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In Love and War

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Sometimes love really is worth fighting for, but picking your battles isn't so easy—especially when lives are at stake.

Personal tragedy and the loss of both parents at a young age made Ariela Perrine cross self-sacrificing hero types off her datable list. But Ariela is literally swept off her feet when an accident brings her face to face with an unforgettable pair of blue eyes, a playful smile, and an overly affectionate dog.

Oh yes, journalist Dylan Bond makes her sizzle, but dare she risk it? After all, he's just returned from covering conflicts around the globe. With his assurance he'll be handling domestic stories from now on, Ariela's weak resistance crumbles and their relationship intensifies at a dizzying speed. Then an unexpected phone call lures Dylan back to Iraq and he falls off the radar. His disappearance will test them both in ways neither expected. Will it bring them closer or destroy their fragile peace forever?

350 pages, ebook

Published April 18, 2014

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About the author

Tara Mills

35 books118 followers
I write stories I like to read, with authentic characters and realistic themes. From laugh-out-loud romantic comedy to nail-biting suspense, I've got you covered. Escape with me into books.

In the real world, I'm a happy wife, proud mom, doting nana, and dog owner - again.

Stories with a heartbeat.

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5 stars
13 (40%)
4 stars
11 (34%)
3 stars
5 (15%)
2 stars
1 (3%)
1 star
2 (6%)
Displaying 1 - 14 of 14 reviews
Profile Image for Deborah Cordes.
Author 11 books53 followers
September 24, 2013
Tara Mills's novel, IN LOVE AND WAR, delivers! I was swept away by the author's amazing ability to weave a sensual romance in small town America with a gripping and informative tale of a hero-journalist investigating harrowing conditions in present-day Iraq. I am a stickler for excellent research, and Ms. Mills never disappointed me; in fact, she taught me things I did not know about the Middle East, a delicious surprise for this former social studies teacher. The novel deserves a wide audience, and I wholeheartedly give it five stars. Bravo, Tara Mills!
Profile Image for Peggy Bird.
Author 40 books103 followers
February 5, 2013
In the interest of full disclosure, I have to say upfront that I am a Tara Mills fan. It comes from reading two of her other books, “Caution: Filling is Hot” and “Forest Fires.” Mills creates great characters who come alive on the page for me. She makes me care about their lives, their loves and their struggles. It’s just that simple.

Yeah, right. Simple. Easy for me to say.

As difficult as it is to make that happen in book after book, Mills has done it again in her latest, “In Love and War.” This time her hero, Dylan, is a journalist who has covered the war in Iraq one time too many. Her heroine, Ariela, is an interior designer with a trauma in her past that makes her wary of getting attached to anyone who flirts with danger. They meet when she is run over by a bicycle messenger and almost knocked out.

Ariela learns first hand about his concern for the people he comes in contact with and Dylan quickly learns to appreciate there is more to life than the adrenaline rush of covering the world’s hot spots. It’s all working out just fine until he goes back to Iraq one more time and something happens that changes both their lives.

You’ll have to read the book to find out how it all turns out. But the journey to the last scene of “In Love and War” is full of romance, interesting secondary characters, a large, friendly, uncontrolled dog named Max and phrases like “testosterone on wheels” to describe an armored vehicle. In short, another Tara Mills hit.
Profile Image for Terri Herman-Poncé.
Author 4 books74 followers
July 16, 2013
Heartwarming and real.

This is the third book I’ve read that was written by Tara Mills and, like the previous two, it didn’t disappoint. In Love and War has a different, slightly darker angle than Grading on Curves and Accidents Make the Heart Grow Fonder, but the book is far from depressing. If anything, it shows what hope and love can do for two people who need both more than anything else. It’s realistic and sometimes heart-wrenching, but delivers smile-worthy scenes just when you need them most.

Mills has a way of telling a story that flows from page to page, and making us care about characters that are so very likeable. In Love and War is definitely no exception, and despite my expectations of Mills, now that I’ve read her three times, she’s come through in every sense of the word. Through Ariela, we see a determined woman who’s fearful of losing herself to love, and through Dylan we experience the darker side of journalism that often bring its realities too close to home. Mixed in is a love story that warms the soul and reminds us that, yes, some people just belong together. Ariela and Dylan don’t always take the easy course, but it’s one that will keep you wanting to read more. For a book, there can’t be anything better than that.

So, without giving away spoilers, I can say this: In Love and War is a warm read. One that starts with Mills’ famed meet-cute and ends in a satisfying way that only this particular author can deliver.
Profile Image for Traci Douglass.
Author 132 books1,342 followers
March 15, 2013
IN LOVE AND WAR, the new contemporary romance novel by author Tara Mills, will have you rooting for the hero and heroine from page one. Sparks fly between practical, emotionally-shy Ariela and intrepid, larger-than-life Dylan, and neither her insecurities nor his dangerous career will impede love’s true path. The inclusion of the adorable Max was frosting on top of this sweet confection for me. I love the chemistry between her characters, the gritty realism with which Mills handled the scenes within Iraq, and the poignant ending to the love story. If you’re looking for a great book to curl up with and get lost in, IN LOVE AND WAR is definitely the book for you!

***I was provided with an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Brandy Dorsch.
Author 18 books135 followers
April 30, 2013
I was asked by the author to review this story and after I read the blurb, I was intrigued. Ariela is an interior designer that I took to right away. She admits she is flawed when it comes to relationships and I love that kind of honesty. She goes out with men she is sure she can't get serious about so she doesn't have to risk being hurt. We find out in the story that her father was a police officer and his death shaped her family and her life.
Dylan is a journalist that is out to save the world or what he can of it. He is floored when he meets Ariela and wants to investigate where this relationship is heading. Ariela is hesitant to begin anything with him until he is stateside for good and I don't blame her.
My husband was Army and I told him that if he had been active, we would have never gotten together. Please don't hate mail me for that statement. I dated military men for years before I met my husband and I have been the girlfriend waiting behind. I just didn't want to do that to kids. I have the upmost respect for military (a LOT of my friends and family are military) I just know that it takes a special kind of person to be in that relationship and at 21 when I met my husband, I wasn't that person. I related to Ariela's fears for Dylan and the pain she felt when he went back to Iraq. Their messages back and forth were sweet and passionate. You could feel the love and longing.
I am not going to tell you the ending. I don't like doing that with my reviews. If I tell you the "meat" of the story, why would you want or need to read it? I have to say that I freaking love MAX! This dog is the comic relief that makes a story. Ariela was going to fall victim to his charm eventually!
Take the time to discover Tara Mills and if you are not already a fan, you will be. :)
Profile Image for Nancy Weeks.
Author 24 books146 followers
March 4, 2013
I had such a wonderful day reading Tara Mills’ new release, In Love and War. Tara Mills combines a fast moving suspense story with heartwarming characters that kept me turning the pages until the very end. I never set this book down once!
I love the heart-wrenching story of Ariela Perrine’s parents. That kind of tragic loss at such a young age would cause anyone to build walls around their heart. But after falling hard for journalist, Dylan Bond, Ariela is able to work through her fears and realize that in the end, love is what matters.
The attraction between her and Dylan is just plain hot…sizzling. What brings this story into another plane is Ariela’s ability to give her heart over to a man with the same type of dangerous job as her father―the one thing she has avoided. Her willingness and insight to realize that she is not her mother is what won me over. And when Dylan doesn't return from Iraq on schedule, I loved her strength, her drive to fight for the man she loves.
As for our hero, what a wonderful character Tara Mills created with Dylan Bond. Who wouldn't fall head over heels in love with a man who is willing to place his life in danger and fight for woman’s rights in an oppressed region? I loved him from the start―and his adorable, sloppy dog, Max.
Dylan doesn't have an easy time winning Ariela’s heart, but he breaks through Ariela’s fears with his humor, intelligence, and unwavering sense of justice.
Tara Mills created an engaging story with twist and turns that kept me guessing. She was able to pull me into this new world immediately, and it was hard when the story ended. I wanted more. I highly recommend In Love and War.

Profile Image for Cary Morgan.
Author 11 books18 followers
May 7, 2013
I might be called stingy in doling out five stars, but that is because I believe a story needs to knock my socks off to get all five, and it needs to earn them on all levels. The story itself needs to make me sit up and take notice; the author needs to have the ability to deliver clear, concise and compelling material, and there can’t be any shortcuts (no deus ex machina) in delivering any of it.
Well, OMG, then one comes along that demands six stars…or maybe seven, and In Love and War is one such. Tara Mills has outdone herself. She had me in tears at times, laughing my head off at times, and just plain not wanting the story to end, ever, all the time. There is darkness in here, and grit, but such, unfortunately, are the stuff of life. However, while delivering ‘real life’ Ms. Mills is careful to bring us back, to recall those beautiful moments that make the dark parts bearable for all of us. Not only do I give this book and it’s author five (6? 7?), well-deserved stars, I’m also cheering her on, because she is an excellent author. VERY well done!
This reviewer received an ARC from the author in return for an honest review, which is given as a professional courtesy and without monetary compensation.
Profile Image for Kathryn.
26 reviews
March 4, 2013

Tara Mills has created an outstanding evening’s entertainment guaranteed to make you chuckle and cry, sometimes at the same time.

When lovely interior decorator Ariela Perrine is run down and concussed by a wild bicyclist, handsome Dylan Bond picks her up and ships her to the emergency room. Their initial attraction deepens, until Ariela discovers Dylan isn’t quite ready to give up his job covering dangerous topics in chaotic Iraq. Although she manages to get past his last, almost fatal journalistic foray, she isn’t sure she wants to wait long enough to find out if he returns in one piece from a humanitarian incursion. Can Ariela overcome the tragedy of her past and support the man she loves?

Descriptions of conditions inside the imploding pressure-cooker of Iraq and its warring cultures are realistic, as are the emotions of those left behind, but Mills’ perfect touch of humor, helped along by Max the dog, keeps this novel from becoming overly serious.
Profile Image for Yazmin.
523 reviews10 followers
March 26, 2013
In Love and War by Tara Mills will keep you hooked from beginning to end and will take you on a beautiful emotional journey.

Ariela Perrine is an interior designer, she is not looking for love, but fate has other plans for her. After her parent’s heart wrenching story, Ariela has learned to build walls around her heart to keep it from being hurt again.

Dylan is a journalist willing to give his life in order to tell the story of the oppression of Iraq’s women during the war. He did not expect to fall in love, but an accident has brought Ariela and him face to face.

Ariela did not want to open up to love, but larger-than-life Dylan will get her to see that love is worth the risk with determination, humor and intelligence. Read More...
Profile Image for Lacey Wolfe.
Author 65 books311 followers
July 2, 2014
I enjoy this story. I've had the honor to read a few of Tara Mill's book. She has a unique voice that will draw you in.

I was instantly smitten with Dylan...Dylan Bond. He had a confidence about him that kept me engaged and looking forward to his scenes. Yes, I had a slight crush on him.

Ariela was a lot of fun. I liked her quirky humor and the way her dialogue flowed in the story. She was very real and relatable.

There is a lot of fun and romance in this story, but the author also touches the reader with heartfelt emotions that will keep you turning the page to find out what is going to happen next and if the couple can over come some of the obsitical that head their way.

I recommend this book, and if you've never read the author, this is a great story to start with.

**I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review.**
Profile Image for Carol Smith.
Author 11 books8 followers
May 20, 2014
When you sit down to read In Love and War by Tara Mills, expect everything else in your life to be put on hold for a while. This story is an emotional roller coaster. What begins as a light hearted romance between Dylan and Ariela, evolves into a deeply loving relationship which is tested by Dylan's dangerous occupation. There were moments of humor that made me laugh outloud and times where I held my breath in terror. I empathized with Tara's fears and heartbreak, and felt pride in Dylan's honor-bound determination as a journalist in war-torn Iraq.
Ms Mills is a talented author and this book meets every requirement of a great read. This was an easy five star! decision.

I received this book as an ARC from Tara Mills for an honest review. I was not compensated for my review.
Profile Image for Deborah Cordes.
Author 11 books53 followers
May 9, 2014
Tara Mills's novel, IN LOVE AND WAR, delivers! I was swept away by the author's amazing ability to weave a sensual romance in small town America with a gripping and informative tale of a hero-journalist investigating harrowing conditions in present-day Iraq. I am a stickler for excellent research, and Ms. Mills never disappointed me; in fact, she taught me things I did not know about the Middle East, a delicious surprise for this former social studies teacher. The novel deserves a wide audience, and I wholeheartedly give it five stars. Bravo, Tara Mills!
Profile Image for Gail.
291 reviews
September 21, 2014
I loved this story. Dylan is such a guy...hot, honest,loyal, intense. Ariela is stubborn, funny, loyal and loving.

Their first meeting sets the tone for the whole story. They both are dealing with things in their past.
To watch them become a couple, to learn to understand one another, was fun to watch. Then you throw in Max, a crazy, lovable dog..

The last 30% of the story gets intense. You will be holding your breath and maybe a few tears!

Read this story`~
Profile Image for Katie Kenyhercz.
Author 29 books80 followers
February 14, 2013
From the first page, Mills’ humor invites you in. Ariela is relatable, hilarious, and immediately sympathetic. Her memories of her parents are especially touching, and her father having been a police officer is a good tie-in to love interest Dylan, who has to go to Iraq as a journalist. She knows what it’s like to be afraid for someone with a dangerous job.

The letters they write back and forth while Dylan’s in Iraq are like a deliciously dirty version of You’ve Got Mail. The flirting is sweet and genuine but steamy. When they re-connect after Dylan’s first trip, they can’t get enough of each other, and I couldn’t get enough of them together. While a new couple, their bond is intense and strong.

The emotional tension builds on his second trip overseas. Ariela’s fear is heartbreaking as she struggles to let go of her past and hold onto her future. While Dylan’s in Iraq the second time, he says, “…I’m going crazy just thinking about the woman I care about sleeping alone in my bed.” I’m a military girlfriend, and this line hit home. It’s so bittersweet. This part made me cry, “Was this becoming her normal—always waiting for Dylan at the airport or dropping him off? Would that eventually bother her? Ariela preferred having him here with her, but if the alternative was not having him at all, then yes, she would have to adjust to his job.” She nails exactly what it’s like to love someone in that kind of job.

Almost as good as the relationship developing between Ariela and Dylan is the relationship that blooms between Ariela and Dylan’s dog, Max. Ariela isn’t an animal person, but as she spends more time with Max while Dylan’s away, her heart melts. I love it!

As powerful as the love story is Dylan’s mission to bring justice to the women if Iraq. He puts himself at risk to tell their story and give them a voice. During an interview, one of the women brings up points most Americans don’t consider when they think about our presence in Iraq. It makes you think.

The ending is absolutely perfect. Everything comes full circle. This is a fantastic read!
Displaying 1 - 14 of 14 reviews

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