Overall rating – 4 silken sheets
Marine Gunnery Sergeant John “Crash” O’Malley has two goals for the immediate future. One, enjoy his liberty in New York City, and two, survive his deployment to Afghanistan. What he didn’t plan on is Trish. A guy can’t have a one-night stand with his best friend’s sister and then abandon her at midnight when his liberty ends, but starting a new relationship days before shipping out would be crazy. Then again, Crash never did do things the easy way.
What he doesn’t realize is that his friend’s displeasure over Crash breaking the “no sisters rule” is nothing compared to what the insurgents have in store for them in the Helmand Province. Now it’s a matter of survival because Crash’s new objective is to get home to Trish and make her his.
I’m still in the throes of a military-hero bookfest and I stepped away from my Suzanne Brockmann re-reading marathon to try this one. Cat Johnson is a prolific author and I liked the look of the blurb.
It was a quick and uncomplicated BUDGET PRICED (99c) hot read, and it was fun, with just enough of a serious edge to give it depth.
It opens right in the middle of the fighting, with Crash and his best bud Danny aka Zippy, trying to simply ensure they survive the incident. Thinking he might not, Crash tried to make his confession:
“Zip, I gotta tell you something.”
Over the sound of the incoming fire, Zippy must have heard the gravity in Crash’s tone. “Jesus, Crash. We’re not gonna die here today so keep your damn confessions for another time. All right?”
Zippy let out a huge breath. “Okay, go ahead, but I’m just gonna mock you with whatever you tell me later when we’re back home having beers.”
Crash sincerely doubted that. He launched into his confession anyway. “In May, while we were in New York, I slept with your sister.”
For the first time since they’d taken position, Zippy took his eyes off the perimeter. His gaze cut to Crash, just for a second, before it moved back to the fence. “We’re both gonna survive this, so that afterward, I can kick your ass.”
One of the things that stood out about this book, was the level of military detail, the fine print that a lot of other writers gloss over. There wasn’t too much, but enough to add a new level of interest, and to introduce me to plenty of new terminology. Cinderella Liberty, for instance:
Good old Cinderella liberty. You would think that a grown man who was a careerist could be trusted on his own home turf to make it back aboard the boat prior to the commencement of any duties, not have a curfew at midnight like a teenager, but such was life in the Corps.
With two nights of freedom in New York City, both Crash and Zippy are looking for fun… the kind of fun that includes alcohol and getting laid:
He wasn’t even pissed they’d be in uniform the entire time, even while on liberty. Nothing worked as efficiently to attract the ladies. That had been proven time and time again in real world experience. There was good reason Marines called their uniforms Superman clothes, and it wasn’t because it gave them the ability to fly. It did, however, often give them the ability to see beneath women’s clothing.
His anticipation though is tempered by Zippy’s news:
“…my sister Trish and her hot friend Dawn are meeting us in New York while we’re there.”
Now it was Crash’s turn to narrow his eyes at Zippy. “Hot friend? Zip, this better not be a fix-up.”
However, Trish is alone when she meets them:
“Hey, Trish. Good to see you.” Danny hugged her, and then peered past her into the car. He frowned. “Wait. Where’s Dawn?”
Danny’s obvious disappointment had Trish laughing. “She couldn’t make it. And it’s very nice to see you too, big brother.”
“I thought you were bringing her.”
“I thought I was too, but something came up.” She gave up waiting for her brother to make the introductions and turned to the Marine standing off to the side. She extended her hand toward him and couldn’t help but notice he had the bluest eyes she’d seen on anyone, male or female, in a long time.
Trish wasn’t the only one sensing the attraction:
Trish had the same dark hair and rich green eyes her brother had, and on her it was a drop dead gorgeous combination. Add to the knockout hair and eyes Trish’s long legs and tits that weren’t huge but a perfect mouthful and she was his perfect type.
The damn women had outfitted her killer body to perfection too. The sundress was low enough in front to hint at some cleavage and short enough to be tasteful but still show off a tempting amount of leg.
More than looks, though, she was funny and cute and— shit, she also happened to be his best buddy’s sister. Crash had to keep reminding himself of that.
When Trish’s friend Dawn eventually shows up, and Zippy makes a beeline for her, Crash and Trish are able to grab some time together. However, they only have one hotel suite, and a drunken Zippy manages to hog the bedroom, leaving Crash and Trish to spend the night together in the lounge. It still isn’t plain sailing:
“There’s nothing I’d like more than to spend tonight with you, engaging in all sorts of pleasurable activity. Believe me. But you’re Zippy’s sister. That’s pretty much the worst thing one guy can do to another guy.”
He’d leaned closer while he’d spoken, keeping his voice low and just for her, as if Danny could have heard them anyway over the sound of the television and Dawn’s moaning.
His hand remained on her arm. Warm. Strong. It had her insides heating. She found herself leaning closer to him. “First of all, I’m my own person and I make my own decisions. Second, what Danny doesn’t know won’t hurt him.”
The sex was hot, made even hotter by them having to be discreet and avoid Zippy getting any idea of what was going on between them.
A good third, if not more, of this book was spent with the men back on deployment in the lead-up to the incident at the start, and then the aftermath. It was gripping in all the right places and I didn’t want to put the story down. It’s a clear 4-star read 🙂
It was a great introduction to Cat Johnson for me, and I’ve already one-clicked another of her books to read soon.
Overall rating – 4 silken sheets
Sexy rating – 4 lips
Plot – great
Characters – great
Warnings – you may suffer an increased interest in men in uniform…
Genre: Contemporary erotic romance
Published: November 2013; $0.95 (Amazon)
Author website: Cat Johnson