Will they be able to survive her insecurities and the scrutiny of their friends and family?
Title: Oceanside Marine
Series: Kendall Family #4
Author: Jennifer Ann
Genre: Contemporary Military Romance
Release Date: April 24, 2017
Fresh out of the Marine Corps, Braden Kendall has settled into a comfortable routine in SoCal with his 3-legged dog and a handful of good friends. Despite being undeniably handsome and perceived as a lady’s man, he’s lonely and tired of meaningless hookups. After becoming pregnant in her teens, Katie Walker dedicated her life to raising her two sons, putting any romantic notions aside until they flew the nest. Now that she’s on her own and free to date, she struggles with putting her needs first.
Though Katie and Braden aren’t related by blood, their families are intertwined by marriage, making a relationship seem forbidden. Katie always found the cocky Marine attractive, but their considerable age difference made him off limits. Little does she know, Braden has been crushing on her for years and can’t get enough of her quirky personality. When they meet up in Vegas for a family celebration, Braden offers to show her a good time unmatched by anything she’s experienced. Once Katie decides she wants more of what he’s offering, can she survive a judgmental society, her insecurities, and the scrutiny of those closest to her?
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Braden’s lips are suddenly on mine and I can’t process what’s happening. Can’t breathe. He smells like sin and tastes like heaven as his warm tongue strokes past my lips to lap against mine. His eager lips move with blinding strokes of fervency, coaxing me to join in. The citrusy taste of his tongue and the hardness of his colossal muscles render me weak at the knees. One strong hand cradles my head while the other grazes against my lower back with just enough pressure to keep me grounded.
Holy shit, the guy knows how to kiss with passion and purpose. Slipping my hands underneath his shirt, I stroke the smooth skin on his lower back and hum dreamily. My underwear becomes so wet that I’m able to smell my own arousal. Aside from the fact that Braden’s exceptionally skilled, it’s similar to the way my ex would kiss when we were teenagers. Eager. Reckless. Without abandon. The same way that led to me becoming pregnant--twice.
I won’t deny that I’ve made countless bad decisions in my lifetime. Some I still regret, others have molded me into the woman I am today—namely the fact that I did get pregnant as a young teenager with the biggest douchebag in the land. But I wouldn’t go back and change anything. My sons mean everything to me. I’ve structured my life around them, putting the idea of serious relationships with men on the back burner until they were out of the house.
Now that Allen and Connor are both off at college, I finally have time to focus on what I want. What I need. And at the moment, I need to relieve the red-hot ache rocking me to the core.
Finally my mind catches up to what’s really going on.
I’m. Kissing. Braden. Kendall.
The guy who knows how to rock Marine dress blues and make beautiful women faint with a mere flash of his thick eyelashes. The hottie with the highly impressive body who paraded around the Hamptons last summer wearing a pair of low-slung swim trunks like a male supermodel. The same younger man I’ve fantasized over too many times to count. The gorgeous creature with dark brown eyes that all too often makes me forget my own name, or the brutal fact that I’m over a decade his senior.
Evelyn’s little brother.
Holy shit, this is all kinds of wrong. And since I’m his elder, I’m the one who has to stop.
Though it’s been over twelve hours since I grabbed a breakfast sandwich in the Newark airport and my angry stomach sounds downright demonic, I’m too tired to go through the motions of ordering a meal. I simply want to soak in the suite’s giant corner tub and pass out in the king bed. I’ll be amazed if I have enough energy to either throw on pajamas, or even pull back the luxurious bedding.
But the moment I round the corner to my hallway, I’ve never felt more awake.
Waiting outside my room.
I almost trip over my feet as I continue toward where he sits on the floor, head tipped back against the wall, eyes closed, thick arms slung over his knees. He’s not wearing anything special—a worn AC/DC t-shirt, faded blue jeans, and canvas flip-flops—but he’s so beautiful that I briefly wonder if I’m hallucinating from lack of sleep and starvation. With the sight of his protruding Adam’s apple and the dark scruff lining his thick jaw, the temptation to lick his neck becomes wicked strong. A bolt of desire strikes between my legs.
Keep your thoughts PG, Katie.
Gently nudging his calf with my bare foot, I call his name. He rouses slowly, wiping a hand over his face before his russet eyes focus on me. A brilliant smile spreads over his soft lips. The same lips that reminded me how it felt to truly be alive.
Face turning hot with his compliment, I fold my arms over my stomach. “What are you doing here? How’d you know I was in California?”
“Ev called a couple of hours ago, said you could probably use some company after what would likely be a hellacious day.” He pushes off his hands to stand. “No offense, but it looks like she was right. Have you grabbed supper yet?”
I nearly roll my eyes with the term supper. He sounds just like his sister. “No, I figured it’s too late. Between work and the long flight, I’m exhausted.”
“There’s a place around the corner that has killer fish tacos. I could grab some while you’re taking a bath.”
His hands disappear in his jean pockets and his chest strains against the cotton of his shirt. How I stop myself from running my hands across the valley of muscles is a mystery more complex than the Bermuda triangle. And when I picture myself naked in the tub with him in the next room, moisture pools between my legs. My body still wants him regardless of whatever my overactive imagination thinks.
“I guess I could stay up long enough for tacos,” I decide with a soft sigh. “But I’d rather eat at the restaurant. If I take a bath right now, I’ll be done for the night.”
His adorable dimples pop into place when his smile grows. “You won’t regret it. They’re legendary out here.”
But he’s dead wrong. I’m already regretting any decision that doesn’t involve sending him home and locking myself in the room.
Charlie wraps his arm behind Evelyn and kisses the side of her head. Then he whispers something that has her giggling and her cheeks pink. I almost groan out loud.
Why do things always seem to effortlessly work out for so many of my siblings? Evelyn left the farm in Minnesota to live in New York with Sharlo, a friend she met online, and bam, she met Charlie—a famous rockstar no less. The effect continued to trickle from there. Our brother James came to New York to drag Evelyn back home and met Sharlo, a hot Brit with a sizable trust fund. Not even an attempt on Sharlo’s life by some psycho and the loss of their first baby could tear them apart. Then as a good friend of Sharlo’s, Nolan, The Millionaire, swept my middle sister off her feet. The rest is history.
Now they’re all rich as hell, making it hard to keep up with all the trips they want me to constantly take across the country to Brooklyn. I know they all had their issues to get past, but they make it look easy to find the right person and settle down for a happily ever after.
At least Angelina and Hunter appear equally annoyed by the dopey love-birds surrounding us. Well maybe just Hunter. Angelina almost seems…out of it. I feel like I hardly know my oldest sister, especially since she lives way the hell down in Miami, so I can’t even guess what’s going on with her. It’s honestly surprising that she hasn’t settled down yet, even though I heard someone mention she’s dating. She’s beautiful and wicked smart. Everything she does comes off as being graceful, reminding me at times of that famous dark-haired princess from England. Maybe she hasn’t found anyone because she’s literally waiting for a prince.
“You alright?” I ask, lightly nudging her in the side with my elbow.
She merely hums in reply, blinking heavily like she’s fighting off sleep. I never heard where she and the others ended up last night. Maybe they never went to bed.
Setting my arm behind her chair, I lean in. “Want me to order you a coffee?”
“No, I’m fine.” She suddenly sits taller, wiping a hand over her face. Then she gives me a little smile. “Just tired from trying to keep up with Hunter.”
About Jennifer Ann:
Jennifer Ann is the author of nine contemporary romance novels with complex love stories. Like her characters, she's in love with the city of New York, trips on airplanes or the back of her husband's Harley, and everything rock and roll. Sometimes you can catch her driving a tractor alongside her husband in southern Minnesota while trying to keep up with the madness of their four active children.
You can connect with her online at: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | BookBub | Goodreads
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