The Dream Groom
by Taylor Hart Series: Texas Titan Romances
Published by ArchStone Ink
Publication Date January 13, 2018
Genres: Clean Romance
Setting: Texas Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 18-24, 25-35
Written for: Adults
Enjoy this fast-paced romance by best-selling author, Taylor Hart!
Scar Walker, professional football player and ex Navy Seal, only wanted to focus on getting his gym built for military vets while he was in San Diego. He didn’t want to take crap from his brother, he didn’t want to deal with a lippy waitress, and he really didn’t want random people calling him on the phone.
Shayla Castle came to San Diego to finally live out her childhood dream. When she accidentally calls the mysterious phone number left on her table while waitressing, she never anticipated it would be the handsome jerkface soldier who chewed her out that morning. It confuses her even more when the same jerkface shows up the next night and saves her from an attacker.
She never would have imagined she and soldier boy would start talking every night and she really never imagined he would convince her to let him do her bucket list together. After a hike at Torrey Pines, a helicopter ride, and surfing at Oceanside…she finds she just might be falling for this soldier boy.
When things get heated, she’s left with a choice—let go of the past or lose a new dream she was just starting to discover.
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This book is on my to-be-read list.
“What are you doing?” His words were stilted, and his discomfort made her relax more.
“I’m arguing the merits or justification that Juliet had for killing herself when she thought Romeo was dead.”
For a beat, he didn’t answer, like he was weighing his response on his tongue. “She was stupid. Plain and simple. Life is precious. Killing herself was a huge waste.”
Shayla disagreed. “She was in love. She was heartbroken.”
He barked out a laugh. “Life is worth more than love. She was reckless. She was too young to be messing around with a thug like Romeo. He shouldn’t have married her in the middle of the night. He would have gotten his throat cut if her father had known. That’s why he did it in the cloak of darkness.”
That was a valid argument, actually. She smiled. “Cloak of darkness, really? Should I put that in my paper?”
“Hey, I won’t complain if you feel the need to quote me.” His voice had gone husky.
Intrigued, she pushed aside her laptop and leaned against the back of her bed, thinking how this was getting interesting. “Why can’t you tell me about the scar now?”
He sighed. “You have no filter, do you, Kansas?”
The way he said “Kansas” sounded so good. Feeling a bit bad, she shook her head. “I’m sorry.”
“It’s fine. Seriously, another night. Let’s talk about your paper.”
“Sure.” She went back to the topic, even though she really wanted to know now. “Juliet had pledged her dying love to Romeo. Juliet trusted Romeo.”
“Still stupid and childish.”
“Was it? Because by Romeo’s actions we see that Romeo loved and trusted Juliet. He didn’t let it stand. She didn’t die by herself. He died too.”
He grunted. “So sacrifice for love is always worth it?”
“Always,” she said softly, feeling more convinced as she said it. “That’s why it was pretty awesome you jumped in to help me even though I don’t deserve it and you didn’t know me.”
“But I didn’t love you,” Scar pointed out. He said it so bluntly, she was thrown off balance. “I jumped in because I believe in humanity, goodness, honor, and duty.”
She found herself liking this man. A lot. “Love of country before love of self.”
“You do what’s right because it’s the right thing to do,” he said. “I had SEAL guys who proved that to me. Over and over.”
Her respect for him went up a notch. “You’re a SEAL?”
He cleared his throat. “Was. Got shot. Discharged with honors. I had the option of being regular military but turned it down.”
“What do you do currently?”
“Play football for the Texas Titans.”
This was unreal. She wasn’t really into football, but Jason had loved the Titans. “You play professional football?”
He scoffed. “I pretty much just get throttled most of the time. I’m on the practice team.”
She considered what SEALs did, then tried to imagine what it was like on the practice team. “So you’re obviously masochistic.”
“What are you doing in San Diego?”
He cleared his throat. “I’m actually in San Diego for three to four weeks working on a project to design a facility for military vets. It’s a program that focuses on helping vets through sparring. There will also be counselors to help them and a coffee shop where they can hang out. No one would show up just to be psychoanalyzed, but if we can get them in for sparring and socializing, we can really help the ones who need it.”
She cleared her throat. “I have to admit I’m a bit intimidated by you.”
“No,” he said, sounding shocked. “Don’t be.”
“How old are you?” she blurted, regretting the words as soon as they tumbled out.
“Sorry, the no filter thing.” She cringed, knowing she sounded like an idiot and was grateful for the distance of the telephone while talking to him.
“Ah, you’re breaking my heart already, Shayla.”
Her heart rate kicked up a notch. Was he going to answer the question?
“I’m twenty-eight,” he said. “How old are you?”
He sighed. “Is that okay with you?”
Feeling uncertain, she said, “Yeah, that’s fine. I mean, whatever. It’s not like we’re dating or anything.”
He chuckled, a wonderful sound. “That dispels any intentions I had.”
Butterflies rushed through her and she knew she’d be blushing. Checking the time, she saw it was almost eleven-thirty. “I gotta go. Paper is due by midnight, and I still have to finish it.”
“Okay,” he said. “Can we talk tomorrow?”
Happiness surged through her. She pushed it away, not wanting to think it meant anything. He was way too old for her. “Sure.”
“Well, then, I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”
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