Oh this was so delish! I have adored Dwayne since the first book in the series and have looked forward to him getting his own book since I realized that the trilogy would be about the three officer friends. Sometimes anticipation can get you into trouble, but not this time.
Before I get too far into my review, I just want to let other readers know that this is the third book in a trilogy and they have to be read in order for optimum enjoyment because the characters are recurring and the backdrop and storyline is established in the first book.
Dwayne Robertson has been deployed for seven long months. Its not his first go around with a tour of duty, but for some reason this particular one roughed him up a bit and left him with reintegration issues when he returns back to his stateside assignment. The only thing that really got him through were those Skype convos with Veronica, Skye’s mysterious shy cousin. Seeing her in the flesh turns his interest from curiosity to something much warmer- something he has to reject because of the PTSD symptoms he’s exhibiting and a sense that they’re from two different worlds.
Veronica Gibson has kept her past a secret from all but her cousin. She felt like she had landed on an alien planet when she first came to live with Skye and Tim, but in the months since she has been Madison’s roomie she has slowly been figuring out the world around her. Her parents were missionaries in third world countries and they kept her very sheltered and repressed which didn’t bode well when she returned to normal life. Now she is skittish about admitting her eccentricities and just wants to be a part of things. At first the big, burly Marine who she had been Skyping with scared her by his bold behavior and size, but then she learns that he’s a gentle giant and protector. Dwayne is not for her though even as she feels the pull to him. Her first experiences with dating and relationships should probably be with someone who doesn’t set her trembling and make her skittish not to mention Dwayne has made it clear that he doesn’t want her anyway.
But as in the way love, when its the right thing; its nigh impossible to resist temptation for long. Dwayne and Veronica eventually get together. Its just a matter of time though before his issues from the past and her secrets have their affect on the fledgling relationship.
The plot of this one is pretty straight up with the relationship and introductions already begun in earlier books. The tension is caused by that feeling of wondering when their individual issues are going to destroy the romance between Dwayne and Veronica. He had a bad experience in the past and now hates lying and distrusts women. Veronica had uncomfortable and painful experiences in the past that make her hide things about herself and lie. Yep, I’m sure you see the trouble brewing.
The characters are all established characters, but I enjoy the fact that the three men and their three ladies are not cookie cutters of each other. Each couple’s issues are individualistic and each character though in similar present circumstances are different. Dwayne is a typical sort of hero, but Veronica is one of those heroines that are a bit more difficult for some to swallow. The best way I can explain is that she’s like a beta heroine as opposed to an alpha heroine. She comes across as weak and scared of her own shadow not to mention odd. She is so very different from the vivacious and confident Skye or the brash and ballsy Madison. I liked the contrast between Veronica and Dwayne. His needs in a woman were not for someone exciting or someone overtly strong. He needed a calming and sweeter nature. Dwayne is truly a gentle giant and the consummate Marine because he needs to care for and protect. He needs someone who is observant and who can see past his hearty, happy go lucky behavior or stand by him when he has ‘freak out’ episodes as he calls them.
As to the other characters, I love how the other couples get so much page time even getting rotated in with Dwayne and Veronica’s perspectives to tell the story.
I am truly sad to see the series end and I have no reservations recommending this series to those who enjoy Contemporary Military Romance toward the spicy side.
Many thanks to Net Galley for providing the book for review purposes.
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