A Marine’s Proposal
When Slade Masters, her closest friend in the Marine Corps, proposes to her, Caitlyn O’Neill lets her thrill overshadow the catch. It’s a marriage in name only. Slade thinks a temporary marriage is the perfect solution to their problematic living situations in the barracks. Despite her reservations about the deceit involved, Caitlyn is thrilled to live off-base and experience the culture of the island of Okinawa, Japan, as a local—especially with Slade. Swept up in the excitement of apartment hunting and planning a wedding, she silences the anxiety within and goes along with Slade’s plans. They struggle to fight their growing attraction while acting on their script. On their wedding night, their bodies heat up with the thrill of being so close. Desire intensifies during a heated moment on the dance floor. How can they play off the charade of their marriage now that they have complicated their arrangement? Have they ruined their plan or will they find a way to continue? Or has their passionate night together uncovered hidden desires impossible to ignore?
New Adult / Military Romance
Red Sage Publishing
“We should get married.”
Caitlyn didn’t blink nor twitch a muscle for a good five seconds. She must have misunderstood. “Married?” she repeated, her jade eyes opening wide as she put down the magazine. “What are you talking about? I thought you were talking about dinner. You’re joking, right?”
“No, I’m not joking. I’m completely serious.”
“Masters, get out of here,” Caitlyn said with a flick of her wrist. “I think all that thin air from rock climbing earlier has gone straight to your head.” She glanced at the television and saw a commercial with a couple exchanging rings in some outdoor setting. What the heck was this show even about? Whatever it was, it must have been where he came up with that cockamamie idea. “I still think we should go into Naha. It’s a Saturday night, we can get some noodles and some drinks. Go for a walk in the outdoor markets, maybe even go dancing,” she emphasized. She was pushing her luck with that idea. In all the time she knew him, Lance Corporal Slade Masters did not dance.
Slade ignored her and stood up. “You see,” he began, pacing the room already like a lawyer presenting a case, “we both want some privacy. You want to get away from guys hitting on you. I want to get off-base so I can study. Do you know how much they make you read in these law courses? If I’m ever going to graduate, I can’t live in a box with loud Marines stumbling in drunk all hours of the night. If we get married, we’d get a housing allowing since the staff housing is all full. Then we’d share an apartment off base and get out of these goddamn barracks.”
While watching him outlining his points with such confidence, Caitlyn found it hard not to drool. Outdoorsy, masculine, and intellectual. His self-assurance filled the area around him like a physical presence; She couldn’t help but be impressed by him. His tone, his gait, all commanded attention. He’d be an excellent officer one day if he wanted to. Or a lawyer or politician. He’s a natural leader. People can’t help but look up to him.
At the same time, Caitlyn tried to get over the shock of Slade’s unexpected proposal. Slade Masters was the one Marine she secretly fantasized about for months, ever since they met in training in the States. Now they were living across the hall in Okinawa, Japan. They started out friends, but as they grew closer, Caitlyn developed stronger feelings—something she could never admit without harming their friendship.
“I never pictured you to be the marrying type,” Caitlyn remarked.
“You’re always so focused on other things. Your running times, scuba-diving, grades—never something as ‘trivial’ as romance.”
“This isn’t about romance. It’s about being practical.”
“Oh, of course.” Caitlyn smirked. “Naturally.” She knew there had to be a catch.