by Jen Frederick
Published: January 20, 2014
My rating: 4 of 5 ⭐️
Two years ago, Sam Anderson lost her husband after only two months of married life. She was twenty at the time and had been merely existing since that time. She dropped out of school and works at a bar, avoiding any involvements, especially with anyone from the military. Never would she go down that road again. Life would remain risk free for her, it was the only way to keep her heart safe.
With a family legacy deeply rooted in the Marine Corps, Gray Phillips feels the pressure to reenlist, while at the other hand there is the firm suggestion for him to make a mark in civilian life while he still can. He is unsure which way to turn and hates that his indecision is causing discord within his family. On leave for six weeks to try and find an answer, he is visiting with friends when he spots Sam in a bar.
From the start Sam and Gray's interaction has been nothing short of combustible. The chemistry is thick, but obstacles seem to be in the way at every turn. Not in the least, the memory of Sam's late husband which is actively being kept alive by his family. Of course the fact that Gray is a military man has not escaped Sam's notice and is a cause of great concern, causing her to hold back.
Determined to teach Sam to let go of her fears, Gray shows her different adventures where she can hopefully let go and enjoy. But will she be able to take a leap and enjoy the greatest adventure of all, with Gray?
Deliciously rich and compelling!!
I love Jen Frederick's style of writing. It has an easy flow and an intelligence that is complimentary to the reader. Her characters have depth and broad context, and in this book, despite their young age, are not portrayed as high school morons, goofing about and playing games. Jen's ability to delve into the psyche of both male and female psyche and relate it convincingly is impressive and I am a big fan of her descriptive abilities when it comes to sex scenes.
Her protagonists go through quite some growth. Both are stuck in a situation they don't really want to be in anymore, but don't quite know how to get themselves out of.
For Sam, the death of her husband rendered her apathetic for a period, and certain patterns were set in place that she would now love to escape to move on with her life, but she is unsure how to get out of that rut.
In Gray's case it is the Marine Corps, and his insecurity whether that is the right choice for him, or whether he is there out of a sense if family obligation. He needs to step away to examine his own true feelings and needs for the future before he can move in any direction.
Sam and Gray turn out to be each other's catalyst in taking charge of their lives, and changing the course they are on.
The story in itself was not unfamiliar and a bit predictable and although well-written and most definitely moving, it lacked some originality. Despite that, I would not have any hesitation recommending this book!