Review: Before Sunrise by Sienna Mynx

before sunriseReviewed by Shelly

I’m not sure I liked this story. I read it because the reviews for it were primarily good, it’s I/R and military all in one – seemed like a winner. It’s a long story, 600+ pages according to my Kindle edition, so it isn’t that it’s not chock-full of words in either the dialogue or plot, but I’m of the mind that longer doesn’t always equate to better. Part of my indecisiveness is that I’m still conflicted over this – should I like this story because it’s an I/R or because it’s about military or because it’s about the side effects of being held as a POW?

Kennedy and Liam Flanagan’s backstory is told in flashbacks. She was 17 to his 22 when they met and she had sex for the first time. There’s a series of incidents that preceded their marriage when she turned 18 that reminded me of being a teenager – you just knew your parents where always wrong and they had no idea what you’re about because they’re old and stupid. Remember those days? This is the part of their history that really got me to pay attention: the naiveté of Kennedy and the selfishness of Liam. There are moments when they’re having sex in Kennedy’s parents’ home and I cringe because Liam is so clearly using Kennedy for sex while I’m being told they’re in love, but this is a love story and this is their beginning.

Fast-forward a couple years and Kennedy and Liam are married and living on base while he’s doing his military training. They’re still having a lot of sex as that makes both of them happy, even when Liam isn’t the most attentive. (When Kennedy says she doesn’t like something it gets brushed to the side because well…he makes her like it. Okaaay.) Even before Liam goes on his last mission, the anger that waves off him is incredibly strong. Kennedy has no idea how to address it, much less handle it, and it’s certainly not reared its ugly head as a problem, yet. She loves him.

After Liam is declared killed in action, there’s a lull of 5 years when Kennedy falls apart. As a reader, I wish I got to read that instead of being told what happened. I think my empathy for her could have been so much greater. During the years that he’s missing, Liam’s rival swoops in to woo and court Kennedy back to the living. He helps her take care of Liam’s daughter and convinces Kennedy that they’re in love and should marry. One of my issues with Kennedy is that she goes from her parents’ home to Liam’s home; the only time she’s on her own, she understandably falls apart because of the circumstances, but then she’s right back into someone else’s (her 2nd husband, Liam’s rival) home. There’s never a time when our heroine is mentally/physically stable that she’s on her own to take care of herself and her daughter. Again, I think I missed another opportunity to be on Team Kennedy.

After his return home from 5 years in a hole in some God-forsaken desert, Liam is happy to be home with the one person who he needs to be happy. Unfortunately, Kennedy is married to someone else and the child that Liam’s never met is calling someone else ‘daddy’. This is when I became engaged again, watching Liam unravel from the seams; his old issues with jealousy, anger and an unfulfilled life begin to take their toll. That’s all compounded when he finds out that Kennedy is not only remarried, but who she’s now married to. Then there’s PTSD, after 5 years as being thought of as KIA, his integration back into society was – interesting to say the least. Yes, I know he’s Special Ops and all badas* but his ‘my way or the highway’ mentality wasn’t the least bit attractive to this reader.

Then there’s Kennedy, who I really wanted to throat punch on more than one occasion and here’s why. Kennedy lives on an island – or so she thinks. There’s a network of military wives, we all know, this so I was perplexed as to why she had no friends who were army wives – zero, zip, nada. Her only friends were her father, sister and 3 of Liam’s friends who were active. Really? Yes, really! Where are the other wives who can lend an ear, a hug, a meal, a baby sitter, a whatever… where are they? For me to find her character somewhat believable as a military wife, I’m going to need for her to actually act like she’s part of something greater than herself especially once she’s over the initial hump of grief.

I really wanted to like this story but there were just too much sex and not enough relevant communication between this couple for me to give it more than a C.

Happy Reading folks!

Click to purchase: Amazon

Before Sunrise
by Sienna Mynx
Release Date: December 9, 2011

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