Authors: Jennifer August
Two Cowboys in Her Crosshairs
Marine sniper Olivia Martinez returned from Afghanistan injured in body and heart. Though she lost her acting sniper status along with her left eye in an ambush, she’s still in the Corps and working for JAG.
Her heartbreaker, Jake Logan, retired to Freedom, Texas, and the ranch he named for their unit. With his best friend, Hudson Walker, at his side, he’s trying to forget that last mission gone so horribly wrong…and forget Olivia.
A mysterious package, coupled with the deaths of some of the squad, brings Olivia, Jake, and Hudson under fire.
There’s fire between them as well, fire that leads to Olivia, in bed between the two men.
In the end, it’s going to come down to Olivia’s ability to overcome her injuries, both physically and emotionally, to save the three of them. But once a Marine sniper has you in her crosshairs…say your prayers. She’s way more accurate—and sexy—than Cupid.
Contemporary, Ménage a Trois/Quatre, Western/Cowboys
Siren Publishing, Inc.
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A SIREN PUBLISHING BOOK
IMPRINT: Ménage Amour
TWO COWBOYS IN HER CROSSHAIRS
E-book ISBN: 978-1-62242-777-2
First E-book Publication: March 2013
Cover design by Harris Channing
All cover art and logo copyright © 2013 by Siren Publishing, Inc.
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Two Cowboys in Her Crosshairs
by Jennifer August from BookStrand.com or its official distributors, thank you. Also, thank you for not sharing your copy of this book.
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This book is for all those who serve or have served our country in times of peace but especially during war. Thank you doesn’t seem to be enough for all you do, but mine is heartfelt and sincere. Thank you for putting your lives on the line to defend my liberties.
For my dad who fought in Vietnam, for my French grandfather who fought in the French Resistance, and for my great-uncles who fought in WWII. Thank you.
TWO COWBOYS IN HER CROSSHAIRS
Copyright © 2013
“Jake, we need to talk. Avoiding me isn’t the answer.” Olivia Martinez propped her hands on her hips and gave him a glare so ferocious golden sparks flew from her deep-brown eyes.
“There isn’t a damn thing to say.” The back of Jake’s neck crawled with sweat in the still heat of the Afghanistan evening. He looked past Olivia toward the makeshift barracks housing the Hellfire Battalion. They’d been stuck in this damned country for seven months. As a marine, he knew all about sacrifice, duty, and what it took to get a job done. The very last thing he needed to do was act on his attraction to this female spitfire, no matter how hard she made his dick.
She was brash and bold and exciting. Her presence filled the room with an undeniable energy that stole his breath. Couple that with her sloe-eyed beauty, and he was in a perpetual state of want for her.
But he couldn’t act on his need. It would not be the wise thing to do.
Olivia’s strong fingers grabbed his arm. Jake looked at her clear fingernails and saw the dust from the Afghanistan landscape coating her hands. He knew those hands were capable of firing an M40 sniper rifle with the precision of a cyborg, but he also knew there was gentleness and passion in them.
“Nothing to say? That’s bullshit and you know it, Jake. Never took you for a coward.” Olivia glowered then spun on the heel of her dusty combat boot and stormed toward the barracks.
He rubbed the back of his neck and worked on unclenching his jaw. Two more months and this tour would be done.
He sure as hell didn’t know. He’d contemplated asking for a duty transfer, but he hated giving in. Or more accurately, running away.
He also knew Olivia wasn’t going anywhere. Her dedication to the Hellfire Battalion was second only to her duty to the Corps.
She would never willingly leave.
He just didn’t know if he had the balls to go first.
Hell, maybe I am a coward like she says.
Jake stared into the empty space. This damned attraction was one of the major reasons he was against women in war zones. He’d spouted that more than once since she’d joined their unit on this duty rotation. He didn’t doubt her clinical abilities with her weapon, but he hated the idea of trusting his life and those of his men to her hands. He’d raised the same concerns when Connie Bransom joined them in the field a couple of months ago. Granted Connie’s role as information specialist was nowhere near as pivotal as Olivia’s, but she still didn’t belong in an active hot zone. Hell, he didn’t know how Colonel Reed managed to pull strings to get Olivia
the field as a sniper. Far as he knew, women engaged in active combat were against the law. Maybe Reed doctored her papers or something. The only problem was he couldn’t see the colonel doing something so underhanded. The man was a straight shooter from the word
Jake trudged to the barracks and opened the door. The place stank of sweat, dirt, and stale coffee.
He removed his hat and headed for his bunk. Taggart Cain, Boone Shepherd, Brian Fischer, and Shag Williams sat around a rickety table playing cards. Calhoun Mayers was on his bunk with his head buried in a medical journal as usual. Doc was another oddity in their group. He was a Navy doctor who’d asked to be assigned to the Hellfire Battalion, but he never said why. Jake was glad though. Doc was a damn good man to have in a firefight.
Gideon Masters had his rifle in parts all over his bed. Jake’s lips twitched as he watched the sniper crack his knuckles then hover his palms over the bed. Next to him stood Lincoln Grace, who was staring at his black combat watch.
“In five seconds,” Grace said.
Masters’s fingers twitched.
The sniper’s hand flew over the parts on the bed and in less time than it took most people to tie their shoes, he had the entire M40 reassembled and ready to fire.
Jake looked to Grace for the official time.
“Forty two seconds.”
“Damn it,” Masters grumbled. “Three seconds longer than last time.”
Grace shook his head. “Quit being so damn picky. I doubt anyone else could do something like that.”
“I can ride a mean old bull for the full eight seconds,” Roark Weston offered. He unfurled his lean and lanky body from his bunk and walked next to Masters. He stared down at the rifle being disassembled again. “I can ride a horse like my ass is superglued to the saddle. I can throw a rope and take down a calf on the run. I can charm the boots off half the women in Texas.” He clapped Masters on the shoulder. “But I sure as hell can’t do that.”
Grace chuckled. “One of these days I want to get your butt up on a camel and see how you ride that.”
Weston’s eyes gleamed in the dim light, and he rubbed his hands together. “Hey, I never thought of that.”
Jake rolled his eyes. “Forget it,” he snapped. “No one’s riding any damn camels.”
Weston looked at him and frowned. “You’re no fun.”
“Tough shit,” Jake replied. “We’re not here to have fun. We’re here to do a job.”
The trio glowered at him as one, and Jake glared back. Finally they broke up. Grace and Weston drifted to their own cots as Masters put his M40 together for a final time.
The barracks door opened, and Quade Aldren walked inside. Jake tensed.
“Aldren?” He didn’t want to ask the question that burned his brain, but he had to know.
The man paused at the foot of his cot. He shoved his hands in his pockets and shook his head. “I didn’t do it, Sarge. I can’t leave yet.” Haunting pain flitted in the man’s dark-blue eyes. “I talked to the chaplain like you suggested.”
“Good.” Relief washed through Jake. He didn’t like any of his men being in pain, but he also knew getting a new body in the unit had the potential to throw them all off.
He hated how selfish he felt knowing Aldren wasn’t going to leave the marines and their unit in mid-deployment, but his relief overshadowed it.
“He’s a good man,” Aldren murmured. “He convinced me to wait until we get back to the States.”
“It’s a good plan,” Jake said. He rose and approached Aldren. “You’re okay, right?” he asked quietly. “I wanted you to talk to him to make sure you can do the job we need you to do.”