Award Winning author, Lizzy Ford, gives us an emotional, sexy read with her first Sons of War novel, SEMPER MINE.
A Marine captain tortured by the death of his men in Iraq returns home and falls in love with the sister of one of the slain, who blames him for the massacre that killed her brother. SEMPER MINE, is a standalone novel in the Sons of War contemporary military romance series.
“A freak accident landed both of the Khavalov twins under my command, just before a routine mission turned into a nightmare. I brought home one twin in a coffin and the other in a coma missing his leg. I did everything right – and still people died. I can’t forget that night or how many lives it changed, including mine. It’s natural for their sister, Katya, to blame me. I made one decision in the middle of a firefight, and it shattered her sheltered world. I’m the ice to her fire, and when we first meet, it’s not pretty. I don’t fear war or death, and I am definitely not going to let a beautiful woman with a quick temper and broken heart scare me off, either. I know she’s hurting, and I’m determined to make sure she’s okay. It’s the least I can do for the twins. I may have failed them that night, but I won’t fail her. What I’m not counting on: the feelings she ignites within me.” – Captain Sawyer Mathis
Some time later, I wrench out of deep sleep, alarmed. Lightning lights up the pup tent as
bright as day. The smash of thunder immediately follows, strong enough to make the ground
shake. My heart is flying, my adrenaline racing through my blood.
But it’s not the storm that woke me.
Captain Mathis is thrashing, struggling in the sleeping bag, mumbling names and
shouting words I can’t understand. He managed to roll over me, and the sensation of being
temporarily unable to breathe is what scared me out of sleep.
Night terrors. Like Petr used to get.
I prop myself up on my arm, twisted up in the sleeping bag with him. Our legs are
tangled, and I’m lying half on top of him.
“Hey,” I whisper, resting a hand on his arm. “Wake up, Sawyer.”
He calms at my touch without waking. His head goes back and forth, and I recall what
Petr told me about the dreams. He said it was like being trapped in a nightmare that was too
real, one based on something terrible that happened. For him, he wasn’t able to get past the
night Mikael died. Over and over, he watched our brother die, every night for weeks.
I can’t think about it without wanting to cry and focus on Captain Mathis. The night
terrors scare me, remind me how deep the unseen wounds of battle really run. Petr’s body is
almost healed, but I have a feeling he’s still having bad dreams.
“You’re safe, Sawyer,” I say. “Wake up. It’s okay - you’re safe.”
They’re the same words I used to repeat to Petr every night when his screams awoke me.
I rest a hand on Captain Mathis’ forehead and murmur to him over and over, knowing
that eventually, he’ll snap out of it. His body is trembling, his brow clammy. I take
everything in, not sure why it bothers me so much to see him like this. It doesn’t seem like
anything affects Iceman.
He wrenches awake and sits. My hand drops, and I sit with him the best I can, one of my
legs caught between his.
“You’re safe, Sawyer,” I say again. I reach for him instinctively, wanting to help him the
way I did Petr.
He pulls away.
I do it again, though, accustomed to this reaction from Petr. He used to tell me he didn’t
always know where he was when he woke up and me speaking to him helped him realize he
wasn’t in the middle of the battle anymore. Gently, I clasp my hands loosely around Sawyer’s
upper body the best I can at the awkward angle and lean into him, resting my head on his
shoulder while tugging him towards me. I’m still murmuring, waiting for him to register
where he is once more.
There’s a hesitation before his arms wrap around me, and he buries his face into the nape
of my neck. He’s stronger than Petr was those first few weeks, his muscular arms pinning me
against him. I relax into him, understanding what he needs right now. My voice helps, but
it’s my body that grounds him in reality. He’s hanging on like he’s afraid to fall again into the
His breathing is ragged, his skin covered in a sheen of sweat. His body trembles in my
arms. It alarms me, a stark reminder that he was in the same firefight that killed one of my
brothers and injured another. I want so bad to forget, to blame the cold man who let my
brothers get hurt.
Any other time, I can. Right now, it’s impossible to remain angry with him, when I’m
starting to realize that he’s as broken inside as Petr was. He simply hides it better.
He rests his cheek against mine, his breathing growing steadier and the quaking
gradually receding. I hold him and wait, uncertain what is stronger within me: remembering
the pain I experienced seeing Petr like this or the desire spiraling through me at the feel of
our bodies pressed together.
Lizzy Ford is the author of over thirty books written for young adult and adult romance readers, to include the internationally bestselling “Rhyn Trilogy,” “Witchling Series” and the “War of Gods” series. Lizzy has focused on keeping her readers happy by producing brilliant, gritty romances that remind people why true love is a trial worth enduring. Lizzy’s books can be found on every major ereader library, to include: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Sony and Smashwords. She lives in southern Arizona with her husband, three dogs and a cat.