Release date: March 16, 2015
Experience has taught single mother Rachel Madison that the only person she can truly rely on is herself. But what she wants most in the world—to give her son the life she never had growing up—means she must put her faith in a man who once walked out on her.
Retired from the service, U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Colten Taylor makes a detour to Phoenix to bury his brother. Nobody is more surprised than he to see Rachel waiting for him at the airport. He regrets the morning he walked away from her, but coming from an abusive home taught Colt to put limits on all his relationships—especially this one.
So when he discovers he has a son, Colt knows this is a chance to prove to himself he’s not a chip off the old block. Turning his life around doesn’t come naturally, though. Then a drug dealer crops up from his brother’s dark past, threatening their son and forcing Colt and Rachel to face their demons … and each other.
Sensuality Level: Sensual
J.M. Stewart is a coffee and chocolate addict who lives in the Pacific Northwest. She’s a hopeless romantic who believes everybody should have their happily ever after.
An excerpt from Her Soldier’s Touch:
“Welcome home, soldier.”
Standing beside the empty baggage carousel at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport, U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Colten Taylor bit back a groan. All around him barely controlled chaos spun: people running to meet their connections, the whir of the baggage carousels, the chatter of quiet conversation and the occasional ring of a cell phone.
Yet the world around him narrowed down to that voice. Soft and feminine, the voice behind him wound its way through his body and settled, warm and familiar, in the pit of his stomach. He clenched his fists as images and sensations bombarded his mind faster than he could stop them. Warm, silky skin sliding against his. The feel of her nails biting into his flesh as her body trembled beneath him. Her quiet, breathy moan.
Colt let out a pent-up breath and forced his fists to unfurl, wishing he could do the same for the knot in his gut. He’d spent the last six years trying to rid himself of the torturous memories, trying to forget her, because he knew he should. For her sake. Yet three little words from her sweet, familiar voice made those memories roar to the surface all over again, tempting him with things he could never have.
Taking a deep breath, he drew from years of combat training and shoved everything back down where it was supposed to be. Positive he had himself under control, he forced a poker face and turned, meeting a pair of familiar green eyes.
“Rachel Madison.” The last time he’d seen her, she lay in bed beside him. Naked.
“Hi, Colt.” She flashed a smile that didn’t match the nervous edge in her gaze.
God, she had to be the best thing he’d seen in a long damn time. Soft and feminine without being brazen, her yellow dress did nothing but showcase her willowy body and long graceful limbs. Honey blonde hair he distinctly remembered falling to somewhere around the middle of her back was now up in a thick ponytail. The hairstyle gave him a view of her long, slender neck. He ached to bury his mouth there, to taste her skin again.
He folded his arms across his chest, lest his hands gain a mind of their own and reach out to her.
“Have to admit, you’re the last person I expected to see waiting for me.” Yeah, that wasn’t what he wanted to say to her, but it was the safest, by far.
He must have imagined this moment a million times over the years, that he’d get off a plane to find her waiting for him. He’d always envisioned taking her in his arms and kissing the hell out of her. In that fantasy, she’d wrap her body around him as she welcomed him home. He’d tell her … too many damn things. Things he shouldn’t. Like how much he’d missed the sight of her and the soft, familiar ring of her voice.
She shifted from one foot to the other. Her smile wobbled again only to brighten seconds later as she clasped her hands in front of her. “Heard you were retiring, and I thought someone should meet you at the airport.”
Her statement and her over bright grin rang all kinds of false. He’d taken the coward’s way out the night they spent together and snuck out the next morning while she slept. By all rights, Rachel ought to be pissed at him, not standing in front of him like the Welcome Wagon.
He raised a brow. “And you figured it ought to be you?”
Her happy façade cracked, and Rachel jerked her head to the right, glaring at something on the other side of the long room. “I told him this was a bad idea.”
Suspicion itched at the edges of his consciousness. So he was right. She wasn’t the Welcome Wagon.
Colt narrowed his gaze on her. “He who?”
“Jake called me.” She sighed and turned to look at him, the stiff set of her shoulders softening. “He said he was supposed to pick you up, but something came up. He said no soldier wants to arrive home without someone to meet him and could I possibly do it. Said he’d owe me big if I could. I couldn’t say no.”
Colt resisted the urge to roll his eyes. “Ramirez. Figures.”