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From USA Today best seller Kat Cantrell, comes a small-town romance series with a touch of magic.
Welcome to Superstition Springs, town in progress.
After being kicked out of the Navy, ex-SEAL Caleb Hardy needs a new mission, and rebuilding an old Texas mining town into a tourist attraction is it. If he does it right, Superstition Springs will become a new home for his band of world-weary teammates… and maybe a place to atone for the horrific mistake they’d made in the line of duty.
Havana Nixon has other plans for the quirky dot on the map she never could quite call home. The town is falling apart. Struggling. Solution: convince the folks to sell out. Except she didn’t count on the infuriating (and gorgeous, not that she’d ever tell him that) obstacle who plunks down in the middle of her land deal and acts like the careful barriers she’s erected against the world don’t exist. Thank goodness she’s arrived armed with a fiancé in tow, never mind that it’s all a sham designed to keep one of her aunt’s famous love predictions from coming true.
But in a mystical place like Superstition Springs, nothing ever goes as expected, least of all a head-to-head between two people with opposing plans, who spark every time they get in each other’s way. If they could just unbend long enough to compromise, they might figure out they both want the same thing–forever.
When Havana knocked on his door the next morning, he could easily call himself shocked. Since he was pretty sure she wasn’t there for the same activity he’d been visualizing, he threw some pants on and eased the door open, partially shielding himself behind it.
Just in case she was there for something a little more hands-on, he’d already be almost undressed for the occasion.
She didn’t say a word. Her gaze strayed down his torso as if she’d stumbled over the best side of beef at the market and she was starving.
“It’s a little early in the morning to be looking at a man like that,” he said drily. “Unless you’re planning to come in and make good on it.”
She cut her gaze back to his and locked on, a guilty flush staining her cheeks. Which pleased him enormously because it meant she had indeed been indulging in some naughty thoughts despite the back-off mandate she’d issued the last time they’d talked.
“I wasn’t expecting you to be half-dressed,” she mumbled. “Or have such a fascinating array of nicks and scars on that one shoulder. Your skin is this interesting bronze color that I hadn’t properly imagined and… I’m going to shut up now.”
Oh, that would be a shame. He tried to hide a grin and failed. “Don’t do that on my account. I like listening to you talk about my body. There’s more you haven’t seen if you need some additional parts to describe.”
The flush heightened. “I’d really prefer it if you’d put a shirt on.”
“You came to my door at—” He leaned back to glance at the clock, but really it was an excuse to reveal more of his naked chest because flustering her was so much fun. “Eight-oh-five a.m. How dressed did you think I was going to be?”
“Most people put clothes on to answer the door,” she countered and averted her eyes but not before she copped a peek. Hopefully that eyeful had given her enough to consider whether she’d like to take this early-morning meeting to the next level.
“Most people haven’t spent the past decade face down in dirt for the better part of a night. Now that I don’t have to, I like to be as comfortable as possible. I’ve never been modest, nor am I about to start.”
She nodded once. “I’ll take that under advisement.”
“Are you sure you didn’t come by hoping to catch me still in bed?” he asked tongue in cheek. “Or did you actually intend to have a conversation about something other than my poor battle-worn skin?”
Her gaze strayed back to his shoulder, softening. “I guess I should have put that together. It didn’t occur to me that you’d have wounds from being in the Navy.”
“I was a SEAL. We did the stuff no one wants to talk about,” he told her flatly. “I tangled with the wrong end of an al-Qaeda butcher knife. More than once.”
Her head bobbed in agreement a bunch of times as if she couldn’t quite process that. “Sure, of course. I get that it wasn’t pretty.”
“And neither am I. But I fared much better than the other guy.” Fact of life. Some women didn’t like that part of his past, and if she was one of them, now would be a good time to establish that.
But she lifted her eyes to his, and revulsion wasn’t even close to the top of the list of things he saw there. “You’re beautiful, Caleb. You earned those scars in the most honorable way imaginable. Why would anyone see them as ugly?”
Now it was his turn to flush, but why that pleased him so much, he couldn’t say. “Now you’re embarrassing me.”
“Then put a shirt on,” she advised him saucily. “If you don’t want to be ogled, don’t run around naked.”
About Kat Cantrell
USA Today Bestselling Author Kat Cantrell read her first Harlequin novel in third grade and has been scribbling in notebooks since she learned to spell. What else would she write but romance? When she’s not writing about characters on the journey to happily ever after, she can be found at a taekwondo tournament, watching Big Bang Theory or dancing with her kids to Duran Duran and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Kat, her husband and their two boys live in North Texas. She was a former Harlequin So You Think You Can Write winner and a former RWA® Golden Heart® finalist for best unpublished series contemporary manuscript.