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He survived combat…but will he fight for love?
Former Army Captain and venture capitalist Preston Guthrie has always had a thing for Cat Kingston, but he never felt like he could date his best friend’s sister. Plus, he’s a wrong-side-of-the-tracks guy and she’s a white-picket-fence kind of woman. Yet when they met again just before he was deployed, sparks flew. A fire ignited. And the heat was hot. For the first time, he thought a relationship with her might be possible…until an injury in the war changed everything…
Journalist Cat Kingston had a rough couple of years, surviving a broken engagement and the loss of her job. But connecting with Preston last fall seemed right. They shared steamy Skype sessions while he was overseas—until he was wounded, and cut her off without explanation. Now he’s back in town to be the Best Man for her sister’s wedding…and she wants answers.
Preston’s struggling with a leg wound, but the war scarred him on the inside, too. When Cat pays him a surprise visit and her brother catches them in a compromising position, Preston tells him they’re dating. He’s not sure how he can spend the entire wedding week fake-dating her when the chemistry between them feels anything but…
“It’s okay,” she said, ready to dig into her own. “We can change the subject.”
He put down the burger and wiped his mouth with his napkin. “I took a bullet for one of my squadron mates. I jumped in instinctively, but I wasn’t quite fast enough to get us both out of the way. It caught me in the leg and shattered my knee.”
“What about your buddy?”
“He and his wife just had a baby girl.”
Her eyes began to tear up suddenly.
He shifted in his seat. “Oh, come on now, don’t cry.”
“I’m not crying.” She swiped at the corners of her eyes.
“I bet you cry at sappy old movies. And weddings.”
“Don’t forget baptisms, baby showers, and bar mitzvahs, too.”
“Well then, get ready to open the floodgates. Want to know the best part?”
“They asked me to be godfather.” Then the smart-ass handed over his napkin.
She used it to daub at her eyes even as she rolled them at him. He sat across from her and chuckled.
“You’re a hero,” she said. “Whatever bad feelings you have about the war, at least you know you did a good thing. A really good thing.”
“It’s not the people you helped that gets you. It’s the men you couldn’t save.”
Their gazes caught again across the tiny table. He had the most expressive blue eyes. The same color as the summer sky behind him, and so full of feeling, Cat could not imagine what he had gone through in combat. She wished she could say something, anything funny to bring the laughter back into them, but words escaped her.
“I was just doing my job,” he said in a detached tone. “And speaking of doing my job, I found you a prospect. To date.” He pulled out an iPad from his briefcase. “An investment banker. I’ve known him a long time. I can vouch for the fact that he’s a great guy.”
“Oh, wonderful.” She rubbed her hands together in faux excitement, but deep down, she didn’t have the heart for it.
The man on the screen was white haired. Not gray on the sides or even gray all over but as stark white as a bleached sheet flapping in the breeze.
“I’ve known Carlos since I graduated from college.”
“Is he your grandfather?”
“Ha ha. Very funny.”
“Has he been married?”
“He’s a widower.”
She shut the iPad. “This does not count as a genuine prospect.”
“I can’t help it if you shallowly reject good candidates based solely on their appearance.”
“I am not shallow.”
He shrugged. “I don’t know what else I would call it.”
“I’m not attracted to fifty-three-year-olds. And he doesn’t even look fifty-three. He looksseventy-three.”
“Your problem, not mine.”
“You suck at this!”
“Maybe you can help me narrow my search by telling me what you’re looking for in a guy.”
“Kind, ambitious, cute. Not a grandfather. Someone who loves me just the way I am.”
“Who wouldn’t love you just the way you are?” His eyes sparked with conviction. Emotions flickered across his face that she couldn’t interpret—regret, anger, and something else much darker. Want. She could swear he looked at her the way a man looks at a woman he wants to kiss, long and hard and deep.
About Miranda Liasson:
Miranda Liasson loves to write stories about courageous but flawed characters who find love despite themselves, because there’s nothing like a great love story. And if there are a few laughs along the way, even better! She’s a former Golden Heart winner who writes series romance for Entangled Publishing and lighthearted contemporary romance for Montlake Publishing. She lives in the Midwest with her husband, three kids, and Posey, a rescue cat with attitude.