Being that it’s the Fourth of July here in the U.S., I thought I’d go with something patriotic. So this week’s featured excerpt is from Sha Renée. The Navy veteran weaves us through the courtship of Ethan and Layla, and steams up the room with their Forbidden Kisses.
When Navy pilot, Ethan Parker falls for the woman he met at a coffee shop, he knows she’s the one he’s waited his entire life for. She’s sensual, sassy and smart. What he doesn’t know is she’s also in the Navy, and her enlisted rank means a relationship with her could potentially get him discharged from military service.
While on leave from teaching at a top Naval facility, Layla Matthews tumbles head-over-heels for the sexiest man she’s encountered in a long time. The fact that he can hold an intelligent conversation is an added bonus. Her world is turned upside down when she later discovers he’s a Navy lieutenant. A senior officer. Her new boss. Definitely off-limits.
Continuing their relationship could ruin their military careers. Ending it would break both their hearts. Do they end their sizzling romance or keep it a secret… and pray no one finds out?
For the next forty-five minutes, my coworkers spoke, but I hadn’t a clue what any of them said. My mind was busy replaying the events of the day I first met Ethan. Piercing blue eyes. Beautiful dimples. Coffee. Bathroom. Flirting. Not once had he said anything about the Navy. He had mentioned his new position, but never revealed that he was third in command at an aviation training facility… Had he?
At the conclusion of the staff meeting, everyone emptied the room, but I remained seated, waiting for a chance to confront Lieutenant Parker. I pulled my cell from my pocket and studied the screen, pretending I had a reason to linger. The message notification on my phone startled me.
Ethan: My office. Now.
Me: Are you kidding? I can’t just walk into your office.
Ethan: We need to talk. Wait a few minutes, and then knock on my door.
He stood and left the room without a glance in my direction. My heart beat faster at the sight of him in uniform. Images of the days and nights I’d spent in Ethan’s arms flooded my consciousness. How could neither of us know the other’s military status? How could neither of us think to ask? DAMN.
I walked nervously to the other side of the building where the officers’ offices were. But not before stopping in the head to smooth my hair and blot the oil from my face.
The door to his office was ajar. Should I just go in? Should I knock? I figured I’d better follow standard procedure just in case anyone saw me. I knocked on the door and spoke immediately after. “Request permission to enter, Sir.”
“Granted.” He rose from his desk, walked past me, and shut the door.
Tension radiated through every muscle in my body. We stood for a beat, staring at each other. He had to be thinking the same thing I was: What the f-?
“Layla, what the hell is going on?”
Was he accusing me? Did he think I somehow planned this shit? “You tell me. You never said you were in the Navy. That you were an officer! That you work here. Do you know what this means?”
“Of course, I know what this means. I thought you were a student.”
“I am. I was.”
“You didn’t say you’re also an instructor.” He started to pace. “Here.”
“It didn’t come up. I had other things on my mind.”
“Like what?” Those vivid blue eyes held my gaze.
He was too smart to be that clueless. “Like you.”
His expression softened.
“You didn’t tell me you were the new Director of Training at one of the Navy’s best training facilities.”
“We’ll talk about this later at the hotel.”
“What are you? Crazy? We can’t meet at the hotel. We can’t talk. We can’t text. We can’t anything.”
“We need to figure out what we’re going to do.”
“What we’re going to do? There’s nothing we can do. This is it for us. I finally meet the perfect guy… and I can’t have him.”
A knock at the door startled us and we quickly backed away from each other. My heart beat wildly as the Commanding Officer swung the door open and came right toward us.
Sha Renée is a native New Yorker who joined the US Navy right after high school. She now lives in New Jersey where she creates stories on the pages where duty, honor and passion unite.
A true nature lover, Sha enjoys spending time outdoors, usually with a camera in her hands. She’s has a passion for motorcycles and sports cars and is a fan of auto racing, military air shows and The X Games – pretty much any activity with fast wings or wheels.
She hates cooking, loves music and believes every day should include a cup of hot coffee and a glass of chilled wine.