When Blake Connor returns from Afghanistan, he wants nothing more than to hide from the world. He’s plagued by the memory of his best friend’s death and the pain of his own injuries. That same friend’s dying wish is just one more burden he must carry.Jennifer Owens had expected to get married the moment her fiancé returned from the war, but the news of his death changed everything. When an unexpected letter arrives a year later, it raises new questions and opens old wounds. Her search for answers leads her to Blake’s doorstep.
Although Blake seems determined to keep her at arms’ length, Jennifer recognizes the beauty that lies beneath his scars and confronts him with the truth. Nothing will ever be the same for this broken ex-Army Ranger, but he must overcome his warped self-image and emotional scars if he’s going to be the man Jennifer deserves.
I adore this book and have claimed Blake as my very own. The author took us on the journey, the path where our soldiers are often forgotten…. home. We expect them to fall back into their normal lives before they fought the war and forget what they left behind on the desert sands, but how do you forget watching your friends die? When do the nightmares stop of the last moment you are holding your best friend in your arms as his life is slipping away forever? When Blake comes home from the war he is empty, physically disfigured, emotionally shattered and suffering from PTSD. He is also carrying a promise that he made to Trent that he isn’t sure he can keep. He has to take care of Jennifer, the love of Trent’s life.
Blake got to know Jennifer through Trent. The loving words and feelings that he had when talking about marrying the woman of his dreams melted Blake’s heart. Wanting what Trent had, he lived through Trent’s heart and dreamed of this woman. Little did he know she didn’t really feel the same way about his best friend. When he made it back to the states, he did what he could to keep an eye on her, but there was no way he would face her with his face disfigured and his emotions all over the place. He won’t talk about what he saw or what he had to do over there. He won’t share that he can still feel the warmth of blood, the smell of death or the cries of those injured that appears in his nightmares, not because he doesn’t care, but because he doesn’t want those he loves to suffer like he does.
Jennifer wasn’t going to take that for an answer. Trent promised her Blake would take care of her if he didn’t return, so where is Blake now? She needs help, she needs to know what happen, and she needs Trent’s promise to be kept. The road isn’t easy for Blake and Jennifer, she is going to have to look past his anger and shame and believe that how he treats her isn’t because of anything she did. It is because he lived and Trent died. She loved Trent, maybe not as much as he loved her, but her heart is broken. She is scared to move forward, to let go of the memories. She has no one else but Blake and even he isn’t there.
I am not sure I have read another story about PTSD and returning warriors that capture the emotions and reality like this one does. The survival guilt that Blake has was very present in this story, letting us see his pain to the point
I found I couldn’t be angry at him for what he did. He is truly guided by the pain of what he left behind and what he lost while fighting the war. I didn’t want to like Jennifer after finding out how she really felt about Trent, but watching her never give up on Blake till she had to for her own survival made me want her to be happy. She showed such acceptance and kindness to him for so long, even when he would deny it because of his own feelings.
Trent, what can I say about him? The author let us know who he was and how he felt about these two people who were so important to him and I found myself forgetting he was only a memory now. It became painfully clear to me what we all have lost during the war, wonderful young men such as Trent. Lorenz took on a very sensitive matter and wrote about a love that was created through pain, loss and heart break. The book isn’t very long and it was a very smooth read with her writing style. She has the talent of making her books become a movie in the readers mind as they read. For a reader to get the real message Lorenz is trying to send, you must go into this book with an open mind and place yourself in Blake’s shoes. See his memories and nightmares as he does, feel those emotions as he feels them. He isn’t an evil man; he is an empty vessel that Jennifer must fill with love and a reason to live.
Lorenz Font discovered her love of writing after reading a celebrated novel that inspired one idea after another. She is currently enjoying the buzz from her previous novels: Indivisible Line, Feather Light, and the first two installments in The Gates Legacy series, Hunted and Tormented.
She currently lives in California with her husband, children, and two demanding dogs. Lorenz divides her time between a full-time job and her busy writing schedule.
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