Marine Under the Mistletoe

Always a Marine series, #19

While this wonderful Yule time story is part of Heather Long’s Always a Marine series, it does deviate a bit from most of the other stories in this series. Madame Eve is totally missing and Mike’s Place is only mentioned. Yet, it fits in the series seamlessly and totally embraces what being a Marine is. Many of the psychological effects of going to war are explored and how they relate to moral upbringings. Do not expect mainline Christian beliefs as Kaiden was brought up pagan. Do expect well thought out characters and emotional dynamics. This is a story that I really enjoyed and wanted more of. Hopefully Kaiden and Rowan will show up in later stories.

While this is part of a series, each book can be read independently from the others, for this story this is especially true. Though short, each story is complete and exemplifies the Marines who serve our nation.

Kaiden hasn’t been to a Yule celebration since he joined the Marines. In fact, he’s not sure why he agreed to this year. It’s going to be really hard when he knows he has gone against the basic beliefs of his coven, to never harm another. When he is greeted by a woman he doesn’t know with a hug and kiss, he’s not sure he’s at all comfortable. Still, he’s drawn to Rowan. Maybe he should just leave, or maybe not.

Book Blurb for Marine Under the Mistletoe

He used to believe in magic…

Kaiden Nelson looked like every other Marine, only most of his guys didn’t grow up in a family of nudists, celebrating the wheel of the year and the lunar cycles. His buddies wouldn’t name him a witch, either. But after more than a decade at war, Kaiden isn’t sure he can—or even wants to lay claim to that calling anymore. He’s got too much blood on his hands and he’s tired…tired of war, tired of fighting. Some days…he’s tired of living. When he’s sent on leave for the holidays, he’s unsure if he can ever really go home again.

She’s a candle in the night…

Rowan Harper lives in two worlds, the mundane where she handles tech issues for a major corporation and the pagan where she celebrates the sabbats and esbats with her coven. Like so many in the region, she keeps her beliefs private. It makes life more bearable from others who would judge, and she likes nothing better than the great sabbat retreats the coven takes to the sprawling Lake House. It’s a time where she sheds the shackles of everyday life and embraces the divine.

The wheel turns…

When Kaiden turns up at the coven Yule, his Circle of family and friends are eager to welcome him. He feels unworthy of the open warmth and shies away to the darkness, but Rowan refuses to leave him in the shadows. Can the inexorable pull of one woman help him face down his demons as they hold vigil against the longest night of the year?

Night Owl Reviews Feb, 2015 4.50