Still, it was worth it. So much more than worth it. We put together a beautiful book with six fantastic stories of love (with a healthy dose of lust thrown in) featuring men, and in some cases women, who are serving our country.
Sadly, not all of our servicemen and women get their happy endings. Not everyone comes home, and those that do, they don't always come home whole. Whether it's physical wounds and injuries, or the mental and emotional scars of facing horrific situations and your own mortality every day, these are brave people who deserve to be honored. I hope we achieved that. I BELIEVE that we did. Each of these stories takes a different approach. Some feature military personnel still on active duty, dreaming of their loved ones during their deployment. Still others are about the rigors of coming home and adjusting to a civilian life that just doesn't make sense anymore. All of them are about facing the challenges of being impacted by death, violence and injury and responding with courage, duty, honor, sacrifice and a dozen other things that make up what being part of our great military is all about.
I hope you all enjoy Hot Soldier, and I hope that it brings home to everyone, in some small way, that these people who serve our country aren't simply there for two years, or six months, or however long they are deployed. Pieces of them, their innocence, their hope, their faith and sometimes their hearts, will be in those places forever.
EXCERPT FROM COMING HOME by SERAPHINA DONAVAN
Morgan Donnelly walked into the small shop as his Uncle's truck sped off behind him. Going to work with his uncle hadn't necessarily been his plan, but it was a hell of a lot better than being at loose ends. Having too much time to think just left him in a bad way. Surveying his surroundings, he frowned.
Searching his vocabulary for a word to describe the pastry shop, the only thing he could come up with was ‘girly’. The hot pink walls and white wrought iron tables were bad enough, but the delicate crystal chandelier was just too much. He tried to play it cool, as if being in such places didn't make him feel horribly out of place. Setting his toolbox down, he resisted the urge to rub his thigh.
His leg wasn’t hurting. Not too badly, at any rate. Though never pain free, he did have some good days to counteract the bad. It’d become habit, massaging those muscles throughout the course of the day, so they didn’t seize on him. The shrapnel was gone, but the scar tissue and nerve damage was something he’d be living with forever.
That was the easy part. It was the loss of his military career, of being forced into an early retirement that made him cringe. He felt old, used up and put out to pasture. At forty two, he’d spent more of his life in the military than out. During the past year, having surgery after surgery, with more physical therapy than any one person should have to endure, he’d tolerated the other kind of therapy too.
Of course, his medical leave would be ending soon, and it would be decision time. Go back and ride a desk, pushing papers around while other men, no more than kids, went headlong into danger. Or…he could embrace civilian life. Those were the choices he'd been given. It wasn't much of a choice.
Initially, he’d resented it. After a time, he’d come to see its purpose. Being out in the world, things worked differently than they did in the military, and he was adjusting to it. It wasn’t easy though.
Without fatigues and a gun, it was like walking naked into a room full of strangers. He’d spent the entirety of his twenties and most of his thirties on army bases or in war zones. The fluffy pastry shop seemed foreign to him, but that was only one of the reasons he’d avoided it. He had a few more.
A woman emerged from the back of the shop then, her red hair pinned up in some elaborate style that reminded him of old movies. He took one look at her and was instantly, painfully hard. With the physical toll of the surgeries and the painkillers, the exhaustion of therapy and, he was willing to admit it, a raging pity party, his libido had tanked. He’d accepted this as just a part of it, until he came back to Falls Creek and ran into Lexi Flynn.
One look at her and his libido had come back to raging life. It happened every time he saw her. He couldn’t even look at her without feeling all the blood rush south. War zones he could handle. Bullets, bombs, screaming superiors and an entire country wanting his head on a plate, that he could cope with and not even raise a sweat. One curvy redhead and he felt ready to run for the hills.
Hot Soldier Boxed set is available at Amazon for only $0.99. Get your copy today!