Title: Love in the Morning Calm
Author: Judythe Morgan
Genre: Military Romance; 20th Century Historical, Romance
In the furor of the 60's, when women were fighting for their rights and men the Viet Cong, Lily Reed, a young Tennessee preacher’s daughter, seeks her personal liberation only to discover a love that defines her even as it forever alters her definition of freedom and liberation.
Green Beret Major Alex Cabot meets Lily Reed, a Department of Army civilian at Eighth Army Headquarters while on temporary assignment there. He's is a high-potential career officer, who should resist the temptation of any woman, but he can’t ignore Lily.
In an uncertain time, in a temporary safe zone, yielding to temptation changes both their lives forever.
Love in the Morning Calm, book 1 of the Promises Series, introduces Lily Reed, Alex Cabot, and David Sands. The series chronicles their lives from the 1960s through the decades that follow. Each book is a standalone story.
Movement at the restaurant entrance drew Alex’s attention. A one-star general, flanked by two women walked in first. The older woman, no doubt the general’s wife. But the younger? Was she his daughter?
The colonel standing close to the group was probably the general’s Executive Officer. The third man, a captain, was the stereotypical aide-de-camp. All spit and polish. Probably a West Pointer who hadn’t seen a day of true combat.
His eyes, like hands, traveled over the young woman’s slim frame. Her dress fell softly from her shoulders and billowed around her knees like a lilac cloud at sunset. Shoulder-length hair, the color of rich tobacco, framed her face with its tiny turned up nose. A friendly smile, seductive in its wholesomeness, curved her full, claret-colored lips.
When she passed his table, green-as-emerald eyes met his and lingered for what seemed an eternity. A jolt of uncanny oneness surged through his body, piercing his soul with the same intensity of a Viet Cong bayonet.
She lowered her gaze, but not before pink tinted her cheeks. The corners of his mouth curved for the first time in months. He hadn’t had that effect on a woman in a long time.
Or been this enticed since, well, since . . . he couldn’t remember the last time.
After his fiasco with the woman handpicked by his control-obsessed parents, he steered clear of female attachments, keeping his liaisons short and shallow.
He glanced at the young woman walking toward her table, noting her swaying hips and shapely legs. She had complication written all over her pretty, innocent face. She’d want the whole nine yards. Kids. Stability. Forever.
All he could offer was a one-night stand. No guarantees and no promises.
He kept glancing at the girl who was laughing and talking with her tablemates as he finished his meal. Occasionally he’d catch her eye, and she’d look away.
Alex debated whether to go over and introduce himself. No, not tonight. After the last thirteen months in Vietnam, he needed one more night of uninterrupted rest.
Tomorrow, he’d find her again. After all, Walker Hill wasn’t that large.
On the other side of the dining room, Lillian Elizabeth Reed sat with her co-workers, Colonel Samuel D. Ware and Captain David F. Sands, and their boss, Eighth Army G3 Brigadier General Benjamin G. Mackland and his wife, Aggie. They’d come to Walker Hill for a two-day staff getaway.
Only an hour northwest of Seoul, Eighth Army personnel often came for weekends to enjoy the westernized resort facilities, which had been constructed after the Korean War.
Conversation faded as an invisible force pulled her attention across the dining room to the soldier she’d seen on the way in. Passing his table, she’d paused, riveted by his extraordinary eyes. So sad and lonely and haunted.
Now, those brown eyes, with their fiery flecks of cinnamon, stared back causing an unfamiliar tingle through her body. She shivered even though handsome, flirting soldiers had plagued her like Pharaoh’s locusts from her first day in South Korea. She and her father argued over the temptations when she’d taken the Department of Army civilian position against his wishes.
But, between his sermons reverberating through her head and Sam’s watchful eye, she wasn’t worried. Like Margaret Meade and Helen Gurley Brown, Lily considered herself a liberated woman. A man’s attention wouldn’t sway her.
Lily realized everyone was waiting for an answer to a question she hadn’t heard. “I’m sorry. What did you say?”
Mack repeated his question in a mildly irritated tone. “I asked if that officer was a friend of yours. If so, let’s invite him to join us.”
Lily shrugged. “I’ve never seen him before. Maybe he knows one of you, because he keeps staring over here.”
Sam smirked. “I don’t think he’s looking at any of us.”
“You’re right,” Mack said. “Another fool is falling under Lily’s spell. Think we should warn him about our ‘Miss Untouchable’?”
David, Mack’s aide-de-camp, made a sputtering sound somewhere between a snort and a chuckle. “Warn him and miss all the fun? I don’t think so.”
Lily pursed her lips and rolled her eyes. They’d given her that nickname because she’d refused to accept more than one date from anyone, although that didn’t stop Mack and Aggie from continually setting up her with David.
She didn’t mind the nickname. It kept her focused on her goal to avoid the love-marriage-baby-carriage syndrome.
“It doesn’t matter who he is. We’re going back to Seoul in the morning. I’ll never see him again.”
The conversation moved to other topics. Lily kept glancing in the soldier’s direction. Twice, Sam commented about her preoccupation. When they stood to leave, unable to stop herself, she glanced one last time at the table across the room.
The soldier was gone.
She quickly dismissed the surprising wave of disappointment. There was no room in her career plan for any man. She had places to go, things to see. Eighth Army G3 was only the beginning.
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Why is your featured book a must-read?
Since we’re celebrating Mother’s Day, it’s a story of a mother’s love and sacrifice.
It’s also a step back in time for seasoned readers who lived the Vietnam years, the story will bring back memories and for readers who didn’t experience those years live, it gives a glimpse of that period in our history.
Reviewers say, “It's heartbreaking and inspiring, warm and relatable all at the same time...”
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Judythe Morgan was an Army brat then Army wife which means she’s traveled a lot. She’s been a teacher, an antiques dealer, former mayor's wife, and sometimes-church pianist. Mommy to an Old English sheepdog named Finnegan MacCool and a Maltese named Buster, there’s always a wild adventure brewing.
Her diverse experiences make her life full, her characters vivid, and her stories authentic and award-winning. Besides fiction, she writes a weekly blog at www.judythewriter.com
Sign up for her free newsletter at www.judythemorgan.com to keep up with her latest news and subscriber-only sneak peaks.
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