Will his call of duty break both their hearts?
Losing her father in Desert Storm has left Stephanie James with a bitter soul when it comes to the military. As a college senior juggling a full course load, Steph's only goal is to graduate with honors at the end of the semester. She’s focused, determined, and a firm believer in all work and no play. Then she meets Brandon Walker at a New Year’s Eve costume party. Despite his disguise, Steph finds herself attracted to the camouflaged soldier who curls her toes with a scorching midnight kiss.
Brandon is an engineering major and ROTC student from the hills of Kentucky. Growing up as the son of a major general has given Brandon firsthand knowledge of the struggles military families sometimes face. Now that his father’s memory is fading, Brandon is even more determined to make his dad proud and graduate as an officer in the United States Army. Then he meets Stephanie, and suddenly, his focus is less on his military service and more on the pretty brunette who has stolen his heart. When he becomes aware of Steph’s resentment toward the military, he worries their relationship is doomed.
Steph unexpectedly finds herself in need of a roommate. Brandon volunteers, thinking it’s the perfect opportunity to show her the real Brandon, before he’s forced to admit the truth about his four-year obligation to the army. Afraid that living together will be a distraction to graduating on time, Steph establishes house rules—rules they both find difficult to obey.
When faced with the realization that she's fallen in love with a soldier, can Steph’s wounds from the past be healed with love in her present . . . and in her future?
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“Hey, you.”She blinks a few times before her face breaks out into the most beautiful grin I’ve ever seen. With a sweet laugh, she grabs me, pulling me down on top of her.For the first few minutes, all we do is stare at each other. Maybe because we can. Or maybe because we’re looking for little things we might have missed while we were apart.“Your hair’s longer,” I whisper.“Yours is shorter. I didn’t think that was possible.”She sighs softly, her eyes flickering to my mouth.“So, Lieutenant Walker, are you gonna kiss me or not?”“I’m thinking about it.”“You think too much.”She rolls us over, and we both groan as she covers her body with mine. Steph kisses me, and from the very second her lips touch mine, with all their frantic urgency and sweet warmth, I know in my heart that something has changed. Our kisses have changed. Our touch has changed. We’ve changed. There’s a craving there. A deep and powerful yearning that wasn’t there before and can only come from spending time apart. It makes us kiss one another a little slower, hold each other a little tighter, and love each other a little more than we did just twelve weeks ago.Steph suddenly lifts herself up, straddling my waist and sliding her hands along my stomach. Another flash of lightning in the sky shows me what she’s wearing.It’s my Princess Bride T-shirt, the same one I was wearing the day we met in class.“Nice shirt.”“Thanks. I stole it from your closet before you left. I’ve slept in it every night.”“Thief.”With a sly grin, she leans down and kisses me again.“You’ve stolen my clothes. Stolen my heart.”Steph smiles against my lips.“There’s something else I want to steal,” she whispers. I slide my hands along her back, pulling her closer to me as I raise myself up. Wrapping her arms around my neck, she melts against me when I bury my face against her neck.“I’ll give you anything, Steph.”
“Anything?””Whatever you want.”I lift my head and find her eyes, deep and dark and full of tears. All of her earlier playfulness is gone as she places her palm against my cheek.“I want your last name.”
About Sydney Logan
Amazon best selling author Sydney Logan holds a Master's degree in Elementary Education. She is the author of three novels - Lessons Learned, Mountain Charm, and Soldier On. Sydney has also penned several short stories and is a contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul.
A native of East Tennessee, Sydney enjoys playing piano and relaxing on her porch with her wonderful husband and their very spoiled cat.
Q/A with Sydney
Where do you find your inspiration?
People and music, mostly. Sometimes, like in the case with my novel Soldier On, I found a picture that served as inspiration and later, as the cover of the book.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
The most challenging thing is balancing writing and promotion. I’m not very good at it. It was easier when I only had one book, but the more I write, the harder it gets to juggle it all. I’m not complaining, because I love it, but that’s the biggest challenge for me.
What are your current projects?
I’m getting ready to release a holiday collection of short stories titled Once Upon a December. It will include two previously published Kindle short stories along with a new short story. It will release on November 28. I’m also working on my fourth novel.
Tell us about your first book. What would readers find different about the first one and your most recent published work?
Lessons Learned is actually my debut novel, but it was published two years ago with a small indie publisher. I’m now self-publishing it with a new cover. However, my most recently published novel is Soldier On. I think readers would find that my writing style is a little more laid-back now. I don’t agonize over every single word like I did with my first book.
I’m much more comfortable and confident in my storytelling.
Does music play any type of role in your writing?
I’m heavily inspired by music and lyrics. However, I can only write with instrumental music. I can’t listen to lyrics and write at the same time. I have to be careful about the instrumental music I choose because it can really influence the mood and tone of my story. I also create YouTube playlists for all of my stories.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your life?
There are little bits of me in all of my lead characters. In Lessons Learned, Sarah is a teacher like me and struggles with anxiety and panic attacks, both of which I’ve battled. In Mountain Charm, my second novel, Angelina lives in the mountains and loves bluegrass music. That’s me. In Soldier On, Steph loves 80s music. That’s totally me. :) Also in Soldier On,
’s dad suffers from Alzheimer’s. That experience is based on the life of my friend, whose Mom was dealing with the disease at the time. My friend told me I should write a book about it, so I did. Brandon
What books have influenced your life most?
Anything by Nicholas Sparks, John Grisham’s A Time to Kill, Harry Potter, Twilight, anything by Judy Blume, but especially Forever.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
He’s not so new anymore, but John Green is a new favorite. I love books that rip your heart out and make you think, and The Fault in Our Stars certainly did those things to me. T.M. Franklin is an indie author who writes YA really well. My students love her MORE trilogy.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
My readers are the best! They’re always so excited to read something new from me, and I couldn’t be more grateful for their support.
Do you have a special time to write? How is your day structured writing-wise?
I don’t have a schedule, really. I write when I get the chance, which is usually at night, on weekends, or during school breaks. My colleagues ask what I’m doing for Spring Break, and my answer is always writing. :)
Why did you choose to write Romance stories?
I chose romance because I’m a happy-ever-after kind of girl. I especially love first-love stories, which is why I’m considering a YA novel next. I’ve written both contemporary romance (Lessons Learned) and New Adult (Mountain Charm and Soldier On).
What is for you the perfect book hero?
My perfect book hero is a man who adores the woman he loves. The “nice guy” is somewhat of a myth in contemporary romance. Most romantic heroes are alpha-males, but I want women (and teens) to know that there are nice guys out there. They really do exist!
When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve written songs, poems, and short stories since I was a kid, but I only started writing professionally about three years ago. I had posted some stories online when one of my readers contacted me. She just happened to be in acquisitions at a small, indie publisher (the original publisher of Lessons Learned). She encouraged me to submit something, and that’s how Lessons Learned was born.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I was in high school, I had a poem published in one of those Who’s Who student journals. I also won 1st runner-up in a local writing contest. I actually considered majoring in journalism in college, but I decided to teach instead.
Will you write more about these characters?
I don’t think so. I think I left them in a good place. Everyone got their happy-ever-afters, even if it wasn’t quite how they imagined it. That’s life. :)