Heather Long lives in Texas with her family and their menagerie of animals. As a child, Heather skipped picture books and enjoyed the Harlequin romance novels by Penny Jordan and Nora Roberts that her grandmother read to her. Heather believes that laughter is as important to life as breathing and that the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus are very real. In the meanwhile, she is hard at work on her next novel.
Marine Under the Mistletoeby Heather Long
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
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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?
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Marine Under the Mistletoe is Book 3 in the Always a Marine Holiday Series by Heather Long. This book features Kaiden Nelson, a Marine Sergeant and Rowan Harper an IT techie. Kaiden has returned home to celebrate Yule with his family after ten years of being absent (since he joined the Marine Corps). At the Coven House (where the members and their family go to celebrate Yule) he meets Rowan. The two share an instant attraction. Ms. Long did a great job in showing the holiday customs and traditions of Wiccan, the Winter Solstice and Yule. I love the way Ms. Long brings the tradition of mistletoe into play. You could really feel and experience Kaiden’s conflict as he tries to merge the beliefs that he was brought up on – “an it harm none” with his duty to his country as a Marine. This was another well written story about the conflict that soldiers face in merging their duty to their country and their beliefs.
A Marine’s Renewal at Yule Kaiden Nelson enlisted in the Marine Corps ten years ago. Marine Under the Mistletoe was his first visit home to his Circle, since leaving. He was at a crossroads trying to reconcile a career he was proud of, but wrought with violence, with his spiritual practice’s guiding principle - an it harm none. Meeting Rowan Harper was the salve his soul needed to begin healing long-buried wounds. Heather Long uses the Yule cycle of life, death and rebirth, as well as an overdue homecoming to weave yet another beautiful holiday story filled with faith, and forgiveness. The Circle embraced newcomer Rowan, as a safe place to be herself, and she extended the embrace of perfect love and perfect trust to Kaiden. As he opens up to allow the blessings of the Goddess and Earth back into his heart, he finds love. He also finds a very sexy surprise under the mistletoe. As with many of the Always a Marine short stories, Rowan and Kaiden are faced with the realities of active-duty life and responsibilities. Ms. Long’s readers know that each short story is merely the beginning of the main characters’ happily ever after. What she continues to do, however, is write beautifully about the diverse men and women in our Armed Forces, and each story adds another layer to the series. In fact, proceeds from this book will benefit Toys for Tots. Not only do I recommend you read Marine Under the Mistletoe, please buy this book as a gift for your friends.
An incredibly touching tale of a Marine reconciling what hes had to do in as part of his job with the tenets he was raised to believe. He has been a Marine for 10 years and has put in his time in the sandbox. You can't do that and not come out unchanged. His friends and family don't judge him as harshly as he judges himself. There comes a light in his darkness in the person of shy computer tech Rowan. She refuses to let him sit alone in the dark and the love in her heart may bring him into the light once more. I don't know much about Wicca but the peace of the season comes through loud and clear. It is apparent to me that the author really cared for the characters of this story and so I did too. A must read for the holiday season no matter what religion you are.