When Major Aaron Bricewick is rescued from Afghanistan terrorists, he thinks the worst is over. But his personal journey is just beginning... The first surprise is the amputation of one of his legs. The second is the woman he left behind, now a widow with a 4-year-old son - and his new prosthetist (artificial limb maker). He vows that losing his leg won't derail his career. But maintaining his outward appearance as a got-it-together officer becomes increasingly difficult as he faces one personal demon after another - and sees his career aspirations slipping away. And though he has no intention of expanding his life to include a woman, his heart has other ideas - and he finds himself questioning the very foundation of his personal beliefs. When violence - and unexpected redemption - touch his life again, Aaron must make a stand. Which will he choose: duty or love?
When I first discovered this book I knew I had to read it because of the subject matter. As a disabled person myself, I was drawn to a character who was recently disabled to see how the author would deal with this part of the character's life. After turning the last page I'm happy to report that the character of Aaron is very realistic. He's realistic in a way that's heart breaking to see as he struggles to accept his limitations and cope with the kind of man he's become. Between the physical pain and mental heartache is a man that hits rock bottom only to build himself back up again through the love of a good woman and a belief in a higher power.
Helping him cope with the changes to his life is ex-girlfriend Holly who's an expert with prothesis and someone who's gone through her own traumatic life changes. Still recovering from the loss of her husband, Holly is leery about becoming involved with another man. She ultimately gives in after seeing the pain he's in and gives him the support he needs to do what must be done. Holly is a strong heroine who's supportive of Aaron and doesn't let him give up. No matter how low things get for him, she's still there. Once they finally decide on having a relationship, their sexual interludes are nicely paced throughout the story and sweetly natured with just a hint of steaminess.
Religion has an important place in this story as the author uses prayer and the bible to give help to Aaron through his struggles. A secondary character brings God and the power of prayer to Aaron's life in a somewhat subtle, somewhat blatant way. Those not very religious might have problems with this part of the story but I didn't find it too invasive.
Along with talk of religion came a mystery surrounding the mission that led to Aaron's torture. It turns out that there's corruption amongst the higher ranks and it's harming soldiers. Aaron slowly unravels the mystery and although there's a conclusion to this aspect of the story, it's not the most satisfying. Considering this, I wish Aaron's recovery had remained in the forefront.
All in all this was a satisfying story full of gut wrenching moments and examples of the power of love. The characters were believable and easy to relate to and I recommend this book to those wanting a bit of realism to their romances.
My rating for this is a B+
*I received this from the author in exchange for my honest review.