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Worth the Fight #4
Releasing August 18th, 2015
Perfect for fans of Monica Murphy and Cecy Robson, Sidney Halston’s scorching new MMA romance proves there are no holds barred when it comes to seduction.
Growing up an Army brat, Violet Channing could never meet her dad’s high expectations. But in the eyes of her best friend, she could do no wrong. He even insisted that he should be her first kiss. Now Cain Sorensen is all grown up, hardened by years in special ops and always looking for a good fight. Tall, with striking blue eyes and impossibly blond hair, he’s a modern-day Viking warrior. Of course, Violet’s all grown up, too, and she’s ready to surrender to his every command.
Cain knows he’s bad for Violet. His work is dangerous, and his hobbies are downright deadly. As a private mercenary and a mixed martial arts fighter, he could never let such an innocent soul into his world. And yet his most grueling combat training is no match for Violet’s killer curves, hot touch, and suggestive glances. Now all of Cain’s most explosive fantasies are coming true—but once they cross the line between friends and lovers, there’s no turning back.
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Violet put her hands up in surrender. “Tom really did chew strange!” She stopped and pinched the bridge of her nose. “Or was it Tim? Whatever. The point is that the way a guy chews is a legitimate flaw. I can’t marry a man who talks and chews at the same time, spitting little chunks of steak in my face. Ew! What if one of those little pieces lands in my eye? I could go blind.”
“The thought you’ve put into that exaggeration is really impressive, if not disturbing.” Her friend threw the scarf back at Violet. “Come on. Finish getting dressed already.”
Minutes later, Violet was sitting cross-legged in the middle of her bed applying makeup when JL walked in again, fully dressed to bartend at the Pier. “I was thinking . . .”
“Oh, no. Are you okay?”
JL playfully smacked Violet’s shoulder before sitting down on her bed and fussing with Violet’s hair. “Maybe the issue is Cain. Have you heard from him?” That was not something Violet wanted to talk about, and her friend knew it, which was why she’d brought it up. “What the hell is going on with you and Cain? And before you say nothing, remember we’ve been friends for a long time. I know you. We live together. That man has you in knots, and since he left four months ago, you’ve been a Debbie Downer. It’s depressing. You’redepressing.”
“One hundred and ten days. Not that I’m counting. I have absolutely no idea where he’s at. He just vanished. But even when he was here, there was never anything going on with us. You saw how he treated me when he bothered to speak to me. I don’t know what I did to make him hate me. We were best friends, and then we weren’t. Plain and simple. My issues have got nothin’ to do with him.”
“He doesn’t say a word to anyone. I’ve been living in Tarpon Springs for years now, and since he moved here I think I’ve heard him say ten words. So the talking thing, it’s a nonissue. It’s got nothin’ to do with you. The jerk thing—yeah, all you, babe. Not sure what’s up with that. He’s not exactly Mr. Friendly, but he’s not flat-out rude to anyone except you.”
“Except me,” she agreed.
“No clue.” Violet lay back, sucked in her gut, and closed the top button of her jeans. “He’s so surly nowadays,” she said breathlessly. “When we were growing up he was always the quiet and introspective one, but he wasn’t the Cain I’ve met here in town. This Cain’s a—”
“A dick,” JL interrupted.
“Dick! Dick!” Bird cawed.
JL barked out a loud laugh. “I love that bird.”
Violet rolled her eyes and ignored the parrot. “Yep. He’s not very friendly. Cain, not Bird. Actually, both. Or neither.” Violet shook her head. “Ugh! What I mean to say is both Cain and Bird are not friendly.” Violet let out her breath and put her arms out to JL, who grabbed them and pulled her up. “But I’m so freakin’ worried about him. Mad or not, I hope he’s okay.” Violet stretched her legs and walked over to the mirror behind her door to look at herself. Normal to large boobs, average waist, biggish butt, and short legs. She was on the voluptuous side of the spectrum. But she liked the way she looked, and so long as she was healthy, she never dieted and never looked at the scale. It had taken her a lot of years of self-loathing, but now, at twenty-eight, she loved her curvy body and wore it proudly—her father’s opinion, God rest his soul, be damned.
She turned halfway, looked at her backside, and smiled to herself. She had long ago come to terms with the fact that she would never be the same size as JL—but neither were most women. The mean girls in high school who had tormented her and mooed at her when she walked down the hall were now cordially invited to kiss her big behind, because she was happy with her tush just as it was and she seriously enjoyed her cookie dough ice cream addiction.
“Looking good, sister,” JL said. “I swear I’m going to burn your scrubs.”
“You think John will like it?”
JL walked up to Violet and playfully eyed her cleavage. “Only if he’s a guy.” Violet swatted her away and adjusted her top so that she wasn’t spilling out of it. “Come on. You’re going to be late for your date, and I’m going to be late for work.”
Violet took a deep breath, grabbed her purse, and followed JL out of the house. A glass of wine would loosen her up. That’s what she needed in order to get rid of the butterflies in her stomach. She wasn’t so good with dates, and blind dates were the worst.
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Sidney Halston lives her life by one simple rule: “Just do it.” And that’s exactly what she did. At the age of thirty, having never written anything other than a legal brief, she picked up a pen for the first time to pursue her dream of becoming an author. That first stroke sealed the deal, and she fell in love with writing. Halston lives in South Florida with her husband and children.