Claiming Her SEAL

By: Kat Cantrell

 (Assignment: Caribbean Nights Book 1)


In Navy SEAL Dex Riley’s world, women fall into two categories: those who don’t ask questions and those who wish they hadn’t. He hides the darkness in his past, content to run an island adventure company in the Caribbean with members of his former SEAL team—until resort guest Emma Richardson targets him for a vacation fling. Her fresh innocence and insistence on seeing hero material in Dex where none exists makes him yearn to be the man she deserves. And that terrifies Dex more than any war zone he's ever faced, until he discovers Emma has demons of her own…


To Zoe and Anne. I had the best time plotting world domination with you.

The tiny white bikini in Dex Riley’s peripheral vision was nothing spectacular. But there was something about the woman in it that he couldn’t ignore. Though he was trying. Partying with resort guests was so not his style and besides, she had that look about her that said she had more in common with nuns than the kind of women he preferred.

His demons didn’t mix well with civilized company. Women in Dex’s world fell into two categories: those who didn’t ask questions and those who would be terrified by the answers.

Dex kept walking toward the small dock situated away from the guest beach, where Jace sat in the driver’s seat of the speedboat they used to run back and forth between the resort and the other side of the island where they lived. The last parasailing excursion had dispersed for the day, and a cold beer with Dex’s name on it waited patiently for him in his bungalow.

White Bikini stood frozen on the beach at the surf line, watching the foamy waterline as it rushed toward her toes. People did that to test the temperature. Or because they didn’t want to swim but liked the feel of the sand between their toes. She wasn’t doing either.

As the water covered her feet, White Bikini’s body visibly jerked. She wanted to flee. But didn’t. Dex could feel the tension twisting through her body, and he was a hundred yards away. Not looking at her. Okay, he was kind of watching her from the corner of his eye as he walked toward the dock. It wasn’t a crime.

She was alone. Women with tight bodies and honey-colored hair like White Bikini were never alone. That in and of itself was enough to pique Dex’s interest. On cue, a meathead wearing a banana hammock that did him no favors came up behind her, slipping his arms around her so he could murmur in her ear.

And that was that. She was taken. Big deal. Hundreds of women in hundreds of different styles of swimwear regularly paraded across his line of sight. One of the many benefits of living in the Caribbean. Some of them caught his eye; most didn’t register so much as a blip. Once he got that beer in his hand, she’d fade from—

Banana Hammock’s raised voice cut through the air, and Dex turned to see White Bikini trying to pull away as the man’s grip tightened around her wrist.

“Let go,” she commanded clearly. He didn’t.

Cursing under his breath, Dex pivoted and strode toward the couple, cataloging his target as he ate up the sand with his long-legged stride.

Two ten, not much fat, but he’d cheated in the muscle-building department—steroids. He could probably bench about one fifty, no visible scars, so he either won all his fights before they started, or he was too much of a pansy to mix it up with a real man. Door number two, Dex decided as the meathead manacled both of White Bikini’s arms, hauling her up against him and laughing like a loon at her struggles.

White-hot fury rocketed through Dex’s blood, steadying his hands and his mind. He did his best work when he was furious. If he wasn’t mad enough to kill, he rarely did.

“Step back,” Dex called, his voice low and controlled. A warning. His target wouldn’t get a second one.

The meathead glanced over his shoulder. “None of your business, jerkoff.”

A lazy grin stretched Dex’s mouth. “Aww. That’s not what you said last night, sugar. Does that mean we’re not friends anymore?”

“What’d you call me?” Banana Hammock dropped the girl’s wrists, and she backed up in a hurry, rubbing at the reddened circlets the moment her boyfriend swung around to face Dex.