Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Indie/Self Published
Released on April 7, 2015
Source: Book Tour Provided
A man gives his all for his career in the Army, but if he sacrificed so much along the way and his regrets lead him to hope that with this new assignment to Ft. Hood, he may see his hope fulfilled. A woman couldn’t handle the rigors of Army life with a young child and a husband gone for long periods of time. Regrets for not sticking it out? Sure. But now he there and he’s a whole new man wanting time with his daughter and maybe a chance with his ex-wife. Dare she take the opportunity or should she protect what’s left of her heart from when the Army calls him away again?
Gale Sorren’s career ended up on rocky ground when he got word that his daughter was hospitalized and he attacked the man who wouldn’t give him leave. He has a new assignment and a fresh start right where he begged to be assigned for years. Now that he’s in the same town as his ex-wife and daughter, he can’t seem to get up the courage to knock on their door. How they must hate him for being AWOL for years? There is the valid excuse that things are a mess in the battalion and they are all tasked to get it back where it needs to be. Captain Ben Teague seems a good sort and Gale doesn’t mind being his First Sergeant though there is a storm of issues always. But, he is here for a reason and that’s not to throw away this second chance with his daughter and maybe gets some closer with Melanie. He never stopped loving her after she left him.
Melanie can’t seem to find her balance after Gale walked back into her life. She’s so tired from the daily battles with their daughter and the fears that Jamie will resort to her dangerous habits again. Gale becomes a quiet, steady influence on Jamie and riles up Mel’s bitterness and anger even while she appreciates what he is doing. Her guilt over leaving him and her continued love have her raw and scared of this man who is no longer the young soldier, but someone strong and steady. Gale makes her want again even if she just knows that he’ll be off again within the year. Meanwhile, Jamie has some secrets that have repercussions for them all, but especially Gale as it forces him to confront a longtime friend who came back broken inside.
This is a poignant and passionate story of a broken family finding there way again and finding what its like to be together at last. A romance, sure, but it’s the romance of a man toward his family. I was engaged from the beginning and I read it straight through with one break. I feel the connection from the soul of the story right to my heart.
[quote]He’d given her up for the army. He’d let her go so that he could maybe grow into the kind of man who deserved her. Instead, all he’d done was grow into a warrior. A leader of men. Not a lover. Not a husband. Not a father. A ringing sense of failure hung around his shoulders, a lead weight dragging his soul down.
“What’s wrong?” she asked again.
He turned, looked down into her dark, sad eyes.
“You make me want tings I can’t have, Mel. Things I don’t deserve…because I thought…I hoped.” The words he needed wouldn’t come…
She paused. “And Gale?”
“Don’t tell me you don’t deserve happiness ever again.”
She kissed him then.
Loc 1652-1662 Gale and Mel from Homefront[/quote]
This story kicks off a new series, but it is a spin-off of the Coming Home series. While a reader can easily begin with this story, my personal recommendation is to start with the Coming Home series as old familiar faces dot the perimeter of the scenes in this story. I’m just geeked that the author chose Gale Sorren from It Had to Be You for the hero in this one. I said in my review of that book that I wanted Sorren’s story and voila, the book fairies heard me and I got it.
While this book could technically be termed a military romance, the theme and setting of this series of books is that of the homefront away from the war action and it tells the stories of the homelife for these Army folk. It’s not prettified nor does it get political. Character-driven plots and the natural tension as a result of situation are what propel these along. The stories are all-encompassing with the romance as part of a whole and not an isolated piece. There is humor, passion, anger and everything in between. The humor is just the right touch whether its simple daily life humor like poor Gale having to have The Talk with his daughter or whether it is the snark that comes with people stressed to the max at work and needing an outlet.
[quote]”Apparently, her mother wants me to reinforce the fact that all boys are horny perverts and that she should wait until she meets a guy she really cares about.”
Teague stared down at the cookies in his lap. “Well, boys are typically horny perverts, so I can see how that would be some sage advice,” he said cautiously. He glanced up at Gale. “You look like you’re going to have a heart attack.”
“I might need to get my blood pressure checked,” Gale said, trying and failing to be flippant. “I’m not ready for my little girl to start exploring penises.”
Teague choked on his cookie and spewed crumbs across Gale’s desk. “Sorry, that caught me off guard,” Teague said, wiping his mouth. “I’ll clean that up.”
“Really sir?” Sorren swiped the crumbs onto the floor. “Just aim for the damn floor next time.”
“Next time warn a guy before you say something so funny,” Teague said, still laughing.
“My daughter and penises is not funny. Some boy is going to want to do to her what I did with her mother…I’m not ready for this,” he said again.
Loc 2473 Gale and Ben of Homefront[/quote]
I loved the romance and it was great that the couple are middle age folk and parents of a teenager. The mature handling of their feelings, their desires, and actions was a nice extra and I liked that the author gave the parenting good page time since she included Jamie’s character. All that being said, these two have some combustible moments. Gale is sexy, smoldering and hot for Mel who can’t help admire the hard body under that uniform. They’ve been apart for so long, but the attraction and need are right there and neither stopped loving the other over the years apart. Loved the slow, but sure steps this romance took to its happy ever after.
So, the new book is a fantastic start to a new series. I appreciated the warm, real and flawed characters, the pacing of the story, the heartwarming tone and the depth of the engaging plot. Contemporary Romance fans who like slower developing yet sensual character-driven romance should give this a look.
My thanks to Rockstar PR and Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Romance Roundabout #150 CR
Cliché Klatch #73 ‘tight knot in his throat
New to Me #78 series
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