I'm a firm believer in it takes two to make and break a relationship, I admit this is over simplifying a complicated subject and will move on before a...moreI'm a firm believer in it takes two to make and break a relationship, I admit this is over simplifying a complicated subject and will move on before adding complicated examples etc. Michael and Jolene have a normal marriage with normal life problems. They are living a life taking all the obstacles life throws at you. The downward spiral of their relationship isn't one of those events, that would seem unimportant on its own, it's the accumulation of many little normal life problems. There isn't even anyone truly at fault here, while I'll admit to taking Jolene's side in the early part of the book and even into the later, both Michael and Jo played their own parts in their marital troubles. I loved that Hannah chose to make their lives so natural. It's always nice to read a story where the troubles are some anyone could have.
I'm a military wife and I found no major issues with the way this life was portrayed. It wasn't perfect but to be honest I've not read a single story that is. Military life varies from base to base and from branch to branch. Every military family has different experiences. So when reading I try to just take it as what it is, fiction. I was happy with the change from the typical choice of the man as the military member. We rarely get to read about a woman military member in fiction and I enjoyed the change. The deployment and difficulty after Jo's return are typical plot devices so not overly original, but not bad for this story. It added an extra dimension for this couple to overcome and to be honest it's not an impossible issue. Many military families have marital struggles, as do other Americans, and sometimes they happen around a deployment. It takes a lot of work on both sides to come through it all still together. I have to admit some surprise at Michaels lack of knowledge about his wife's career after such a long marriage. Maybe in a short marriage, but I was surprised he even knew her rank considering his total disregard for the whole military. It seems hard to imagine a marriage of such a length where even a reluctant spouse didn't get to know something.
A downside in the character development for this book were the two children. The teenage daughter is so stuck in the negative aspect of teen girls as to make her unlikable. Her character could have been developed better to show more sympathetic sides to teen girls. She was going through difficult issues and exploring her issues in a more multidimensional way would have made it easier for readers to like and sympathize with her better. Not to mention understand the struggles of a teen girl with a deployed mother. The young daughter who starts the story at four comes across very young. While some actions that lean toward a younger age could be natural it was overly done for me in this instance. I suppose I would just like to have seen some change from the flatline actions for both girls from start to finish in the book. It made them feel like just another ploy in the relationship issues.
With family members in many branches of the military I'm always a sucker for military drama and there are several military issues that always trigger my tears and yes this hit some of them. But my emotions with this book came from the normal life stuff too. I laughed I cried and I felt this families feelings. I enjoyed struggling with them as they found their way to not exactly a HEA, this is more real life than that. But a happy for now and acceptance that marriage takes work and they are both going to do better.
I'm not sure if this story is chic lit that wants to be romance or romance that wants to be chic lit. I like both genres and have liked books with a c...moreI'm not sure if this story is chic lit that wants to be romance or romance that wants to be chic lit. I like both genres and have liked books with a combination of both genres but this book just didn't work well for me. The book is strictly from Maggie's POV. That could be fine too but with a silent mysterious hero it was harder. I liked Maggie a lot of the time but there were moments that I found her ridiculously immature considering her age. The first part of the book was very boring for me. I kept waiting for some progress between the romantic interest but for the longest time they barely interacted. It felt like maybe the story was leaning toward focusing on Maggie's growing maturity and learning to be happy with her life but the progress with that wasn't very good either. She did finally realize she needed to be happy with what she had but it wasn't quite a featured plot. Malone was a fascinating character in the beginning and I could have loved him but (yes another but) since we are in Maggie's POV we don't get to know him. He at no point really opens up. I kept waiting to see progress in him in the romance and trusting Maggie. He didn't. Considering his silent mysterious personality I think we needed something. Actions being more careing it just seemed like he was to disconnected. I know the ending has been a big complaint but I honestly liked the ending. It just seems insufficient considering the lack of build up to the relationship throughout the book. (less)
This is a really good romance verging on chilit. Queen obviously did research into the subjects she used in her story and I admire that in an author....moreThis is a really good romance verging on chilit. Queen obviously did research into the subjects she used in her story and I admire that in an author. If their we're errors in the information they aren't any I think the average reader will notice. Roxanne and Daniel were neither looking for a long term relationship so their romance starts as little more than sex. They both have plenty of baggage and things only get more complicated as the story progresses. There are moments when you have to wonder if these two will ever find their way to a HEA.
While I love that Queen did fantastic research I personally would like to have gotten a little more in depth emotions between the two leads. Daniel is a jerk and is pretty open about his opinions. He obviously has redeeming qualities but he is hard to completely love through the majority of the book. And Roxanne while likeable has some moments where you really want to slap some since into her. In the end I think both characters are multi dimensional. The only thing missing was the deeper connection between the two.
There was one thing I was really pleased with how Queen chose to deal with (view spoiler)[ how Daniel chose to distance himself from Roxanne to get custody of his daughter. He is a dad and one of the only people that little girl had. While a hard choice and left Roxanne nearly on her own with only distant support and money help from Daniel I think it was the right choice from a man who had been seriously selfish in the past. (hide spoiler)]
I wasn't thrilled with the handling of (view spoiler)[ possible cheating done by Roxanne. I don't know if it really happened or didn't. It was a little confusing. And then Daniel possibly being upset by it? Really? After his past behavior. Cheering on live in girl and then quickly jumping in bed with someone after barely calling it quits with Roxanne. That just irritated me. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I'm so glad I picked this book up at the library. It's my first book by Fox and I wasn't disappointed. I was torn between 3 and 4 stars. Again wishing...moreI'm so glad I picked this book up at the library. It's my first book by Fox and I wasn't disappointed. I was torn between 3 and 4 stars. Again wishing for the half star. This is probably closer to a 3 1/2 star, but is getting the round up since I loved the women in this book. They are strong, witty, and loyal.
Sloane was a great lead. She didn't take any crap and was ready to fight for her friend and once the romance picked up herself. She didn't let anyone walk all over her and I loved that. Every time I thought we were heading to a moment that was going to be reduced to a whiny inner monologue I was pleasantly surprised, because Sloane had a witty comeback that put people in their place and had them realizing how foolish they sounded. I liked Walker and the guys, maybe not as much as the girls surprisingly. But they are still hot manly men and need these strong women to make them realize what they have been missing all their lives.
I am without a doubt looking forward to the next book with Sloane's besty and Mick. The sparks between them were flying in this book and I can just imagine the trouble they are going to get into before they finally work things out.(less)
I have to say this book just didn't really work well for me. I like the basic idea, but once it was put into the book not much else made me enjoy the...moreI have to say this book just didn't really work well for me. I like the basic idea, but once it was put into the book not much else made me enjoy the book. Most of the characters were pretty flat. We have a villain of a mom who every man seems unable to keep from falling for or at least two very important one's and who seem to let her walk all over them. A town who in turn allows her to walk all over them. No one stands up to her. When a sixteen year old girl runs away and she orders them to drop the subject and never look into it again. They all just listen? I can get some of them. But there isn't a single soul in that town who can't keep from worrying enough to look into it? Then even the girl's saviors turn out to be a cartoon villain. Why? Everyone around this one poor girl seems to be completely lacking in conscience. Then we get to our leading lady. This girl has had it rough I'll give you that, but her behavior is stupid. She doesn't even think things through. Then contradicts herself. Her character should have been more rounded. We should have been able to feel her emotions. The pain and betrayal that would come with finding out the big conspiracy behind her birth and how she was raised. That was the one thing that kept me reading trying to find out all the details to the big conspiracy and who was involved. I knew the basic parts and even had it put together mostly. But I wanted to know for sure the answer to the whole secret. (less)
Woods created an interesting family and I'm looking forward to getting all of their stories. The characters were very real and none were perfect. They...moreWoods created an interesting family and I'm looking forward to getting all of their stories. The characters were very real and none were perfect. They all had good sides and bad sides. They all made mistakes and had misunderstandings that felt natural. Trace was a great leading man and certainly in love with Abby. Abby was successful and a mom. They were a great choice for a second chance love. I did find it frustrating that everyone kept pointing out Trace's mistake in not chasing after Abby all those years ago. I realize Abby's mistake was obvious and I think that is why Woods kept pointing out Trace's mistake. But it would have worked a little better for me if there was at least equal acceptance of Abby's mistake. That being said this was a good read and I'll be reading the rest. (less)
The book had some funny parts, but I think overall I expected it to be better. I don't feel like we really got to know Jack as much as we should have....moreThe book had some funny parts, but I think overall I expected it to be better. I don't feel like we really got to know Jack as much as we should have. Our heroine Emma is your average woman. But at times I felt like Kinsella tried to hard at making her the "average" woman. For me this was just okay at times and good at others. It wasn't consistently one or the other.(less)