|Buy The Marine Cowboy HERE|
By Heather Long
A few months ago, I asked my readers did they have a preference for cowboys or Marines. Two of the series I write: Fevered Hearts and Always a Marine generate the majority of my fan mail. Fevered Hearts is a paranormal historical western romance series and Always a Marine is my series focusing on Marines returning home and finding love, healing, and recovery. I love writing both series and there are so many similarities between the two types of characters.
Cowboys are independent, tough, and resourceful—like Marines. Loyalty, honor, and devotion to brotherhood is instilled into Marines and these traditional values that can be found in our image of small town America—what is a western but the focus on the small town, where everyone knows their neighbor and cares about them, too. Several of my readers didn’t want to choose between Marine or Cowboy—and one asked me if she could have both.
Thus, The Marine Cowboy was born. I combined all the traits that I love about cowboys and Marines into A.J. Turner.
1. Dedicated to family, A.J. grew up on his ranch and raised horses like his father and his grandfather.
2. He enlisted in the Marines, like all of his forefathers, save his Dad who suffered from asthma.
3. He went from Freewill, Wyoming, to Parris Island and later served in Iraq.
4. He turned down a job at Mike’s Place in Allen, Tx, with Luke Dexter, to return home and rebuild his family ranch.
5. His ties to the town include long-standing friendships with the Gaines family and more.
6. Coming home, for A.J., is about reconnecting with his roots, training horses, and settling down.
7. He likes to work with his hands—sinking posts, adding fence boards, and fixing up his barn.
8. He is great with animals, understanding that horses need authority tempered with gentle coaxing like Micah from the Fevered Hearts books.
9. Like the rest of his unit, he signed up for a one night stand in a show of solidarity because a brother-in-arms has his friends’ back.
10. Under that tough exterior and independent spirit is a true gentleman…
Are you ready to meet A.J. Turner, Marine cowboy?
Keep up with Heather! And be sure to drop by the Always a Marine series page today, Heather will be chatting with readers and answering questions!
Turning down a billet at Mike's Place in Dallas, Sergeant A.J. Turner left Iraq for Freewill, Wyoming with one goal in mind—to forget the last five years. Trading his MARPATS for jeans and his cover for a cowboy hat, he plans to work his ranch and pray the green grass, tall trees, and sweet mountains can wash away the taste of the desert.
The last thing he expected was a reminder of a promise made to his buddies: one night to help them all start again.
Sheri Vaughn quit her corporate job, sold her house and moved to Freewill on a whim. Six months after her divorce, she's hardly ready to put her toe in the dating waters again. One bottle of wine later, however, she signs up for Madame Eve's exclusive 1Night Stand service and lists a very particular set of qualities she wants in a man; he must be honorable, courageous, forthright, single, have served as Marine, but be a cowboy at heart. If she wants to dream, at least she can dream big.
But when local hero A.J. Turner arrives home, Madame Eve comes through, and Sheri has to find the courage to make her dream a reality…
Can one night, even a night arranged by Madame Eve, fulfill both a promise and a dream?
Holy hell in a hand basket. Her gaze tracked the rugged stranger as he left the café and crossed the street. The jeans he wore hadn’t been spray painted on, but they definitely gave her a great visual of hard muscle and male confidence. He walked like he owned the town, but without any hint of pretentious air. That was a man who belonged in Freewill. She didn’t know who he was. She thought after six months she’d met most of the locals, but she would have remembered him.
“A.J. Turner.” Bea poured fresh coffee into her cup, heating it up.
Sheri spent nearly every morning at the café reading before she walked one block down to open the library. Trading her job as a corporate executive at a Fortune 500 company to be a small-town librarian didn’t suggest upward trajectory, but the town of Freewill healed that broken empty place inside left by her ex-husband’s series of affairs.
“The war hero?” She blinked and glanced back at the window, but he’d already disappeared.
“One and the same. Boy hasn’t been home since he left and didn’t tell anyone he was coming back either.” Bea clucked her tongue and wrote out the check. The café preferred the old pen and paper method, and since Sheri ate fruit and drank coffee every morning, the price was always the same.
“What branch did he serve in again?” Curious, she glanced at the waitress. Bea had been born, married, gave birth to her children, and buried her husband in Freewill. The town fixture wasn’t going anywhere. She also took Sheri under her wing from the day she arrived, treating her like an old friend—or a daughter.
“Marines, honey. That young man is definitely one of Freewill’s proudest.” She winked and went back to work.
A Marine. A tremor raced over her and her stomach seemed to bottom out.
The message waiting in her email that morning from Madame Eve made so much more sense. Biting her lip, she strained to look down the street. She wished she’d paid closer attention to him when he walked in, but she only got one good glimpse at his face when he turned and caught her staring.
Her cheeks heated at the memory. He’d caught her attention the moment he entered the café. She hadn’t missed the corded muscle in his arms, tense and well defined even as he drank a cup of coffee. The man was gorgeous and wore his masculinity like a second skin.
But his smile.
Her heart squeezed. The polite smile creasing his rugged face transformed him from handsome to a full-blown heartthrob. Her body hummed in reaction. To a smile.
Wow. He just got home, Sheri. Dial down the hormones.