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As a young boy, Alex Dane lost his family when his parents died, which led to a succession of foster homes where his foster parents were more interested in the money they received than bestowing love on a young, grieving boy. Since his parents were killed taking him to get the ice cream cone he had asked for, he blames himself for their deaths. Their deaths left him with a fear of loving a person only to lose them, not wanting to go through that pain again. When he became older, he joined the Army and they became his family. He was sent on a mission with a soldier named William Kennedy, who constantly talked about his beautiful wife and daughter. While under enemy attack, William took a bullet that was meant for Alex. As he lay dying, William asked Alex to visit his wife and daughter in Alaska and take them some of his personal possessions, including the last letters he had written to them. Blaming himself for his friend’s death, Alex had no choice but to carry out his wishes. Dreading the visit, Alex went to the Kennedy home as soon as he arrived back in the States. During his time in the Army, he had signed up for every mission he could, having no family to go home to. But he has seen as much as he can stand and wants to try something new, as a civilian.
Lisa Kennedy has been a widow for eight months. She is beginning to get used to the idea that William will not be coming home and is trying to help her daughter Lilly. Ever since the six-year-old girl heard that her daddy was not coming home, she has stopped talking, except to her mommy. Although Lilly is seeing a therapist, she is not making much progress. Lilly had been very close to her daddy and he had doted on her. The last time William was home on leave, Lisa had gotten pregnant. However, she had lost the baby, but William had died before she could bring herself to tell him.
Standing at the door, Alex is about to walk away when the door opens. Expecting to see a very pregnant woman, he is surprised to see a slim, beautiful woman standing in front of him. Letting her know that he is a friend of her husband’s, he gives her the bag containing William’s personal items. Although he had planned to give her the bag and leave, he cannot say no when she asks him in.
Lisa had received visits from other soldiers sharing their condolences after her husband’s death, but when she discovers that Alex had been with William at the end, she wants to find out about his final moments and any other news she can get from him. She can tell he is troubled, and she wants to help him. Urging him to stay for dinner, she is surprised at the way that Lilly takes to the stranger. She talks him into staying in the guest room overnight. His visit is soon extended to a few weeks, as he agrees to help fix up the cottage behind her house. Watching Alex and her daughter fish together, Lisa is amazed at the progress Lilly is making, especially when she begins speaking to Alex, although she still does not speak to anyone else.
Spending time together, they are drawn to each other. But Lisa cannot help wondering if it is too soon to get involved with anyone, and Alex feels like he is betraying the friend who gave his life for him. As Alex grows more attracted to Lisa, he begins thinking about leaving before something happens between them. But the therapists, who are thrilled with Lilly’s progress, fear that if Alex leaves, Lilly might withdraw back into her shell even further than she had been. Can Lisa convince him to stay to complete the work on the cottage, help Lilly and perhaps, let himself heal as they become the family he has always wanted?
A heart-wrenching tale, SOLDIER ON HER DOORSTEP, the first book in the HEROES COME HOME series, is a story that you will find nearly impossible to put down until you have reached the very satisfying conclusion. With this story, talented author Soraya Lane reaches for the heart and touches it. The little girl, Lilly, will definitely touch your heart. Having lost her daddy, she loses her voice, but finds comfort in her faithful dog, until a tortured soldier with whom she has much in common arrives, giving her hope once more. This heartwarming tale is filled with emotion, at times tearful and at times, humorous, with true-to-life characters, a timely plot, healing, grief and a second chance at love. It is a story that you will hate to see end. Do not miss it! After reading SOLDIER ON HER DOORSTEP, I cannot wait for Ms. Lane’s second book in this series, THE ARMY RANGER’S RETURN, which is due out next month.
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