Subject: Navy SEAL Gabriel Thorne
Mission: Initiate Operation: Romance…and prove that one night isn’t enough!
Explosives expert and Navy SEAL Gabriel “Romeo” Thorne makes his living tempting fate. Pushing the limits. So far, he’s never lost—especially when it comes to women. That is, until his best friend’s wedding, where Gabriel is suddenly face-to-face—and deliciously body-to-body—with the one woman hot enough to detonate his self-control.
Tessa Monroe is used to being in control with men. Gabriel, on the other hand, is pretty much her sex kryptonite. Hard, gorgeous, dark-eyed kryptonite. Even as her defenses whisper “danger,” lust demands she take her pleasure with him and then run. Now they’re skirting the edge of an explosive attraction…where one wrong move could mean disaster.
Originally published in 2015.
About the Author
Avid reader, neurotic writer and die-hard shoe fanatic, New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author Tawny Weber has been writing sassy, sexy stories for Harlequin since her first book hit the shelves in 2007. When not obsessing over deadlines, she’s watching Johnny Depp movies, scrapbooking or hanging out on Facebook and Twitter. Come by and visit her on the web at www.tawnyweber.com
Read an Excerpt
Chief Petty Officer Gabriel Thorne had yet to find a challenge he couldn't meet, beat or defeat.
And today's game was no different.
Ignoring the noise, the intense stares and the heavy expectations, he assessed the field, making note of all of his options even as his mind calculated risks and probabilities. There were three easy shots, ones that would assure him an advance. But Gabriel had no need for easy.
A quick glance at the clock assured him that he did have a need for speed, though.
He leaned over the pool table, slid the cue between his fingers and, in a practiced move, placed a machine-gun shot right in the center of the waiting balls, sending them all flying home to clear the table.
"And that's how it's done," he told his scowling opponent.
Gabriel easily read the fury in the guy's face, but kept his grin in check while the other man yanked his wallet from his slacks pocket.
"Another round," insisted Jase Jeglinskiotherwise known as Jackrabbit to the SEAL team.
"Another time." Gabriel tilted his chin toward the billiard-ball-shaped clock on the wall, ignoring the mutinous set of Jackrabbit's jaw and the guy's clenched fists.
Even if he'd let one fly, Gabriel would have reacted with the same easy disregard. Because there was nothing Jackrabbit could dish out that Gabriel couldn't take.
The easy confidence he'd been born with had been carefully honed to a razor-sharp edge in his years in the military.
"Dude, do you ever lose?" another of the men surrounding them asked in awe.
"Romeo? Never." Scavenger laughed as he collected his own winnings from the other three men. "I warned you not to bet against him."
Gabriel shook his head. Leave it to Scavengeraka Petty Officer Shane O'Brian to anyone not on the SEAL teamto make sure the odds were as even and fair as possible. Sooner or later, he'd learn that it didn't matter what he didlife just wasn't gonna turn out fair. But Gabriel figured it was his job to watch his buddy's back, not to offer up that particular lesson.
"You keep him around to carry your ego?" Jackrabbit asked with a laugh that held no amusement as Scavenger expanded his praise to include Gabriel's legendary success with the ladies.
"Nah. I keep him around because he can turn a tin can, a pile of sand and a couple of rocks into a tactical communications device that will get our ass out from behind enemy lines," Gabriel retorted, only half joking since he was sure the communications specialist could do just that.
He ignored Jackrabbit's skeptical snort because he understood it. A SEAL team wasn't a team simply because the group of men had been assigned together. They had to work together and prove themselves to establish real trust.
Gabriel, or Romeo as he was more often referred to, Scavenger and their pal Irish, aka Mitch Donovan, had been reassigned from Virginia to the West Coast less than seven months ago and had been otherwise deployed for most of that time. So while they were a part of the team on paper, until they'd deployed on a mission with the rest of the men, he knew they were still proving themselves.
"So that's the shooting range, the pool table and what was the other one?" Tall and dark haired with a muscular build that leaned toward lanky, Lt. Taylor Powell gave Jackrabbit an amused look. "Beer guzzling, wasn't it?"
"He can't win them all."
"Sure he can," Scavenger disagreed with a friendly smile. "I've never seen him lose a bet."
"All that means is he only takes sure bets," Jackrabbit said with a growl, obviously still pissed.
Gabriel didn't blame him. Losing sucked. Or so he'd heard.
"Ops, bets, women," Scavenger said in a musing sort of tone. "We've served together for six years now and I'm pretty sure he's won them all."
To prove his point, he continued regaling the others with a few of Gabriel's exploits.
Gabriel ignored the stories and the ensuing laughter as he racked up the balls for whoever wanted to play the next round. He didn't need to defend himself. His record stood solid on its own. Jackrabbit would see that soon enough, since they were heading into training together next week.
He'd learn that Gabriel was used to winning.
Define your path, stand your ground. That was what his grandfather had taught him. That and to never let anyone else's actions define his own. Simple rules that'd defined his life. Because of them, he'd survived leaving the reservation and living on the streets after his grandfather died. He'd got out of the slums, he'd joined the Navy, he'd become a SEAL. Because of those rules, he'd never met a challenge he couldn't meet, beat or defeat.
It was what he did.
It was who he was.
Maybe it hadn't always been that way, but it was now.
And now was all that mattered.
Gabriel glanced at the clock again, noting how fast time was flying by.
"C'mon, boys. We've got a party to get to."
Not that Irish would be docking points for them being late to his little shindig. But Gabriel figured their commander's bride-to-be might be a little put out if half of her fiance's team was late to their engagement celebration. And Gabriel made a point to never disappoint a lady.
As one, the eight men strode out of Olive Oyl's bar with a wave here and a shout-out there to familiar faces. Outside, the cool air washed over them in welcome as they straddled their motorcycles. Not nearly as comfortable as they'd be in jeans or even in uniform, some of the men tucked their ties into their shirts, a couple of them stowing their suit jackets into their saddlebags.
Gabriel, who hadn't bothered to put either on yet, simply unhooked his helmet. Before he could pull it on, the deceptively lanky guy on the Indian Chief next to him tilted his head.
"Watch your back," murmured Mr. Wizard, as the team called Taylor. "Jackrabbit's got a hard-on to take you down."
"Ain't gonna happen."
"He's just superstitious," Scavenger remarked from the other side, his words pitched low enough that nobody beyond the three of them could hear over the roaring engines. "He figures your luck has to run out eventually and he doesn't want to be on a mission with you when it does."
Scavenger really believed that? Damn, the guy was gullible. In the act of unlocking his helmet, Gabriel exchanged looks with Taylor, who was rolling his eyes.
"Jackrabbit can keep his hard-ons and his superstitions to himself," Gabriel stated, pulling his helmet on to put an end to the conversation.
But as he kicked the Harley to life and put it into gear, Jackrabbit angled his bike into the lead, deliberately cutting off Gabriel. Forced to admit that Mr. Wizard had a point, Gabriel bided his time. As soon as they hit the freeway onramp, he throttled hard, letting the bike fly around traffic. He kept it just under one hundred miles per hour, not needing to look at the speedometer to confirm since he knew the bike as well as he knew his own body. All it took was a glance in the rearview mirror to assure him that the team had accepted his challenge.
And the race was on.
Grinning into the wind as it beat against his face, Gabriel took the scenic routeoff the freeway, along the beach, through every twist and turn he could find. Might as well make it interesting.
By the time they'd caught up in the parking lot of the fancy renovated manor house, he'd wrapped himself in a tie, pulled on his suit jacket and was adjusting his cuffs.
Gabriel waited until everyone had dismounted and they were all ready to head in to the party before clapping Jackrabbit on the shoulder.
"Why don't you just accept it, bro? I always win."
Tessa Monroe easily ignored the appreciative looks and heated stares as she crossed the elegant ballroom surrounded by the glitter of crystal, the sweetness of white roses and the tinkling melody of good cheer.
Her long brunette curls swayed over milky white skin, the rich purple of her silky dress perfectly fitting the posh ambiance of the ballroom.
The setting suited her.
Of course, she looked just as good in the gym wearing skimpy, yet breathable cotton. Or on the beach in a tiny bikini. On the slopes wearing layers, behind her laptop while she interviewed relationship experts for her latest column or on a date with the latest in her string of male conquests.
Simply put, she was a woman used to being admired.
So used to it that she barely noticed. Instead, she admired the huge manor. Lit up like a beacon, the chandeliers glinted as music played softly in the background. The ballroom was so filled with people that Tessa welcomed the cool March night air wafting through the open doors. She could see the torch-lit paths leading from the gardens to the beach beyond, but didn't think anyone had ventured out yet.
It was a lovely party that suited Olivia Kane perfectly. And Tessa wanted her best friend to be safe and happy. But Livi was making a huge mistake. Tessa knew it; she was terrified of it. Yet she couldn't do a damned thing about it. Not without putting her friend's happinessand more important, her healthat risk.
So Tessa did something so unusual, so out of character, that she had to focus on it with all her being. She ignored her instincts, put aside her personal prejudices and, God forbid it became a habit, for the first time in her life she tried faking it.
With her brightest smile plastered on her face, she pretended she was perfectly thrilled as she made her way to her dearest, oldest friend's side to celebrate what could be a huge, painful mistake.
She had to say something. At least get Livi to consider what she was jumping into. Not just marriage. But marriage to a military man. A SEAL.
Her mind simply boggled.
"Livi " Her voice trailed off as the rest of the words disappeared somewhere in her throat before they reached her tongue.
Her blond hair twisted into a cascading crown of curls down the shoulder of her lipstick-red dress and her huge brown eyes dancing with happiness, Livi looked better than Tessa had ever seen her. Tucking her arm into Tessa's, Livi offered a bright smile, hers as genuine as the sweetness shining from her face.
How the two of them were such good friends was baffling, since the only thing sweet about Tessa was her taste in desserts.
"About all of this," Tessa said, waving her hand to indicate the party. But once more her words trailed off as she looked into Livi's face.
She glowed, as if she were lit from within with happiness. Joy shone in Livi's eyes, pleasure curved her lips and her entire being simply radiated delight.
Crap. Tessa sighed. She couldn't do it.
"Can I get you more cider?" she offered instead, gesturing to Livi's almost empty glass with her own champagne flute.
"Oh, no. I'm fine. Isn't it lovely here?" Practically bouncing in her Louboutin shoes, Livi gazed around the beachside manor. "I'd so love to have the wedding here, but there aren't spots available until November."
Before Tessa could suggest she hold out, since November was only eight months awaydidn't it take years to plan these sorts of things anyway?Livi continued.
"But obviously we can't wait that long," she said with a soft laugh. Rubbing her hand over her silk-covered, flat belly, she added, "Mitch's mother would really like it better if we were married before the baby arrives."
And that settled it.
Tessa offered a passing waiter a smile big enough to make him trip in his rush to bring her another glass of champagne. As soon as she'd exchanged flutes, she knocked back half of the bubbly to hide her grimace.
"Now, that's a sight made to make women swoon," Livi murmured with an appreciative sigh. "You know, we work with good-looking, incredibly built men all the time, but these guys give new meaning to the word fit!"
Ready to be distracted, Tessa put her worries aside. Because if there were one thing she made a point of appreciating on a regular basis, it was men. So much so that she'd managed to turn her enjoyment of the male species into a career writing about the games between the sexes.
Sometimes when she was alone late at night she wondered how long she could finesse her talent for flirting into a viable profession. When the clock ran out on that option, what would she do? Emulate her mother, who'd flirted her way through sixand countingmarriages so far?
Tessa shuddered at the thought.
More than ready to be distracted and play, Tessa followed her friend's gaze in search of a worthy opponent.
And damn near spun on her five-inch Giuseppe Zanotti heels and ran the other way.
Her heart skipped, bouncing in her chest a few times before plunging into her stomach. It had plenty of company there, as it tangled up with a wild jangle of anticipation, nerves and lust. She tried to swallow but her throat was too dry. Her tongue, usually quite nimble, was glued to the roof of her mouth.
She shifted her gaze to the gardens beyond the French doors, pretending she found the sight peaceful. Fingers clenching and unclenching around the stem of her glass, she took a couple of deep breaths and focused on pulling the soothing air down to her belly until she found some semblance of calm.
Then she looked back at the group of men who'd just walked into the mansion.
Her heart raced again. Emotions spun through her, too fast to identify. It didn't matter. She didn't care what they were. Only that they spun right back out.
"Why is he they here?" she asked, hoping Livi hadn't caught her slip of the tongue.
"The team? You don't think Mitch would celebrate our engagement without his SEALs, do you?" Livi asked with a laugh. Then, before Tessa realized what her friend was going to do so she could have grabbed her arm to stop her, Livi gave a big ol' exuberant wave.
As one, the men looked their way.
But Tessa only saw one man.
Taller than the rest, his shoulders broad and tempting beneath a lightweight sport coat the same vivid black as his eyes, he wore a simple dress shirt under his jacket, yet managed to look perfectly elegant.
His gaze locked on her, sending a zing of desire through her body with the same intensity as it had the first time he'd looked her way six months before.
Tessa Monroe, the woman who'd flicked off movie stars, who'd written articles calling out misogynists and who alwaysalwayscame out on top when it came to any encounter with the opposite sex, wanted to duck behind her friend and hide.
"That's so sweet of his friends to come all this way to celebrate your engagement to Mitch," she said hopefully, watching Livi's fiancé stride through the crowd to greet the group with back slaps and what looked to be laughing taunts. "Isn't most of Mitch's team stationed across the country?"
"They didn't have to come far. They're all based in Coronado now. Didn't I tell you?" Livi asked, her eyes locked on Mitch as if she could eat him up with her gaze alone. "Romeo's the best man."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is the continuing series from Tawny Weber and her Uniformly Hot(Sexy SEALs) stories. You don't need to read the previous books to enjoy this story. It is Tessa and Romeo aka Gabriel's turn at romance. He's generally known as doing well at everything and she is very efficient but not into romance. This is a great read, and if you have read the series, then you learn Gabriel's background which I didn't know was Native American. Great story.
I received this book free from the author. I am voluntarily choosing to review it. Two hard-headed people who want sex their own way with no commitment. They are going to show each other that they can have great sex with one another and walk away! A really good story about friendship, love and commitment with very sexy characters and sparks flying. I would have liked a little bit more detail about the SEAL side of things, but that is just me. I love details. But it IS about his pleasure!
Very good book. Gabriel and Tessa met briefly at a Halloween party and hadn't been able to forget each other. Six months later they saw each other again and the sparks flew. They are very much alike, both known as "love 'em and leave 'em" types. I loved the encounters between Tessa and Gabriel. Tessa resists at first because Gabriel is one man who threatens the control she keeps on her emotions. But it doesn't take long for the attraction to overcome her caution. All she wants is a chance to have him and get him out of her system. Gabriel is usually the same way with women, but something about Tessa has him wanting to do things differently after hearing her echo some of his same attitudes. It was interesting that Tessa is more of a use them and lose them person. She doesn't believe in love and romance, partly because of her mother's example (six marriages) and what she has seen. Gabriel is a man who prefers a little romance with his lust. I loved how he decided he would romance her rather than just sleep with her, building the tension between them. Tessa is really confused by his actions and doesn't know quite how to react. Because Gabriel is away over the next few weeks, they spend a lot of time talking. Some of it is just normal, share your day stuff, but some of it was pretty hot. During that same time period, both of them realized that what they had was moving beyond the physical and it was scaring them both. Gabriel and Tessa have something else in common. Both of them are intensely loyal to their friends, and tend to take on the responsibility for others' happiness and welfare. Gabriel has something going on with a member of his team that he feels is his alone to deal with. It's creating stress and problems and when it gets out of hand, Gabriel feels that the consequences are his fault, and that it was his distraction with Tessa that had him handling things the wrong way. Meanwhile, Tessa has some things going on with her own job that she would normally share with her friend Livi. But Livi is pregnant and planning her wedding (a stress all on its own) and Tessa doesn't feel right unloading on her. When Gabriel returns and sees Tessa again, the tension that's been building explodes between them. What happens next is so intense that it kind of freaks them both out. They avoid each other for a bit, but eventually are drawn back together. I liked seeing their moments of vulnerability and support for each other. But then Gabriel decides that everything that went on with his team means that he can't have both his career and Tessa so he pushes her away. That confrontation is emotional, as Gabriel says things that are at odds with how he really feels but what he thinks he has to do. I hurt for Tessa as she tries to deal with her heartbreak. A heart to heart with Livi shows Tessa that it's okay to lean on your friends, and gives her the courage to fight for what she wants. I loved the ending and seeing how both Tessa and Gabriel risk their hearts for a chance to have it all. I liked seeing more of Mitch and Livi from A SEAL's Secret. Their example is one of the things that eventually showed Gabriel and Tessa what they could have.
This was fantastic. I saw the sparks fly between Gabriel and Tessa in a prior book in their one brief meeting and was NOT disappointed when it came to this book and getting their full story. I enjoyed seeing why Tessa was so about being in control with a man and watching Gabriel break through that shell even while she got through to him on other levels. Don't miss out on this book. The hero and heroine make it sooooo worth the read and, of course, Tawny can write herself some sexy scenes! 5 stars, easily! Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I loved this book, Gabriel and Tess are perfect for each.They know how to talk to each other to get under each other skin because they are so much alike .Plus Gabriel is HOT!!!! I love the whole series. and can't wait until the next. 5 Stars
Romeo (Gabriel) has been known to be able to get any woman he wants. Tessa can also get any man she wants. It was fun watching the battle of wits these two did to out do each other and in doing that found that they had really found the perfect person for them. Gabriel has a strong sense of values that speak to Tessa who is really not sure if she can trust a man. It was an awesome read.
When two master players on the field of pleasure and flirt, who always win, comes together, the sparks are about to fly! Gabriel and Tessa surely have combustible connection. They are so hot and sensual, the steam is smoldering. What I enjoyed immensely, was the wait Gabriel put into their sexual relationship, wanting their connection to be different from all the others before. They get to know each other, they even have begun sort of friends, they comfort each other and give each other support. Yes, they run for cover behind the flirting and dirty talk, constant banter between them, just to avoid the intense feelings they are having. But the feelings are there, getting deeper, and there's no escape from it. Both having problems with their careers, someone else is messing behind their backs, making choices that affect people around them, and possibly could change both their careers. This common core brings Gabriel and Tessa even closer together, as they offer advice and support. The story is full of wedding stress, career moves, friends, loyalty, trust, heated sensual moments, and yes, love. Very entertaining story, that made me smile ~ Four Spoons
Like a dirty talking, sexy SEAL? If so, you will love Gabriel - he will charm your panties off! We first met Romeo and Tessa in the previous book, A SEAL's Secret, and we continue where it left with Mitch and Livi getting ready to tie the knot. Romeo and Tessa create sparks whenever they are close, but she has no plans to give into the attraction. Romeo has never been able to resist a challenge and will do anything to win, including taking his time with a proper seduction. The build up to their first time is HOT! They spend a lot of time talking over the phone - and he has quite a mouth on him. What starts out as just sex, turns into more, but neither one is prepared for it. It was great seeing both Gabriel and Tessa work through the their issues. I think this is Tawny's hottest SEAL book so far, can't wait to see what she has in store for us next! ARC received in exchange for an honest review.
Navy SEAL Gabriel "Romeo" and columnist Tessa are the male/female versions of each other. This makes for an interesting battle of wills. Both are determined to get their way and never have more than just a sexual relationship. I loved the way Tawny Weber used their strengths and weaknesses to not only pull this couple together but also help out their best friends. This is a stand alone book but once you read it, you will want to read all of the books in the series. GO SEALS!
Another Sexy Seal! Another sexy seal book by Tawny Weber. This book is part of the Uniformly Hot series, and can be read as a standalone, but once you read one book you will want to read them all. Gabriel “Romeo” is a Navy Seal who specializes in explosives. He is at his best friend’s wedding when he meets Tessa. Tessa is used to being in control with men that is until she meets Gabriel. They both like to be in control of a relationship and make to commitments. I love how they both learn to love and trust each other. I love how the author keeps bringing the characters from the past books into the current books because the readers have grown to love them all. I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series. A Review copy was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. The free book held no determination on my personal review.
4.5 Stars! The story has laughs, steam, a bet, secrets, and heartbreak. This is Tessa and Gabriel’s story. Tessa knows Gabriel is bad for her. Gabriel is determined to have Tessa. But he will take her at his pace. When one of his teammates bets him he can’t get her he takes the bet. After dancing around each other they finally come together. Both have feeling involved. After a mishap that affects his job Gabriel thinks he needs to let Tessa go. Can he let her go? Will she ever find out about the bet? Does Tessa let him go? Or will she fight for him no matter what? I was able to connect with the characters and the story was a great read. I highly recommend this book and can’t wait for the next story from this author.
Gabriel and Tessa are so much alike. Neither of them thought they could ever have a permanent relationship. Tessa has a lot of changes going on in her life and Gabriel has some stress. They are so used to solving problems for everyone else, can they set aside their problems and realize they are both long-term people?
I love Tawny's SEAL books because they are such great, pleasureable stories. However, this sASEAL'S Pleasure by Tawny Weber Review by cjr I love Tawny's SEAL books because they are such great, pleasureable stories. However, this story about Mitch and Tessa goes above and beyond. Most romance reads follow the, one half of the couple fights falling in love tooth and nail and the other half has to fight an uphill battle to get them to admit it and do something about it, story line. The things I most enjoyed about this book was that both Mitch and Tessa talked a really good game but, when it came right down to it, they both had serious issues that they recognized in each other but, not in themselves. That really made this a truly satisfying read! I LOVED IT!!
Sizzling, sexy, and such a good read. Gabriel "Romeo" Thorne doesn't do relationships. How fair would it be to leave a woman behind constantly worrying about him. That is until Tessa Monroe came barreling into his life. Spending time together for the wedding of their best friends may prove his undoing! This one is really good and I highly recommend it!
A Seal's Pleasure by Tawny Weber is a fun tug of war between two alpha characters. Mitch and Tessa are both so used to being in control that neither wants to relinquish it to the other. The entertaining element of the story is taking the journey with these two headstrong people. Tawny Weber is an author that always leaves me entertained and satisfied with her brand of storytelling. I received an ARC of A Seal's Pleasure for an honest review. THIS IS A MUST READ!!!
This was a well written story with remarkable characters. Gabriwl and Tessa have a strong sexual attraction but neither is looking for love. It was hard for me to put this book down as I needed to see where this journey took them, and I was not disappointed. Well worth reading. Received copy for review.
My Thoughts: I have an intense adoration for the Uniformly Hot SEALs books from Tawny Weber. Like complete, total adoration. I literally make grabby hands when it comes to these books, and with good reason. Every one has amazing characters that have a way about them that sets them apart from the typical romance novel character. A SEAL's Pleasure was definitely on board with this. Gabriel and Tessa have this chemistry almost immediately. Even though she thinks she can give in to temporary temptation, he has other plans. He wants to romance her first. It leads them into new territory, uncharted and full of danger. Before they even realize it, feelings are coming into play, and as scary as it is, it's amazing. A SEAL's Pleasure is a hot cup of romance, full of sweet and sexy moments. Gabriel and Tessa are perfect together, and you can feel it. There's so much more to them, the way they read each other and understand each other. It's simply amazing. Definitely a must read! My Rating: Very Good
Gabriel "Romeo" Thorne is used to getting what and whoever he wants. But when sexy Tessa Monroe crossed his path he can't get her out of his mind and he vows to have her. When his commanding officer, Irish and Tessa's best friend Livi request them to help get the wedding ready, he has the perfect opportunity. Tessa know how to work it. She knows she's sexy and she flaunts it. But she knows there's no such thing as forever or happily ever after. With her best friend, Livi, engages and marrying a Navy Seal, she has to show her support. With Romeo there though the distraction is almost to much to bare. So she decides to play his game. Love him and leave him before she can get hurt. The man is everything she could want and she is scared. As they come closer to the wedding of their best friends, their combustible chemistry can't be ignored. Can his plan of romancing her win her over? Will this Seals Pleasure be enough or can they break the barriers of their unbelief in true love together and take the leap?
Two very explosive people who when together sparks fly. Neither one want a relationship just to have a good time. Tessa just wants one night to get Gabriel out if her system she didn't count on the connection and attraction to be so strong. Tessa is losing her true self with all changes occurring in her life. Gabriel is trying to deal with adjustments on his new SEAL team, but it's a bumpy road. He doesn't mess with emotions especially ones dealing with the heart. What is one to do when hearts come in to play? Fight or flee? Can these two so against love actually embrace it?