Marrying Her SEALBy: Kat Cantrell
ABOUT THIS BOOK
Navy SEAL Jaxon Hyland can fix anything—except the inconvenient attraction he's always had for his gorgeous best friend. It was easy to maintain a hands-off policy when he was deployed half a world away, but when Thora pops up on Duchess Island, the Caribbean paradise Jack calls home, everything changes. Emotionally bruised by a bad breakup, Thora needs Jack now more than ever. Jack has never been able to tell her no, not even when she asks him to marry her. It's supposed to be temporary. 100% fake. Platonic. But how long can that really last when she's the only woman he's ever wanted?
Dedicated to the wonderful ladies of Kat’s Crusaders who faithfully read and review every book I write. I couldn’t do this without you!
Special acknowledgement to Lynn Lim who named Thora’s talk show. And also because you’re one of my most enthusiastic fans. Thank you for being a reader!
Extra special thanks to Bria Quinlan, Regina Kyle, and Stephanie Wilson for their invaluable insight into the mind of someone with dyslexia.
They didn’t call Jaxon Hyland Jack-of-All-Trades for no reason. He could fix anything. Except himself. No matter what he tried or how much he cursed, a b d g p q and 9 all looked exactly the same. How did he know they weren’t actually the same? Years of being told different by a series of well-meaning teachers.
His disability made filling out a simple form in a government office nearly unmanageable. Especially when his temper started simmering.
Which was why he avoided all things written whenever humanly possible. When not possible, he compensated, usually with a joke about having forgotten his glasses. Truth was, his vision stayed maddeningly in the twenty-twenty range, giving him perfect clarity into his defect.
Charm sometimes worked to get him the help he needed to manage a world that wasn’t geared toward a thirty-year-old with severe dyslexia who had given up learning to read. If there was a woman behind said government office desk and she was breathing, odds were good Jack could flirt his way into getting her to fill out the form on his behalf.
Today was not his day. The person in charge of commercial dive permits in the Bahamian ministry office in Nassau was a sour, pinch-faced man who hadn’t greeted anyone in the line thus far with anything approaching civility. His gnarled face spoke to years of practice at denying permit seekers strictly for the thrill of it.
Jack needed this permit. Not just for the sake of having it, though it was critical to the dive excursion Aqueous Adventures would begin offering Duchess Island tourists alongside parasailing and snorkeling. But because this was his contribution to the team of former SEALs who had landed in the Caribbean after honorable discharges from the Navy.
Jack would be an effective partner in the venture the six of them had founded or die trying. Aqueous Adventures had provided a refuge for the group of SEALs, Jack most of all. The Navy had been kind to him, offering a place where he could excel physically but also gloss over the fact that he couldn’t read. A lovely lady in the admin office helped him pass his ASVAB, and as a member of a SEAL team, he’d finally felt functional.
Huge shock to hear that the guys he considered family wanted to get out of Navy. He’d envisioned being a sailor forever, but he couldn’t do it without the team that he relied on so heavily to fill the gaps caused by his disability, even though they didn’t know they were. Now that they were a different kind of team—co-owners of a business—he owed it to the other guys not to drag them down.
The queue inched forward exactly one body as Pinch Face struck terror in the heart of the next in line. Sweat broke out across the back of Jack’s neck. Why had he volunteered for this again?
Because if he hadn’t, one of the guys might figure out there was a reason he’d rather pull his fingernails off with pliers than do something that involved forms, and he’d rather not give away his secret.
This might not even be the right line. It wasn’t like he could read the signs to guide him to the correct place. He’d asked the lady at the desk in the lobby where to go and she’d directed him here, but he’d stood in the wrong line often enough in his life that it was never a given. He was used to making mistakes, had long stopped worrying about whether he’d make another one and focused on how to fix it when he did.