I looked down at my drink as I tried to figure out a nice way of phrasing my
next question. “When you say they’re possessive…?” I couldn’t figure out a way
to finish, but both women seemed to know where I was going with that statement.
“Possessive as in protective,” Cara clarified, slowly circling her pint glass on
the glossy wood table.
“Bridgewater men put their woman first, always,” Katie said. “They believe in
making sure she is always taken care of—her problems are their problems. It’s
their duty to make sure she’s happy.”
“And satisfied,” Cara added with a waggle of her eyebrows that had all three of
us cracking up. They’d made me feel better and reassured me that Declan and Cole
weren’t like Brad. What they said only reaffirmed what my gut had told me from
the moment I’d met them. They were good men—kind men. They were also sexy men
and they were watching me.
“So what’s the verdict?” Katie asked, biting her lip to obviously keep from
grinning. “Are you interested?”
I opened my mouth to respond and paused. Was I? The ache between my thighs was
my answer. But that’s not what she meant. I had no doubt she’d be fine with me
jumping her brother and his friend for a wild night, but she probably didn’t
want to hear about it. She was more interested in whether I wanted to become her
sister-in-law. “I, uh…I don’t know. This is um, well, the first date, so
marriage isn’t really on my mind. Besides, I hadn’t planned on sticking around
“You don’t have to know tonight whether you’re serious about them,” Cara said.
“At this point, you just need to know if you’re attracted to them. If you are,
the rest is up to them.”
Katie nodded authoritatively. “Believe me, last summer I was in the same boat
you’re in right now. I didn’t intend to stick around but my men showed me how
good it could be if I did.”
“I take it they made a good case in the back hallway?” I asked.
She gave me a smug grin. “Oh yeah. And I can happily say that staying in
Bridgewater was the best decision I ever made. But what about you? Forget long
term, are you interested in these guys?”
Cara and Katie were watching me closely. There was no way I could bring myself
to lie. “Yeah,” I said. “I’m interested.” I glanced back over at the men again
and the sight was enough to make me drool. “Who wouldn’t be?”
“That’s my girl.” Cara was grinning at me like we’d been friends since childhood
just like her and Katie.
“But I can’t make any promises,” I started.
Before I could get any further, Katie cut me off with a wave of her hand. “No
one expects you to, least of all them. They know it’s on them to show you how it
can be.” She gave me a wink. “Trust me, you’ll have the time of your life being
Now that I could believe. I snuck another peek over at the men and saw
that Cole and Declan were heading back in our direction. Girl talk time was
over. But I was better for it—my head felt a whole lot clearer and they’d helped
to calm some of my nerves.
Hiding from a crazy ex-boyfriend, Hannah Winters is determined to keep her
head down and her heart locked safely away. Burned out from practicing medicine
and dealing with a controlling jerk, her interest in romance is at absolute
zero...until they walk in. One look at Cole and Declan and Hannah is going to
have a very hard time keeping the ice around her heart from melting.
Declan grew up in Bridgewater, and his job as a police officer means he's got
an instinct for trouble, and Hannah Winters stirs up all kind of feelings he
can't fight. When his friend, Cole finds out about the sexy type-A woman with
desire in her eyes but lies on her lips, he's just as determined to tame her and
uncover her deepest fears—and desires.
When her past catches up to her, it'll be Cole and Declan who convince her to
stop running, from her past, and from the desire burning white hot between them.
They're going to claim her, even if they have to do it the hard way...one
seductive kiss at a time.
Warning: Panty melting! Claim Me Hard is book 2 in the wildly dirty series
where two obsessed alpha cowboys meet their Type-A heroine. This standalone HEA
is all about her - no M/M.
Vanessa Vale is the USA Today bestselling author of over thirty books, sexy
romance novels, including her popular Bridgewater historical romance series and
hot contemporary romances featuring unapologetic bad boys who don't just fall in
love, they fall hard. When she's not writing, Vanessa savors the insanity of
raising two boys, is figuring out how many meals she can make with a pressure
cooker, and teaches a pretty mean karate class. While she's not as skilled at
social media as her kids, she loves to interact with readers.