Today I would like you to please give a warm welcome back to romance author, Heather Long!
Why Marines? Why Not!
Once Her Man, Always Her Man kicks off the 1Night Stand sub series Always a Marine. In Once Her Man, Always Her Man Luke Dexter and Rebecca Ranier connect after an 11-year separation, allowing the Marine and his high school sweetheart a second chance at love.
The second book, Retreat Hell! She Just Got Here finds Gunnery Sergeant Jasmine “Jazz” Winters enjoying leave to visit friends and family back in the States. At the end of her active duty contract, she plans to ‘re-up’ and ‘re-deploy’ with her unit to the Middle East but before that happens, she wants one night to feel like a real woman. Thanks to Madame Eve’s service, she also gets her other desire fulfilled: the opportunity of a ménage with two fantastic men (and Marines) Logan Cavanaugh and Zach Evans.
The next three books follow men from Luke’s unit (including Brody who like Jazz is still on active duty) as they participate in 1Night Stands in an act of unity to show their brothers and sisters that re-integrating into civilian life has possibilities and pleasure. If you can’t tell, I love this series, but I love it because I fell for each and every Marine I wrote about.
From the moment I decided to write a 1Night Stand, I always knew that first one would be a reunion story and that my hero would be a Marine. But why did I know Luke was a Marine specifically? You wouldn’t be the first one to ask me why I knew I knew this was Luke’s chosen calling or that his unit would provide me with so much material? That’s simple.
They aren’t called the few and the proud for nothing. But beyond my natural respect for the men and women serving or having served in the Marines, I also took my inspiration from some of my favorite characters of all time, including, but not limited to:
1. Ed Harris as Brigadier General Francis X. Hummel, USMC Force Recon in The Rock. Yes, he was the bad guy, but he wasn’t bat shit crazy. He loved his country, he loved his men and he wanted what was fair.
2. The Punisher - My inner comic book nerd would like to point out that The Punisher was a Vietnam War veteran and a Marine - a Force Recon Marine.
3. Captain Steven Hiller as played by Will Smith in Independence Day. Yes, Hiller was a Marine aviator. Badass (and cool) doesn’t begin to cover it.
4. Michael Corleone, you know the heir to Vito Corleone, the younger brother of Sonny and the ‘good son’ -- the one who went on to be the most ruthless mafia boss in Mario Puzo’s series was a Marine.
5. Glen Cook’s fast-talking, hard-dealing Garrett from his Garrett P.I. series - yep, Marine.
6. From television producer and writer Donald Bellisario (Marine) comes JAG and it’s spinoff NCIS (hard to believe that NCIS is a spin-off anymore), Marines are often featured and honored, not to mention Gibbs, a Gunnery Sergeant who remains always a Marine.
7. In the 1990s, Fox aired this dark and gritty space series titled Space: Above and Beyond - yep, Marines.
8. Stargate SG-1 featured the Air Force pretty heavily, but several SG-teams, notably #3 led by Colonels Makepeace and later Reynolds both featured Marines.
9. Jack Nicholson as Colonel Nathan R. Jessup in A Few Good Men. Yes, he was portrayed as the bad guy in some aspects of the film and some of his decisions were questionable, but Jessup was a badass and he was hard-core and hard Corp in one.
10. From the Halls of Montezuma… - The song of the United States Marine Corps never fails to give me chills. So whether it’s the Marines from literature, television and film or the real Marines who handle the Toys for Tots drives with the same commitment that they deliver on the front lines defending on our country, they are my heroes.
Best Marine Recruitment Video Ever
The first time I saw this, I found myself wanting to join (and not just salute) the Marines.
Fulfilling a favor and executing a business plan, Luke Dexter arrives at Dallas’ Sybarite Club for a one-night stand. He never imagined he’d come face to face with the woman he left behind a decade earlier.
Rebecca Rainier fell in love with Luke Dexter in high school and was crushed when he dumped her to join the Marines after 9/11. Set up on a 1Night Stand by her business partner, nothing could prepare Rebecca for who her date is.
Can Luke and Rebecca bridge the pain of a decade-long abandonment, in one cold Texas night?