My Marine by Sara York and LE Franks
Working on My Marine for the Semper Fidelis anthology was so much fun. Creating great characters is one of the main things I love when developing a new story. In My Marine, I fell in love with the character Sean Kelley. From middle America, Sean grew up playing baseball and loving his country. He chose the Marines for his career, and has never regretted it once. When he was stationed in the Middle East, he was ready for anything, but when he meets Akim, a guy he believes is an Afghani native, he’s thrown for one loop after another.
Akim isn’t who he appears to be or what he appears to be. He’s not at all what Sean thinks he is. At one point, Sean and Akim play baseball together and Sean wonders how Akim learned to throw a ball.
Though the game probably came from the English game rounders or stoolball, baseball is a traditional American pastime. Growing up, boys and girls start pickup games with the neighborhood kids, whiling away the summer and dreaming of the major leagues. When Akim throws the ball like someone who knows baseball, Sean is intrigued and stumped. Their mutual attraction is fueled by their passion for baseball. Here’s a little bit of the scene.
“Let me.” Akim held out his hand and Kelley tossed him the ball. Akim backed up, settling into a classic pitcher’s stance. He twisted his body, releasing his energy through his hips and arm. The ball flew off his fingers, slicing through the air straight into the sweet spot and Kelley swung, knocking the ball over a tent and then some.
“Shit, that would have been a homerun.”
Akim nodded and laughed. He ran over and picked up Kelley’s other baseball, winding up for the next pitch. The ball sailed to the perfect spot again, this time Kelley didn’t hesitate and it flew even farther. He jogged over to Akim and bumped his shoulder. “Hell, man, if I didn’t know better, I would swear you were American born. That’s some pitching arm you have on you.”
Akim stiffened beside him. Kelley hadn’t meant to insult Akim. He blew out a big breath and glanced down, wishing that Akim would look at him.
“Hey, I’m sorry if I said something wrong.”
Akim shook his head once and took off walking. “I will get the balls.”
“Hey, you don’t have to. They were—”
Akim had already disappeared around the tent, leaving Kelley totally alone and confused. What had he said that had made Akim mad? “Hell,” Kelley grumbled as he headed back into his office and stripped off his shirt. He pulled off his pants too, standing in only his boxers. He swiped his underarms with a damp cloth and some deodorant. Kelley always kept spare clothes in the bottom of the filing cabinet and he bent low to get them.
The door swung open behind him and he spun. Losing his balance, he fell to the floor, knocking his head against the desk. The intruder rushed over, sinking to the floor beside him. A hand landed on his arm and Kelley glanced up, seeing that it was Akim. Heat shot straight to his groin. Akim’s gaze drifted lower over Kelley’s chest to his belly then to his boxers.
Wrapping this story around two awesome characters proved to be challenging at times. Both Sean Kelley and Akim are strong personalities. Like I said earlier, Akim isn’t what he pretends to be. I love writing secret agents into books, and writing Akim wasn’t any different. His hidden status has to stay hidden which puts a load of pressure on him and make Sean even more interested.
Akim leaves the base and Sean tries to find him. Sean knows they could have something special if they had time to be together. Before Sean knows that Akim is from the United States, he’s unsure if he’s fallen in love with Akim or just lust. Since the man is unattainable it makes him more desirable. Sean wrestles with his emotions, trying to figure out the truth. The danger of the war zone increases his feelings and that leads to more uncertainty.
Sean and Akim have chemistry that neither one of them really understands. When they both face danger on the front lines, the menace drives their emotions home. They fit well together and their journey isn’t easy. They go through the trials normal couples do along with some very unique problems that few others ever suffer.
I hope you enjoy My Marine because we enjoyed writing it for you.
Blurb for the Semper Fidelis anthology:
‘Anomaly’ by S.A. McAuley
Staff Sergeant Galen Welc is known for his uncanny ability to spot improvised explosive devices and so he’s pitted against the latest in defense technology. He trusts his instincts and his training, but they may just be leading him somewhere—and to an explosive reaction with someone—he could never see coming.
‘Always Ready’ by T.A. Chase
Making a living on the Bering Sea is hard enough, but throw love into the equation, and things can blow into a hurricane. Dean and Phil must always be ready to love each other because life can be taken so easily when one works on the sea.
‘A Ring and a Vow’ by Devon Rhodes
Every promise must someday be fulfilled, and the best way Owen knows how to reward Cary’s faith is with a vow. It’s been nearly five years since Owen went down on one knee with his Academy ring and promised Cary he’d someday do it for real. With Cary being a Naval aviator and Owen a Marine officer serving in Iraq, they’re rarely on the same continent, let alone together. Cary has been waiting for Owen for years—there was no chance he’d ever say anything but yes. Owen is coming home at last, and wants to make a home with him.
‘My Marine’ by LE Franks and Sara York
Marine Captain Sean Kelley loves his country and the men he serves with, but when he meets Akim, he’s tempted to throw it all away for the mysterious man. Akim Bijan has a secret of his own—one large enough to get more than just himself killed if it’s revealed. But from the moment he first lays eyes on the handsome Marine, he’s tempted to do just that. When tragedy strikes, Akim is afraid he’s lost Sean for good and he’s forced to make a decision that will change both their lives.
‘Soul Sick’ by Kendall McKenna
Jamie thought he made it home to Tucker, leaving war behind. Now, each day he battles to fit into his own life, and save the love that saved his life. Jamie is a captain in the US Marine Corps who carried a photo of Tucker with him throughout his deployment. Tucker is a reformed bad boy who has an advanced degree and an important job but still sports long hair and tattoos. Now, they’re struggling to learn to live with each other again, and things are going downhill fast.
‘Safe Shores’ by Morticia Knight
Kirk’s Coast Guard lover, Shane, is the only person who can save his son from a vicious storm—if he’s not too late. Shane and Kirk’s joyful reunion is interrupted when an unusually vicious gale storm threatens the coast. Kirk has to stand by helplessly and wait while his lover battles the raging seas to save his son. In an instant, Kirk could lose everyone he holds dear.
Read Vicki’s review HERE!
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