Ellora's Cave, Guest Blog, Reviews

Soldier of Fortune by Shelley Munro – Guest Post/Giveaway/Review


Please welcome Ms. Shelley Munro to the blog today.  I’m super stoked to have her on the blog.  As most people know, I love New Zealand and Australia.  Their authors are some of the best in the business and for this Texan, I completely understand the language, culture and quirks that they have.  Going to New Zealand and then Australia is in the top 5 of mine and Mr. Harlie’s bucket list.

So for the next couple of months, Harlie will be hosting Ms. Munro and featuring one of her books from each of the genre’s that she writes in.  Excited?  I am…

So without any further ado…

 

 

Blurb:

Joanna “Mac” McGregor loves her father, and she’ll do anything to keep him safe after Alzheimer’s starts to steal his mind. That takes money, and Mac uses her only skills—those of soldiering—when she takes up a security contract in Iraq. She doesn’t have time for men, her last vacation fling in Fiji relegated as one perfect moment to hold close during the grim realities of war.

Soldier Louie Lithgow is tired of fighting and has decided this is his last contract. He wants to retire, sink his savings into a place on the beach, and find the sexy Joanna, his holiday lover.Mac’s arrival in Iraq causes consternation. They’ve both been economical with the truth, but the attraction sizzling between them flares hot and bright. They embark on a clandestine affair—professional and confident during their high-danger day, passionate with the release of emotional stress during their torrid nights.

One thing is clear—they have different goals and the future is both murky and dangerous. If they survive their contracts.  Note: Readers first met Louie in Summer in the City.

 

Reunited And It Feels So Good by Shelley Munro

Romances come in many shades and colors, but all of them fit into one or more of the classic romance tropes.

“Tropes?” you say. What is Shelley talking about?

Tropes are the classic plot types such as Marriage of convenience, Secret Baby, Friends to Lovers, Good girl/Bad boy or Bad girl/Good boy, Stranded together, Amnesia, City girl/Country boy.

One of my favorite types is Reunited Lovers, and it was with this plot in mind that I wrote Soldier of Fortune.

I like the idea of a shared history. A couple have experienced both good and bad things in the past, but at some stage the bad has outweighed the good leading them to a breakup. The hero and heroine go their separate ways. They might find other lovers or even fall in love again or marry, but then fate shoves them together with their previous lover, and they discover they still have feelings for each other.

So what do our hero and heroine do? There is pain in their pasts and probably unresolved issues. But there is still physical attraction and remember that holiday they spent together on a tropical island—the one where they danced cheek-to-cheek under the moonlight. The good memories wipe out some of the pain, and they start to wonder. Perhaps the past can be corrected. Maybe they should try again?

As a writer, I love that they have a past together. It means they know exactly the right buttons to push in a given situation. Do they want to argue? No problem. Push button A and away they go. Or does the hero want to seduce? Yep, he knows how to go about that too because his past experience with the heroine tells him how to proceed.

Then, once I get the characters together again, they have to get past the bitterness and deal with the problem that broke them up in the first place. Oh, yes. There is lots of scope for angst and emotion, even though the characters are older and wiser.

I used the reunited lovers plot in Soldier of Fortune. Joanna McGregor and Louie Lithgow met while they were snatching a few days of holiday on Fiji. While they both had military backgrounds, both pretended they were something else. All they both wanted were a few nights of relaxation and good memories to take them through the hell that is war. Neither expected to see the other again, although the hero is considering retirement and looking up the heroine when he gets home—if he can find her.

When the heroine walks into a war zone as a mercenary, the hero must re-evaluate everything he’s assumed about the heroine. The attraction between them is palpable, but now they have the reality of war. Either of them could die at any moment and that ups the tension between them. Will these reunited lovers get their happy-ever-after or will things go way, way south?

CONTEST: Answer this question and go into a draw to win a $20 gift card from Amazon or All Romance ebooks. There are also additional opportunities to win. Contest drawn on 20 May 2013.

What is your favorite plot type and what do you like about it most?

Review:

Dear reader,

If you are not interested in beyond hot sex between two reunited lovers, amazingly written action scenes, a father that will warm your heart and friends that will drop everything to help you…this book isn’t for you.

I read a lot of military books but Ms. Munro wrote it better than anyone I’ve read in a long time.  I truly felt like I was in the action and she didn’t talk over my head either.  I understood what the missions were, why they did them and the consequences if they didn’t work out.  And unfortunately, there were big consequences at the end of the book.  *sniff*

After a holiday spent together in Fiji, Mac and Louie never thought that they would ever see each other again.  Much to Mac’s surprise and Louie’s delight, they meet up again in a war zone that they are both assigned to.  What starts off as complete shock, telling each other why they lied to the other one in Fiji, begins the friends with benefits relationship.  Since they are bunking in the same room, seems reasonable, right?

I really couldn’t get enough of Mac and Louie together.  While there is plenty of sex and its hot, there is a point to it.  Letting off steam that eventually leads to more emotional intimacy in the end was beautifully written by Ms. Munro.  She brings the emotional side of being in a war, the friendships made and lost, what its like to be the only woman in a unit but more importantly, the need to feel alive and loved at the end of the day.

If you have never read Ms. Munro…shame on you.  She writes relatable characters in a realistic setting that resounds with you days after you have read the book.  I keep thinking about Mac’s dad and the lengths that she went through to make sure her dad was taking care of.  Let’s not forget Louie and how he came to realize that no matter what happened, he wanted and needed Mac by his side forever.  He is completely swoon worthy in my book.  He’s alpha but he isn’t a jerk.  Soft and tender when needed.  Hard and fast too but he always has your back.

Even though this book was released in 2009, its relevant today as it was then.

 

Shelley Munro lives in New Zealand with her husband and a rambunctious puppy called Bella. When she’s not writing she loves to travel and make bread. To learn more about Shelley and her books visit her website at http://www.shelleymunro.com or her blog at http://www.shelleymunro.com/blog. You can also follow her on twitter @ShelleyMunro.

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15 thoughts on “Soldier of Fortune by Shelley Munro – Guest Post/Giveaway/Review”

  1. Hi Shelley! As for favorite tropes – I have many, marriage of convenience, accidental baby, blackmail, friends to lovers, second chance/reunited lovers….if the writings good…I’ll read it! Thanks for the info on Soldier of Fortune – I think it’s one of Shelley’s I don’t already have:)

    1. Hi Maria,

      I’m like you. I’ll read most tropes because a skilful writer can make anything believable and suck me in, but I do have a particular fondness for reunited lovers and second chances. My upcoming Samhain release, Past Regrets features reunited lovers too.

  2. I love the premise of Soldier of Fortune and as Harlie mentioned, very relevant for today. I’m glad to see it getting some coverage.

    Re: tropes
    I love ‘reunited lovers’ and ‘fish out of water’ stories. Secret baby stories–not so much. It would have to take some unusual circumstances for a woman not to tell her one-time lover he had a child on the way.

    1. Hi Maria, and thanks for stopping by. Secret babies are a plot that is difficult to pull off given our modern way of life with all sorts of combos when it comes to families. I think this trope works much better in a historical setting when the social mores were very different.

So what do you think?