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Socialite Jaci Piermont and her twin sister Jena grew up with an overbearing father, something which did not change with his death. In his will, he left twenty-five million dollars to each of the women…as long as they were happily wed before their twenty-fifth birthday. Their brother is just like their father and is trying to use the stipulation in his father’s will to get the twins to marry his business associates...to aid him. Growing up, Jaci had been the one who constantly got into trouble, but she had a purpose in mind. She hoped that by drawing her father’s attention, he would leave their mother, who had breast cancer, alone. Now, although she could live her life flitting from one social event to another, she spends her days as a community nurse and has set up a shelter for abused women where she spends her evenings. Often she finds herself in dangerous situations as she tries to extract women from their abusive situations. She cares deeply for her friend Ian and just before he left for Afghanistan, she had proposed to him. But he left the following morning while she was asleep without saying a word. She had written to him, but he never replied. Now that he is home, she still has not heard from him, even though it has been three weeks since his return.
Staff Sergeant Ian Eddelton and Jaci have been good friends, but the night before he left for Afghanistan, they spent the night together. The next morning he left without saying goodbye and took with him a picture of Jaci and her twin sister together. Ian’s men were like his brothers, so when an explosion in Afghanistan killed all of them, he was devastated. Suffering from PTSD and survivor’s guilt, he is still determined to be there for the men’s families. It would not be like when he was growing up and his father had been killed while fighting overseas. There had been no one there for them. When his mother discovered that Ian had enlisted in the Army, she refused to have anything else to do with him. As far as she was concerned, Ian died the same day he enlisted. After the explosion that killed his fellow soldiers, he spent the next three months in the hospital, due to the bad damage to his leg. He has been home for three weeks, but has still not contacted Jaci, even though it had been thoughts of her that had helped pull him through his ordeal. With helping the families of his fallen comrades, he did not see where he would have time for a relationship of his own. Besides, not many women would be happy to share their husbands with other families.
But when he finds her in a dangerous situation, his feelings for her surface and he is ready to do whatever it takes to keep her safe. Unable to bear watching her date other guys as she seeks a husband before her upcoming birthday, he proposes marriage. But he has hurt her in the past, can he convince her that they belong together and not just to gain her inheritance?
A touching story, CRAVING HER SOLDIER’S TOUCH, the first book in talented author Wendy S. Marcus’ BEYOND THE SPOTLIGHT series, is a witty, sensual contemporary romance that deals with some delicate issues. From the first page, I was enthralled by their story. Both Ian and Jaci are realistic characters, with all of their foibles and vulnerabilities. They are also perfect for each other. I absolutely love Ms. Marcus’ stories. Her vivid descriptions bring the story and the characters to life right before your eyes. Filled with humor, heartbreak, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, domestic abuse, a captivating plot, lifelike characters, passion, romance and love, this beautifully written story is one you will want to read more than once. A definite keeper! Although this story can be read as a standalone, I am sure that once you read it and become acquainted with Jaci’s twin Jena, you will be eager to read her story, SECRETS OF A SHY SOCIALITE, the second book in this series. If you are looking for a great read, look no further than CRAVING HER SOLDIER’S TOUCH!
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