Fighting for What’s His- Excerpt
From New York Times bestselling author Laura Kaye, comes the second standalone title in her brand, new Warrior Fight Club series, FIGHTING FOR WHAT’S HIS. Preorder your copy of FIGHTING FOR WHAT’S HIS, and join the Warrior Fight Club world today!
About FIGHTING FOR WHAT’S HIS (Warrior Fight Club #2, 9/7/18):
This fight club has one rule: you must be a veteran…
Resisting her only makes him want her more…
Private investigator Billy Parrish is good at three things—fighting, investigating, and sex. MMA training with the other vets in the Warrior Fight Club keeps his war-borne demons at bay—mostly, and one night stands ensure no one gets too close. But then his best friend from the Army Rangers calls in a favor.
Shayna Curtis is new to town, fresh out of grad school, and full of hope for the future. With a new job starting in a month, she’s grateful when her brother arranges a place for her to stay while she apartment hunts. But she never expected her roommate to be so brooding. Or so sexy.
Billy can’t wait for Shay to leave—because the longer she’s there, the more he wants her in his bed. To stay. He can’t have her—that much he knows. But when fight club stops taking off the edge, Billy lets down his guard…and starts fighting for what’s his.
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A note from Laura Kaye:
I’m so excited to share Fighting for What’s His, because this story is such a sweet, sexy, and funny roommates-to-lovers and brother’s best friend story! Need more to pique your interest? Enjoy this excerpt:
“I got the bandages you asked for. I’ll grab them,” Shayna said.
Without looking at her, Billy nodded once. She heard the frustrated breath he released as she left the room. When she came back up, he was waiting at the top of the steps. “I got it from here, thanks.”
“I can help—”
“I’ve got it,” he said again, not quite meeting her gaze.
“You helped me, so why can’t I help—”
“Billy.” She understood how guys like Billy and her brother thought. She’d been around enough Rangers to know they hated needing help. But that didn’t mean they didn’t actually need it. “You won’t be able to reach the back of your shoulder. Let me help.”
He let out a harsh breath, then turned away. “Fine.” He disappeared into his bedroom at the back of the hallway.
She followed the rectangle of light spilling from the master bathroom and found him gathering supplies from the medicine cabinet. For a moment, she just stood in the doorway, because she could feel the anger rolling off of him. “I’m sorry if carrying my stupid desk made your shoulder worse.”
He slanted her a look, and it was clear that he was attempting to beat back his frustration. “It didn’t, so don’t worry.”
“I’m kinda predisposed to think things are my fault, so it can’t be helped.”
He frowned, and this time all the frustration bled from his expression. “Why do you say that?”
Because my idiocy and stubbornness killed my brother. That was what she thought, but what she said was, “I don’t know. Old habit.”
Billy shook his head. “Well, this isn’t your fault, Shayna. And I’d be willing to bet that whatever else you’re worrying about isn’t either.” He closed the toilet lid and sat heavily, and Shayna was glad that he looked away, because his words had unleashed a sting at the backs of her eyes. “I hate that I need help with this. Not that you’re the one helping.”
There went her belly again. “Just pretend I’m Ryan,” she said in a quiet voice.
He smirked up at her. “Why would I do that?”
“Because you probably wouldn’t care if a buddy was patching you up, right?”
He shrugged with one big shoulder. “Anyone ever told you that you can be too damn perceptive?”
“I am a photographer, after all. It’s literally my job to notice things.”
“Mine, too,” he said, tossing an appreciative glance over his shoulder. Their gazes collided. Held.
Made Shayna’s heart beat harder. “So, do I need to do anything special or just clean, bandage, tape?” she asked as her gaze scanned over his burn scars.
“Put antibiotic cream on before you bandage. Otherwise, that’s it. And be sure to pat rather than wipe. Because of the movement of the joint, this spot is the one area that has struggled to heal.”
She washed her hands and ran warm water over a wash cloth, then did as he said. “Let me know if I hurt you.”
“You won’t,” he said. “I can’t feel much where its scarred. My nerves are mostly shot back there.”
Shayna debated whether humor would help or hurt the situation, then went for it. “Well, in case you have one left, I don’t want to get on it.”
One beat passed, then another. Billy chuckled, and the sound did funny things to her chest. “Appreciate that, smart ass.”
She put a playful sauciness in her voice as she said, “You noticing my ass, Billy Parrish?”
He didn’t answer, even though his mental debate as to how to respond seemed to ring loudly, making her laugh as she tended to him.
“This is pretty much the same thing I had to do when I got the tattoo on my shoulder,” she said, smoothing antibiotic cream over the rent skin. She grimaced as she did so, not because she found it unpleasant, but because she worried about hurting him despite his reassurances.
“How many tattoos do you have?” he asked in a low voice.
The question reminded her that he’d seen one of them—her most intimate one, and heat filtered into her cheeks as she positioned the bandage. “Four. The one on my hip, and three on my back and shoulders. Once you have one, it’s kinda addicting.”
“Is that right?”
“Mmhmm,” she murmured, concentrating on the tape. “I think the bottom piece of tape might need to wrap under your arm a little to hold it in place. Is that okay?”
“Whatever you say, Goldilocks.”
“That’ll be Dr. Goldilocks to you, ya git.” She smoothed the tape down.
He chuckled again. “What’s with the colorful cursing?”
She grinned. “I grew up with brothers. Am I offending your sensitive ears, Ranger Parrish?”
“Hell, no,” he said. “I’m a fan.”
“There,” she said, surveying her work. Satisfaction warmed her belly, because she’d gotten to help him. And he’d called her pretty. And said he was a fan of the crazy crap that came out of her mouth. “All done.”
He rose and peered in the mirror. “Perfect, Shayna,” he said, their gazes meeting in the mirror.
And she could’ve sworn he said, “Perfect Shayna,” without the pause between. Especially when he looked at her like he was doing right now.
As if she had on far too many clothes. And Jesus did she suddenly agree.
“Any time you need patched up, consider me your girl,” she managed, still meeting the heat in those brown eyes.
Brown eyes whose reflection looked her up and down. “Don’t you mean woman? Consider you my woman?” he teased, throwing her earlier words back at her. “You know, when I need patched up.”
Shayna released a shaky breath. “Yeah. Exactly.”
He gave a slow nod, then turned to look at her directly, bringing them toe to toe. “Then, consider me your man when you need muscle. Now, how about I go move your car and help you build a desk?”
AND GRAB BOOK 1, FIGHTING FOR EVERYTHING, right now!
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“The always amazing Kaye is kicking off a terrific new contemporary romance series that centers around a wounded warrior’s fight club. Kaye does a beautiful job exploring the fallout from war and PTSD as various characters struggle to cope in their own ways. The love story between Noah Cortez and his childhood friend Kristina Moore is both compelling and touching, for the obstacles in their way loom large. A truly memorable read!” ~ RT Book Reviews
About Laura Kaye:
Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty books in contemporary and erotic romance and romantic suspense, including the Blasphemy, Hard Ink, and Raven Riders series. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. Laura also writes historical fiction as the NYT bestselling author, Laura Kamoie. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.