This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
A pen pals to lovers story that ends up a story about grief and learning to live again after tragedy. To be honest, while well written, there’s not a lot of delight here to be had. Instead it had me ugly crying for the first time in years while reading.
Beckett and Ryan are best friends and members of an elite and very secretive special ops team. Ryan has a sister, Ella, that is a single mother of five year old twins. Beckett is a tough guy and has no family or friends with the exception of Ryan. Ryan asks his sister to start writing Beckett so they both wouldn’t be so alone. A true friendship is formed with the possibility of more. Ella lives in a small but famous skiing town in Colorado. She owns and operates a hotel with cabins for all the many tourists that visit there. When Beckett, code name Chaos, comes to visit Ella after a tragedy, he decides to stay and help Ella with her children and business.
Told in both story form and letter form, the book was pretty compelling reading mostly. I thought the book was a bit slow in the beginning, but certainly picked up by the second half. I really loved all the characters and thought they were all well realized by the author. Ella is brave as a mother fighting for the best life for her children in the face of a horrible adversary. Beckett had a horrible life when he was younger and joined the army because he had nothing else. When he finds that there really is something else after meeting Ella and her children, Colt and Maisie, he decides to go for it and leaves the military. He is pretty closed off and broken in some ways, but finds healing in his life looking after Ella and the children. The twins are probably my favorite part of the book. They are articulate, intelligent and sweet as they could possibly be and Beckett falls for them right along with falling for Ella. Beckett’s working military dog, Havoc, was a big part of the book as well, and I enjoyed her as a character.
There are so many ways I could spoil this book for readers so I am being vague on purpose. I will say that I was probably not someone that should have read this one, especially for review purposes. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very well written, with great characters, but it just wasn’t one for me personally. It is, however, one that I won’t be forgetting anytime soon and in that the author has excelled in her storytelling ability. I’m not going to lower my rating because of it not being for me, instead I am going to applaud the author for a well told story, one that yanked on every one of my heart strings, and then some.
At times, I found it predictable(especially how the romance proceeds) and realized several times exactly what was going to happen next. It was also slow at times in the beginning, so for those reasons, it wasn’t a five star read for me. I recommend this to adult contemporary romance or women’s fiction readers that don’t mind having to read it with a box of tissues nearby.