Once Her Man, Always Her Man Heather Long
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Length: Short Story (32 pages)
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Aster
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?
September 11, 2001 changed many people's lives. Not only were thousands killed, but the effects of their loss reached countless family and friends. Two such people were Luke Dexter and Rebecca Rainier.
Luke lost his mother and sister on a plane that fateful day, but the ripple effect caused much more loss. His father reenlisted in the military, and after earning his GED, Luke signed up for the Marines, determined to avenge the loss of his family. The only challenge to his sudden change in life plans? His high school sweetheart. Leaving her behind was one of the hardest things he ever had to do, but it was for the best - a cold break was the best way to help her move on.
Rebecca was the all-American girl; beautiful cheerleader, hardworking student, and determined to make her dreams come true. She and Luke were deeply in love, but after his life was shattered by an evil act of terrorism, she didn't imagine her dreams would be crushed as well. She initially tries to take care of Luke and his father, but her once loving boyfriend quickly turns cold. When she finally confronts him, he admits he's enlisted and is leaving her behind to fight on the front lines of Afghanistan. Devastated when Luke does not answer her multiple letters, nor comes to see her when she assumed he had come home, she struggles to move on with her life.
Luke, along with the rest of his Marine buddies, signed up with Madame Eve's 1Night Stand service, and although hesitant, is looking forward to meeting his date. He's reminded that life doesn't always offer a second chance just as he sees the beautiful Rebecca sitting at the bar...
Ms. Long is a master of emotions. Her characters are so well developed despite the brevity of the story, I found myself relating to each and every one of them. I understood Luke's reasons for fighting, and for leaving Becca, yet my heart broke for the poor girl left behind. I was cheering for Luke to win her back, but ironically enough, that would be my one negative to this book - I think she gave in just a little too easily (but I'm still thrilled she did).
The writing is fabulous, dialogue is spot on, and the author's use of metaphors and illustrative wording is outstanding. Few can turn a phrase as well as Heather long. This book is the first of the series, but I have read them out of order and nothing is missed by doing that. If you're looking for a quick hot read that still manages to tug on your heartstrings, you cannot go wrong with the Always A Marine series!