Boots on the Ground by Rebecca Crowley #Review

Posted September 2, 2015 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 19 Comments

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Boots on the Ground by Rebecca Crowley #Review
Boots on the Ground

One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Series: #1 Homefront
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Samhain Publishing
Released on October 28, 2014
Pages: 106
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

Get it at: add to goodreads

I read a Christmas Military Romance novella by this author a while back and I really enjoyed her writing and the story so when I saw the chance to read another by her, I eagerly picked it up. This one was a fast read, but it had a nice blend of light and flirty with heartwarming and meaningful, too. I loved how both characters had to face some personal challenges and this was more than the surface ‘class differences’ romance it starts out to be.

Grady left the army after thirteen years when it bled his soul dry. He grew up in the foster care system so home and belonging are things he dreams of, but doesn’t believe he’ll ever have. He decides to make a fresh start by buying a fixer-upper ranch house on a small spread outside Meridian, KS. Right after he gets settled, he encounters the engaging Dr. Lauren Hayes as in one of the town founding streets and schools named after all the best clubs and town society Hayes. Grady is attracted, but he has nothing to offer a woman like Lauren who dates men of her own circle and enjoys a lifestyle he can never hope to give her if they were together.

Lauren’s dream is to escape her hometown and have ‘save the world’ adventures through her medical work. She is bored by the men she dates and thinks her chances at romance are hopeless until into her office walks an ex-soldier with a gorgeous body and a tortured past. Grady consumes her unlike any man she has ever met. She wants to know everything about him and wants to help him heal, but he offers her a real challenge when he holds her at arm’s length and keeps walking away. For the first time, she begins to weaken in her resolve to escape.

As I said, this one went quickly. Grady and Lauren are attracted on first sight, but encounter some stumbling blocks when Grady learns that Lauren comes from a very different background from his own and even now, they share little in common. Then there is his desire for stability and a home and hers to go gallivanting around.

Grady is up against his past as a foster kid and the trauma from the war he needs to heal from. He has to adjust to civilian life and figure out his future. He has determination and he works so hard even willing to work a road crew and take on extra work for a contractor to fix up his ranch. I enjoyed getting to know this brooding, nearly broken hero who wants to give up, but doesn’t mostly because Lauren won’t let him. He’s tired of it all, but there is a spark of hope left that maybe he can get a happy ending like the regular folks.

I confess that I struggled with Lauren. I think I had the notion that she was very put together and mature, but in truth, she has some issues and they are issues she isn’t aware of herself. I had my doubts about her, but then she pulled a stunt that had me lose complete respect for her. I was left with mixed feelings even after she got her act together. And I guess, knowing she had such an issue, put her and Grady on an equal balance in that respect.

See, that was the other thing that I noticed. Grady and Lauren’s romance wasn’t an easy sell for me mostly because I felt like they were not on the same maturity level. She gets almost giddy because Grady has ‘traveled’ right when he’s telling her that he saw the Middle East during a war. Later, she is imagining herself this superhero type of person who goes into hostile exotic environments to care for the injured people who only she can save. Then next to this, there is Grady who is soul-weary, struggling to make ends meet so he works hard, and just wants love and a family to make him happy. He doesn’t even care if Lauren jets to all points of the compass if she can just love him while she is busy backing away fast because she doesn’t want to be tied down even for love. In the end, I felt that Grady was right when he told her that she got in her own way. That’s when things flipped and Grady was the strong one while it was Lauren who had to face up to her flaws and grow.

The ending was not exactly on par with the rest of the story. I really didn’t like what was written as the climax and the romance ending felt rushed after all the build up to that point. Was left wanting.

So, in the end, this one does come out as a win in my book because Grady’s triumph and healing overshadowed the smaller issues I had with other aspects of the story. I did enjoy the writing other than the ending, the setting, the situation, and the way Grady was developed as a character. This is a trilogy so I want to keep going. Those who enjoy spicy small town romance with a dash of military flavor might want to try this one.

My thanks to Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Romance Roundabout #278 CR

Cliché Klatch #166 ‘Better to get it over with’

New to Me #139 series

Mt. TBR #105

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Red Iza
Guest

Grady looks like a great character but, as it is often the case in romance, I think a little less of those great characters because they fall in love with… people like Lauren 🙂 I keep wondering what they might have seen !

Anna@herding cats&burning soup
Guest

I’ve read one by her–sports romance if I’m remembering right. Soccer I think? Gah it’s been a while. He sounds really amazing but I’m thinking I would struggle pretty hard with her. Thanks for the heads up on it!

Sophia Rose
Guest

He definitely kept me in this book. I was not feeling her at all.

Lorna
Guest

Lauren would put me off this read totally. I am glad you were able to finish it but I don’t think this is one I would like-I have to like the main characters to like the book 🙂 Thank you for an honest review!

Sophia Rose
Guest

You betcha, Lorna! I can’t say that I would have finished it if it hadn’t been a shorter one.

Mary Kirkland
Guest

Thanks for the great review. Not sure if this is the right book for me at this time.

Sophia Rose
Guest

LOL! Yeah, its probably wise to be cautious on this one, Mary.

Blodeuedd
Guest

Ohhh, nice cover 😉

Sophia Rose
Guest

He’s a pretty, pettable cover for sure.

Lover Of Romance
Guest

oh, this one sounds right up my alley!!! I love those military themed romances, and lately I have been in the mood for them more.

Sophia Rose
Guest

This one was a lovely blend of small town and former military. I’ve got a ‘military’ shelf on GoodReads if you want to poke around and get ideas.

Lola
Guest

It’s always nice to find a new author who’s books you like. I can understand that you struggled with Lauren, I don’t mind if characetrs have issues, but if they keep running into that issue and not realizing it themselves if can be frustrating.Grady sounds like a more interesting and mature character. Great review!

Sophia Rose
Guest

I did enjoy the book for the most part, but yeah Lauren kept getting in her own way. 😉

Braine TS
Guest

I don’t like the antagonistic elements of this one. This is the kind of story I avoid because it feels like there’s drama for the sake of drama? Like this chick is whacked! lol

Sophia Rose
Guest

Lauren’s stuff was drama for drama’s sake. Her stats show that she should be the put-together, mature woman, but she comes off as a teenager at times.

kimbacaffeinate
Guest

Hmm, despite the issues with Lauren, I must confess this sounds quite good. I love anything involving military men.

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yes, Grady’s character and background from the military and transitioning to civilian life were a strong point.