I wanted to like this book more but for me something was missing. It was a great idea but by the time everything amazingly fell perfectly into place II wanted to like this book more but for me something was missing. It was a great idea but by the time everything amazingly fell perfectly into place I was wishing the author had done something more with the story. ...more
This is your typical romance. I didn't find anything overly original about it, but the characters were likeable even if a few times you wish you couldThis is your typical romance. I didn't find anything overly original about it, but the characters were likeable even if a few times you wish you could hit them. Regardless of their stupid mistakes these two characters belonged together and it was nice to see them come around to that realization themselves. Plus I'm always a sucker for second chance romance....more
If I'm being honest this isn't my favorite second chance romance. It was good and the author didn't jump right into forgiving any wrongs from the pastIf I'm being honest this isn't my favorite second chance romance. It was good and the author didn't jump right into forgiving any wrongs from the past. I liked that it was well written and didn't have any of my major writing hang ups. So I'm left not being able to put my finger on exactly what kept this from getting four or even five stars. But in the end I hadn't forgiven the wrong and just when I was about ready something else happened. After that everything seemed to be tied into its nice bow quite easily and quickly. So a good read but it left me wanting something more. ...more
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 aI'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.