Sunday Snippet: Hotter than Ever by Elle Kennedy

If you haven’t discovered the awesomeness that is Elle Kennedy’s Hot out of Uniform series well then you need to. Because Oh My Gosh, the awesomeness that is Aidan, Dylan and Claire is just HAWT!!

Claire turned to Dylan in confusion as their taxi came to a stop in front of a modern high-rise with an endless amount of windows sparkling in the afternoon sunlight.

“Where are we?” she asked suspiciously. “I thought we were going to your place.”

He leaned forward and handed the driver some cash, then reached for the door handle. “This is my place.”

“Since when?” Claire wrinkled her brow. The last time she and Chris came to visit, Dylan had been living in a house in Coronado with his teammate Seth, a scruffy badass SEAL with a chip on his shoulder.

“Since about a month ago,” he answered.

They got out of the cab and Dylan rounded the vehicle to grab their bags from the trunk. It was just past three o’clock, and the sun was so bright Claire squinted to avoid being blinded and wished she hadn’t shoved her sunglasses into her carry-on. She couldn’t believe how warm it was, especially for December. On the plus side, she happened to be wearing a sundress so thin she may as well be naked.

On the minus side, the barely-there dress had resulted in an hour-and-a-half-long helicopter ride in which Dylan’s green eyes had been glued to her breasts.

Which was perplexing, because…he was gay, right? She still couldn’t figure it out, but the memory of Dylan’s tongue in another man’s mouth was completely incongruous to the way he’d been ogling her on the chopper.

And speaking of perplexing, what the hell had compelled her to come back to San Diego with this man? Clearly she’d suffered a mental breakdown after hearing that Chris was leaving town, but by the time common sense decided to make a return, they’d already been landing on the helipad of San Diego’s Coast Guard base.

After the taxi sped off, Dylan lugged their bags toward the glass doors at the building’s entrance. He didn’t turn around to see if she was following, but he did call out a mocking, “You coming?”

She trailed after him, still mystified by their surroundings. How on earth could Dylan afford to live here? This building was way too luxurious for a SEAL’s salary. They stepped into a beautiful lobby with dark oak furniture, cream-colored carpeting, and tasteful artwork on the walls, and were immediately greeted by the uniformed security guard sitting behind a spacious counter.

Dylan smiled and nodded at the bulky African-American man, then introduced Claire as his houseguest. The fact that the guard wrote down her name told Claire that security was taken seriously in this building.

Her flip-flops snapped against the lush carpet as she and Dylan headed toward a corridor to their left. She winced at each snap snap, feeling way too underdressed. It didn’t help that Dylan still wore the crisp black suit he’d donned for the wedding, which made her skimpy dress and plastic shoes look even more out of place.

“This place is so fancy,” she whispered. “How can you afford to live here alone?”

“Always so concerned with finances, aren’t you?”

The contempt in his voice raised her hackles. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

Dylan pressed the elevator button. “Nothing at all,” he said vaguely. “And to answer your question, I don’t live alone.”

Ding. The elevator opened with a chime and he strode into it without elaborating.

Claire hurried in after him. “You’re still living with Seth then?”

“Nope.”

His response was casual, but the shuttered look on his handsome face answered her next question. He lived with the dark-haired man. The man he’d been kissing that night.

Heat flooded her cheeks, and to her extreme embarrassment, she experienced a spark of arousal. Damn it! She wasn’t allowed to get turned on by it anymore. She’d been trying so hard to stifle that reaction these last couple of months.

But now that the proverbial door had more or less been opened, she found herself walking right through it.

“So. Um.” She swallowed. “Are we ever going to talk about what happened back in September?”

Dylan shrugged. “There’s nothing to talk about. You walked in on a private moment between me and Aidan. No biggie.”

“Aidan? Is that his name?”

“Yep.”

The elevator continued its ascent, the numbers on the electronic panel rapidly flashing before stopping on the number 15.

The doors dinged open.

“Listen,” Dylan said as they stepped into a wide hallway, “I really do appreciate that you didn’t say anything to Chris or my mom about what you saw that night.”

She arched a brow. “And yet you insist the whole thing was no biggie.”

“It’s not. To me, anyway.” His eyes went somber. “But it would be a big deal for them. Chris, especially. My brother is very…conservative.”

“I know.” Claire swallowed again. “My best friend is a lesbian, and, well, Chris has never been openly negative, but I don’t think he likes her very much.”

“Yeah, he’s a bit of a homophobe,” Dylan admitted in a pained voice. “There’s a whole thing behind it, but I don’t want to get into that. Just know I’m grateful that you kept quiet.”

They lingered in the middle of the hall, eyeing each other carefully. Claire realized this was the first time in a year and a half that she and Dylan had had a conversation that lacked any hostile undertones.

Might be pushing her luck, but she figured she should capitalize on the cease-fire. “So you and Aidan…you’re…together?” she asked curiously.

He sighed. “It’s complicated.”

She could only imagine. Dylan didn’t just have his family’s prejudice to worry about—he was also a navy officer, and no matter how progressive the military claimed to be these days, Claire knew his sexual orientation would probably never be fully accepted. And who knew what circumstances the dark-haired stranger—Aidan, she amended—had to contend with.

Sympathy tugged at her heart, an emotion she didn’t normally feel in Dylan’s presence. Usually she couldn’t look past his arrogant, selfish exterior, but she had to admit, he’d been pretty sweet today. Whisking her out of the country club, bringing her home with him so she could lick her wounds in peace. She hadn’t asked him to do any of that, and she still couldn’t figure out why he hadn’t sided with his brother in all this.

“Anyway, my mom and Chris know that Aidan is my roommate, but not that—”

“—you share a room,” she finished wryly.

Dylan shrugged again. “Actually, we don’t.”

She furrowed her brows. “Why not?”

“Like I said, it’s complicated.”

A hundred more questions bit at her tongue, but he didn’t give her the chance to voice them. He was walking off again, leaving her to stare at his retreating back—and his butt. Because really, she couldn’t not stare at his butt, so taut and delicious in those snug trousers. And his body was so damn big he made her feel miniature in comparison. Broad shoulders, arms that rippled with power, long legs, a lean yet muscular torso, and of course, that amazing butt.

No doubt about it, Dylan Wade was sexy. And he banked on that sexiness, using it to get whatever he wanted—well, at least according to Chris.

Then again, Chris’s credibility was on shaky ground considering he was on his way to Aruba to cash in on the honeymoon her parents had paid for.

Choking down the bitterness coating her throat, Claire followed Dylan to a door at the very end of the hall, then waited as he pulled out a set of keys and stuck one in the lock.

A moment later, they walked into the apartment, Claire feeling slightly apprehensive as she examined the surprisingly large front hall. Actually, nothing surprising about it. Of course the apartments in this fancy-pants building would be huge.

Since Dylan kicked off his shoes, she did too, and beautiful dark hardwood spanned beneath her bare feet as they ventured deeper into the apartment. The front hall widened and spilled into an enormous open-concept space with floor-to-ceiling windows that provided a view of the city skyline.

“Wow,” she blurted out. “This place is incredible.”

“Yeah, it’s pretty sweet.” Dylan dropped her suitcases and his small black duffel on the floor, then swept an arm out and gave her a quick verbal tour. “Living room, dining room. Kitchen’s over there, and the bedrooms are down that hall.”

Claire’s gaze took everything in—the masculine furnishings in the living room and heavy-duty entertainment system, the sleek electric fireplace, the French doors leading out to a sprawling stone terrace. She shifted her gaze and studied the low wall that separated the living and dining area from a big, modern kitchen with gleaming stainless-steel appliances and a black granite counter.

And just like Dylan’s old place, this one was also neat as a pin, which only supported her belief that military men were the cleanest on the planet.

She opened her mouth to rave about the apartment a bit more, but the sound of footsteps interrupted. Claire turned her head in time to see Dylan’s roommate step out of the corridor.

A pair of unbelievably sexy dimples appeared in his cheeks as he swept his dark eyes over the new arrivals. “Fastest wedding ever, huh?”

Claire was at a loss for words over his sheer hotness, and far too fascinated by the man walking toward them. She’d only caught shadowy glimpses of him back in September, and now she was kind of grateful for that, because if she’d known what this man looked like?

He would have haunted her fantasies.

hotter than everWhen you land in hot water, swim for safety—or let the fire burn.

An Out of Uniform Story

Claire McKinley has just experienced every bride’s nightmare. The groom is a no-show, and now she must face five hundred guests alone. Furious and humiliated, Claire seeks help from the most unlikely candidate—her almost-brother-in-law, who promptly whisks her away to his apartment in San Diego, where she can recover her pride in peace and quiet.

Dylan Wade is no fan of Claire’s, but no way can he leave the jilted bride in her time of need. Bringing her home seems like a good idea—until he remembers his new roommate. Dylan’s relationship with Aidan is…complicated. And with Claire thrown into the mix, life becomes even more…complicated.

Claire is blindsided by her attraction not only to Dylan, but also to Aidan, a man she’s just met. Soon they’re caught up in an all-consuming sexual storm they can’t fight even if they wanted to. Yet Claire wonders if it can last, or if she’s just setting herself up for more heartache.

Warning: This book is very dirty. Ménage a trois and man-on-man dirty. Graphic-language and explicit-sex dirty. Basically? Dirty. You’ve been warned.

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