A Marine who feels responsible for the death of a soldier travels to the man’s hometown to make amends, but things get complicated when he falls for the soldier’s sister.
After a childhood filled with uncertainty and abandonment, Mark Shepherd turned to the Marines for a sense of order and direction. However, after an attack in Iraq a year ago that left his leg permanently injured and Clayton Luther, one of his men, dead, Mark is wracked by guilt, believing he is responsible for Clayton’s death. He’s also questioning his purpose and his rigid belief in following rules. In his last session with a psychologist before being released from the Marines, Mark receives a mysterious skeleton key that leads him to Twilight, Texas, Clayton’s hometown. Twilight has a number of legends and traditions that revolve around romance, one of which is the kismet cookie. The legend goes that sleeping with a kismet cookie under your pillow on Christmas Eve makes you dream of your one true love. Before he died, Clayton gave Mark one, and, “against all common sense, Shepherd had slipped the cookie underneath his pillow,” then dreamed of a woman he’d never met before. When Mark arrives in Twilight, his dream woman turns out to be Naomi, Clayton’s sister. Mark tries to tell the Luther family about his connection to Clayton, but circumstances keep getting in the way. Mark and Naomi explore an immediate, fiery attraction, then help each other work through their pain and grief and ultimately embrace forgiveness, especially once Naomi discovers Mark’s connection to her brother. Wilde’s studies of military service and war wounds may be light, but the town that offers shelter and love to soldiers with physical and emotional damage is always nice to visit.
Another Twilight, Texas, Christmas romance filled with warmth, spirit, and healing.