Harlequin's Love Inspired.
The Soldier’s Gift
Just in time for Christmas, a tall, dark and handsome Scrooge visits Holly Stanwyck’s holiday shop, threatening eviction. But once landlord Ethan Pellegrino sees the single mom’s plight, the former soldier becomes her protector instead. Suddenly he’s helping her with her struggling business and bounding with her troubled son. A wounded veteran come home to heal, Ethan is no stranger to sorrow. But something about the pretty widow fills him with hope. Will Holly be able to let go of her own painful past to see her future by his side?
Ethan momentarily lost himself in Holly’s presence. Her swept back locks exposed her long, elegant neck and straight, slightly upturned nose. But it was her vulnerability that got to him.
Despite her attempts to keep it all together, he sensed just below the surface she suffered and struggled with her son, the shop, everyday life.
He should step away. Instead, when she turned her head toward him, he found himself staring into her deep green eyes that had seen so much pain. A pain he could identify with. He’d lost his father at a young age, and several of his friends in Afghanistan. But even that couldn’t compare to losing one’s partner, one’s soul mate.
He had no experience with that sort of loss, yet he felt the need to comfort. Protect. He wanted to draw Holly into his arms and absorb her pain and blend it with his own.