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Second Shot #2
Second Shot #2
By: Sara Jane Stone
Releasing June 7, 2016
In Stirring Attraction (Second Shot #2) by Sara Jane Stone, after a madman attacks her while she's out running, Lily Greene has been so afraid she's barely keeping it together. Her friends have helped take her mind off things, but it isn't until her ex-boyfriend, Dominic, comes back to town that she starts to feel at least a little bit safe, especially when he's decided to act as her bodyguard and try to discover the person responsible for her attack.
Barely surviving a shooting while a Ranger in the Army, and then losing his career as a result of it, Dominic Fairmore hasn't been able to keep from having a pity party for one. That is until his good friend, Ryan, gives him a much needed reason to snap out of it and head back to his hometown. The woman he's always loved needs him after an attack that has left her scared of her own shadow. Can he discover if the attack was personal, or a case of her being at the wrong place at the wrong time?
Having loved the first book of this series, I couldn't wait to read this one, and I've got to say that it does not disappoint. Right from the beginning, this story was captivating, fast-paced, and there was no way I could put it down even for a second. Not only because it's a second chance romance, which is one of the best tropes, but because of what happens to Lily. Indeed, it made me want to know whether the heroine's attack was random or personal, and what else would happen to her. Those reasons kept me flipping the pages determined to discover what obstacles she and Dominic had to face on the road to happy ever after.
The dialogue was well-written, and a nice blend of playful and intense. The intense was due to the main characters back stories and what happens to Lily. It's so hard for her not be afraid, especially when her injuries are a reminder of what happened. However, there were some light-hearted moments between Dominic and Lily that had me smiling. They were so close once, and there's no way either of them can forget what they once meant to each other. The incident when they come face-to-face again for the first time in ages made me laugh. Trust Caroline, one of the secondary characters, to do what she did because Noah, another of the secondary characters, won't let her have access to her gun anymore.
Lily was strong, brave and I was glad she was willing to give Dominic a second chance, despite the fact that she was so certain he was going to leave once she was safe. She wants so much for Dominic to prove her wrong, and for him to choose her for once over leaving. That reason also kept the pages turning for me, as I wanted to know whether the hero would finally realize that he was good enough for Lily, and that she would never be happy with another man, which is proven by what happens between her and a man that isn't Dominic.
While the hero, he's been through so much and the fact that Lily needs him is reason enough for him to see that how he's been acting since his near death experience isn't healthy for his recovery. He's also strong and brave, but what I liked most about Dominic was how determined he was to make Lily feel safe and discover the person responsible for attacking her. It makes him feel useful for the first time since his career in the Army ended, and definitely takes his mind off the fact that he doesn't know what he's going to do now that he can no longer be an Army Ranger. Also, I liked the way he is with his sister. They're so close, and the way he handles the fact that one of his best friends and his sister are a couple was amusing.
Hot sex scenes heat up the pages of this story, and prove how much this couple still love each other. Their chemistry is off-the-charts, and the sex scenes, definitely do justice to the strong chemistry they have. Dominic has always thought Lily deserves someone better than him, especially since now he doesn't have a lot to offer. Yet, that's never really mattered to the heroine. All she's ever wanted is someone she can trust. Someone that is willing to fight for their relationship, and give her everything she wants - love, family, happiness.
Overall, Ms. Stone has penned another incredible novel for her Second Shot series where the secondary characters entertained me just as much as the main ones. Caroline is a real hoot, and I liked that she's finally starting to discover that she can trust people other than the ones she already does trust. The way this story ended was wonderful, as Lily managed to trick her attacker and use what she does to her advantage. Also, I enjoyed that the heroine finally got everything she's ever wanted. I would recommend Stirring Attraction, if you enjoy second chance romances. Furthermore, I would recommend reading the first book of this series, Serving Trouble, as it introduces readers to Dominic's sister, Josie and his good friend, Noah.
BLURB:The second, sizzling book in Sara Jane Stone's Second Shots series...
When Dominic Fairmore left Oregon to be all he could be as an Army Ranger, he always knew he’d come back to claim Lily Greene. But after six years away and three career-ending bullets, Dominic is battered, broken, and nobody's hero—so he stays away. Until he learns Lily has been the victim of a seemingly random attack. He’ll do anything to keep her safe . . . even go home.
Lily is starting to find a life without Dominic when suddenly her wounded warrior is home and playing bodyguard—though all she really wants is for him to take her. But she refuses to play the part of a damsel in distress, no matter how much she misses his tempting touch. He’ll leave as soon as she’s safe and Lily knows her heart will never heal.
But as attraction stirs to so much more, danger closes in. With more than Lily’s heart at stake, Dominic can no longer draw a line between protecting Lily and loving her . . .
“You painted your toenails pink.”
Dominic Fairmore stared at Lily’s bumble-gum colored nails. He didn’t trust himself to look up. Downstairs, his dad’s dogs made the familiar trip to the water bowl and back, probably stopping to sniff the bag of Chinese take-out he’d abandoned on the kitchen table. The animals’ nails tapped against the hardwood floors, but otherwise silence filled the farmhouse. His little sister was at the beach and his dad was pulling a double at Forever, Oregon’s woefully understaffed police station. And yeah, he kept track of their locations because at twenty-two he still lived at home.
Lily raised one perfect eyebrow. “I have two hours before my mom expects me home and you’re looking at my toenails?”
Her ironic tone pushed him damn close to his breaking point. He’d take her. Here. Now. Against the wall, pictures falling to the floor. Because he knew she reserved her humor for him. The rest of Forever saw a blond-haired, blue-eyed woman who charmed a room full of five-year olds day after day. A girl who’d been born here, grown up here, and put herself through the local university while still living at home to care for her wheelchair-bound mother and alcoholic father.
But Dominic saw the only girl he’d ever loved. If he closed his eyes, he could still picture her, walking down the halls of their high school. She’d been one year ahead of him. She’d graced the dreary high school halls with her sunshine smile and confidence. And yeah, her short skirts.
He’d memorized the way her cheerleaders outfit teased her thighs while she led the squad her senior year. He’d been a junior, but already shepherding the football team to one victory after another. And sometimes it felt like he busted his ass on the field and won the game just to see her smile . . .
But he couldn’t close his eyes and block out the way Lily looked right now. His gaze drifted up her calves. Every inch of bare skin wrapped around his heart like a noose. He took in the curve of her thighs and tried to go slow. His jaw tightened and his eyes disobeyed.
His gaze locked on the slip of fabric disappearing between her legs.
“Your panties match your toenails,” he growled. There wasn’t a hint of humor in his voice. He couldn’t picture laughing now. In two days, he’d wreck her heart. He would shatter their love and leave her with nothing but memories and the promise that he’d come back.
I swear I’ll come back for her.
But so much could change while he was on the other side of the country training to be all he could be. And later, once he deployed, on the other side of the world.
Two more days. Two more nights. How many times could he make love to this woman before they ran out of time?
“Are you sure they match?” she teased. Her fingers brushed the waistband of her panties and then her thumbs slipped beneath the pink fabric.
His hands formed tight fists at his sides, watching as she drew her underwear down to her toes. Her upper body stole away his view of the blond curls, instead offering the sight of her full, bare breasts hovering in front of her legs. Long locks of blonde hair drifted down as she compared the color of her underwear to her nail polish.
“Lily,” he growled and stepped closer.
She glanced up at him and slowly, as if she knew every movement of her body turned him on and pushed him closer to that place where he lost control. But hell, after six years together, Lily Greene damn well knew how to drive him crazy with lust and longing.
“My nails are a light pink. I think the bottle said ‘Ballet Slipper.’ But my underwear is closer to fuchsia.” She tossed her panties at him. “See?”
Years of training on the football field kicked in and he caught the slip of fabric in his right hand. “You’re right,” he said and he took a step forward. He threw her underwear down to the carpet without bothering to study them.
“You need to be home in two hours?” he asked.
Her teasing smile faded at the reminder of the reality beyond the bedroom walls. “You know I do.”
“We might not have time for the Chinese food.” He momentarily blocked his view as he drew his ‘Go Army!’ T-shirt over his head. He discarded the reminder of where he was heading in two days’ time. He wanted to leave this town and the dead-end future it promised, but not Lily.
“I hate Chinese,” she said.
She reached forward and grabbed onto the belt buckle his father had given him after he won the state championship with his high school football team. He pressed his palms flat against the wall, one on either side of her head. He couldn’t touch her. Not yet.
“I know.” He allowed her to pull him close, her fingers working to free his belt and undo his jeans. “I didn’t want to run the risk that you would want to eat first.”
She smiled as her hands won the battle with his belt. Drawing his zipper down, she leaned forward and whispered in his ear. “Smart man.” Her hands pushed his pants over his hips and then went in search of their target.
“Lily,” he gasped as her fingers wrapped around the part of his body that thought ‘slow’ spelled disaster. Hell, it just might. He wanted her so damn much he might come in her hand. “Careful,” he added. “Or I’ll be about as useful as I was the first time. In the front seat of my truck.”
“Have as much self-control now as you did at seventeen?” she challenged, her hand moving up and down now.
“You know it.” He took his right hand off the wall and cupped her jaw. Angling her lips up to meet his, he kissed her. He knew her mouth. He’d memorized the way she liked his tongue to tease hers.
His hand moved down her neck and over her shoulder. His fingers froze, hovering on her collarbone. He knew the feel of her soft skin as well as he knew his own. But dammit, he couldn’t take the weight of her breast in his hand, her nipple brushing against his palm, and still maintain control.
She broke the kiss. “Don’t hold back, Dominic,” she whispered. “You never have before. Don’t start now. You know how to touch me. You’re the only one—”
His growl cut off her hushed words. He was the only one who knew the color of her panties. The only man in her bed. The only one who heard her sly humor. And yeah, the only man in Forever, Oregon who loved her.
For now . . .
After several years on the other side of the publishing industry, Sara Jane Stone bid goodbye to her sales career to pursue her dream-writing romance novels. Sara Jane currently resides in Brooklyn, New York with her very supportive real-life hero, two lively young children and a lazy Burmese cat. Join Sara Jane’s newsletter to receive new release information, news about contests, giveaways, and more! Visit www.sarajanestone.com and look for her newsletter entry form.