Tuesday marks the release of my fifth Always a Marine 1NS Her Marine. As release day approaches, butterflies of anticipation tingle in my belly. I find myself nervous and excited in the same breath. I really want readers to love these Marines as much as I do. I honestly never expected to write a series about Marines, they are alpha warriors who volunteer to serve their country and are prepared at every turn to give the ultimate sacrifice. They’re hard-headed, they’re loyal, and they’re amazing considering that these men and women can be so compassionate.
In Her Marine we meet Lieutenant Brody Essex, one of the last of Luke’s unit to still be on active duty. He’s visiting Dallas on leave and his brothers have arranged a one-night stand for him. Brody needs this night, even though he won’t admit it and they let him save face by convincing him he’s filling in for fellow Marine Matt McCall who is still struggling to settle back into civilian life.
Brody’s date Shannon has her own problems, but not only does he see her struggles and try to understand it--it is Brody who helps her to face them head on and gives her the strength to conquer those fears. It’s loyalty, compassion, and brotherhood that I found immeasurable.
I asked friends who are related or married to Marines what are their top reasons to love a Marine and here is that list:
· Loyalty - to family, to country, to their fellow Marines
· Always ready - they are always ready to face any challenge
· Life and Liberty - they will fight to the death
· Friendship - they keep their friends and their Brothers-in-arms close, because they know the value of those relationships
· Toys for Tots - They’re tough, tough men (and women) with the kindest hearts beneath those hard exteriors
· Semper Fi - Their sense of Corps and brotherhood is immeasurable
· Always Ready - They are always prepared, what they learn in the Corp serves them for the rest of their lives
· Liberty and justice for all - they do not need to know you to be willing to die for you
I have fallen for each of the Marines in my books because they embody so many of these qualities. What do you love about the Marines?
Shannon Fabray is a sculpture artist and her love of the pure masculine body is demonstrated in every work of aesthetic art she creates. But her passion for the body doesn't extend into her personal life after a hellish experience in college left her with nowhere to turn but her work. After several criticisms about the lack of passion in her sculptures, Shannon is determined to face her fears and take desire by the balls. A one-night stand should do the trick.
2nd Lt. Brody Essex is an active duty Marine with one goal: come home, get rested, go back. Brody isn’t interested in a date arranged through Madame Eve’s 1Night Stand service like the rest of his friends from the Corps have had, but he doesn’t hesitate to fill in for a Brother who can’t go on his own.
The last thing either Shannon or Brody expect is a wondrous, soul deep connection, but is the spark of lust enough to bring the two loners in from the cold?
The woman's voice perfumed the lyrics with forbidden promises. Servers in unrelieved black slipped in and around the tables, delivering drinks and food without disturbing the spell woven on the stage. The woman's sultry Italian didn't detract from the emotion.
Captivated, Brody stared as she massaged emotion from the music. His heart thudded a quiet counterpoint. Everything in the room hushed, from the whispers at the tables to the movement of the wait staff. When a man strolled out to meet the woman, she turned and caught his hand. He took up the song and it transformed from something provocative to a note that squeezed around his heart.
An echo of movement next to him tugged his gaze from the stage. A pixie took her place next to him. Her short black curls pinned carefully to frame her porcelain skin. "They are singing about goodbye," she murmured, her voice almost too low to be heard over the voices twining together, lovers dancing around the notes of the man's baritone and the woman's husky alto.
"I don't know the words," he followed her lead, loathe to break the spell spinning between the two. Somewhere on the stage, dancers moved, but they were so understated, he didn't doubt the crowd wasn't quite aware of them.
"When I'm alone, I dream of the horizon and words fail me. There is no light in a room where there is no sun." The woman's words traced the underlying score of the singing. "And there is no sun if you're not here with me. From every window unfurls my heart, the heart you have won into me you've poured the light, this light you found by the side of the road."
Oddly, tears pricked the back of his eyes at the sweet little catch the pixie woman's voice. Pulling his gaze from the performers, he canted his head. Moisture glittered around the woman's impossibly long eyelashes, but she watched the singers, one hand toying with a coin hanging by a silver chain around her neck.
"She tells him it's time to say goodbye, places that I've never seen or experienced with you, now I shall. I'll sail with you upon ships across the seas, seas that will exist no more. It's time to say goodbye."