So this book was supposed to be book 2 of Gerard’s One-Eyed Jacks romantic suspense series and a holiday one, to boot. Killing Time was an outstanding start to a new series and I was so looking forward to the continuation of their story. WELL…it’s not a continuation of the One-Eyed Jack’s story, there’s very little suspense and it is decidedly not a feel-good holiday story. What the book does have is a quiet and sometimes somber tale of two couples on opposite sides of the world on their journeys of healing.
For the last three years Jess Albert has been grieving the loss of her husband, JR, who was killed in Afghanistan. Just coasting through her days managing the family general store in northern Minnesota, the only brief flicker of life was last year when Tyler Brown and his merry band of commandos stormed into town on a mission. For a half second, the moment she shared with Ty made her feel alive, but he never called and she never pursued. Fast forward a year later and who comes strolling back in her store but sexy Tyler Brown. Even though he is now out of the military, Jess is afraid of the sacrifices loving a man like Tyler, like her husband, requires.
Meanwhile in Afghanistan, Rabia is caring for an injured American soldier she discovered by the side of the road despite the fact that her and her father could be executed by the Taliban if discovered. As Rabia nurses him back to health, she begrudgingly begins to feel things for this soldier who struggles with his wounds and his inability to remember his past. Rabia knows her relationship with this man is finite – he will either return to his people or die trying – so she uses the opportunity to get close to a man in ways that her culture prohibits.
Both Jess and Rabia are strong independent women. It’s through their love that Ty and the soldier are able to begin to heal from the ravages of battle. The men, in turn, help the women to be an active participant in life again. The shadow of war is ever present and casts a melancholy light on the whole book. Even as the characters reach their HEA, I couldn’t help but feel a little sad about what could’ve been.
Fans of Gerard’s books will be happy to have a bunch of the BOIs back in the game making wisecracks and kicking ass when they go to try to rescue the soldier. It was probably the most lighthearted part of the book and the boys put a smile on my face. The action, though such a minor part of the book, was up to usual awesome Gerard standards.
While this book pulled a fast one on me in terms of expectations, it delivered an emotional story that quietly reminds of the echoing impact of war and how love can heal.
*ARC provided by Gallery Books via Edelweiss
Click to purchase: Amazon
The Way Home
by Cindy Gerard
Release Date: October 29, 2013
Publisher: Gallery Books