Personally, I am not a fan of serials. I can’t even stand the trilogy trend that was happening. I think I’m just too impatient and curious. This story was originally published last year as a serial but is now being released as a full length novel. I was excited to read this because the author is a military wife and I was curious to read her take on a military romance.
Growing up, Elsie Sherman forever had stars in her eyes when it came to her brother’s best friend, Henry Logan, but figured he only saw her as the sister type. Henry has been in love with Elsie for almost as long but has kept his feelings buried because he didn’t want to jeopardize the stability that the Sherman family gave him. When her brother deploys to Afghanistan, Elsie moves in the apartment he shares with Henry. Tragedy comes to knock on their door soon after with the news that Elsie’s brother was killed in action. It’s through this long journey of shared grief that they finally discover their mutual attraction. Things move rapidly from there, both physically and emotionally.
The first relationship roadblock comes within days when Henry gets the call to deploy for six months. During this time, Elsie struggles with the sparse communication and the fear of losing Henry like she lost her brother. When Henry finally does return, he is a changed man and Elsie doesn’t know what to do with that. Henry accepts that he’s probably suffering from PTSD and heads back home to California to work with his childhood therapist. After a few weeks of soul searching, Henry comes to the conclusion that they must break up to find out if they are right for each other. He leaves Elsie with the recordings of his therapy sessions in hopes that she might understand his thought process. The reader then gets views Henry’s history with his own family and the Sherman family.
After everything, Elsie, once again, dusts herself off and tries to begin again. They both live separate lives for some time until hooking back up. The end of the book is more of a Happy For Now (HFN) than a true HEA. There were lingering doubts, myself included, about whether or not Henry could stick around for the long haul. His main issues weren’t a result of his war experiences as they were family issues. I just didn’t understand his reasoning on why they had to split; and I never have bought the old “if you love something you have to let it free” argument. Even with his groveling at the end, I just felt like the author never redeemed him.
I thought Henry’s taped “sessions” were unnecessary and only added to my irritation. I was really looking forward to the perspective of a military wife as the author is one, but came away with very little.
*ARC provided by Berkley/NAL
Click to purchase: Amazon
by June Gray
Release Date: February 4, 2014