Reader’s Edyn

I always felt like I could do something more than just read. Finally, I have found both a creative outlet and a chance to do something meaningful with my reading. This blog was created in appreciation of and tribute to all of the authors who have brought me joy through their books. These reviews are my way of giving back to authors and providing recognition for the hard work that each one completes every day!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Review: Proud To Serve Her by Heather Long

       Title: Proud To Serve Her
                  Always A Marine, Book 4
       Author: Heather Long
       Release Date: June 23, 2012
       Publisher: Decadent Publishing; 1 Night Stand
       Category: Contemporary Romance
       Type: Kindle
       Ms. Long’s Website

Damon Sinclair is a simple Marine with simple needs and after five years of active duty in the sandbox, he’s ready to settle down and feed people’s souls. But when the rest of his Brothers sign up with the 1Night Stand dating service, the opening night of his new restaurant includes a date with Madame Evangeline’s hand picked choice.

Helena Blake has focused her entire life on her education and legal career. But, there must be more to life than legal briefs and the Styrofoam take-out palace decorating the interior of her refrigerator. And finally, a year after signing up for the 1Night Stand service, Eve has found her a date.

Wine is poured, incredible food is served, and sparks fly creating a total seduction of the senses as Damon prepares a birthday celebration that Helena will never forget.

Impatience flashed through her and she scooped up another piece of cheese and bread. She’d have to double her time on the treadmill tomorrow to begin to make up for the calories she was indulging in. But hell, it was her birthday, she’d been stood up by the so-called perfect one-night stand and she’d rather devour the sweet cheese and fruity wine than all the self-pity in the world.
A shadow drifted across her plate and she glanced up, half-ready to give the latecomer a piece of her mind, but her waiter’s raised eyebrows stilled the acidic words. The corner of her mouth turned up and she set the wine glass down.
“I take it you didn’t like that piece.”
If she could bottle his accent and intonations, she could sample them every day. “No…I mean yes, it was fine. I don’t think I really tasted that one, I was too busy being a bitter old bat.”
With practiced ease, he slid away the trencher of cheese and bread and replaced it with a round plate featuring crisped greens and the most sinful piece of steak. Her stomach recovered from the doldrums faster than her smile. The scent of wine lingered in the air, along with traces of beef and a mouthwatering spice she couldn’t quite put a finger on.
“First, we do not insult ladies in this establishment, so no more bat comments. Second, if you’re bitter and old, you must introduce me to ancient and decrepit.”
The confident ease in his voice did more to stroke her ego than all the pretty compliments in the world. For a horrifying moment, tears touched the back of her eyes and she blinked them away.
“Thank you.”
“You’re welcome.” But instead of abandoning her to the next course, he set out her silverware and traded the black napkin for a red before squatting down, one hand braced on the back of the chair.
“Would you like to tell me what’s wrong?”
Mortification vied with attraction and she shook her head. Do you want to confess to being my date now? Because at this point, if you’re not, I have a feeling my date is going to be dramatically disappointed. Or I am.
“No, I’m sure you have a lot of better things to do than listen to me moan and complain.”
“Actually, there’s nothing better I have to do than listen to your complaints, particularly if I can fix them. As for moaning, just give me time. I promise, I can’t wait.”
Shock and awe rolled through her, but she wasn’t sure which one was winning. It was one thing to flirt with the truly good-looking waiter, his lean build and well-muscled physique a testament to his fitness, but it was something else to think he was flirting with her.
God, do I have to be so rusty at this? Is he actually flirting or am I just looking for crumbs?
“Seriously.” He laid a hand over the top of hers. “Tell me what’s wrong. I promise you, if I can fix it, I will.”

Dialogue Highlight:
He watched her sip before taking one of his own, testing the flavor with a swish of his tongue. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape was an excellent vintage, its spicy undertones warming his mouth. A soft sigh pushed past her lips and he smiled again.
“You like the wine.”
“I love the wine.” She set the glass down with a little shiver. “But I’m not much of a drinker, not sure I could tell you the difference between a boxed variety, or a fine vintage. But this is magnificent.”
He barely held back the grimace at the mention of the boxed variety.
“What?” Her soft brown eyes narrowed and the glass lowered to the table. “You said you could tell a lot about a person based on the wine they drank. What does a box wine say about me?”
“You’re going to make me answer before I can coax you into trying this next dish, aren’t you?”
Releasing the glass, she sat back in the chair, arms folded. “Yes, I am. Because now I’m really curious.”
“You shop at a Kroger’s or an Albertson’s on your way home from the office. It’s always late when you swing in there, you always have work to do, and a box will keep for days if you need it to. You probably choose the zinfandel because it’s sweet, and if it’s an indulgence, then it should be sweet.” He cleared his throat and gave her silverware a pointed look. She reached out for the fork and sat forward, posture relaxing.
Nodding with approval, he continued. “You carry it back to the Styrofoam palace housed in your fridge. You probably drink it in a mug that you can rinse out and have fresh coffee in if you have to work late. But you have your cup while eating cold noodles from a dinner two days before and working at the kitchen counter.”
Yes. He could totally envision that.
Her mouth opened and closed. “I’m not sure whether to be impressed or terrified.”
“As I said, wine says a great deal about a person. But you are not dining at your Styrofoam palace, you’re having dinner with me.”
Her wariness gave way to a flash of trepidation that vanished under a wider smile. “I am, aren’t I?”
“Yes, and about your date….” Time to come clean, fantasy or no fantasy. It was her birthday and what began as a fanciful tease wasn’t fun anymore.
She cut him off with a wave of her hand. “No. Let’s not. I’m really enjoying this…now…just the way it is.”
His conscience argued against the idea, but she looked so pleased that he was hard-pressed to push the issue. It was dinner.
It’s her birthday….    
“Very well, it’s your birthday. We’ll do it your way.”

I must be a moron. Some of you may notice that I posted a review for Book 5 in this series yesterday. Would have been nice had I paid attention and saw that I had book 4 to read first. ARGH! Anyway, I apologize. I read them out of order and consequently posted the reviews out of order. Moving on …
Holy onslaught to the sensual senses Batman! I swear to you I will never think of food in the same way again. Never! And I do not in any way mean that in a bad way. I only wish I could eat like that every day of my life! In fact I just ate and I am starving again because of the mouth-watering food described in this story. But you all don’t want to hear about the food, right? *whispers* But seriously … I want to eat like that EVERYDAY!!!
Damon is a Marine. No longer in active duty, he now concentrates on cooking. And in fact it is opening night for his restaurant when his 1 Night Stand takes place. His staff is comprised of former military or a relation of military. And they are beyond capable. Opening night is going off without a hitch except for one problem … his date is late.
Helena is wicked smart. She flew through school, high school, had a degree at 19, and a law degree by 22. Her entire life has been nothing but studying, working, eating out of a box or bag, and catching what little sleep she can. Now, on this her 30th birthday, she has decided to try something new. Just invited to become partner in her law firm, Helena craves something more if only for one night. But the night starts off ending badly in court, causing her to be late for her date. With no mystery man in sight showing up, she finds herself drawn to her waiter, but there is something about him and she hopes that somehow he ends up being her date.
Super cute and highly sensual, this quick read at around 40 pages is highly recommended. And like me, you will probably never think of food in the same way. Highly evocative, I loved the way Ms. Long incorporated Damon’s love for food in his sensual assault on Helena’s senses. Any woman would cave under such ministrations. Neither had an overly sad story to tell. They were just two people wanting to try something new; Helena to break out of her monotonous life and Damon to fulfill the promise he made with his fellow Marines to try one night arranged by the infamous Madame Eve. This story is light and enjoyable with some sizzling hot sex to wrap it all up. If I wasn’t already a fan of Ms. Long’s ALWAYS A MARINE series, I would be now. Try it for yourself and find out first hand. You are guaranteed to be pleased with you time spent with Damon and Helena.
(eBook copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

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