DISTINGUISHED SERVICE – Tori Carrington
Uniformly Hot Series
Harlequin Blaze #718
Colorado Springs, Colorado – Present Day
Back home on leave to pick up a distinguished service award, Mace Harrison is visiting his old friend Darius Folsom when they end up in a nearby diner. There Mace meets waitress Geneva Davis and is instantly taken with her. She's smart, charming and beautiful—and the perfect decoy to get a relentless old girlfriend off his back. Geneva has her own problems; a persistent wannabe beau is constantly hanging around the diner. By pretending to be dating, Mace and Geneva hope their pursuers will move on. Mace can't deny that his attraction for Geneva goes beyond simple flirting. But he can't offer her more than the week he's here. Then there is the fact that Geneva's pregnant…
Mace has always felt the noose of his late brother's esteemed memories around his neck. He joined the Marines to get away from it, but coming home to visit his family reopens his insecurities. His ex-girlfriend learned he was back, so she's been calling his cell constantly. As far as he's concerned, their relationship is over. Geneva is hardworking and determined to raise her baby without the hovering presence of her ex. While Mace and Geneva head into their “agreement” knowing he will be around only for a week, neither can resist the sexual desire that flares between them. They find themselves falling for each other. Will there be heartbreak when it's time to say goodbye?
Meanwhile, Mace gets involved in the security detail of a controversial figure who is visiting Denver. Threats have been made, and Darius's company, Lazarus Security, is hired to make sure nothing happens. While Mace's attention is focused on that job, his nights are filled with Geneva and the explosive passion between them. On the horizon is the awards ceremony for an act of heroism that he feels he doesn't deserve. Not when he still carries unresolved feelings for a brother who died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. But Geneva makes Mace forget everything when they're together.
Military men may be known as stoic individuals, but it still doesn't mean they don't have feelings. As DISTINGUISHED SERVICE opens, Mace is grappling with his mixed emotions about the return home and the award. He's honorable and dedicated, but as his military career winds down, he has to think about his future. Perhaps with Lazarus? Meeting Geneva is a bit of a distraction and one he welcomes with everything on his mind. His friends warn him not to get involved with a woman while on leave, but Mace doesn't listen to them. Geneva has to live with her actions of two months ago when she fell into the arms of a man she didn't love after the tragic death of her mother. She can't blame the baby, but that doesn't mean marrying the baby's father is the right move for her to make. Mace provides a bit of diversion that hopefully gives her a break from being hounded, yet as her feelings for Mace grow, she wonders if she's made a bigger mistake.
With topnotch writing that will have readers wanting to root for Mace and Geneva to somehow work things out, DISTINGUISHED SERVICE has the meeting and falling in love plot and the suspense of searching for the terrorist who is bent on eliminating another man. Tori Carrington deftly blends the action and romance in DISTINGUISHED SERVICE to make it a thrilling read from start to end.