousness and camaraderie instantly recognizable. Geo nodded at them. “Team guys.”
She grimaced, her pleasure at the sight of the happy couple draining away. The bride had not only married her husband, she’d married the whole community and the demands it brought with it. It wouldn’t be an easy or glamorous life, not by a long shot.
“Well, good luck to them both, then,” she said. “They’re gonna need it.”
Geo quirked his lips at her. “Been there, done that, got the T-shirt, huh?”
“Hell, yeah, I got the T-shirt.” Tugging on his arm, she steered them past the wedding and on down the beach. “How about you? What sort of relationship skeletons do you have in your closet?” She’d said it lightly, teasingly, and was surprised to feel his biceps tense.
He didn’t say anything for a few beats, then, “I lived with someone for about a year once. His name was Jake.”
It took a moment for his meaning to sink in. Careful to keep both her face and voice neutral, Lani said, “His name?”
“I’m bi. So yeah, ‘closet’ is a pretty good word for it.”
Risking a glance up at him, she could see how rigid his jaw was, his lips compressed into a tight line. How much trust had it taken for him to reveal that? A pang shot through her. More than she’d ever know.
Melanie Hansen doesn’t get nearly enough sleep. She loves all things coffee-related, including collecting mugs from every place she’s visited. After spending eighteen years as a military spouse, Melanie definitely considers herself a moving expert. She has lived and worked all over the country, and hopes to bring these rich and varied life experiences to the love stories she gets up in the wee hours to write. On her off-time, you can find Melanie watching baseball, reading or spending time with her husband and two teenage sons.
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