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Fall Hard

Fall Hard

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Fall Hard

4/5 (23 valoraciones)
115 página
1 hora
Feb 9, 2021


Navy SEAL Jared Sutter has a simple rule when it comes to women: keep 'em happy and keep 'em at a distance. He's got his reasons, and they all make sense until he falls for his neighbor and Cassie Bronson makes him want things he's always kept off-limits.
Feb 9, 2021

Sobre el autor

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Zoe York is a busy mom of two young boys and the creator of modern, sexy, small town contemporary romances. Her debut novel, What Once Was Perfect, started the popular Wardham series, and her first military romance, Fall Out, was released as part of the international bestselling SEALs of Summer super bundle. She lives in London, Ontario and is currently chugging Americanos, wiping sticky fingers, and dreaming of heroes in and out of uniform.

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Fall Hard - Zoe York

Chapter One

Just once, he’d like to spend Christmas bundled up in a sweater. Preferably with a ski bunny tucked into his side.

Jared Sutter looked at the text message from his brother Jackson again. Something’s come up. We’ll do Colorado in the new year.

Something would be a mission. His brother was an ex-Navy SEAL turned mercenary who lived in the Caribbean and did the jobs Jared and his SEAL teammates couldn’t be asked to do.

Jared could go to Colorado on his own, but that would get complicated. He preferred to play wingman—help his brother or a buddy sweeten up their target, and then pay some attention to her less eager friend who was always relieved to find out that Jared didn’t want to get in her pants.

At least, not all the way. Every girl liked an orgasm or two courtesy of his fingers, and if they got to the naked stage, his tongue. He’d gotten pretty talented in both areas over the last eight years.

But it didn’t look like there’d be snow, skiing, or ski bunny hook-ups for his holiday break this year. Oh well. Staying home would give him a chance to finally furnish his apartment. He’d lived in California for almost two years, had rented his own place in Coronado Beach for almost one, and all he had to show for it was a bed, a big-ass TV, and the world’s most comfortable couch. The couch was a hand-me-down from Drew Castle, a friend of Jackson’s and former senior enlisted SEAL who’d recently switched to reservist duty to move to Los Angeles with his fiancée.

Drew had come home from overseas just in time to teach some courses on Jared’s SEAL Qualification Training course, and while Jared had to put up with some extra ribbing for being Jackson’s little brother, he’d gotten a couch out of it in the end, so he couldn’t complain.

No, his only complaint as a Texas-born, California-trained Navy SEAL who was living the dream was that he once again wouldn’t have a white fucking Christmas. Boo-fucking-hoo. Time to go to IKEA and get over himself.

He lived on the third floor of a walk-up apartment complex in the heart of Coronado Beach, close enough to base that he could get there quickly, far enough away that he wasn’t entirely surrounded by uniforms when he stepped out his door. A few guys he knew lived in the complex, but his next-door neighbors were civvies and that suited him just fine. His door opened onto a balcony of sorts that ran around an interior courtyard with a pool. He usually swam in the ocean, but when the girls from the apartment to his right decided to lay out by the pool, he could be convinced to join them.

Something that Cassie Bronson—the woman in the apartment to his left—gave him no small amount of grief over.

Unlike Jemma and Brittany, Cassie wasn’t one to parade around in a bikini. Damn shame, because under her suits and silk shirts he had no doubt she was rocking an awesome body. No, Cassie was a grown-up, through and through, right down to the gourmet dinners she cooked and the fancy wine she drank.

And even though they were like night and day in so many ways, they’d struck up an odd friendship. It had started with a very reluctant tap on his door a few months earlier.

You’re strong, right? she’d asked, hanging back from his doorway like she wasn’t sure what might come snapping out at her.

Why yes, ma’am, I guess I am, he’d offered back, laying on the polite Texan-smooth in a way that would make his mama proud.

I need your muscles, if you don’t mind.

And he hadn’t—not for carrying that desk up to her apartment, or for opening a ridiculously sealed jar of pickles a few weeks later. Each time she’d paid him back with a few containers of the most delicious leftovers.

Then he’d gone away for a fourteen-day training mission, and when he returned she gave him a weird look and said she was glad to see he was all in one piece. The next night she invited him over for dinner. He’d graduated up from leftovers, and before he could worry about whatever strings might be attached, she whipped out the proverbial scissors and assured him there weren’t any. She was recently divorced and her rebound relationship had fallen apart in a big way. She was in a man-free period in her life and happy for it.

Men and women can just be friends, right? She’d held out her hand like a challenge she didn’t expect him to take, but the joke was on her. Jared had never been anything more than friends with all the women in his life, except one. And his mama didn’t count.

Abso-fucking-lutely, he’d drawled, enjoying the way her cheeks pinked up. They’d shook on it, and the odd-couple friendship was born.

So it wasn’t strange that he took just three steps away from his door before turning around to knock on hers. She’d do a better job of picking stuff out anyway.

Ikea? Cassie stared at him after he repeated the invitation again. She’d answered the door wearing jean cut-offs, an oversized T-shirt that fell off one shoulder to reveal a matching tank-top underneath, and flip-flops. An uncharacteristically casual look for her, but it had been warm the last couple of days. Fucking Christmas in southern California, man. Well, at least the view was nice.

What’s so crazy about that?

You’re not exactly a throw cushion kind of guy.

I’m a bachelor. I need a swinging bachelor pad.

She snorted. Right. You’re not the entertaining type. When was the last time you invited someone back to your place?

Well, never. But that might change at some point. And when it did, he’d probably do better if he had some damn throw cushions.

She searched his face for a punch line that wasn’t coming, then shrugged. Sure, I like IKEA. Come on in. I’ll grab my purse. He followed her into her apartment, which probably was a mirror image of his, but looked completely different because, unlike him, she had decorated.

Cassie watched Jared try to navigate his cart around a family of six picking out curtains and bit back a laugh. She should have directed him to the IKEA website instead, but he had muscles and she’d wanted to go to Costco, so having some company for a big box store run sounded like fun. Even on a Saturday, five days before Christmas.

It was fun, even if he was cursing under his breath about rules of the road and needing to be aware of one’s surroundings.

Her phone rang and she dug it out of her purse. Melissa.

What are you up to? I have a mad craving for dim sum.

Cassie smiled at the sound of her best friend’s voice ringing loud and clear through the phone line. Just at Ikea with Jared, actually.

Bring him. He’s hot. We’ll go to that place with the cute gay waiter and get better service.

Jared gave her a funny look, like he could make out part of the conversation and wasn’t sure what to think of it.

Mel was the type of woman Jared usually went for. Beautiful, fun, and totally uninterested in commitment. The type of woman Cassie had watched him flirt with, sometimes make out with, and once-in-a-blue-moon get dragged home by. But at some point over the last few weeks, his easy playboy attitude had started to grate on her.

Can’t, sorry. We’re stuck in box-store hell. Costco’s next. Call you later? She hung up before Mel could protest further. Cassie wasn’t in the mood to share Jared.

Her impulse to keep Jared to herself wasn’t fair. They were friends, nothing more, and they’d even shook on it. Who he wanted to play with was none of her business.

Except at some point in the fall, she’d started to want him to play with her.

The shift in how she saw him had snuck up on her. She’d thought she was done falling hard. She’d done that with her ex-husband, Mitch, and look where that had gotten her. Then she’d had a whirlwind affair with Craig the dentist that had fallen apart as quickly as it started.

It turned out her

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23 valoraciones / 3 Reseñas
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Reseñas de lectores

  • (4/5)
    I found it to be an enjoyable quick read with some very steamy scenes.
  • (5/5)
    Adorable and sexy! Jared was total book boyfriend material, and the story flowed perfectly. Just never have a grown woman say “yuppers’.
  • (1/5)
    APHOBIA: "I know that I tried too hard tonight, okay? Let it go. I’ll be back to the asexual girl next door tomorrow and the awkwardness will eventually fade away."