Author: Wendy S. Marcus
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – LOVESWEPT
Rating: 4 stars
Provided by Publisher
Blurb: As a dancer who creates mesmerizing visions onstage, Neve James is looking for the same kind of stability in her love life. Her pen pal, Rory McRoy, is on leave from deployment in Afghanistan, so she heads to Boston to surprise him. After corresponding for months as part of a “Support Our Troops” initiative—and exchanging dozens of “Read When You’re Alone” letters—Neve knows what Rory likes, and she intends to fulfill his every fantasy. But all they get are a few blissful moments together before they’re interrupted by a woman claiming to be Rory’s fiancée.
Rory has fallen hard for Neve’s letters. When he finally meets her in person, he has to have her, right then and there—until Neve takes off in a fit of anger. Forced to return to Afghanistan before he can fix things between them, Rory waits four agonizing months to prove that he’s not the man Neve thinks he is. But by the time he arrives in New York, she’s already made up her mind. Luckily, Rory never backs down from a challenge, and he’s prepared to put everything on the line for love.
Review: I like my romances with layers, like an onion, and this book was packed with ’em. There was the wounded soldier with PTSD. There was the damaged girl with a promiscuous past. There was the misunderstanding, the low self-esteem, the bad guy, the near-rape, and the “we don’t have a future.” With so much going on, it was imperative that the plot line stay focused and contain a believable narrative. Wendy Marcus was able to do that and more by bringing the story of a soldier and a dancer to life in this richly compelling story with believable characters suffering life-changing events. The naughty pen-pal letters didn’t hurt, either!
Neve starts the book off by sending a pen pal letter to a soldier in Afghanistan. It’s hysterical, sweet and honestly endearing, and you just know the soldier that gets it is going to love it. She blatantly offers to rock his world with a sexy letter the next time but cautions him she won’t if he’s in a relationship and warns that he’d better not be a “dog” and lie to her. When Rory writes back, he’s just as charming and unassuming as you’d ever want, and they immediately develop an intense and open friendship, building a rapport that allows them to confide in each other the things they’d never tell anyone close to them in the real world. When Rory comes home on leave eight months later, Neve shows up in Boston to give him a “fantasy” he’d described to her. Unfortunately, it gets messed up by the unwitting entrance of one of his co-workers at his family’s bar–thus the “big” misunderstanding. Neve leaves in a huff, sure that he’s betrayed her and actually has a girlfriend.
Rory tries to fix the problem but has to return to Afghanistan before he can. When he gets out of the Army several months later, he shows up at Neve’s doorstep in New York, determined to make her understand before he goes home to Boston. He didn’t know that she’d just undergone a procedure that had left her dangerously sick and really needing a friend. Cue perfect timing. With her need for someone to help her high and her guard low, it’s the perfect time to get her to listen.
Can he fix this? And will he be able to convince her to give them a shot?
This story dealt with a lot of complicated issues like abandonment, adoption, PTSD, and promiscuity and its cause/affect on women’s self-esteem. All of these subjects are deep and any one of them is enough to fill a book, but in combination they’re a veritable $hit$storm. Just like life, right? I think they were handled really realistically in this book and done well; the hero was also handled sensitively and I appreciate the fact that he wasn’t your typical tall, dark and handsome alpha. He was a little height-challenged ::ahem:: and it still worked really well in the story line. I liked that these two weren’t perfect and that they had multiple issues developing in their character’s arcs, not just one. While I felt there were some holes in the plot that made me play catch up, overall I really enjoyed this book. Good read about interesting characters.