- N. N. Light
Love in the Morning Calm by Judythe Morgan is a Salute Military Event pick #romance #giveaway
Title: Love in the Morning Calm
Author: Judythe Morgan
Genre: Military Romance/vintage romance
Love in the Morning Calm, Book 1 Promises Series
In 1966, while on temporary assignment to South Korea, Green Beret Major Alex Cabot meets Lily Reed at Eighth Army Headquarters. He’s a high-potential career officer, who should resist the temptation of any woman, but he can’t ignore her. She is a firm supporter of the budding Women’s Liberation movement determined to escape her small hometown’s love-marriage-baby-carriage syndrome for a life of adventure in a civilian job for the Army. Her plans leave no room for any man. No matter how captivating his smile.
In an uncertain time, in a temporary safe zone, yielding to temptation changes both their lives forever.
Green Beret Major Alexander Charles Cabot slid his hand beneath the pillow and waited, his trigger finger poised on his weapon. The footsteps faded into the distance. Ace, the nickname he’d earned for his piloting skills and bedroom prowess, took stock of his surroundings.
Walker Hill Resort. R&R before his temporary duty assignment for President Johnson’s Southeast Asia trip.
No swarms of buzzing mosquitoes and flies. No stench of latrines or dried blood. An honest-to-goodness clean feather pillow against his cheek. A soft mattress beneath him.
He set the gun on the bedside table. Slanting shadows meant he’d missed the opportunity to see South Korea’s famed Morning Calm.
A shower would strip away the dank smells of dirt and jungle rot from his hair. He scrubbed under his fingernails and between his toes. He grabbed a towel and inhaled the fresh, clean scent of something not washed in a creek or river.
After months of shaving with no mirror, his face in the full-sized mirror made him flinch. Nicks and scratches he didn’t remember dotted his face. His hair resembled a West Virginia mountain man. A decent haircut would be a priority before reporting to Eighth Army Headquarters.
Feeling a little more human, he wandered outside. The lush green terrain and rolling hills reminded him of Virginia. A gust of fishy scent preceded a Korean father and son carrying fishing poles up the mountainside trail. Unbidden, a scene with his dad and brother at the stocked pond on the family farm floated into his mind, and a stab of longing jabbed at his heart. A couple, hand in hand, strolled passed him. The longing became a zing of envy.
Longing? Envy? Ace shoved the feelings back into the secret cave of his heart. Thinking about home and family wouldn’t bring rest or relaxation.
At a scenic overlook, the quiet chirping from a bird perched in a nearby bush brought more memories, flashes of walks along the creek bed behind the barn. His throat tightened. He missed those times and his family. He should call home, make peace. But he wouldn’t.
This special translator assignment to HQ, South Korea had his parents’ fingerprints all over it. They wanted him safe behind a desk, not flying in and out of the jungles of Vietnam. Would they ever concede he was a soldier, not a politician?
His stomach rumbled loudly, reminding him, he hadn’t had a meal since he’d left Saigon. He backtracked to the restaurant along the crude concrete path lined with stupa. The main hotel rose seven stories high to his right above the river.
Hotel employees in resort vests and wide-legged paji pointed him to The Crane Restaurant. He paused the arched bridge to stare into the muddy, turbid water where tiny goldfish and adult carp swam. Interspersed with the calming movements of fish, dark scenes of Vietnam, with its carnage and death played out like a movie on the surface. If only he could drown his memories in that murky liquid.
Voices behind him made him glance up. A Specialist Fourth Class, his face already etched with the horrors of war, stared lovingly at the Korean woman on his arm.
The young soldier saluted. “Evening, sir.”
Ace returned the salute. At least the kid’s mind wouldn’t be thinking about Viet Cong tonight. He only hoped the kid understood, she’d only be a temporary respite from the hellish shadows of combat memories. The ghosts always return.
Cool air replaced the outside humidity when he followed them inside. Dimly lit lanterns supplied the only illumination. His eyes took a minute to adjust. Ace scanned the occupants, calculating the threat level as the maître d’ led him to the far corner of the dining room and slid into the seat with his back to the wall, mentally assessing escape options.
Envy reared its ugly head as he watched an American soldier place an engagement ring on his companion’s finger. He didn’t begrudge the couple’s happiness. Not at all. He hoped they’d be happy, but that kind of permanence wasn’t for him.
A one-star general, flanked by a red-haired middle-aged woman and a younger woman, walked in. A colonel standing close to the group was obviously the general’s Executive Officer. The third man, a captain, looked like a stereotypical aide-de-camp. All spit and polish. The older woman was no doubt the general’s wife. But the younger one. She was worthy of a second look.
His eyes, like hands, traveled over her 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.
As she passed his table, green-as-emerald eyes met his and lingered for what seemed an eternity sending a jolt of uncanny oneness through his body, piercing his soul with the same intensity as a Viet Cong bayonet.
She lowered her gaze, but not before pink tinted her ear lobes and cheeks. The corners of his mouth curved for the first time in months. He blinked. 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 the fiasco with the fiancé handpicked by his control-obsessed parents, he steered clear of female attachments, keeping his liaisons short and shallow. His gaze shifted to the swaying hips and shapely legs of the young woman. Would she be different? Probably not, she’d want the whole nine yards. Kids. Stability. Forever.
All he could offer was a one-night stand. No guarantees and no promises.
Buy Links(including Goodreads and BookBub):
Amazon Kindle (Also available in Kindle Unlimited): https://www.amazon.com/Morning-Prequel-Pendants-Promise-ebook/dp/B00DQ1AEPQ/
What makes your featured book a must-read?
Love in the Morning Calm weaves contemporary history of the Vietnam years with the social norms of the 1960s. As one reviewer says: “Everyone talks about how turbulent the 60's generation was. This story puts you right in the middle of the action.” The poignant, unpredictable love story, while not autobiographical, contains much from my experiences at Eighth Army Headquarters, Yongsan, South Korea.
And, don’t worry, this book, like all the others in the Promises series, can be read as a standalone story.
Enter to win a $20 Amazon gift card:
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Winner will be drawn on June 1, 2023.
After years roaming as an Air Force daughter and then Army wife, I now call a small town in Texas home along with my hero-model husband and Old English sheepdog named Finnegan MacCool. We have eleven grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and nine granddogs. Our lives are filled with fun and laughter.
You’ll find my award-winning stories full of twists and turns drawn from my life experiences as a schoolteacher, an antique dealer, a former mayor’s wife, and sometimes a church pianist. All my stories feature strong characters tackling real-life situations from a Christian worldview.
Enjoy reading Love in the Morning Calm and all the books of the Promises series.
Besides fiction, I share a weekly blog with my urban farmer/music teacher daughter at www.judythewriter.com
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