I love a good wounded hero, so when I read the blurb on this story, I couldn’t wait to dig in to a romance between a World War I soldier and the nurse who steals his heart. It had great potential, but for me, it did not deliver. My biggest issues were with the underwhelming gentleness of the romance and with a supernatural element that I just wanted to go away.
Sam is brought to the field hospital where Lily works as a volunteer, after he suffered a serious head injury in battle. Quickly, the two of them develop a very sweet and chaste crush on one another. Lily reads him letters and feeds him his food. They blush. They look at each other across the room. It’s all very… innocent. I kept waiting for it to turn into something more. And I kept waiting. And waiting.
Meanwhile, Sam has a seizure and his consciousness is projected out on the battlefield where he is convinced he is healing injured soldiers. So he keeps causing himself to have seizures to “do his part.” Nevermind that it’s breaking Lily’s heart and everyone thinks he is trying to commit suicide. What kind of man would he be if he doesn’t nearly kill himself to psychically heal others? I really thought this would be a delusion that was a product of his injury, but it’s really the central conflict of the book. And I didn’t like it. I felt like he was being stupid and if he really loved Lily, he wouldn’t do that to her.
There are some moments that aren’t bad. I liked Sam’s charming roommate Gordy. I liked the small moments where Lily and Sam connected. I didn’t like the YA vibe of the romance. I didn’t buy that good looking, military captain, 27 YEAR-OLD Sam had never even tried to kiss a woman. I didn’t like that the one and only “love scene” was entirely fade to black. There is no passion –not just sexually, but emotionally. There are times that both Sam and Lily feel like they should just let go of the relationship.
If they don’t care enough to fight for it, how am I supposed to?
The character development was fair. I understood Lily’s motivations to do her job and carry on her father’s legacy. Meanwhile, Sam is a good farming man who cares about his men and his family. That’s really about it. They’re not bad, just bland.
This one was just not for me.
*ARC provided by Samhain
Click to purchase: Amazon
Angel of the Somme
by Terri Meeker
Release Date: May 19, 2015