Tag Archives: Military

Review: Fly With Me by Chanel Cleeton

The excerpt of Fly With Me is what caught my attention as humour and and a bubbly and fun heroine is my catnip. Along with the gorgeous cover, I was really excited to get into Fly With Me. The beginning was fun and sets up most of the tone of the story. Jordan and Noah hit it straight off and there’s no one pursuing the other more both physically and emotionally and both soon fall hard for each other. Jordan has to get accustomed to military life, since Noah is assigned whenever he is needed. After the fun beginning, the first half has a slow pace with lots of sex until the second half. The second half of the story sucker-punched me with all the emotions!

Jordan and Noah both want their relationship to work but it means making compromises, and because of Noah’s commitment to the military, it means Jordan has to make more of them and it does cause some realistic tension, especially when it feeds into Jordan’s mother’s needling remarks about Jordan settling down at her age and being more responsible. The two of them work hard to be together and I loved their smexy times and the humour, especially Noah’s beard lol. As I said above, the second half, most especially the end, was emotional and brought all the feels. I won’t go into spoilers but it brings Noah and Jordan closer, and I think the darkest moment is the start of a future book down the road featuring two other side characters.

All in all this was an enjoyable read, with insight and detail to air-force pilots lives and how it can put major strains on family and romantic life, while also bringing people much more closer together.

I give Fly With Me a B

Review – All I Want for Christmas is You (Coming Home #5.5) by Jessica Scott

all I want for christmas is you by jessica scottPublisher: self-published
Publish Date: October 22, 2014
How I got this book: ebook provided by the author

All Major Patrick MacLean wanted was Christmas with the woman and child who were his family in everything but name. But Captain Samantha Egan has come back from the war a different woman than the one who left – and she doesn’t know if she can love him anymore.

But neither of them counted on the determination of a little girl they both call daughter and if Natalie has her wish, her parents may have no idea what’s coming for them. It’s going to take Christmas miracle to bring these two wounded warriors back from the edge of a broken heart.
*Blurb from Goodreads*

Jessica Scott needs to patent these. Or something. Her entire Coming Home series is consistently awesome. It also focuses on a part of the military experience that is universal but not part of the adventure tales that fiction normally spins.

Instead, she sets her stories in that rough period of re-entry, where soldiers have physically come back from their deployment, but mentally they are experiencing a fairly rough re-entry that can be difficult for the people around them to understand. Even those who are (or were) in the service themselves.

All I Want for Christmas is You is a bit different in that the soldier who comes back from the fight different than they went is female, and the partner trying their best to help her is male. Captain Samantha “Sam” Egan returns from her one year deployment to face a world that feels strange and distant. She still hears the bombs, she still fears crowds, and she has become unfamiliar with the overabundance of choices available back home.

And she seems to have left her heart behind back in Afghanistan, along with the body of her best friend. For the past year, Sam left her daughter Natalie in the care of her domestic partner, Major Patrick MacLean. The year before, Sam took care of Natalie while Patrick was deployed. As a couple, they’ve spent two years growing apart. But Natalie sees Patrick as the only father she’s ever known, and wants her parents to stay together. She doesn’t care that Patrick wasn’t her biological father.

But Sam comes back uncertain of too many things, including whether she can ever give Patrick the love he deserves. Where two years ago she felt that love, now she just feels nothing, but can’t bring herself to get help. Instead, she pushes Patrick away and lets the blackness of depression rule her life.

Natalie isn’t willing to let her happy family fall apart, so she schemes to get Patrick back into their lives by dragging him to Sam’s small-town family home in Maine. And Patrick goes along with it. He wants his partner back, and he’s willing to put himself through hell to make that happen.

All it takes, is a lot of snow, and more than a bit of little girl schemng.

I love Scott’s books, to the point where I placed the 2014 entries in the series on my Library Journal Best Ebook Romances of 2014 list. Her experience as a serving officer allows her to portray the heroism of the sacrifices made without romanticizing the life and its downsides. Her characters always feel real.

Samantha is suffering from PTSD, along with a big dose of depression. It’s not just that war changes its participants, but also that she lost her best friend. She comes back feeling empty and bleak. She knows she has a problem, but she’s afraid to admit it out of the fear that she’s broken beyond repair and can’t be fixed.

One of the heart-rending parts of her story is that every former soldier she meets, including her best friend’s grandfather who served in Vietnam, is that every single one of them went through something like what she is experiencing, and they all got help sooner or later. The later they got that help, the more difficult the experience. Patrick feels guilty that he too had a difficult re-entry the previous year, but that he hid both his problems and his search for help from Sam. His attempt to protect her backfires spectacularly, because she ends up believing that the problem is all her. A belief which she is prone to based on her early life experiences. She expects to be the broken one, she expects to be left, she expects to be on her own. So she sets out to make those bad experiences come true, again.

Patrick doesn’t give up. He gets frustrated and occasionally impatient, but he knows what she is going through and is determined to not prove her worst fears true.

Today is Veterans Day in the U.S., coinciding with Armistice Day and Remembrance Day in other parts of the world. I wanted to review something with a military theme (but also a marvelous story) in honor of the day. Jessica Scott always delivers.

I give All I Want for Christmas is You an A.

Review: Hotshot by Jo Leigh

Publisher: Harlequin Blaze
Where did you get the book: Purchased
Release date: Out now

Subject: Captain Luke “Solo” Carnes.

Current Status: On temporary assignment.

Mission: Public recruitment and saving his ex’s tail!

Obstacle: He wants much, much more than that…

Sara Weston, an Air Force Captain herself, needs a pilot for her recruitment program, and fast. And she’s found the perfect candidate. Top gun pilot Luke Carnes is qualified, charismatic and available. Problem #1—he’s ridiculously hot. Problem #2—he broke Sara’s heart years ago…

But she’ll be professional. Just as long as she’s never close to him. Never under his gaze. And never in his bed.

Then again, never is a long, long time…
*Blurb taken from author’s official website*

Every so often (usually every two months) on Harlequin’s site, I go and look at the new releases and splurge. I go through the imprint lines I like, and I buy whatever catches my eye. When I do this, sometimes I end up with a few titles I like, others end up being duds. I also rarely buy from the Blaze line, but the cover of Hot Shot caught my eye. It’s a really really good cover :D. It’s different to the others as it really catches your eye, and I found myself drawn to it. And my book radar pinged when I saw that it was an ex-lovers trope which I’m a big fan of.

Captain Sara Weston works as a recruitment officer, and is in charge of her recruitment team that travels to give talks on life in the Air Force, and to try and encourage people to sign up. She’s missing a pilot in her team, but gets the shock of her life when ex-lover Luke Carnes suddenly shows up for the job. Sara hasn’t seen Luke in over seven years when he left her without warning, breaking her heart and disregarding her so callously. She doesn’t want him in her program as it will cause her problems personally, but knowing him to be one of the best pilots, she doesn’t dismiss him out-hand because she knows she needs to stay professional, and knows that he would be an asset to her team. The only problem is she doesn’t know why Luke is here, and is suspicious of his motives.

Luke has signed up to the recruitment team because he needs to do something important — he needs to apologise and make atones for his behaviour seven years ago. What happened to him whilst on mission made him realise how much of prick he had been for all this years. Even after leaving Sara, he was still a cocky son of a bitch and never understood or really cared how he treated others. But what happened to him on that mission made him realise he didn’t like the person he was, and knew that apologising to Sara was a must.

What really worked for me that made their HEA believable is that I believed in Luke’s remorse, and I believed that he was a changed person — even though I still have a little trouble believing why he would suddenly disregard Sara so badly after they were together for so long. Yet again Luke fully admitted how much of a prick he was. But throughout the book, Luke never rushed Sara, and he left it up to Sara on her terms. There were no flashbacks to what happened when they were youngsters, but it was conveyed well how deeply Sara was hurt when Luke left her, but that didn’t stop her from her career and her achievements, and what impressed me the most about this was that Sara’s professionalism never wavered throughout the beginning of the book to the end. Sara was a quiet heroine, yet she had a dignity about her that I really liked. There’s no major external plots except for a bitchy co-worker that brought tension between Luke and Sara, and that worked for me as there was no ‘required separation’. It was enough tension that was believable for the careers they had.

The smex had a good heat level, but it was toned down compared to a lot of Blaze books. And the main focus was Luke gaining Sarah’s trust back, and Sarah falling in love with the man Luke had become. O’Malley, a secondary character, was great, and I really hope he has a book of his own as he made such an impression on me. And I enjoyed this book so much that I’ve put Jo Leigh’s backlist titles on my wishlist.

I give Hot Shot a B+.

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