A heart-wrenching new military romance from USA TODAY bestselling author Carmen Jenner.
Available exclusively on Amazon and KU
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1TgTU7v
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1TiqZDz
Amazon CA: http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01FOQJ780
Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01FOQJ780
Jake Tucker is broken. At twenty-two, he went into the Marine Corps a naïve, troubled youth. Nine years and four tours later, Jake finds himself back on US soil, though his mind remains firmly planted in the sands of Afghanistan with the men he left behind.
Wounded, chewed up and spat out by war, Jake has only his dog, Nuke, PTSD, and survivor’s guilt to keep him company. He’s lived every day for nine years wondering when it will be his last, but there’s little comfort in the fact that he’s still standing when his platoon isn’t.
Ellie Mason doesn’t have time for broken. She’s too busy trying to put food on the table. And keeping up with the demands of her autistic son, Spencer, is sometimes like fighting behind enemy lines. As if navigating the minefields of single parenthood isn’t enough, Ellie finds herself drawn to the quiet Marine who’s just as lonely as she is. But she’s loved damaged men before, and it left her wounded.
Set against the picturesque backdrop of Fairhope, Alabama, Ellie and Jake find themselves running toward the sound of chaos.
Love is war.
Only the strong survive, and surrender is inevitable.
“Why haven’t you found a woman to love yet, Jake?”
I stiffen. Her question catches me off guard. I don’t know how to reply to that. I have found someone, but she deserves better than to spend her life with a freak.
“I like being alone.” That was a lie. “Who in their right mind would have me?” is what I want to say, but I don’t. I don’t tell her how much I loathe myself, or that I wish I was dead, or that at night I lie awake wondering if this was part of Aasif Bashir’s plan in disfiguring me—that he’d hoped that one day I’d roam the earth a free man and yet never know the freedom of a woman’s touch again.
I don’t tell her that I hate being alone because I can never shut off the voices or quiet the sounds of war that ring in my ear long after the dust has settled and the blood has dried. I attempt to fill the void with distractions: Nuke, Ellie, Spencer, pouring myself into something physical until my limbs shake from misuse, but it doesn’t mask the stillness. That’s always waiting for the moment I shut everything off. And it never becomes any less haunting.
“I hate it,” she says, as if she’s echoing my thoughts. “Being alone. When you climb into bed and everything’s so still you could hear a pin drop? There’s something in that silence that screams all my greatest fears.”
“What are they?” I say, too quickly.
“My fears?” she asks with a sigh. “That I’ll be alone forever. That Spence will grow up and leave like all kids do, or that he’ll enlist and my life will be filled with endless days and nights of that sound. Of nothing.”
I feel like she just cracked open my skull and pulled the words from my head, but two hearts as lonely as ours? Well, that’s a dangerous thing. Deep down I know as much as she does that I’m no good for her, and yet I’m still too selfish to push her away.
“You shouldn’t be alone,” I whisper.
“Neither should you.” She leans back into my embrace, and I kiss the top of her hair because I never dreamed I’d be lucky enough to do that again to any woman, let alone to this angel who came crashing into my life and made all the pain that came before her seem worth it.
I survived war, I survived torture at the hands of the Taliban, but I won’t survive Ellie Mason, not with my heart still intact.
About the Author
Carmen Jenner is a thirty-something, USA TODAY and international bestselling author.
Her dark romance, KICK (Savage Saints MC #1), won Best Dark Romance Read in the Reader’s Choice Awards at RWDU 2015.
A tattoo enthusiast, hardcore lipstick addict and zombie fangirl, Carmen lives on the sunny north coast of New South Wales, Australia, where she spends her time indoors wrangling her two wildling children, a dog named Pikelet, and her very own man-child.
A romantic at heart, Carmen strives to give her characters the HEA they deserve, but not before ruining their lives completely first … because what’s a happily ever after without a little torture?
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