Sergeant Daniel Butler was enjoying a little R&R with his men in the middle of the Iraqi desert. They had run so many missions without a break that Daniel begged his commander to allow the men some down time. They decided that they were going to throw a beach party for themselves with small wading pools and children's floating devices to boot. They were making the best of their circumstances.
While the men were partying, Major Claire Kirkland looked on. She started a casual conversation with Sergeant Butler and they laughed over how the guys were having so much fun not caring just how ridiculous they might be looking right now. Daniel learned that she was one of the medics on base. Realizing that she had to return to work, Daniel made certain that he fixed her a plate of food from the food that the guys were having. She thanked him and left. He realized though that they never exchanged names. He definitely wanted to find out hers though.
Two weeks later, while Claire was working, it was another busy shift as usual. Injured soldiers were everywhere, which wasn't such an uncommon sight for her. To her surprise though, one of the injured soldiers carried in by a buddy of his was none other than Sergeant Daniel Butler, the man she had met at the beach party a few weeks earlier. She looked at his dog tags to get his name and immediately started assessing just how badly injured he was. The wounds were bad, the one on his chest had shrapnel stuck inside the torn flesh and the gash on his head was bleeding profusely.
Asking the soldier, who had brought Daniel in how the sergeant got injured, she found out that Daniel was trying to help get an injured soldier to cover when a mortar dropped a few feet away. The other soldier didn't make it, but Daniel became seriously injured in the process. With the way he was bleeding, she knew he needed surgery and that he had to have a concussion on top of all the other injuries he sustained. She had to wake Daniel up to speak to him to assess him further. After a few tries, he opened his eyes and immediately recognized her from their beach party conversation. Claire explained to him that he would be getting on the next transport out to Germany and he would have his surgery done. She helped load him on the helicopter and thanked her lucky stars that this was her last tour in the Army. Before the door slid shut, Daniel gave her thumbs up and she knew that would be the last time that she saw him. In three weeks she would be heading home to Washington, DC and her life would move on. Even though she was very attracted to him, she knew their paths would never cross again after this. She had hoped though that things could have been different.
Did Daniel and Claire ever see each other again? How did she readjust to civilian life once she returned stateside? How did she feel about these changes? What did their future hold for the both of them? What was Daniel's long-term prognosis?
I really enjoyed this story from Ms. Rose from the very beginning. I took an immediate likening to Daniel and Claire. I found myself hoping on a wing and a prayer that someday their paths would cross again. I felt as if I was another character in the story, feeling a wide range of emotions as the scenes changed as I was reading them. I would definitely look into other stories by Ms. Rose and I would definitely recommend this one for others to read.
When Sergeant Daniel Butler met Major Claire Kirkland in the heat of the Iraqi War, it was love at first sight, and he swore to find her after their tours ended. A whirlwind stateside romance, however, was cut short by his next deployment. Now retired from service, Claire continues her work and worries for Daniel's safety, waiting for the love that bonds them to come home. Will Daniel survive his dangerous missions to take command of their passion once again? Elements: Interracial (BW/WM)