The one man she could not command is back.
Master Sergeant Misty Beachy commanded Marines in a war zone. She might not look the part, but her men took her orders and respected her. The only thorn in her side was Major Jack Hawk, close air support pilot. He didn't like women in combat, but he saved her unit from a deadly ambush. Misty has found a niche in civilian life training sniffer dogs for Customs. Then prickly Jack Hawk, the one man who never fails to get under her skin, returns. Now she can't stop thinking about him, even though she's certain she can't stand him. Well, almost certain...
Jack Hawk doesn't have time for a woman in his life right now. Especially not one he can’t figure out. He already has his hands full with his rebellious teenage daughter and a move to civilian life. Even though Misty seems to despise him, he can't deny the connection between them. If only he hadn't kissed her, because no matter how hard he tries, he can't get her out of his mind. But his daughter's antics may just derail everything before their relationship can even begin.
CHAPTER ONEMaster Sgt. Misty Beachy, USMC (ret), pressed her fingers against her eyes and moaned. She looked forward to hosting the kids from the local continuation high school about as much as she longed for a root canal. Not that she’d ever had one thanks to her parents spending a fortune on her teeth while she was growing up, but she was best friends with a former Marine who’d recently undergone the gruesome procedure and was still whining about it.“Continuation High School,” she sighed. Most of the kids there were one step away from juvie. She understood teenage rebellion. At thirty-three, she wasn’t so far removed from that period of her life. She’d joined the Marines when her big brother got killed in Afghanistan, nearly destroying her parents. At the time she thought she was doing it to make them proud. How self-centered is that? She smirked at her young cluelessness.What she’d accomplished was to make them sick with worry that they’d lose their only other child in the Middle East for no good reason. And she’d come pretty damn close to making their anxiety a self-fulfilling prophesy in Iraq eleven years ago. “Quit acting like a baby, Beachy,” she chided herself between clenched teeth. “If you can handle a bunch of testosterone-loaded Marines at a forward operating base in a war zone, you can handle a half dozen sneering, self-destructive, loser kids for an hour.”“Talking to yourself again, boss?” “Kiss my ass, Jeremy.”“No fraternizing allowed. Says so right in the employment contract, but if we both quit our jobs, I’d be happy to oblige.” She couldn’t help smiling at her sunny young assistant. How he could remain cheerful day after day of working under her supervision was a mystery.She wrinkled her nose. “I’m not a child molester.” He was barely twenty-one.“I have this thing for older women.”“You’re very annoying, Jeremy.”Instead of answering her accusation, he grinned wider. Beachy sighed and shook her head. This kid always looked liked he’d just opened up a Christmas gift and discovered Santa had left the exact thing he’d been asking for, right down to the brand name and model number. A happy boy in a rangy man’s body. He had an annoying habit of making her smile when she was enjoying a moment of self- indulgent funk.“Your favorite high school kids are here, boss. Time to put a smile on your doll face, and a sparkle in those big brown eyes.”She rose from her desk with weary resignation, flashed an obscene and very un-ladylike gesture before grinding out, “You’re fired.”Jeremy laughed. “Again? That’s the second time today.”“Go line up the dogs. It’s a shame we’re teaching them to sniff explosive and contraband instead of attacking a pack of kids only their mothers could love.”“Don’t be too sure. I doubt some of them still have mothers.” He went toward the kennel, and Misty took a deep breath, tucked a wisp short blond hair behind her ears, and pasted a smile of greeting on her face. Might as well get on with it.