Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Berkley
Released on June 3, 2014
Hot baby-making love! For those who doubt that a book about a married pair can be as gripping as before the longed-for commitment takes place, doubt no more. Henry and Elsie lost none of their steam, fire and anguish just because they said ‘I do’.
This follow-up sequel to Henry and Elsie’s tumultuous journey to love and forgiveness in Disarm proves that after Happily Ever Afters have to be fought for just as hard as getting to that point. Mixed into one strong and moving story are all the ingredients that I came to appreciate in the first book: hope, playful love, adorable chocolate lab, little black tape recorder, a hot man in uniform that rides a Harley, loss, jealousy and fear, secrets, a scrappy beautiful woman who is the glue that holds it all together and love that sometimes hurts yet sometimes transcends into something stronger than ever. Yeah, this deep and difficult romance grabbed all the emotions, twisted me up inside and finally gave me what I knew was coming all along.
Henry and Elsie’s story is told in another six part piece that is altogether in one book. Elsie narrates the first five parts in first person, but then Henry takes over for the last part. Getting inside their heads and feeling it right along with them is what keeps the reader right there in the middle of it all engaging the senses right along with the characters. This one picks up right where the first one ends so I’d recommend reading it after Disarm not because it can’t be read as a standalone, but because Disarm can only really be enjoyed if it’s read first. It will lose something if they’re out of order.
[quote]”This time last year, I was in Korea, thinking I lost you for good. And now I’m here with you, building a life together,” he said. “I could ask for nothing more.”
“I’d say we got pretty lucky.”
He shook his head with a tender smile, “Luck has nothing to do with it,” he said. “We’re just two willful people who moved mountains to be together.” p. 5 Henry and Elsie from Arrest[/quote]
The newlyweds are in their home, Elsie is settled into her new job and Henry finished with the Air Force is a cadet at the police academy. There is plenty of time for hot romantic encounters and lovely gestures. Elsie tamps down her fears for what is to come when Henry graduates and begins patrolling the streets. Being the wife of a Law Enforcement Officer is much like that of a military wife. Elsie is determined to be supportive and do what she must. Then she discovers Henry’s been keeping secrets still and then as he comes home from work, she can tell he is holding stuff back. What is really going on those nights he doesn’t come home until late? Is he really with co-workers? She has seen with her own eyes the appeal of Henry in uniform. On top of this, she is faced with getting pregnant sooner than she wanted and dealing with the fact that she isn’t ready and guilty because she can’t be as excited as Henry.
After dealing with a painful event when Henry isn’t able to be there for her, her life starts spiraling out of control with late nights out with co-workers because Henry is working and she doesn’t want to be alone, drinking, feeling a slight pull toward the boss who has some interest her way and now wants her to go with him to make a presentation to potential clients in Atlanta. Henry’s jealousy and his continued withdrawal are nothing to what comes after a traumatic event occurs leaving Henry weighted down with guilt and self-loathing completely shutting Elsie out. He’s is doing to her just what he did before and Elsie does her best to pull him out of it, but its not enough. She’s left with the difficult decision. Love isn’t always enough and she can’t live like this anymore.
The storyline pretty much follows the ups and downs of a fledgling marriage that receives the added pressure of unexpected pregnancy, demands of a dangerous job and loss. There is never any doubt that Henry and Elsie love each other which is what I was left holding onto when tough stuff just kept happening. It was a fictional romance of course, but both the highs, lows, sweet moments, hot moments, and tender times made it so real. And the romance was possibly even more heated than it was when they were building a relationship. I loved the playful scenarios they cooks up, the strongly emotional sexy times as well as the quiet loving. These two are a powerful couple and I can’t even separate the two like I can with some romantic interests. I see them as two halves to a whole.
The author’s writing just takes me away each time I pick up her stories. I could have tabbed the whole book for memorable quotes and moments that I wanted to mark. So this means I have to share two and not one more quote.
Henry didn’t come home when expected and Elsie’s steamy romantic plans got put on hold while she tracked him down, but then her plans got resurrected in a surprising turn of events. She shrugs philosophically and accepts it:
[quote]It struck me then that we were in exactly the same place that I’d intended, only we’d taken the long route. But then again, wasn’t that the story of our lives? Nobody could ever accuse us of taking the easy way to the finish line. p. 131 Elsie from Arrest[/quote]
And this is because it’s so close to Father’s Day and I can’t resist a daddy/daughter moment:
[quote]”I’ve got you kid,” I told her, marveling as she wrapped a frail little hand around my finger. “These hands will take care of you. As your dad, it’s my job to hold you up high so that your dreams stretch as far as the eye can see. It’s my job to hold your hand and try to lead you in the right direction, to cover you and protect you from pain. But most of all, these hands are here to help you up and dust you off whenever you fall.”
I gazed down at the innocent being in my arms and felt like the luckiest (SOB) in the world.
When next I looked up, I found Elsie watching me from the bed.
“I can’t believe we made something so perfect,” I whispered. p. 324 Henry from Arrest[/quote]
So in the end, this intense and yet gently paced story of a love affair that began when they were kids and has continued through into marriage was just as incredible as the first book. It’s not one easily forgotten. I am so excited to see that Julie gets her story next. My recommendation is to those who don’t mind a difficult man in uniform contemporary romance with lots of hot passion and a few tugs on your heart.
My thanks to Penguin Group and Net Galley for the opportunity to read this one in exchange for my honest review.
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