Subject: Captain Will Hughes, U.S. Marine Corps
Current Status: On assignment in NYC— suddenly recruited to shed the uniform!
Mission: Serve as model, muse and man-toy without running afoul of the general.
Obstacle: Hannah Harrington, fashion world It girl.
Hannah narrowly escapes Fashion Week disaster by hijacking gorgeous Will for her runway show—after all, rock-hard abs are the ultimate accessory. His good deed nearly lands him in the brig, but he'll risk anything to get back into her bed….
Hannah can't figure out how this model marine got under her skin—they're complete opposites! But sexy Will not only ignites her senses, he fuels her creativity: an irresistible combination, even if it can't last. Can two steamy weeks together satisfy their lust…or will they have to extend this mission?
"Sorry." She'd been on edge the past few weeks and had lost her temper more than once. This was no time to make Annie Marie her whipping girl.
"Don't you dare apologize, Hannah. I know I screwed up." Anne Marie's jaw jutted out and her hands were in fists. "I saw them at Jake's party last night and they were drinking. I should have sent them home then. This sucks, and I've totally failed you. I just don't know how to fix it in—" Anne Marie glanced at her watch "—forty-three minutes."
Hannah glanced around the tent, searching for any man who could fill out the jeans she'd designed. It had been a risky venture to do male and female lines in her first collection, but it had paid off. Before tonight's show she had received great buzz in the fashion world from some of the magazine editors who'd toured her collection early. Without the men, the show wouldn't work. They were her big reveal.
The only men in a sea of six-foot female models were the ones doing hair, and they were all too short, pasty and waif-thin.
She closed her eyes and lifted her head in a silent prayer.
I'm going to walk out the door, and I'm going to find two of the most handsome men I've ever seen in my life who will fit perfectly into my show.
Yeah, right. Opening her eyes again she headed out.
"Where are you going?" Anne Marie cried.
"To find the men of my dreams," Hannah said determinedly. "Check and make sure the girls have their belts right-side up, and that Clara wears the pink cowboy boots. I'll be back in ten minutes."
Hannah had almost convinced herself she would find the men she needed just outside the tent, or in the crowd waiting to get in. No such luck.
The good news was there was a crowd.
The bad news was that ninety-nine percent of it was women.
Any men she saw were either way too short, or a little thick around the middle. She never cared about anyone's size, but she needed a perfect fit for the jeans. Worried she might be recognized, Hannah pulled her cowboy hat down low on her eyes, and made her way around the crowd and out onto Columbus.
Shivering against the cold, she pulled her leather jacket tighter, which did nothing for her legs, which were in tights and a miniskirt.
As usual on Friday afternoon, the area was packed with people. There were some teens in baggy jeans and shirts, but they were all either too skinny or too short to fit in the clothes.
She didn't want to think about the worst-case scenario, but she had to.
Please. I haven't come this far to fail.
Everything she had was tied up in this show. If the editors hadn't had a sneak peak she could get away with losing the final two, but that was what most of the buzz had been about.
Glancing down at her watch she grimaced. Only thirty-two minutes till go-time. Tears brimmed her eyes. She tried to blink them back, but one errant drop of water slid down her cheek. She shoved it away with the heel of her hand.
This is no time to cave. Get it together.
"Whoever he is, he isn't worth that tear," a deep, whiskey-toned voice said from beside her.
Hannah lifted her head and met a pair of the most beautiful green eyes she'd ever seen on a man. Then she stepped back—stunned—to find the perfect male specimen attached to those eyes. His blond hair was cut short, his shoulders broad, and, dressed in his blues, he was the sexiest man she'd ever seen.
She had to remind herself to breathe.
"Ma'am." He tipped his hat.
This couldn't be happening. She glanced down to his hips and then up to his face. He was absolutely beautiful. But there was also something about him. A presence, something that symbolized a strength that had nothing to do with the uniform he wore.
He smiled, seemingly amused by her appraisal.
"Hmm." She tapped her finger against her chin and then grinned. "How do you feel about helping a damsel in distress?"
"It's what I do, ma'am.”
Bestselling author Candace Havens has written six novels for Berkley including, Charmed & Dangerous, Charmed & Ready, Charmed & Deadly, Like A Charm, The Demon King and I and Dragons Prefer Blondes. Her new venture is writing for the Blaze line of Harlequin. Those books include Take Me If You Dare, She Who Dares, Wins, Truth and Dare, and The Model Marine. She is also in the anthology Spirited, and the proceeds go to help literacy. Her books have received nominations for the RITA's, Holt Medallion and Write Touch Reader Awards. She is the author of the biography Joss Whedon: The Genius Behind Buffy and a contributor to several anthologies. She is also one of the nation's leading entertainment journalists and has interviewed countless celebrities including Tom Hanks, Nicolas Cage, Tom Cruise, George Clooney and many more. Her entertainment columns can be read in more than 600 newspapers across the country. Candace also runs a free online writing workshop for more than 1800 writers, and teaches comprehensive writing class. She does film reviews with the Dorsey Gang on New Country 96.3, and is the President of the Television Critics Association.
Candy is a chaptermate and a constant source of inspiration. Just before I sold it really was nice to hear her say: "Finish the book!" Please welcome, Candy.
CANDY: Every single day. I'm either lost in someone's book or lost in the one I'm writing.
ANGI: What’s your favorite fairy tale?
CANDY: You're going to laugh, but it is Sleeping Beauty. I'm sort of obsessed with sleep. I never seem to have time to sleep. Ever. So the idea of resting until some guy kisses me awake, is very appealing.
ANGI: What’s your favorite cartoon character?
CANDY: Tweety Bird. I think he taught me my snark.
ANGI: What turns you off like nothing else?
CANDY: Rude and mean people. I can't stand them.
ANGI: Where do you read and how often?
CANDY: I read everywhere. I usually have at least three books. I have the downstairs book, the book in the car and the bathtub book. I read on my iPad and Kindle, but I also love the feel of paper in my hand.
ANGI: Fairy Tale or Action Adventure?
CANDY: Gosh, this is hard one. I'm all about blending genres, so I say both. Tangled is a good example of that.
ANGI: What’s your favorite movie of all time?
CANDY: Mary Poppins. I still watch it all the time. There's a reason it won the Oscar. I'm also a big of To Kill A Mockingbird with Gregory Peck and The Matrix. Those selections tell you more than you ever need to know about my personality.
ANGI: Who’s your favorite villain?
CANDY: For a long time it was J.R. Ewing, but right now I'm obsessed with Madeline Stowe's character, Victoria Grayson, on the new show "Revenge." She's beautiful and wicked.
ANGI: Be honest, when reading...do you put yourself in the heroine’s role?
CANDY: Of course, that's how we lose ourselves in a book.
ANGI: What’s something you’d like to tell your fans?
CANDY: I adore you. Every day I write, you are the reason my fingers are on the keyboard. Your emails and letters mean the world to me and get me through the tough times. So thank you. Also, those of you who are Bronwyn and Caruthers sisters fans, you're going to be happy in 2012.
ANGI’S GOTTA ASK: Candy, you’re the recipient of the RWA PRO Mentor of the year and are so generous with your time. I just wanted to say thanks for that. But I want to know more about Captain Will Hughes. If you had one thing to share about your MODEL MARINE, what would that be?
CANDY’S GOTTA ANSWER: Let's just say if Captain Will Hughes showed up at my doorstep, I would be like "Hasta La Vista, Baby," to my poor husband. Captain Hughes is one hot dude!
THE PRIZE Candy is giving away a $25 gift certificate to Amazon.com & a book. DON'T FORGET to leave a comment.
Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only unless specifically mentioned in the post. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants. Winners of drawings are responsible for checking this site in a timely manner. If prizes are not claimed in a timely manner, the author may not have a prize available. Get Lost In A Story cannot be responsible for an author's failure to mail the listed prize. GLIAS does not automatically pass email addresses to guest authors unless the commenter publicly posts their email address.
CONNECT WITH CANDY: email@example.com Twitter: @candacehavens
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CANDY WANTS TO KNOW: Tell me what you want to see next. More Bronwyn, Kira, Caruthers sisters? More on the Stonegate Investigative Agency?