Author: Jen Frederick
Genre: New Adult Romance
Twenty-five-year-old Sgt. Gray Phillips is at a crossroads in his life: stay in the Marine Corps or get out and learn to be a civilian? He’s got forty-five days of leave to make up his mind but the people in his life aren’t making the decision any easier. His dad wants him to get out; his grandfather wants him to stay in. And his growing feelings for Sam Anderson are wreaking havoc with his heart…and his mind. He believes relationships get ruined when a Marine goes on deployment. So now he’s got an even harder decision to make: take a chance on Sam or leave love behind and give his all to the Marines.
Twenty-two year old Samantha Anderson lost her husband to an IED in Afghanistan just two months after their vows. Two years later, Sam is full of regrets—that she didn’t move with her husband to Alaska; that she allowed her friends to drift away; that she hasn’t taken many chances in life. Now, she’s met Gray and taking a risk on this Marine could be her one opportunity to feel alive and in love again. But how can she risk her heart on another military man who could share the same tragic fate as her husband?
THIS WAS ONLY TEMPORARY, I reminded myself, as Samantha so sweetly kissed me back. I’m only here for a short time I reminded myself but as I felt her tongue stroke the side of my tongue, as she nipped her teeth against my lip, I wanted to just drown in the sensation. Her scent filled my head and the air around us shrank until all I knew was her small body sitting so close to mine. I moved my hand from her shoulder to cup her neck and angled her face for deeper penetration. I licked every inch inside of her mouth until the taste of her was all that I knew on my tongue.
And all that time I stared in to her green eyes and not once did she look like she was anywhere but right here with me. I saw my reflection there. Her heartbeat was made wild by my kisses.
And temporary was the farthest thing from my mind.
As a rule, Harlie doesn’t read NA. She lets Pink do it since its her generation. When I was in my 20’s, I was happy, partied, worked and really didn’t have a care in the world. I had a great childhood, wasn’t abused, didn’t do drugs, had great friends and wasn’t tied down to a guy. Plus, I didn’t need a guy to make me happy. This is what I don’t “get” about NA. Everyone is so tortured, abused, needs a man/woman for completion in their life and generally unhappy. Yuck! If I want to read something like that…oh wait, Harlie doesn’t read “downer” books. So I’m sure you are thinking then why did I read this book? The blurb is what made me read the book. A widow at 20 and a Jarhead at 25. What could happen? Insta love? Surprise pregnancy? Jarhead hurt like her husband? Oh no, nothing like that happens in this book.
What I got was a very well-rounded look at what happens when a widow is surrounded by grief from her in-laws, herself and in some ways the town that she lives in. Sam was a strong character that didn’t know that she was strong. She didn’t wallow in it but she had shut herself off from ever-living again. Loving again and taking risks again. Her risk in life was Will her husband. What I didn’t like about Sam was how everyone worshiped the ground he walked on but honestly, I didn’t like him. He never thought of Sam. It was all about him and getting out town. In some ways, he was never good enough for her. He was selfish and it showed in Sam’s grief for him.
Gray, oh my lovely Gray! Decisions, decisions, decisions. I could understand where he was coming from…honestly. I still have friends that fly for the Air National Guard. In fact, one just got back from A-stan and it’s not easy at all. So Gray has decided that he has 45 days to decide the rest of his life. Little did he realize that he was going to meet the one woman who would change his life forever. I loved Gray. From his colorful language (around his fellow Marines) to his sweet demeanor with Sam and then to the realization that he royally screwed up…yes, I loved him. He was real. Relatable, had trust issues with women and delicious all at the same time. Ms. Frederick wrote a NA hero that wanted as a friend. (Even though I’m old enough to be his mother)
The secondary characters from Sam’s in-laws, Eve (Sam’s bartending buddy), Sam’s sister Bitsy, to the Jarheads that were Gray’s friends…I loved them all. Of course, I need to read Bo and Noah’s stories but that’s later. And no, this is a standalone book. You don’t have to read their stories to follow this one. What really shined about them was that they were as well written as Sam and Gray. Everything in the book was well written and flowed. Each chapter was written in both Sam’s and Gray’s POV which I LOVED. I knew each of the characters through their own eyes and each others. I’m really being to like this style of writing. I’m old so forgive me if I’m not into head hopping/trying to figure out whose POV to follow. 😉
I do need to caution my readers that this is book is spicy with a touch of erotic. Gray reminded me of Tessa Bailey’s dirty talking men that I love. Oh yes, Gray loved the dirty talk but it was appropriate for his age. A bit rough, somewhat awkward but never forced. Sam seemed to like it too. In fact, the sex scenes between Sam and Gray are very age appropriate. Never rushed, forced or out-of-place. It is hawt when it needs to be and sweet, too. Their growing love for each other wasn’t instant either. It was a slow build, even if the sex came first.
The ending was spot on, too. Watching Sam finally realize that she needed to make the move forward and it was HER decision not someone else’s was *sniff* great. She was always strong…but no one around her would let her be that way. Gray…taking up knitting. I really wanted to kiss him for that and the scenes in the “yarn store” were hilarious, too. Truly, you really need to read this book. You will laugh, fight back some tears but in the end root for Sam and Gray for their HEA. I can’t wait to see the next Marine/Woodlands male to fall. 🙂
Remember, Harlie doesn’t read NA but she has a new author to stalk and read. Ms. Frederick wrote an honest book about 20 somethings that have seen too much in their young lives. What sets it apart is the writing, the realistic portrayal of her characters and no ANGST! 🙂
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1kl4Gd9
Bestselling author Jen Frederick lives with her husband, child, and one rambunctious dog. She’s been reading stories all her life but never imagined writing one of her own. Jen loves to hear from readers so drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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