Genre: War & Military

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Hard To Hold On To – Laura Kaye – 4.5 Stars – Sponsored Contest

September 4, 2014 Contest, Read in 2014, Tours 2

I received this book for free from the publisher . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Hard To Hold On To – Laura Kaye – 4.5 Stars – Sponsored ContestHard to Hold On To by Laura Kaye
Published by Harper Collins on 2014-08-19
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Military, Multicultural & Interracial, Romance, Suspense, War & Military
Pages: 200
Source: the publisher
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Edward "Easy" Cantrell knows better than most the pain of not being able to save those he loves—which is why he is not going to let Jenna Dean out of his sight.  He may have just met her, but Jenna's the first person to make him feel alive since that devastating day in the desert more than a year ago. 

Jenna has never met anyone like Easy. She can't describe how he makes her feel--and not just because he saved her life. No, the stirrings inside her reach far beyond gratitude.

As the pair are thrust together while chaos reigns around them, they both know one thing: the things in life most worth having are the hardest to hold on to. 

Buy at Amazon | Amazon.ca | Amazon UK | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

 

My thoughts:

I adored this entry in the series because of how much both of our pair have to lose but also how much they have to gain if they give in to what they want.

Jenna has just made it thru an ordeal that no one should ever have to experience.  She’s coming out from under the drugs that her kidnappers gave her and dealing with the nightmare of what happened while in their custody.  She finds herself drawn to a soldier that should be frightening to her but he gives her peace.  As she spends more time around him she finds herself wanting to be more to him than just a friend but is unsure of herself.  She’s felt like such a burden to her sister for so many years so doubts if the connection she feels for him and that he seems to have for her is anything more than an illusion.  I loved her strength and especially adored how much she helped our hero by just being there and not running when he shares his burden.

Easy… my dear sweet, strong soul….  He’s in so much pain all the time since the loss of his best friend but amazingly finds a sense of peace when he is around Jenna.  He’s so convinced that he isn’t the right man for anyone and is struggling with PTSD/depression as a result of the incident that resulted in the death of his friend and others in his unit.  Being kicked out of the military was the final straw and since then he’s just been going thru the motions pretending to live.  You see our Easy has a secret that he’s keeping from his team and that secret is devastating.  I was happy that he found someone who wanted him for him even with his secret.  His struggle is palpable and realistic as you don’t want him to become one of the 22.  He deserves so much happiness and seeing him work so hard to protect Jenna and himself from his demons were amazing.

This story does get under your skin but I appreciate that Laura didn’t whitewash what he was dealing with and I hope that his struggles will result in some additional awareness of the struggles faced by those who witness or are part of violent acts or the stressors of combat.  The struggles result in an unacceptable body count as these people struggle with the demons in their heads and should be treated with all the resources we can muster.  While we can’t save all of them it is unacceptable to not try as 22 is not a count that should be considered an acceptable cost of these actions.

Please take the time to read this wonderful story with a powerful message even with the sparks that fly between our pair.  It is worth it!

 

Special thanks to the team at HarperCollins for giving me access to this title as part of a tour.  I really love this entire series and am looking forward to all of them still to come.  I do have a special request —- Can we get more of Easy and Jenna??????

a Rafflecopter giveaway

four-half-stars

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Hard As You Can – Laura Kaye – 4.5 stars

February 23, 2014 Avon, Read in 2014, Sent 1

I received this book for free from the publisher . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Hard As You Can – Laura Kaye – 4.5 starsHard As You Can by Laura Kaye
Published by Avon, HarperCollins on 2014-02-25
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Suspense, War & Military
Pages: 384
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Five dishonored soldiers.Former Special Forces.One last mission.These are the men of Hard Ink.Ever since hard-bodied, drop-dead-charming Shane McCallan strolled into the dance club where Crystal Dean works, he's shown a knack for getting beneath her defenses. For her little sister's sake, Crystal can't get too close. Until her job and Shane's mission intersect, and he reveals talents that go deeper than she could have guessed.Shane would never turn his back on a friend in need, especially a former Special Forces teammate running a dangerous, off-the-books operation. Nor can he walk away from Crystal. The gorgeous waitress is hiding secrets she doesn't want him to uncover. Too bad. He's exactly the man she needs to protect her sister, her life, and her heart. All he has to do is convince her that when something feels this good, you hold on as hard as you can—and never let go.

I’ve got to just come right out and admit it..  I LOVE THIS SERIES!!  Sexy as hell men with heroines that aren’t completely pushovers…  what’s not to love?

This installment picks up near where we left the last installment with the rescue of Charlie. In this one we get to see more of the waitress that didn’t blow their cover but instead helped the men escape by buying them a critical couple of seconds.  As we get to see more of the nightmare she lives every day we also get to see more of the Churchmen and the gang that holds key information that could help our men clear their names.

Crystal isn’t 100% certain why she didn’t scream when she saw the men in masks fleeing the basements of the club she works at but something about the grey-eyed man made her decide to play along and let him go.  She also knows enough to not say anything when questioned by her boyfriend and his associates but for the life of her she isn’t sure why.  All she knows is there is something about him that makes her want things she has kept buried for a long time while playing a very dangerous game.  We get to see her struggle with what she wants and what she has to do for the next eight months until she can run away forever.  She’s strong and doesn’t throw pity parties for herself even when the situation she is in would break most people.  She’s smart, practical and above all else she is a survivor!  She’s taken everything that life has thrown at her to make a life for her sister that seems as normal as is possible but still on edge.  I loved watching her start to trust our hero and even though he presents danger to her in more ways than one she does see that he does nothing to hurt her or force her to do anything other than what she needs.  Seeing her take something for herself was an amazing moment and I’m glad we got to witness it via this book.

Shane is a classic hero in that he takes everything on himself with no thought about maybe just maybe things weren’t his fault.  He’s always blamed himself for a tragedy in his childhood but that tragedy made him the perfect man for Crystal.  He sees things she isn’t willing to show others and witnessing this giant of a man be so gentle with her and her sister was beautiful.  He instinctively knows what she needs but instead of forcing her to see things his way he lets her take the lead.  You’ll break a bit watching him struggle between what is right for his team and what he knows is right for her but the good news is she is smart enough to step back and figure it out without letting him go.  I think the moment that made me feel for him the most is when he finally opens up about what happened in his past and seeing the support he got was heart wrenching and yet so satisfying.  The fact that he finds a woman that will push him as needed but also be someone he can satisfy his need to protect his loved ones is such a wonderful thing.

Special thanks to Avon and Laura Kaye for giving me the chance to read this one early!  I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to seeing the rest of the men find their matches….  More more more please!

four-half-stars

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Back To You – Jessica Scott – 5 Stars

January 7, 2014 Forever Yours, NetGalley, Read in 2014 0

I received this book for free from . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Back To You – Jessica Scott – 5 StarsBack To You by Jessica Scott
Published by Forever Yours on 2014-01-07
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Erotica, Family Life, Fiction, Romance, War & Military
Pages: 304
Format: eBook
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

He's in for the fight of his life . . .

Army captain Trent Davila loved his wife, Laura, and their two beautiful children. But when he almost lost his life in combat, something inside him died. He couldn't explain the emptiness he felt or bridge the growing distance between him and his family—so he deployed again. And again. And again . . . until his marriage reached its breaking point. Now, with everything on the line, Trent has one last chance to prove to his wife that he can be the man she needs . . . if she'll have him

. . . to win back his only love.

Laura is blindsided when Trent returns home. Time and again, he chose his men over his family, and she's just beginning to put the pieces of her shattered heart back together. But when Trent faces a court martial on false charges, only Laura can save him. What begins as an act of kindness to protect his career inflames a desire she thought long buried—and a love that won't be denied. But can she trust that this time he's back to stay?

Like most fans of this series I have been waiting for this story since we first met Trent and Laura.  While I would like to be greedy and say I wanted it much faster than we got it… I have to be honest and say that the wait, while torturous, was definitely worth it!  You will laugh and cry big ugly tears but in the end everything is sooooooo worth it!

Laura and Trent love each other but due to some major mistakes on Trent’s part they are at a point where everything seems to be lost.  Laura has filed for divorce and Trent is having to deal with major issues surrounding his last command.  We start this story by seeing how bleak everything is for both of them as Trent prepares for a deployment then get thrust in to the thick of things in present day.

I loved how Jessica wove their past in to the book as it gives the reader a sense of what they had and what seems to be lost forever until someone finally understands that while they have changed they need to work hard and accept that even they need help from those around them.  Trent was at a major crossroads in his life and watching this strong man break down his walls to let someone help him cope with what happened while he was deployed was heartbreaking and uplifting.  He tries so hard to not show how badly war has impacted him in order to protect his family but in the process ruined the trust that they had in him and when he finally owns up to how badly it hurt them you will just cry.  The realistic way that Jessica portrays his struggles will cause you to hurt deeply but war is not pretty and the havoc it plays with people’s lives should not be sugarcoated even for a romance.

Laura has had her own struggles.  She wanted to believe in Trent but finding out that he was volunteering to be deployed just broke her. She did not file for divorce on a whim and is still reeling from having to make this decision even though in her heart of hearts she still loves him more than life itself.  I appreciated that it wasn’t ever about the lack of love but it was more about protecting herself from more hurt.  She volunteers to play the part of a reconciled couple just to get him cleared of something that she knows is false but the question becomes can she really keep him away from hurting her again.  She’s just tired of being hurt and kept out of everything so does all she can to protect herself but as we all know sometimes love will find a way.

This couple has been through so much and I loved how Jessica made it clear that while you may love one another more than anything else open lines of communication and letting the other one in even if it hurts is the only way to make a relationship work.  With glimpses of the other couples we know and love this made a wonderful story that while filled with angst is also filled with immense amounts of hope and love.

Go grab this one and join me in waiting for Reza’s story…

As always I have to thank Forever Yours and NetGalley for giving me access to this title.  While I appreciate the access this in no way impacted my review of this work.

 

BTW – Jessica….  ummmmm when can I get my greedy little hands on Reza????  😉

 

five-stars

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