Tuesday, November 29, 2016

First Step Forward by Liora Blake

Title: First Step Forward
Author: Liora Blake
My Rating: A+

Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series: Grand Valley #1
Main Characters: Cooper and Whitney
Release Date: November 2016
Publisher:  Pocket
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Pro-football player Cooper Lowry is off the field and into some trouble—in the form of a very alluring, very free-spirited apple orchard owner named Whitney Reed—in the first installment in Liora Blake’s all new Grand Valley series.After eight seasons playing pro-football, Cooper Lowry knows all the right answers.Is he stubborn, short-tempered, and impatient? Yes. Are jersey chasers more trouble than they’re worth? Absolutely. Has he ever imagined a life beyond the game? Nope.

Cooper has built an enviable career—the result of staying focused, working hard, and keeping his head on straight—even as his body takes the brunt. So when a hard hit during a Sunday home game leaves him in a dazed heap on the field, it’s nothing more than another day at the office. The only thing that’s different about this Sunday is a chance encounter with a certain fascinating, beautiful free-spirited woman. And some sternly-worded instructions from his coach to take a little time off and give his body the TLC it craves—before he does lasting damage.

Whitney Reed is a few months away from losing the organic fruit orchard she bought three years ago in the tiny town of Hotchkiss, Colorado. At the time, she was just looking for a place to get lost. Instead, she found a home, somewhere she could finally put down roots. Now foreclosure is knocking on her door—along with a grumpy, gorgeous football player who might be just what she never knew she needed.

A charming love story for romance and sports fans alike, First Step Forward is a sexy, heartwarming romp perfect for readers of Jennifer Probst, Kristan Higgins, and Julie James.
 


My Review:
I fell in love with this author's writing with her True series, but I was still astounded by just how much I loved this book and this story. With this book, this author just solidified her place on my auto-buy-author list. I loved this book so, so much!!

The book begins on game day when Cooper gets his bell rung and is trying not to let the fact that he's concussed show. As a result, he's about to pass out when he meets Whitney at the convenience store. Whitney has no idea who he is, although everyone in Denver knows their favorite receiver/running back (? I can't remember his exact position). She's only in town trying to get a loan for her apple orchard that's about to go into foreclosure...and the relationship develops from there. 

The author was incredibly creative in how she got these two characters together and how she kept them in touch, considering they live 200 miles apart and a world apart in lifestyles. It's also the middle of football season and Whitney has a farm she can't just leave. But she managed it and it was so good. I loved how the romance/relationship unfolded.

Although the two seem to come from completely different lives, it was interesting to see the parallels between their lives. Cooper is 34...for a pro player, he's at the end of his career. His body is getting more and more beat up every time he goes out onto the field. For Whitney, she's still new in her career, but it also looks to be coming to an end as she's about to lose her farm...lose her dreams. They are both facing the loss of their dreams...and trying not to admit to that reality.

The author also captured the details so well for both of the completely different careers...and made them both so interesting even though they are nothing alike. We have a pro football player and an apple farmer...and I fell in love with both of them and their careers. Both perspectives were really interesting.

A lot of the story takes place at Whitney's orchard in this little town of Hotchkiss. I'm so excited about the possibilities for future stories from this small town because there is a plethora of really interesting characters to choose from. The author set up a fantastic series with this first book. The only problem...it's going to be hard for her to go up from here. This was pretty much contemporary romance perfection in my opinion.

I HIGHLY recommend this book and cannot wait for another installment to this series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan

Title: Miracle on 5th Avenue
Author: Sarah Morgan
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance  
Series: From Manhattan with Love #3
Main Characters: Eva and Lucas
Release Date: November 2016
Publisher:  Harlequin
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Look for Miracle on 5th Avenue, the exciting new novel from Sarah Morgan, available from HQN books Nov 29, 2016. Pre-order your copy today!

It will take a Christmas miracle for two very different souls to find each other in this perfectly festive fairy tale of New York! 

Hopeless romantic Eva Jordan loves everything about Christmas. She might be spending the holidays alone this year, but when she's given an opportunity to house-sit a spectacular penthouse on Fifth Avenue, she leaps at the chance. What better place to celebrate than in snow-kissed Manhattan? What she didn't expect was to find the penthouse still occupied by its gorgeous—and mysterious—owner. 

Bestselling crime writer Lucas Blade is having the nightmare before Christmas. With a deadline and the anniversary of his wife's death looming, he's isolated himself in his penthouse with only his grief for company. He wants no interruptions, no decorations and he certainly doesn't appreciate being distracted by his beautiful, bubbly new housekeeper. But when the blizzard of the century leaves Eva snowbound in his apartment, Lucas starts to open up to the magic she brings…This Christmas, is Lucas finally ready to trust that happily-ever-afters do exist?


My Review:
Hands down, this has been my favorite of the series (in what has been a great series.) The romance was so quirky and unexpected between the two really interesting characters. I enjoyed the evolution of the story and watching the story unfold. 

This book is completely an opposites attract story and these two never would have come together if fate...and a grandmother...hadn't forced the issue. Eva focuses on the good in everything, although this last year and in particular this holiday season has tested the limits of her resilience. See, a year ago, the only person left in Eva's family died. Now she's all alone. Yes, she has good friends, but that doesn't fix the absence of family. So, to get through the holiday season, she's completely thrown herself into the busyness of her concierge business...which leads her to Lucas's apartment. 

Lucas is a bestselling horror novelist. He's dealing with his own emotional turmoil which is always hardest during Christmas, the season when his wife died after slipping on the ice. Because of that hardship, his writer's block is getting the best of hi this year. And to keep people away from him, he's told everyone that he's in Vermont until the book is done. So, his grandmother hires Eva to come into his penthouse apartment to decorate and cook enough meals to carry him throughout the season. But when she arrives just as a blizzard is winding up, she's shocked to find Lucas in residence.

Lucas is everything that Eva is not. He expects the absolute worst in everyone. He's a horror writer and he sees stories around every corner. He definitely has a bleak outlook on the world and has no idea how to handle Eva...and all of her pure sunshiney outlook on life. But as the storm rages, they're kind of stuck with one another. And then Lucas discovers that having her in the apartment has unlocked his writers block so he hires her to stay...until the book is done. She's the muse for the murderer in his new book...something that she doesn't realize.

This book is filled with all things wonderful. It takes place during the holiday season in NYC which is magical in itself. But the romance was also sweet and endearing. Both the characters are carrying a lot of emotional angst and that translated into making this an emotional read that I simply fell in love with. I loved it so, so much and definitely recommend it!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review, but midway through the book I ordered a copy for my keeper shelf because I loved this book so much.

Wrong For Me by Jackie Ashenden

Title: Wrong For Me
Author: Jackie Ashenden
My Rating: A-

Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series: Motor City Royals #2
Main Characters: Levi and Rachel
Release Date: November 2016
Publisher:  Kensington
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
After eight years in prison, Levi Rush is finally out and back on the gritty streets of Detroit to claim the future he was owed. A future that includes the one woman he’s wanted for years—his former best friend Rachel. She’s the reason he went inside and if getting her to do what he wants means buying the building that houses her tattoo studio and using it as leverage, then that’s what he’ll do. Because if there’s one thing he’s learned inside it’s that if you want to win, you have to play dirty.

Rachel Hamilton is a tattoo artist and one hell of a tough girl. Detroit is her home, and she’s determined to make it a better place. But her plans are threatened when her old friend Levi reappears and gives her an ultimatum: she gives herself to him body and soul, or else she and her business are out on the street. Levi’s got no room in his heart for anything but anger and the lust he’s been carrying around for so long. But the only thing stronger than the secrets of their shared past is their fiery attraction to each other . . .
 


My Review:

This story was so good...and heartbreaking, but that made it a highly emotional read which I happen to love.

Eight years ago, Rachel and Levi were best friends. They both also harbored crushes for the other person, but Rachel was still too young for Levi to act on anything. And then he protected her...a single punch against a man who was harassing her...the man fell wrong, hit his head, and died. Levi went to prison for 8 years for manslaughter. He is not the same kid that he was before. To make things worse, Rachel stayed completely away for all those eight years. Levi can't forgive that...and he's had 8 years to let that anger fester. Now he's back and he wants his pound of flesh.

To say Rachel and Levi's story is heartbreaking is putting it mildly. He's so angry and she's so guilty and they've both lost so, so much. I loved getting to read their story and watch them find their way through their issues. But this book is about so much more than just this couple and their relationship. It's about the dark side of Detroit's economy and those surviving the neighborhoods like Royal Road.

I loved everything about this book. I loved the idea of what Rachel has created with her tattoo shop and how she's embraced her art, her way. There were so many gorgeous little aspects to the story like that which made this book for me. I loved the book. Now I need to go back and read the first from the series and am anxiously awaiting for the third that's coming.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

To Love Jason Thorn by Ella Maise (audiobook)


Title:  To Love Jason Thorn
Author: Ella Maise
My Rating: A-
Narrator: Lidia Dornet and Sebastion York

Genre: Contemporary Romance / New Adult
Series: #1
Main Characters: Jason and Olive
Release Date: April2016 (audiobook)
Publisher: Tantor Audio 
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Jason Thorn… My brother’s childhood friend.

Oh, how stupidly in love with that boy I was. He was the first boy that made me blush, my first official crush. Sounds beautiful so far, right? That excitement that bubbles up inside you, those famous butterflies you feel for the very first time—he was the reason for them all. But, you only get to live in that fairytale world until they crush your hopes and dreams and then stomp on your heart for good measure. And boy did he crush my little heart into pieces.

After the stomping part he became the boy I did my best to stay away from—and let me tell you, it was pretty hard to do when he slept in the room right across from mine.

When tragedy struck his family and they moved away, I was ready to forget he ever existed.

Now he is a movie star, the one who makes women of all ages go into a screaming frenzy, the one who makes everyone swoon with that dimpled smile of his. Do you think that’s dreamy? I certainly don’t think so. How about me coming face to face with him? Nope still not dreamy. Not when I can’t even manage to look him in the eye.

Me? I’m Olive, a new writer. Actually, I’m THE writer of the book that inspired the movie he is about to star in on the big screen. As of late, I am also referred to as the oh-so-very-lucky girl who is about to become the wife of Jason Thorn.

Maybe you’re thinking yet again that this is all so dreamy? Nope, nothing dreamy going on here. Not even close.
 


My Review:
Overall: 4.25
Performance: 4.75
Story: 4.0

This is one of those series. I read/listened to book #2 before this one...so I kind of knew how this one was going to turn out...but really, is there ever really any doubt in romance? But I also kind of liked the story line in book #2 better, but I have a feeling if I had listened to this one first, I would have rated it just a tiny bit higher, because it was really a good book...just not quite as good as book #2.

Jason was always best friends with Olive's much older brother...and she always had a mad crush on him until he suddenly moved away and disappeared from their lives. Shortly after that Hollywood discovered him and he's America's heartthrob now...at least he would be if he could keep his pants on long enough to not be America's latest scandal. 

Since he left her life, Olive has put all her emotion into writing. That resulted in her first book becoming a runaway bestseller with a movie option and everything. They want Jason to star in the movie and that throws the two of them back together again. But this time with a twist...he needs her to fix his soiled reputation. What better way to fix things than by a romance with his childhood friend. 

It's a sweet story and was a complete joy to listen to. I adore these two narrators and would happily listen to them all day long. This was one of those audios where I was making up things to do around the house simply so I could listen to the book longer. 

The backstory between the two was phenomenal and added a lot to their romance. They both have such individual and skewed views on how things were back then...and now. It was fun to watch the story evolve to the point where their views suddenly became meshed as one. 

This is definitely one of those books that I highly recommend if you enjoy contemporary romance/new adult romance at all. 

Friday, November 25, 2016

First and First by Santino Hassell (audiobook)


Title:  First and First
Author: Santino Hassell 
My Rating: A
Narrator: Michael Ferraiuolo

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m) 
Series: Five Burroughs #3
Main Characters: Oli and Caleb
Release Date: September 2016 (audiobook)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press 
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Caleb Stone was raised on the Upper East Side, where wealth and lineage reigns, and “alternative lifestyles” are hidden. It took him years to come out to his family, but he’s still stuck in the stranglehold of their expectations. Caleb knows he has to build his confidence and shake things up, but he doesn’t know how… until Oliver Buckley enters the picture.

Oli is everything Caleb isn’t—risk-taking, provocative, and fiercely independent. Disowned by his family, Oli has made his own way in the world and is beholden to no one. After a chance encounter on New Year’s Eve, Caleb is smitten.

As Caleb sheds the insecurities that have held him back for years, he makes bold steps toward changing his career and escaping years of sexual repression. But for Caleb to take full control of his life, he has to be brave enough to confront his feelings and trust Oli with his heart.


My Review:
Overall: 4.5
Performance: 4.0
Story: 4.75

Knowing Caleb's backstory with David is key to this book. David and Caleb were involved, but David wasn't satisfied with Caleb, so he sought out other guys and excitement...that's how he ended up doing a threesome and  ultimately got involved with Raymond. That left Caleb on the outs, with huge doubts about his sexual prowess.

Enter Oli. Oli is everything that Caleb isn't. He loves to experiment and have fun in bed. The first night they get together, Caleb is so drunk that he embraces that and their night is seriously hot and heavy. Oli is hooked. He knows that wildcat lives inside Caleb and he makes it his mission to pull that experimental side to Caleb out as often as possible. 

But Caleb has grown up very repressed...and not just sexually. He's always had to act a certain way, look a certain way, present himself in a certain way to fit in with his family. He's bowed to those edicts. Even his homosexuality comes with restrictions. He can't act gay. But as he's around Oli more and more, he pulls at those binds that have held him controlled for so long. He wants more. He doesn't want to be alone any longer. He doesn't want to be the guy left behind because he's not enough. 

I also liked how the relationship developed between Caleb and his brother, Adrian, in this book. Regardless of anything else, that shows just what a good guy he is. He starts this new company mainly to help his half-brother to get out from under his father's thumb. Gah, I loved that about Caleb. 

I also really liked Adrian and Jace. They brought some unusual humor to the story. Jace propositioning Caleb was killing me. So much fun, especially since Caleb has such a horrible self-image. I loved that there were several men throughout the story who were into him, showing him that Oli was not a rarity...that he did have something to offer someone else, regardless of what David told him.

Overall, this has been my favorite book in the series so far. It didn't have the gritty feel that the other two books did, but I still loved it. I can't wait to read more. Book #4 is out...now the debate...do I read it or wait a few months for the audio? I do really like listening to these on audio.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Undercover by T.A. McKay

Title: Undercover
Author: T.A. McKay
My Rating: A-

Genre: Dark Romantic Suspense  (m/m)
Series: -
Main Characters: Ryden and Drake
Release Date: November 2016
Publisher:  -
Links to Purchase:

Sexual Intensity: erotic


Story Overview:
Drake Donovan is one of the good guys. He spends his life helping people who need it. Being a police officer is all he’s ever wanted to be, and there is nothing else that could ever compare.

After months of work he finally has a way in to the underground world he's been trying to close down. A trail of dead prostitutes has led him to a chat room and a man called Dreamfixer, but a late night meeting goes wrong his life changes forever.

Ryden Garrick has the life that nightmares are made of. Growing up with a father like his taught him everything he needed to know to run his area in one of Britain’s largest crime organisations. 

Guns, drugs, money laundering, and the area that Ryden excels in, prostitution. Running one of the largest male prostitution rings, one where anything is acceptable, even murder, is where he dedicates most of his time.

When Drake discovered the connection with the young dead bodies, all linked with a letter tattooed on their chest, he knew he had to do something. Now standing in front of the elusive Dreamfixer, he knows that life will never be the same.

When gathering evidence becomes the last thing he's thinking about he knows that he will have to make a decision. Follow his feelings or stay strong, doing what he was here to do. 
Now he has to decide between the job he loves and the man who could change everything.

Life for Drake was easy before he went Undercover.

My Review:
There's not a warning on this book, but it probably needs one. It's very dark, and I'm not saying that as it being something bad, because it's not. The book is fantastic, but there is a lot of graphic violence and you need to be prepared for that. Because flat out...one of these heroes is not a good guy. He inherited the family business from his father and has grown up with this world of violence as the norm. Someone defies him...he kills them. And a lot of that happens within the pages of the book. 

You've been warned, but keep reading because I did really like the book. The thing that makes it so good is that there's no way out of this. Drake is a cop. Ryden is obviously a criminal. There's absolutely no way they can have a happy ending...but this is a romance novel so...

And I'm sitting here fiddling with my laptop keys because I don't know what else to say without giving spoilers. The romance is unusual, but it completely worked for me. I loved the chemistry and the build-up. The entire time reading this book, my nerves were on edge not knowing what might come next. At about the 80% mark, the author went someplace I was sure she wasn't at that point. But she did...and it didn't ruin the story...at all. Seriously good story telling. 

Despite Ryden's violent life and world, T.A. McKay did an amazing job with this character, because she made me love him even though we should despise him. Through his feelings for Drake, she showed the reader how Ryden might be redeemed (note: I would love to have a revisit with these characters five years down the road to see how that redemption went.)

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was dark and I'll admit that I like dark at times. But there was never a time where I didn't like the MC's or how they treated one another. The story worked for me and I completely and totally fell in love with Ryden and Drake and their romance story. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Save of the Game by Avon Gale (audiobook)




Title:  Save of the Game 
Author: Avon Gale
My Rating: B+
Narrator: Scott R. Smith

Genre: Sports Romance (m/m)
Series: Scoring Chances #2
Main Characters: Riley and Ethan
Release Date: September 2016 (audiobook)
Publisher: Dreamspinner
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
6 hrs 22 mins

After last season’s heartbreaking loss to his hockey team’s archrival, Jacksonville Sea Storm goalie Riley Hunter is ready to let go of the past and focus on a winning season. His new roommate, Ethan Kennedy, is a loud New Yorker with a passion for social justice that matches his role as the team’s enforcer. The quieter Riley is attracted to Ethan and has no idea what to do about it.

Ethan has no hesitations. As fearless as his position demands, he rushes into things without much thought for the consequences.Though they eventually warm to their passionate new bond, it doesn’t come without complications. While trying to financially help Ethan, Riley must hide his family’s wealth so as not to hurt Ethan’s immense pride. For their relationship to work, Ethan will need to learn when to keep the gloves on and let someone help him—and Riley will have to learn it’s okay to let someone past his defenses.
 
My Review:
Overall: 4.25
Performance: 4.75
Story: 4.0

Riley...I kind of loved him. He's intense and a bit different from the rest of the team. He's the goalie which comes with its own set of eccentricities...and Riley has a few more on top of the normal ones. He's superstitious, and reserved. He never shows much emotion...just does his job and does it well. But everything changes once Ethan and his family start to get under Riley's skin. 

Riley's upbringing was such that he's never gotten attached to other people. But Ethan doesn't have boundaries. He just barges in and assumes everything will work out. I loved the way of them worked together. For Ethan, family is everything. Riley doesn't understand this. He's never had that kind of relationship with anyone...but suddenly he finds himself taken into Ethan's family like he's one of theirs too. It was so sweet to se this kid who needed that kind of love so desperately...both from Ethan and from his family. It made for a great read that I thoroughly enjoyed. 

I'm truly loving this series and this book brought glimpses of Jared and Lane back, too, so that made it even better. I highly recommend all the books in this series. This was another fun one...lots of great hockey, sexy nights spent exploring new things, and an intriguing yet revolting amount of coconut water mixed in. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Breakaway by Avon Gale (audiobook)

Title:  Breakaway 
Author: Avon Gale
My Rating: A+
Narrator: Scott R. Smith

Genre: Sports Romance (m/m)
Series: Scoring Chances #1
Main Characters: Lane and Jared
Release Date: August 2016 (audiobook)
Publisher: Dreamspinner
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
7 hrs 33 mins

Drafted to play for the Jacksonville Sea Storm, an NHL affiliate, twenty-year-old Lane Courtnall’s future looks bright, apart from the awkwardness he feels as a gay man playing on a minor league hockey team. He's put his foot in his mouth a few times and alienated his teammates. Then, during a rivalry game, Lane throws off his gloves against Jared Shore, enforcer for the Savannah Renegades. It’s a strange way to begin a relationship.

Jared’s been playing minor league hockey for most of his career. He’s bisexual and doesn’t care if anyone knows. But he’s determined to avoid another love affair after the last one left him devastated. Out of nowhere a one-nighter with rookie Lane Courtnall gives him second thoughts. Lane reminds Jared why he loves the game and why love might be worth the risk. In turn, Jared hopes to show Lane how to be comfortable with himself on and off the ice. But they’re at different points in their careers, and both men will have to decide what they value most.
My Review:
Overall: 4.75
Performance: 5.0
Story: 4.75

Hands down, this is easily one of the best audiobooks I've ever listened to. This narrator was phenomenal...his voices for Lane and Jared made the book so freaking good. I loved this story and characters. 

This is one of those books...the story so unlikely to work as a romance novel, but it does and OMG, I don't know if I've ever smiled and laughed out loud as much as I have with this story. Lane...is young...and brash...and he has absolutely no filter. He's also a jock and may not be the absolute smartest guy around. All of that combined makes him fabulously funny. He's just so young and naive. He says things that most other people wouldn't even think, but he doesn't mean any harm. He's just a sweet young thing...without a filter. I loved him so, so much. 

On the other hand, there's Jared. He's the team veteran. The team enforcer. He fights. He disciplines. He knows his place on the team. The two play on opposite teams and meet when Lane decides to use Jared to make a point to his teammates (who hate him because he doesn't ever consider what he says before he mouths off.) And I love how much Lane throws Jared at first. He has no idea how to take this young guy, but then things start to get really 'good' between them.

Seriously, I have so much love for this book. It was phenomenal. Some books are hard to judge whether that would be the case when I listen to them on audio because the narrator adds so much emotion and inflection to the character. The book was great, but the narration made it amazing. Definitely one of my favorite reads/listens for the year. I loved this book and HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT!!


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Not A Hero by Sarah Robinson

Title: Not A Hero
Author: Sarah Robinson
My Rating: B+

Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series
Main Characters: Miles and Zoe
Release Date: October 2016
Publisher:  
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot


From the bestselling author of the Kavanagh Legends MMA series, Sarah Robinson’s Not A Hero is an emotional standalone Marine romance where love battles trauma, and there can only be one victor.

Former Marine, Miles Kydd, is trying to readjust to civilian life after ending his career and returning to his small home town when he learned his father was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Once the town hero and star quarterback, Miles no longer feels like the man he was, or who he’s expected to be—possibly because his demons have followed him home from Afghanistan.



Meeting Zoe Brooke, his father’s live-in nurse, gives Miles the slightest glimmer of hope that he can still find happiness despite the dark secrets he holds inside. The chemistry between them is undeniable, and together they are explosive—in more ways than one.

A helper at her core, Zoe is more than willing to care for Miles’s heart, but not at the expense of her own, and she’s not afraid to tell him that. She knows what having a painful past is like, and she wants to help him with his, if he’ll let her.

Things get complicated fast when Miles realizes burying his secrets isn’t actually the same as healing from them and if he wants the girl, he’s going to have to tell her the truth—the one thing he can’t do.

Publisher's Note
This book contains bonus content, including a free novella and excerpts.


This book is suggested for 18+ years of age, contains graphic content, sensitive subject matters, and sexually explicit material.
My Review:
There are a lot of really serious themes running throughout this story. Miles is home as a civilian for the first time in 8 years (?...not sure about that timeframe). His last deployment as a Marine didn't go so well and he has a serious case of PTSD...the kind that alters his reality and sometimes makes him a danger to himself and others. But he's come home to a father who's dying...also not an easy thing.

His father's live-in nurse is Zoe. She's had her own hard road after an abusive alcoholic ex-husband left her with mental scars. The PTSD and Miles' father's situation would be enough stress for her, but Miles is also spending a lot of his time drinking his troubles away. Yeah, that causes some issues between them, too. They went to school together and Zoe always had a crush on him, but he was two years older than her and the star of the football team. Every girl had a crush on him. He had no idea she was alive back then. 

But now they're living in the same house, in close quarters, and very attracted to one another. Things move on from there. 

Overall, I enjoyed this story. While I hated what they went through in the warzone, I liked the back story of where Miles's nightmares come from with his back story with his best friend, Tobin. (And gah...I'm worried about where Tobin is...his issues seem more serious than even Miles' were.) I liked the setting of the little house on the lake and adored Miles's father...gah, he was an excellent character. But Zoe has a great backstory too. It was just really a good book, and I thought the PTSD issue was handled brilliantly. I'm looking forward to someday getting to read Tobin's story.