Jessica 's Reviews > Vanguard

Vanguard by C.J. Markusfeld
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it was amazing
bookshelves: adult, reviewed

4.5/5 stars

I knew going into this book that it would be a more serious romance than I'm used to, but I had no idea I would become so enraptured by the world and conflict that Markusfeld has created. There is so much intensity and desperation to this story. It is a powerful one and I think it is even more so because you know this type of conflict has happened in the past and continues to happen today.

Sophie works with a relief aid organization and is a pretty prominent member of their group. She is wrecked over her best friend Michael's disappearance in a war ravaged country and she will do whatever it takes to work on getting the Soviet Republic to allow aid into their refugee camp. She has worked long, sleepless hours and I felt her agony as she is forced to be patient and wait when all she wants to do is storm the gates and find the man she loves. After the prologue, you can't help but be concerned for Michael and his chances of survival. Sophie was relentless and I liked that about her. She is also cunning and incredibly smart; she utilizes those skills quite a bit when she is face to face with the Commander himself. I feared for her so many times because of how unapologetic she is, but her intelligence and knowledge of the Soviets helps her immensely.

I think I would have liked to see more development of Sophie and Michael's relationship in the past. We get tiny bits and pieces, but we didn't get to see this famous animosity they have developed and how it played such a factor in keeping them apart. We get to see them have a few moments together, but they are quickly overshadowed by the fact that Sophie has a boyfriend back at home and then we see Michael start dating another girl in their program. Fast forward a few years and after meeting up again at a mutual friend's wedding they are both single and while they have strong feelings for one another, they don't pursue a relationship because they are so career driven. They exchange 'I love yous' but I just felt like I was missing the connection because we didn't see those feelings blossom. At the same time, I understand Markusfeld not delving into the past because that's not the focus of the story. The focus is on Sophie and her desperation to find and hopefully rescue Michael from a volatile warzone. It would have lengthened the story for sure had the author given us more insight into their past, but I don't think I would have minded that at all.

Now, after saying all of that, I did enjoy the romance in this one and I felt connected to their current relationship. I was surprised by how sexy it could be, even despite such dangerous circumstances. The romance lover in me got exactly what I needed- a great romance and a strong storyline.

I would definitely recommend this book if you are looking for a slightly different romance. I felt like I was being pulled back in time, what with the conflict with the Soviets and I liked that Markusfeld created a current setting that was reminiscent of a historical one. The fate of Michael will keep you turning the pages and will have you holding your breath that he is alive and that Sophie will be successful.

*Received a copy of this book via BocciPR in exchange for a fair and honest review.*

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Reading Progress

July 22, 2015 – Started Reading
July 22, 2015 – Shelved
July 23, 2015 – Shelved as: adult
July 23, 2015 – Finished Reading
July 25, 2015 – Shelved as: reviewed

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