Thursday, January 22, 2015


The Marine's E-Mail Order Bride by Cora Seton

Publisher: One Acre Press (1/6/2014)
Series: Heroes of Chance Creek, book 3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Purchased
Buy It || amazon bn || goodreads

My Rating: 

If Gunnery Sergeant Zane Hall wants to save his family’s ranch, he’ll need to fix up the buildings, stock the spread with cattle—and find a wife. The first two are easy with the help of his brothers, but getting hitched is proving more difficult. When he meets mountaineer Kenna North through an online ad, she seems like the perfect fit—at least in her e-mails. She wants the same thing he does: a temporary marriage to secure an inheritance. But when Zane meets Kenna, she’s nothing like he expects, and Zane finds himself changing his priorities, fast. 

If Storm Willow wants to save her family’s seaside cottage, she’ll have to keep her boss happy—which means taking Kenna’s place and marrying Zane when Kenna is detained out of the country. As long as Storm acts her part, no one will know that she’s an imposter. But when she falls for the handsome Marine, Storm begins to wonder if holding onto the cottage is worth giving up on love. 

Can a fake marriage lead to real happiness? Or is disaster just a heartbeat away? 

{ series } .

THE NAVY SEAL'S E-MAIL ORDER BRIDE || amazon | bn | goodreads
THE MARINE'S E-MAIL ORDER BRIDE || amazon bn | goodreads
THE AIRMAN'S E-MAIL ORDER BRIDE || expected release March 2015

{ review } .

I've said it a few times, but I'll say it again --

I'm not a big fan of stories-of-deception. I was excited about this book regardless of the fact that Storm is pretending to be someone else, but I was curious as to how long she would keep the faรงade up. In turn, I was bit disheartened to learn that it was a good 75% of the story. I understand that you can't have the huge climax of the story being in the middle (and with these deception stories, the grand climax is finding out that someone's been lying) but...

Anyways, regardless...

Zane may be my favorite Hall brother. He's honest with "Kenna" upfront -- he's looking for a quick marriage of convenience, they just need to fool his great Aunt Heloise. His two other brothers can deal with the baby part of the "Taking Back Crescent Hall" deal -- he just needs to be married.

Kenna... the real one... needs a husband of convenience, too, for her own inheritance. She arranges to go out to Montana but needs her assistant in tow. Storm is nothing if not loyal to a fault. When Kenna tells her that she's unable to make it, that she needs Storm to fill in for her and if she does she will get a huge bonus, Storm reluctantly agrees. She's been helping her mother foot the bills for years and without this bonus, her mother is going to lose her house.

But when Storm meets Zane, she's not sure it's a mission she can complete.

Her sense of loyalty is what keeps her going, but every time Kenna's name is mentioned is a cold wake-up call -- so she tells Zane her nickname is Storm.'s much easier to believe the lie when those involved are using your real name.

The first day they meet, it's as if two people who were searching for one another finally meet. Zane never believed in soulmates before, but there's something about Storm/Kenna that he's absolutely drawn to. Within moments, they flirt easily, interact well... 

And within the day's time, he fully claims her -- because after all, how can you fool your family that this is the person you love if you don't know them intimately (or so says Storm)?
“ you like curry?”
“Love it.”
“Beef or chicken?”
He handed her a container and a piece of naan bread to dip into the sauce. “I guessed right.”
“What about you? Beef or chicken?”
“I’m a cattle rancher. Beef, of course.”
“Huh. Which do you like better? Hamburgers or steak?”
“You got me there. Burgers. Don’t tell anyone, though.”
“I prefer steak,” she said.
“Ketchup or mustard?” he asked, playing along with the game.
“I like mustard. And relish.”  
“Bacon or sausage?” Storm asked, opening the container he’d passed her.
“Me, too.” He leaned over and kissed her, then pulled back, as surprised as she was. “Sorry. Just seemed like the right thing to do somehow.” He chuckled at her expression. She looked half-shocked, half-pleased. He had been about to say it wouldn’t happen again, but he thought better of it. It just might.
“Beer or wine?” he asked to smooth things over.
“Wine,” she said slowly, “although a cold beer on a hot day when you’re exhausted from a long bike ride is pretty sweet.”
“I prefer beer no matter what the occasion.” They were back on solid ground and he took a few bites of his curry before he asked another question. “Zombies or vampires?”
“Neither.” She made a face. “Surfing or skateboarding?”
“I’ve never tried either one. Have you?”
“I’m terrific at surfing. Not so great on a skateboard.” He filed that information away. “How about ice cream? Chocolate or vanilla?”
“Chocolate, of course.”
“Me, too,” he said, glad they were back to common ground. Her silence caught his attention after a moment and when he glanced her way he found her watching him. Was she… waiting for another kiss? He didn’t stop to think about it. He leaned over and snatched one before the moment was lost. “Mm, you taste like curry.”
“You, too.”
“Your turn.”
“My turn?”
“To ask a question.”
She took a bite, as if she wasn’t fazed by this game at all, but her cheeks were pink and he could tell she was trying to think of a good one. “House or condo?”
He snorted. “House, of course. Wait until you see mine. You’ll love it.” She would. Everyone loved the Hall. “Shower or bath?”
She choked on the bite she’d just taken and he pounded her back while she struggled to sip water from her cup. “That’s pretty personal, don’t you think?”
“We’re going to be married in six short weeks,” he reminded her. “I need to know these things.”
Her color deepened. “Shower for getting clean, bath for relaxing.”
“Same.” He waited for her to turn his way again. This time as he bent to kiss her, he took his time, tilting her chin up with his fingers so she met him halfway. He lingered over the kiss, his lips sliding over hers, then deepened the connection, tracing his tongue over hers, tasting her. When he pulled back she bit her lip and played with her fork, not meeting his gaze.
“In the bath or in the shower?” he asked.
“What do you mean?” From the way the flush spread over her cheeks he was pretty sure she knew exactly what he meant. “Where do you prefer to make love?”
Her eyes widened, then she quickly looked away. For a moment he thought he’d gone too far and he wanted to kick himself for spoiling the game before they’d hardly begun to play, but when he opened his mouth to apologize, she whispered, “Shower.”
Heat rushed through him at the thought of taking her that way. He’d be able to see all of her— to feel all of her as he lifted her against the bathroom wall and thrust inside her, the steam from the hot water swirling around them.
He forced himself back to the present. He couldn’t leave her hanging while he fantasized, not after she’d been brave enough to answer him. “Me, too.” He set his fork down and cupped her chin with both hands as he bent for another kiss. Somehow he found himself on his feet, Storm rising with him and he pulled her into an embrace, no longer holding back at all. Storm felt good in his arms. So good.
“Tongue or no tongue?” he asked, brushing kisses down her neck.
He rose up to capture her mouth again, cupping the back of her neck with one palm, sliding the other hand down her back. She kissed him back hungrily, twining her fingers behind his neck.
“Behind the ear or along the collarbone?” he asked.
“Collarbone.” He obliged, loving the taste of her. On fire with the knowledge that this game was approaching a line of no return. “Buttoned or unbuttoned?” he said, tugging at her shirt.
She hesitated and he waited for her answer, holding his breath.
“Unbuttoned.” Heat surged through him as he bent to the task and quickly had her shirt undone. Beneath it her breasts were displayed in lacy cups that made desire pulse through him again. He swept a kiss from one soft mound to the other, lingering in the hollow between them. He was about to ask another question when Storm spoke up.
“Bra or no bra?” she asked, burying her face against his shoulder.
“No bra.” He pulled her shirt from the waistband of her skirt and slid his hands up to the clasp of the lacy garment.
“Me, too,” she said and sighed when he undid the catch. He skimmed his hands under her bra and palmed her breasts.
“Hands or mouth?” he asked as he gloried in the sweet weight of her breasts.
“Mouth.” She moaned as he made short work of her shirt, pulling it off her shoulders. He tangled his fingers in her bra and tossed it aside, then bent to take one nipple in his mouth. She clung to him, arching her back to give him greater access, working at the buttons on his shirt in turn. He pulled back, shouldered his way out of the button down and tugged his T-shirt off in one swift motion. “Looking or touching?”
“Touching.” She smoothed her palms over his chest, then took his hands in hers and lifted them to her breasts again. He obeyed her silent request, tracing circles around them until he couldn’t hold back.
“Standing or lying down?” He nudged her toward the bed.
“Lying down.” She sat down on the mattress, pulling him down with her. He lifted her onto the center of the bed and climbed on top of her, kissing her again until they were both breathless. He allowed himself the chance to explore her fully, tracing kisses around the rosy peaks of her nipples, squeezing and feasting on them in turn as she moaned and gasped beneath him. When her fingers found the button of his jeans he stilled and pulled back.
Storm was every bit as beautiful as he’d thought she’d be with her blonde hair tossed in a halo around her face. “All or nothing?” she asked him in a voice so low he thought he’d dreamed the question.
Need pulsed through him again, hot and urgent. “All,” he said and bent to kiss her, helping her help him tug off his jeans. He groaned when her hands plunged down under the waistband of his boxers, and made quick work of losing them too. He knelt above her, letting her take a good long look. “Skirt on or off?”
She bit her lip. “Sometimes on, but today off.”
“Good answer,” he growled and found the fastening behind her back. His fingers were clumsy, but soon he was sliding the soft skirt off of her, the sight of the one scrap of lace and silk still left between them only increasing his desire to know everything about her. As he tossed her skirt away he bent to trail a string of kisses from her breasts down to her belly. He knelt between her legs and eased her panties off. “Foreplay or main event?” He dipped down to kiss her in an intimate place and she sighed.
“Of course.”
As you can see, they move fast -- autobahn fast. Zane, after just meeting her, flirting with her, and this occurrence, is convinced that Storm can be to him what Ella and Regan are to his brothers.

Zane has a mantra, and he repeats it to himself multiple times through the story -- what Zane Hall wants, Zane Hall gets. When the ruse is up and the trust comes to life, how will Zane react? Were his first thoughts about soulmates a result of love or lust?

I loved these two and wish we could have seen them together in CHRISTMAS BRIDE, but because that was published first, but MARINE is before it in series order, I understand that Storm couldn't make an appearance.

...doesn't make me happy, but I understood ;) Like with waiting to see more Dan and Sarah in AIRMAN, I can't wait to see Zane and Storm then, either!

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