The author’s firsthand experience in the military lends realism to the story not normally found in romance novels. Readers will be transported to the front lines of the Iraq War as well as to the sick rooms of returning, injured soldiers. However, this realism is a double-edged sword. While the genuine emotion in the story is engrossing, it is hard not to get mired in the depression that the characters feel. The weight of guilt and regret is so heavy that it makes the relationship between Shane and Jen almost impossible. With a slow, difficult slide into love, many readers will be disappointed that there are very few happy moments in the hero and heroine’s lives.

Sergeant First Class Shane Garrison has one thing on his mind — keeping his troops safe when they deploy for Iraq. But on the night before they leave, Shane meets sexy Jen St. James and they share a kiss that neither can stop thinking about. Finding himself in the middle of Baghdad during the surge, Shane longs to return to Jen. He gets his wish, but not in the way he wants. Shane is severely injured and ends up back in the States with Jen as his nurse at the military hospital. As he deals with guilt for not being there to protect his men, Shane also must face his shame at being helpless in front of the beautiful woman that he has been fantasizing about. Jen knows all about being helpless in the hospital. She has recently recovered from breast cancer and has not been able to work through the destructive emotions stemming from her mastectomy. But perhaps with enough time Shane and Jen will be able to heal each other. (LOVESWEPT, Nov., dl., $2.99)

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Reviewed by: 
Dawn Crowne