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the hero, Kiptyn Llowell
(book 3 of the Men In Uniform series)
Dashing and devilish Major Kiptyn Llowell is the opposite of reasonable. But when his top secret espionage mission in the remote highlands of Hainan Island, China, goes belly up, Kip throws himself on the mercy of the eminently sensible (and irresistibly sexy) DeAnne Lovejoy to hitch a ride to his extraction point. But he gets just a little more than he bargained for with this beautiful spitfire.
As a member of the U.S Department of State, it’s DeAnne’s job to help American citizens in need of aid on foreign soil. Although it’s Kip who’s being hunted by every cop and soldier in China, when DeAnne sets her eyes on his impressive body, she’s the one who needs rescuing—from her own highly improper thoughts!
But before either of them gets the chance to flirt, an enemy platoon storms in, guns blazing. Covers blown and running for their lives, Kip and DeAnne decide to throw caution to the wind and complete his mission together. Amidst escalating feelings, they just hope they survive long enough to enjoy their wild ride to a loving future…
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A remote mountain village,
Hainan Island, China
It would be a woman.
Hell. Could his day get any worse?
U.S. Marine Corps Intelligence operator Major Kiptyn Llowell swallowed a growl of irritation as he regarded the trim figure descending from a white SUV sporting a familiar international hotel logo on its door. In a situation like this, Kip would much rather deal with a man. You could talk to a man. Reason logically with a man. No muss, no fuss. Women were just so damn…emotional. And unreasonable. Not to mention highly unpredictable.
This mission had already skidded so far outside the realm of predictable, Kip did not need a single other wild card spinning him off in yet another direction.
What he needed was to get his head examined.
Send me, he’d told Colonel Jackson when a navy rep had come looking for a Marine Special Operations Intelligence Battalion operator they could borrow for a quick solo mission. Kip and his MSOIB team had been on a jungle recon exercise in the Philippines, relatively close by. The navy needed someone immediately. Naturally, he’d volunteered.
Because when had he ever thought things through before acting? Never. Hell, no. Flirting with disaster was his specialty. Living on the edge was the thing that had taken him so fast and so far in his career. It was also what had driven him so fast and so far from home, family, and the life he’d once expected to lead.
“Practical” and “predictable”? Not in his vocabulary. Which was one reason he loved his job. The Corps kept him grounded and provided a semblance of structure in his life, while his work in intelligence gave free rein to his wild side.
He eased his weight off his bad leg and shifted his rucksack into a less conspicuous position under his grungy, oversized, cotton peasant jacket. The pack held his camera and what remained of his equipment, the rest damaged from a bad landing when he parachuted onto the island night before last.
Jetting out a breath, he surveyed the woman getting out of the SUV as she dusted off her clothes with quick, efficient movements. Well, at least there was little doubt as to her nationality. She had the look of a typical U.S. government geek. Sensible gray suit skirt hitting sensibly at the knee, paired with a sensible white blouse. Practical leather shoulder bag. Practical flats. Chestnut hair in a practical pony tail. Jesus, even her height was sensibly practical—not too tall, not too short.
State Department foreign service officer, maybe? He could usually spot an FSO a mile away, thanks to his blessedly short stint as an embassy guard. He shuddered inwardly.
Whatever. Ms. Sensible was his ticket out of this goatfuck of a day. Assuming he could talk his way into that SUV when it left this flyspeck of a Chinese village in the back of beyond.
Not that he’d give her any choice in the matter. Women might be emotional and unreliable, but, notwithstanding his penchant for doing the opposite of what was expected—and despite what his father thought—Kip sure as hell was not emotional or unreliable.
The last time he’d acted from emotion was when he’d stormed out of his father’s house eighteen years ago and joined the Marine Corps. Since then, not once had Kiptyn Llowell III delivered anything less than what was asked of him…one way or another. He’d never failed to complete a mission.
He had no intention of starting now.
Even though his cover was blown, his leg hurting like hell, and his equipment useless, he had every intention of seeing this mission through.
He’d do whatever it took to get to the rendezvous point at the appointed time tomorrow to pick up a replacement camera and the other things the guys in his unit were delivering. Which meant getting himself a ride down the mountain from Ms. Practical.
No problem. She didn’t look that tough. A wink and a smile and she’d be putty in his hands. Women loved to be needed.