Review: Embattled Minds by JM Madden

embattled mindsReviewed by Shelly

The pace in Ember Norton and Zeke Foster’s story is slower than the pacing in book 1 of this series. There’s none of the suspense or action sequences that were prominent, but that doesn’t take away from the emotional content and the investment that I made in caring about what happens to this couple. We were introduced to both Ember and Zeke in Embattled Hearts along with Diego and a couple of other guys. You can definitely read this as a stand alone, but you’re probably not going to appreciate the camaraderie of this group of former soldiers.

Zeke’s face and head are both broken; his spirit’s a little broken too, and that might be the hardest part to fix. During his last tour, a building column landed square on Zeke’s body and he’s got the scars and surgery to prove it;  the TBI that he suffered resulted in some left over aphasia. So Zeke’s got a few things going on, but they’re not his entire life – he’s got a job that he loves, working with and for men that he respects and admires, and he’s got a woman that thinks he’s the cat’s meow.

Even with all that Zeke’s got going on, it’s actually Ember’s story that’s interesting to me. Her father is a former Marine also who served during Vietnam. Her dad clearly has PTSD because some of the things he does – oi vey! When Ember’s mother was alive it seemed that her father’s actions were either well hidden or her mom was able to ‘control’ her husband enough that Ember didn’t notice anything different about her father’s behavior. It’s not until one of his friends commits suicide that things start getting dark in the house that Ember and her son, Drew, lives in with her father.

There’s an incident that drives the majority of this story and that’s the incident that brings Zeke and Ember together. The emotions start to fly and the sex quickly follows (or maybe that’s vice versa,) but heck, even I got caught up in their moments.

I think the insta-love is well… insta. It’s hard for me to not care about Zeke and Ember as a couple. I would have liked to see more flushed out between them individually and have their story take a while more to develop. As with Shannon’s story (book 1) I think Ember should have made Zeke work a little harder for her. I know these guys are fighting for their country, but I can’t help but want the traditional romance theme of the guy fighting for the girl (even if it’s a tiny bit).

Happy reading folks!

Rating: B

Click to purchase: Amazon

Embattled Minds
by J.M. Madden
Release Date: June 30, 2013

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