Thanks, Mel, for this awesome tribute to the military and a few of us who love to write military romances! I'm not sure what it is about military men and women that fascinates me so, but I've loved reading these types of stories since reading Rachel Lee's Conard County series back in the 1990s. The men are alpha, which helps a whole lot. The women are strong and able to take care of themselves. And yet they can be brought to their knees by the birth of a child or the love of the right woman. *melt* What's not to love about that?
I also come from a long line of men who have served in the armed forces, including most recently my father who served in the Navy in World War II and the Army in Korea. (Said he'd have joined the Air Force next if my mom hadn't snagged him. He did have two brothers who served in the Air Force, though, and two in the Army.)
And yet I write about Marines in my debut Rescue Me series. There is something about that sense of honor, their not seeing anything heroic about what they do (it's just their job), their never completing a mission without bringing every member of the unit home, and so much more in that Marine's creed that just speaks to me. Of course, the uniform is totally awe-inspiring, too.
My thanks to all who are serving or have served in the military, and to their families (because they serve alongside them)!
Masters at Arms introduces readers to three very different men who come together in a firefight in Fallujah, Iraq, that will forever bind them as brothers. Please go to Smashwords and use coupon code QP88L to download your FREE copy, because this introduction is necessary for readers to fully understand the next three romances in the series—Nobody's Angel and Nobody's Hero, and Nobody's Perfect, the last of which will be released in the next couple of weeks. These four books also need to be read in order because the three men's lives are so intertwined that I wrote them in serial style with each man's romance arc taking place over multiple books. I also don't believe that a happy ending means "the end" for a couple, so they all will continue to work on relationship issues in later books in the series. (I have eight books planned through 2013, but there may be more as their "family" grows.) But you can rest assured each couple will be brought to a satisfying conclusion at the end of each of the romances.
Today, I've decided to spotlight Nobody's Perfect (Rescue Me #4), which will be released in the last half of June. This is the story of young Damián Orlando and Savi Baker (Savannah Gentry in Masters at Arms), my two most broken characters.
What I love about writing Romance novels is that my characters can go through hell and I know they will still have a happy ending. I have to keep telling myself that with these two, because they truly have been to hell and back and their healing can't be contained within this book. They were introduced in section two of Masters at Arms and separated for eight long years, until they meet under painful circumstances in Nobody's Hero.
BLURB for Nobody's Perfect
Savannah Gentry, now Savi Baker, escaped the torture and degradation forced upon her by a sadistic father for eleven years and has made a safe life for herself and her daughter. When her father threatens her peace of mind—and her daughter's safety—Savi runs to Damián Orlando for protection. Their one day together eight years earlier changed both their lives and resulted in a secret she can no longer hide. But being with Damián reawakens feelings she wants buried—and stirs up an onslaught of disturbing flashbacks that leave her shaken to the core with little hope of ever being a sexual being again.
Damián has his own dragons to fight, but has never forgotten the one perfect day he spent with Savannah in a cave at the beach. He will go to the ends of the earth to protect Savi and her daughter, but can never be the whole man she deserves after a firefight in Iraq. Besides, the trauma of war and resulting PTSD has led him to find his place as the Masters at Arms Club's favorite sadist. Savi needs someone gentle and loving, not the broken man he has become. But he sees that the lifestyle he's come to embrace also can help Savi regain control of her life and sexuality. How can he not help redirect her negative thoughts and actions if she needs him?
AUTHORIZED EXCERPT for Nobody's Perfect
© 2011, 2012 by Kallypso Masters
(Damián speaks first.)
“Let me take your jacket.”
“No, I’m fine. I’ll just keep it on.”
He didn't look like he believed her about being fine, but motioned for her to have a seat on the sofa. He sat down at the other end and reached over to pick up an open bottle of Dos Equis he’d obviously been drinking before she'd arrived.
His gaze targeted her. “Who hit you?”
Savi wasn't sure where to start. She lifted the soda can to her lips and tipped her head back, drinking long and slow, then lowered the can again and stared at it a moment, tracing a fingernail around the rim.
“Was it your husband?”
Her what? She looked up, brows furrowed, then shook her head. “I’m not married.” What had made him think otherwise?
“I have a friend who was a corpsman—a medic—in Iraq. Will you let him check out your injuries?”
No way. She squared her shoulders and sat up a little straighter, willing herself not to show any sign of discomfort or her inability to breathe deeply. “What injuries?”
“Well, there’s the black eye, swelling, bruising on your face. You’ve also been favoring your left side. Did he hit you there, too?”
She sagged against the sofa. “It’s nothing.”
“Let my friend be the judge of that.”
She hadn't come here seeking medical help. She needed protection for her daughter. “I’m not leaving Mari.”
“Who said anything about leaving? He’ll come over here if I ask him.”
“No. The fewer people who know I’m here, the better.”
“Who are you running from, Savannah?”
A spark of something that felt like anger flashed through her at his use of that name. “I told you not to call me that.”
He grinned. “I liked your hair better blonde. Why did you change it?”
She hadn't been a blonde in seven years. “None of your business.”
He leaned toward her and she tried not to let him intimidate her, but he did. “Hey, chica, you just showed up on my doorstep out of nowhere, beaten up and on the run. You’re the one who asked me for help, so don’t go getting all defensive. I’m just trying to figure out what the hell’s going on.”
When she refused to respond, he sat back and took a longer draw on his beer, draining it, then lowered the empty bottle to his crotch. She averted her attention from that part of his anatomy, reaching up to twirl her hair. A wave of discomfort crashed against her. She hadn't been alone in a room with a man in a very long time.
“I felt safer changing my appearance.”
Her hand froze on the curl as her heart thudded against her chest, robbing her of even more oxygen. Did he know? She looked up at him again, studying his face for some time. “What about him?”
“Is he the one who roughed you up and sent you running?”
He didn't know. She relaxed into the sofa and took another swig of the soda, buying time as she tried to will her heartbeat to slow down. “No. He’s been out of my…out of the picture from day one.” She'd tried to find Damián when she'd gotten strong enough to function after Mari's birth, but hadn't been able to find him.
“Let me see where you’re hurt.”
She refused to make eye contact. “No. I’m fine.”
“Bullshit, chica.” When she looked up at him again, he held her gaze. “Your choice—me or my friend? Which will it be?”
Anger ripped through her again. She hadn't come all this way to have him expose her to her father's hound dogs by leaving a paper trail, which is what would happen if he involved medical personnel. She glared at him for a moment, but he refused to back down. Leaning forward, wincing at the shortness of breath before she caught herself again and masked her features, she laid the soda can on top of a magazine on the coffee table.
She sat back against the sofa. “It’s nothing. Really. Just a bruise.”
“I’ll be the judge of that. I have some…expertise with bruising. Remove your jacket.”
She continued to wage a silent battle of wills with him, but after a few moments decided they needed to get beyond this or she'd never get anywhere with getting him to help them. She raised a shaking hand to loosen the belt of her jacket, then tried to control the shaking in her hands as she reached up to undo the top button.
“I haven’t ever hurt you, Savannah. Have I?”
Why did he keep calling her that?
Savi remembered those first months when she'd fantasized about Damián coming to rescue her. And later fantasies of his being a daddy to Mari. Before she'd shut down emotionally. Still, she'd always hoped he would try to find her. He'd broken her heart by not doing so.
Don't be ridiculous, Savi. He wouldn't have come looking for you. He'd have looked for Savannah Gentry. And she was dead.
Kallypso Masters' Giveaway
To win a copy of this book or any other in the series and some cool swag (bookmark, pen, sexy hand fan, and Romance Trading Cards), please comment below telling me about why you like reading military romances. If there's a special military hero in your life, tell us about him or her, too! Contest open internationally! Closes June 4th at Noon MST. The winner will be announced June 5th.
For all of the buy links for Kally's books (sold at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance eBooks, and Smashwords), go to http://kallypsomasters.blogspot.com/p/books-by-kallypso-masters.html.
You can find Kally online (more than she probably should be there) at:
Ahh, Kallypso…the stories you tell: Blog