His Temporary Fix ONLY
a Love at the Beach novella by Sofia Grey
One night is all it takes…
Holly Jacobs loses her heart a little too easily. Never again. But when she meets the sexy soldier on the beach, Holly knows she’s in big trouble. Zack Winter is gorgeous and in pain, and when he kisses Holly, all of her resolve melts away…
Zack is on short-term leave to attend a funeral, and he’s walking a fine line. The loss is unbearable…and he’ll do whatever it takes to distract himself from it. Especially if it means a night of searingly-hot sex with Holly Jacobs. Only his brilliant idea isn’t exactly going according to plan.
One night isn’t nearly enough. But if it goes much longer it might end in broken hearts…
Title: His Temporary Fix
Series: Love at the Beach, #2
Author: Sofia Grey
Genre: Contemporary Romance, novella
Length: 111 pages
Release Date: October 26, 2015
Imprint: Select Contemporary
Price listed is for the U.S. digital format. Please confirm pricing and availability with the retailer before downloading.
An Excerpt from:
His Temporary Fix
by Sofia Grey
Copyright © 2015 by Sofia Grey. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce, distribute, or transmit in any form or by any means. For information regarding subsidiary rights, please contact the Publisher.
Gwen and Lily were big dogs. I still didn’t expect them to knock him over.
The man stood there, ankle deep in the sea, staring out to the horizon and the rapidly setting sun. I’d given him a cursory glance when I walked onto the beach. It was the wrong time of year for holidaymakers and the wrong time of day for the usual dogwalkers and exercise-lovers. It would be dark in half an hour, maybe less with the way the clouds filled the sky.
I’d let the girls off their leads and, as usual, they’d bounded straight for the shallows while I stuffed their chains into my pocket. That’s when I noticed him. There was enough light left to see he wore army-style camo pants and jacket. Boots. A cap pulled low. I noted all this in the two seconds that I had before Gwen and Lily decided they wanted to make a new friend.
There was a playful woof and Gwen nudged him with her shoulder at the same time as Lily reared up and hit him in the small of his back. Poor sod didn’t stand a chance. He crumpled at the knees and dropped to the sand, landing with a splash in the shallow water while the dogs bounced around him.
I ran the few yards, shouting “Gwen, Lily, heel.” They ignored me. By the time I reached him, the guy had sat up, a dazed expression on his face. He looked young, not much older than me, with dark eyes in a tanned face and what I figured was several days’ worth of rough stubble. Hot in a rugged, edgy way.
He tugged off the cap and ran a wet hand through short dark hair, and I caught a glimpse of dogtags on his chest. His gaze flicked up to me, and the breath caught in my throat. I’d expected to see anger, but instead, he looked lost.
Dropping to a crouch by his side, I tried to grab the girls before they did further damage. “I am so sorry.” Gwen barged into me, the force knocking me forward onto my knees and almost into his arms. Could I be any more embarrassed? “They don’t normally behave like this.” I grabbed at their collars, but they danced out of reach. Of course. “They must like you.” Jesus, how lame. I cringed when the words left my mouth, but it drew a hint of a smile from him.
“I guess.” He shoved at the wet sand and scrambled to his feet, then held out a hand to me. It would have been rude to refuse, so I let him help me up. His grip was strong and sure, albeit wet and sandy, and I tried not to stare at his sodden trousers. Lift your eyes, Holly. Muscles were clearly defined under his T-shirt, and the jacket did little to hide the breadth of his shoulders.
I focused on catching the dogs and managed to grab Lily on her next pass. Before she could wriggle free I clipped the chain to her collar. Now for Gwen, always the rebel. “I’m sorry,” I repeated into the silence. “I had no idea they’d do that. Are you okay?”
I got the distinct impression he wasn’t listening. He glanced first at his hand, then at his boots. “It’s gone,” he mumbled. “I’ve fucking dropped it.” He hunkered down and swished around in the shallow water. “Help me. I can’t lose it.”
Holding Lily securely, I bent down beside him. “What are we looking for?”
I peered into the water. The light was fading fast, and our chances of finding anything were slim at best, but I caught a glimmer of something near my foot. I swooped to grab it before the next ripple shifted the sand, and my fingers closed around smooth metal. A silver link bracelet with blue stones and a flat silver plate with a name engraved. I squinted to read it. Marie?
“This one?” I held out the piece of jewelry and even in the semidarkness I saw his eyes light up and a smile break out across his face. Wow. I thought he was hot before, but he was actually gorgeous.
“Thank you.” He closed his fist around it and held it close to his chest. Marie must be his girlfriend. Or wife. Even a baby daughter. My imagination ran riot.
“It’s very pretty. Does that say Marie?” I should have slunk away at that point, but the desolation that flooded his eyes kept me locked in place.
“Marnie.” It was just a whisper. He swallowed hard. “Her name was Marnie.”
There’s always that moment where you have to make a choice. To walk away or to get involved in someone’s problems, and God knew, I’d been tangled in too many people’s issues already. But how could I walk away? He looked as though his entire world had crashed down around his feet. I’d beat myself up for it later, but right now, I had to stay. “That’s a beautiful name. Your girlfriend?” Was. He said her name was Marnie, my subconscious shrieked. Past tense.
He hesitated. “My sister.”
What could I do? Say I was sorry for his loss and then walk away? The new Holly would. She’d offer a polite smile, murmur some meaningless words of condolence, and leave without a backward glance. I took a deep breath and gripped Lily’s lead a little tighter. “Sometimes it’s easiest to talk to a complete stranger. Do you want to talk about her?” He hunched his shoulders and stared at his boots again, and I took a step forward. “My name’s Holly. Holly Jacobs. My parents died young, in a car crash, so I know a bit about loss.”
I’d known him all of two minutes. I’m not sure why I was so intent on making him talk to me, but when he met my gaze and gave a tight nod, I felt absurdly pleased. “Zack Winter.” He raised the fist with the bracelet. “It’s her birthday next week.” He grimaced. “Would have been her birthday. I was about to post it to her when I got the message. She was twenty-two years old. Twenty-fucking-two.” His eyes flashed, with pain or anger, I wasn’t sure. “So tell me, Holly Jacobs. Do you know how it feels for your baby sister to die before she’d barely lived her life?”
“No.” I kept my voice calm. “My younger brother is very much alive, although two weeks ago he very nearly killed himself in a car accident. On the same stretch of road where Mum and Dad died. When I found out, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to hug him or finish him off.” Silence fell between us, and I wondered if I’d been totally insensitive. “Do you want to come back to my place and get a drink? I’m only five minutes away.”