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Monday, October 10, 2011

Cinderella Wore Combat Boots by D.L. Jackson

Cinderella Wore Combat Boots by D.L. Jackson
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (37 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Foxglove

Sometimes Fairytales come true.

First Sergeant Cori Valentine faces a bleak future. She’s turning forty in three weeks and life as she knows it is over. An injury received while on deployment has earned her an early retirement from the Marine Corps, something she’s not sure she’ll survive. Things get even better when interfering Marines set her up on a blind date for a party she doesn’t want. The guy has to be a total toad to want to go out with her. Right?

When Madame Eve informs Retired SEAL, Sol Keller she’s found his perfect match, he doesn’t believe it, but takes up the challenge. One look at the First Sergeant in a sexy dress and combat boots has him wondering if fairytales really can come true. Madame Eve might be the legendary Fairy Godmother, and Cori his Cinderella. Sol intends to show the Marine beauty a Prince Charming she’ll never forget, and that retirement isn’t the end of her story but merely the beginning.

D.L. Jackson has written a short, humorous story of change, and one woman’s way of coping with what she can’t change.

First Sergeant Cori Valentine has been a Marine for all of her adult life: twenty-two years of faithful service to her country. Her life is about to change in a drastic way. Her last deployment wounded her to the point that it was feared she wouldn’t ever walk again, but she battled back to prove the medical personnel wrong. But she will never be one hundred percent, and her options are limited to retirement or medical discharge.

She has no idea how to live life outside the corps, but it is time to start learning to live. But first, Cori must endure the final indignation: a fancy reception in her honor. When her friend and his wife set her up with a blind date, she is terrified of it all. But she’s a Marine, and she will face this event just like she has faced everything else life has thrown her way-with courage and dignity. Can Cori accept a future that doesn’t include the Marine Corps? Can she move on and find a new life in the civilian world? But first, can she make it through this one night and keep her dignity and self-respect intact?

I laughed out loud at some of the images that came to mind as I read this one, and enjoyed watching as this mature woman went through the insecurities more often faced by teens as they move into adulthood. The world here is realistic and charming, and the characters are a true delight.

Cori Valentine is a strong, independent woman, but she is having trouble coping with the changes facing her. I enjoyed watching as her Marine ‘family’ helps her through what is, to her, the most difficult period in her life so far. I like that this character is not some silly teen or twenty-something, but a mature woman who needs to choose a new and sometimes frightening path for her life. I enjoyed watching as she grudgingly accepted those things she couldn’t change, and still bent them meet her own desires.

Sol Keller is Cori’s blind date, arranged through an agency called 1NightStand. Strong, gorgeous and ex military, he is the kind of man every woman dreams of. More important, he understands what Cori is going through, and does everything in his power to make her more comfortable on their evening together. He is attracted to Cori, and isn’t afraid to show her what he feels.

There is a lot of humor in this short story, from the unique shopping trip to the dancing lesson for the whole Marine unit. The attraction between Cori and Sol is instant and hot, and the restaurant scene absolutely sizzles with sexual tension. And it just gets hotter as the story moves along. I enjoyed watching as Cori discovered that there is life after the Marines, and I recommend this story for those who like new beginnings with some hot times tossed in.

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