The Navy SEAL’s E-Mail Order Bride
by Cora Seton
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Mason Hall, Navy SEAL, has fought insurgents and terrorists, but his current mission is one for the records. Not only must he find a wife—and get her pregnant—or forfeit the ranch his family has prized for over a hundred years, he also must convince his three brothers to marry, too—before the year is up. Who knew one city girl and three wayward brothers could put up such a fight?
Her phone rang. Regan jumped, then laughed at herself. It wasn’t like Mason Hall could call to check up on her. It could be Jack, though—still angry she’d walked out on him yesterday. Her stomach sank at the thought. When she found her phone, though, she didn’t recognize the number.
“Regan?” It was a man’s voice, deep and husky and confident. It couldn’t be Mason. There was no way it could be Mason, but somehow she knew without a doubt it was. A spasm of happiness shot through her—a feeling so unexpected and alien it caught her completely off-guard.
A low chuckle sent tingles down her spine. “How’d you know?”
“Where are you?”
“Afghanistan.” His voice was amazing. She glanced at the photo she’d made into her desktop background. Mason gazed back at her with his serious eyes.
“You can make phone calls from there?”
“I pulled some strings. So, are you?”
“Am I what?” She bit her lip at the excitement coursing through her body. How could she be so turned on by just a voice? How could such a tenuous connection make her feel so alive?
“A big, hairy, 82-year-old man.”
She didn’t answer for a moment. She couldn’t believe he was on the other end of the line. How did she sound to him? Sexy? Or as squeaky as a preteen at a Justin Bieber concert? She struggled to control her tone. “No. Sorry to disappoint you.”
“I’m not disappointed. What are you doing today?”
“I’m not sure.”
“You quit your job, right?”
“Do you have a boyfriend?”
“Would I answer your ad if I did?”
“Maybe.” There was a pause. “I don’t know you yet, do I?”
Yet. Her breath caught. “No boyfriend. Not for a while.”
Wow, he went right to the heart of the matter, didn’t he? “I guess I’m picky.”
She frowned. “I’m not scared. I’ve tried, believe me. I never met the right guy.”
“Or you don’t know you have yet.”
She didn’t know how to answer that. She should tell him right now she wasn’t interested in men. Had no intention of dating again for years. If ever.
“Regan? Did I lose you?” His voice was soft but demanding.
“You move awfully fast, don’t you?”
“When I see something I like, what’s the point in waiting around?”
He kept knocking her off-balance with that sexy, knowing voice. She tried to pull herself together. “Mason?”
“You’re paying a hell of a lot for this call.”
“We could Skype next time,” he suggested.
“Okay.” She bit her lip. Okay? What did she mean, okay?
“There will be a next time, won’t there?” he asked.
She took a breath, because the first question was one that was very near and dear to her heart. Now she would learn that Mason was utterly wrong for her—just like all the men she’d dated in the city. Like them he’d be far too concerned with his own comfort to want to saddle himself with offspring. She held the paper up. “There are ten of them. The first one is: how many children do you want to have?”
Mason grinned. “Lots of them. As soon as possible. Like… now.”
Regan tuned out the rest of his words. Lots of them? As soon as possible? No man in her acquaintance had ever said such a thing. She felt hot and prickly all of a sudden as desire swept through her so strong it took her breath away. This handsome, sexy, mouth-watering man wanted to have children? Lots of them? And here she was just weeks away from getting it on with a turkey baster?
“Wh…what?” she made herself say, aware she’d missed several sentences.
“I said, that’s my knee-jerk reaction. When I think it through, though, several things factor in.”
“Like what?” She cleared her throat. She could hardly speak.
“Like the health of my wife, for one thing. Things can go wrong in pregnancies. I don’t want my wife to ever be put in danger. The other factor is what we can afford. I don’t think you need to be wealthy to have kids, but I want to be able to provide for them.”
Regan swallowed past a sudden lump in her throat. These were the answers she’d always wanted to hear from a man. And now it was too late. Almost.
“I’m clear that I want children,” he finished up. “And I want to start right away. How about you?”
“Me?” Darn it—she’d practically squeaked.
“Is that a deal-breaker?”
He cocked his head. “No, what?”
“No… I want kids. Right away. In fact… I’m kind of in a hurry.” Her voice trailed off because all she could think about was her artificial insemination appointment.
He leaned on his elbows, coming closer to the screen. “Really.”
Was it her imagination or had her answer interested him? Really interested him. She tingled under his suddenly intense gaze. “Really. I mean… I just didn’t think I’d have a husband anytime soon. To do it that way.” She wasn’t making any sense and she knew it.
Mason didn’t seem to mind. “You’re talking to a potential husband.” Another grin.
“I’m not one of your candidates, you know.” Her voice had gone wobbly and she was unable to look away from him.
He met her gaze. “Yeah, you are.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Cora Seton loves cowboys, country life, gardening, bike-riding, and lazing around with a good book. Mother of four, wife to a computer programmer/eco-farmer, she ditched her California lifestyle nine years ago and moved to a remote logging town in northwestern British Columbia.
Like the characters in her novels, Cora enjoys old-fashioned pursuits and modern technology, spending mornings transforming a neglected one-acre lot into a paradise of orchards, berry bushes and market gardens, and afternoons writing the latest Chance Creek romance novel on her iPad mini. Visit www.coraseton.com to read about new releases, contests and other cool events!