Excerpt From “Love And Liberty” by Lee-Ann Graff-Vinson

Captain Dana Jenkins of the United States Army was about to embark on a mission that would change her life. This was not Dana’s first deployment, but it was proving to possibly be her last. As part of the platoon traveling from Camp Liberty, Iraq to Camp Taji, Dana’s convoy gets ambushed. She and the surviving soldiers are taken prisoner by the merciless Iraqi rebel group, Al-Moofoona. Their only hope lay in the hands of their fearless leader, Captain Jack Parsons – the man with whom Dana has fallen hopelessly in love.

Captain Jack Parsons could only sit and watch as what was left of his platoon was ordered into the back of a truck. Along with his men, they’d taken the only woman he’d ever allowed to penetrate his heart. Jack was going to do everything in his power to save them all before it was too late.


“Did you want to show up at the briefing, perhaps add anything at all, Captain Parsons?” Dana’s tone dripped with sarcasm as the platoon captain picked at a hole in his binder. Her mouth hung open in utter disbelief at Parson’s disrespect throughout her short, but critical session.

She knew well enough, when the platoon Captain dissed the intelligence officer, the enlisted usually followed. Thankfully, she’d already proven to these guys she knew what the hell she was talking about. She’d also shown she didn’t take crap from anyone, including Captain Parsons.

The eyes of the platoon were on Parsons as they waited for his explosion. When the eruption didn’t occur, a few voices began whispering around the tables. Dana heard them question whether or not Parsons was mentally ready to take on another mission so soon. Less than a week prior, his convoy underwent intense sniper attack. Luckily he’d gotten all his chicks back to the henhouse safely that night.

“Captain?” Dana raised her voice a few octaves to get his attention, yet not show any disrespect in front of his troops. His impatient finger-tapping ceased.

“I do, Captain Jenkins,” he replied. “Thank you for your briefing.”

Dana sank down into her chair. Incredulous, she stared at Jack as he rose abruptly and addressed his platoon, “Listen up, everyone. Captain Jenkins has informed us of known current enemy activity in the area we will be traveling through at 18:30 hours. We know the hot spots. I want all of you to make sure your gear is ready. And I want everyone paying attention on this one. That is all.”

Ignoring Dana, he dismissed his troops and shoved the booklet of papers for the mission into the standard blue folder he always carried. He turned his back on Dana as he made a hasty retreat from the room.

“Unbelievable,” she muttered under her breath.

Jack’s actions during her briefing irritated her, but his benign addition to her already extremely thorough rundown of the evening’s convoy pissed her off. He’d fidgeted the entire time, as though it had been a chore to sit through her presentation. She saw a couple of his men throw questioning looks at each other as they watched their Captain, but none of them said a word to him when they left.

Dana packed up her overhead sheets, her books of recorded enemy activity, and her stats on recent enemy actions and threw them back into the plastic bin. The smacking of the binders echoed across the room as they hit their target. It took a lot for Dana to lose her cool. She’d worked hard getting current and accurate stats for this mission on very short notice. A little appreciation wouldn’t have gone amiss.

She maintained control of her emotions in every situation except one—disrespect. She put in long hours to ensure the people in need received every angle of enemy activity known by the United States Army Intelligence (S2) division before they went out on a mission. Information was her job, and she was the best in her field.

Dana scoffed and shook her head. “Ass,” she mumbled.

Her pen rolled off the table, displacing a fine powder of dust into the air. It seemed all you had to do in this country was wave your arm and the dust flew. It stuck to your skin and covered every inch of bare flesh. She bit back a sneeze and bent to retrieve it. Two lonely, hand-written sheets of paper lay under Jack’s chair. Peeved as she was, she knew he needed them. She snatched them up and tossed them on top of her bin.

One of the pieces had doodles on it, and her curiosity got the best of her. She placed the papers on the table for closer inspection. The mission and its members were listed, along with the number and type of vehicles to be used. Arrows were drawn from each soldier to his associated vehicle, all scribbled in red ink, which was an oddity for Jack. His notes were always meticulously scribed, ensuring no mistakes. This was almost unintelligible. The second sheet bore nothing but doodles of birds. Okay, Jack. What the hell is going on? She placed the papers back in the bin and carried her box of information and anger out the door, passing a few members of the platoon.

“Anyone see where Captain Parsons went?” she asked between clenched teeth.

“I think he went back to his room, Captain Jenkins,” replied one of them.

“Thanks,” she said.

Dana turned and marched to the barracks. Her determined stride increased in ferocity with each step. She held the bin on her hip with one hand as she pounded on the door with the other. No one banged on the Captain’s door. It was a sure-fire way to land yourself in PT (physical training); hell, but Dana didn’t care. The harsh squeak of the door as it swung open matched the anger in Parson’s voice.

“Get in here,” he snapped.

Dana glared at him, but entered the room. She slammed the bin down on a small desk that faced the door

“What the hell is . . .” Dana didn’t get a chance to finish her grilling of Parsons.

Jack backed her up against the now-closed door and roughly pressed his mouth to her lips. He kissed her with a hunger so intense she could feel him shake. Need displaced her anger. She wrapped her arms around his wide back and ran her hands across the taut muscles. Her knees buckled as her mind melted in their passion. This was the only time Dana allowed herself to let go, to let her guard down, to be free. Jack held her fast with one arm. The other popped the buttons of her shirt, cupped her small, firm breasts and squeezed. His tongue darted into her mouth. Dana found his belt, released the clasp, unbuttoned his pants and reached inside. She wrapped her fingers around his rock-hard length. He bit her lip in response. His eyes clouded with lust as a deep moan filled her mouth.


Lee-Ann Graff-Vinson is a freelance writer, e-book author and blogger. She is an avid military supporter, and writes military romance novels published by Gypsy Shadow Publishing. Along with her novels, she is currently working on a children’s picture book series with her daughter. Lee-Ann is also a member of the International Women’s Writing Guild and the Canadian Romance Authors Network. She lives in Vancouver, Canada.


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