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Sneak peek of Always a Marine, Joe Hamilton's and Sandy Cassidy's story:

Sandy laughed when she crossed the narrow hallway and stepped into Joe’s living room. The only furniture he had was a bright red sofa facing a giant, man-sized TV. Three empty plastic crates turned upside down, covered with an unpainted door, served as a coffee table. “Gee, I don’t know if I can stand all this luxury. You must be loaded.” She grinned over her shoulder and set the glasses on the door then sank into the couch cushions.

“Yeah, I don’t like to look too flashy. Sends the wrong message to the dozens of women I bring here.” He put the tray holding the bread and cheese plate, two small knives and a stack of paper napkins between the glasses of tea. He gestured to the plate. “Ladies first.”

Sandy opened a paper napkin on her knee and placed a piece of bread there. She loaded one of the knives with cheese and spread it on the bread. “Your turn, unless you’re waiting to see if I’ve poisoned it.” She grinned and took a bite. 

Joe sat back and sipped iced tea and watched her eat the bread. Every move of her lips fascinated him. An image of watching her mouth as she ate dinner with him, and Liz at the Latin club returned. She’d fascinated him that night with her laughter and quick wit between bites of food she’d clearly enjoyed. He remembered the feel of his lips on hers at the conclusion of the tango. She’d lost none of her appeal. If he didn’t quit thinking like a love starved teenager, how was he to be objective when she revealed what she’d come to tell him?