Into the Blue by Chanel Cleeton #Review

Posted July 4, 2016 by Shari in Reviews / 11 Comments

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

Into the Blue by Chanel Cleeton #Review
Into the Blue

One StarOne StarOne Star
four-flames

Series: Wild Aces #2
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Military Romance
Published by Berkley
Released on July 5, 2016
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
add to goodreads

After reading so many good reviews of the first book, I eagerly jumped at a chance to pick up book two in the Wild Aces series. While you can read this as a standalone, it does reference a situation and characters from the first book.

Eric Jansen left the love of his life when their worlds were going in different directions. He never really stopped loving her, but he felt like he was suffocating if he didn’t pursue his dreams of being an Air Force pilot. Becca Madison did nothing wrong, she just had her own drams that didn’t mesh with his. Engaged and at college, he leaves her with a note and goes off to pursue his dreams. Becca thought they would be together forever and Eric’s betrayal of trust haunts her for years with any relationship she tries to have.

Speed forward 10 years and Eric is now Thor and every dream he has is coming true when he sees Becca at a bar talking to one of the pilots in his group. Emotions roll back in that he thought he had buried. And incident that happens in book one is haunting him and he needs a change. He asks for leave and heads back to town to see his grandmother and the woman he wants another chance.

Becca has achieved her own goals of becoming a lawyer, but with the clock ticking she hasn’t found the family she has always wanted. Letting Eric back in will break her heart, but deep down she never stopped loving him. Unfortunately, nothing has changed in their situations. The both lead different lives in different cities.

I found myself not believing in Eric. I wanted Becca to run and keep away from him. He wasn’t a bad guy, he just treated her very wrong 10 years ago. Disrespected her with a break up note. That was my sticking point. He didn’t really give her a chance to work out what they could be together with compromise.

So while these two had some chemistry, I wasn’t a fan in giving him a second chance. So for a part of the end, I just skimmed to get through it. I know others love this series, I just couldn’t love this story.

Challenge Info:

Literary Pickers: Fighter Jet/Spacecraft
New To Me: Author and Series
Books ‘N Tunes: Playing with the Boys by Kenny Loggins

Sophia Rose’s Review

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

Into the Blue by Chanel Cleeton #Review
Into the Blue

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
four-half-flames

Series: #2 Wild Aces
Published by Berkley
Released on July 5, 2016
Pages: 320
Format: Paperback
add to goodreads

He walked away from the love of his life to follow his dream of being a fighter pilot, but now he’s back and wants another chance.  She is still nursing a broken heart and doesn’t believe she has another chance in her.  This was a passionate, heartwarming story of second chances that captivated me from beginning to end.

The second book in the Wild Aces series can be read standalone or out of order in a pinch though works best in order because of the ongoing series arc that began in book one and still carries through this one with the previous couple and the next book’s couple.

This book opens with Eric Jansen call sign ‘Thor’ realizing that he is messed up from his former squadron leader’s death when he has a near miss of his own while out on a training run.  He gets permission and heads to his hometown for the first time in a decade.  He walked away from his childhood sweetheart and fiancé when their dreams for a future took them in two different directions.  He has regrets and is confused, but he does want her forgiveness and maybe start fresh with Becca.

Becca Madison loved Eric and thought they would spend the rest of their lives together until she got the letter and he never came back.  He broke her heart.  She picked up the pieces and tried to go on with her life.  She finished her education and has her dream career as a prosecuting attorney for the state, but she never quite got over him.  This is obvious when he comes back into her life.  The anger and pain are sharp.  She uses it to hold him at bay, but he won’t stay at a distance and breaks through her walls faster than she can raise them up again.  But with nothing really changed since she has her dream job and won’t leave her home town and him with his dream job that would take them all over the place, how could she possibly let something happen that would crush her heart again when he leaves?

This is one of those stories that I felt sad for both main characters from the beginning.  The lovers of the past were young and in love, but were in two different places in their lives and it tore them apart.  This was a great second chance romance because this was truly a situation that needed the years, maturity, and experience to make for a better, stronger, and more satisfying romance.  I enjoyed how the author gave these characters deep backgrounds and a connection that never quite died even though they were apart for so long.  The settings of Eric’s military scenes and the small home town were great.  Loved what both settings added to the story.

The romance is the heart of this book.  Eric has some issues to work out, but really it is unresolved relationship issues that have held this pair back.  They couldn’t move on and held every other person they tried to be with up against the ideal of each other.  At first, it seems this broken situation was all on Eric since he’s the one that made the move to break things off, but then their story is teased out and things are more complex than at first sight.  I thought the author wrote an amazing romance as a result.  The sizzle of attraction and whew, the heat from these two was off the charts, but so was their connection and need for each other even though trust and communication needed to be restored.

I had a little niggle going on for several chapters because of the way things were headed in their romance.  I need to see both players putting the same effort in.  But for a time, Becca seemed to be insisting that Eric make all the concessions and he felt guilty enough that he’d probably go along with it and that never works long term, but then things righted.  It showed the author has a strong grasp of how a real relationship needs to work and helped me completely buy into the romance.

The peek-ins with Jordan and Noah from the first book and the promise of what is to come for Easy and Dani in those end scenes was a nice touch.  I’m glad the whole cast of characters gets together as I love Eric’s military family and was glad that Becca got to see that and could appreciate that.

In summation, this was a strong second installment in the series.  The blend of military and small town with a poignant and sizzling second chance romance was fantastic.  I am eager for more from this series and would definitely recommend it to others who will definitely go weak-kneed for the Wild Aces fighter pilot heroes and their special ladies.

My thanks to Penguin Group for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met:

Romance Roundabout #237 CR

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Shari is the Delighted Reader. Married to her Prince Charming and mother to two Princesses and one Prince. When she is not slaving away as Cinderella she loves to get lost in the pages of a good book. Never without a reading device and a few good paperback books, because she never knows when she might get 5 minutes to read!

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kimbacaffeinate
Guest

I bought his reason for the note, after all he was just a kid, I am looking forward to Easys story too!

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yeah, this was a true second chance romance in the classical sense. They were so young and not ready and now are in a different place for things to line up.

Oh yes, bring on Easy’s story. 🙂

Shari Delighted Read
Guest
Shari Delighted Read

He was a kid, but since they were engaged and in college, I think he could have been adult enough to tell her in person and not in a note. I just couldn’t forgive him that. That’s not a manly thing to do and I didn’t feel he had matured much in the years.

Mary Kirkland
Guest

It’s nice when it works out the second time around but it’s hard to like a character when they act in a way that ticks you off in the beginning of the book.

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yeah, this was one that the reader had to let the story work itself out so that the bigger picture showed more than first impression and glance.

Shari Delighted Read
Guest
Shari Delighted Read

I read it all, but I still didn’t like how he treated the woman he loved. There is a lot that happens later and I even got upset he couldn’t visit his grandmother who he adored. So yep, I didn’t cut him slack.

Lover Of Romance
Guest

oh I am sorry to hear this one was a bit disappointing for you Shari!! I can see why you had reservations. I am in love with second chance tropes….so I do want to pick it up though 🙂

Shari Delighted Read
Guest
Shari Delighted Read

I can take second chance stories. We all do stupid things and at times it just isn’t the right moment. But it’s how you handle the break up with respect that makes me like the second chance. He lacked respect for the woman and just because he was young doesn’t excuse it.

Sophia Rose
Guest

Well worth it, Renee! I was a little disappointed not to get Easy’s book next, but Thor and Becca were a tender couple who needed a second chance. Hope you like it.

Lola
Guest

Anna just reviewed these as well and you all make me really curious about this series. I’ll start with the first book as I am always sad when i miss references and such. I am sorry this one didn’t fully work for you Shari, second chance romances can be tricky especially when they ended things badly the first time. @sophia, I am glad to hear you enjoyed this one so much. Sounds like these two have a lot to work through with their past and how he left her. But that’s great how the years and extra maturity now give… Read more »

Sophia Rose
Guest

Now we’ve all got you curious. LOL! There is a different opinion about a book for every reader who picks it up. This series is interesting. The first book was sizzling and ‘huge’ feeling while this one was quieter. Both were good, but in different ways to suit the characters. I liked that. Hope you get the chance, Lola!