Alex Thompson’s life is following the script. A pre-law student at Columbia University, she’s focused on her grades, her life and her future. The last thing she needs is to reconnect with the boy who broke her heart.
Dylan Paris comes home from Afghanistan severely injured and knows that the one thing he cannot do is drag Alex into the mess he’s made of his life.
When Dylan and Alex are assigned to the same work study program and are forced to work side by side, they have to make new ground rules to keep from killing each other.
Only problem is, they keep breaking the rules.
The first rule is to never, ever talk about how they fell in love.
This is a compelling and powerful romance. Potential readers should note that the book alternates between points of view; sometimes taking off where the last part left off, sometimes going back a bit in the story timeline. Though it took some time to get used to, overall it was enjoyable to see what each character was thinking.
When this story began, I feared it would become a typical formula romance, that the characters would deal with some simple misunderstanding, discover they did love each other and live happily ever after. This book turned out to be so much more; the author crafted depth to his characters and dealt with powerful issues such as post-traumatic stress, rape, and war. The author did a really good job portraying the emotions that these issues conjured up in the characters.
When circumstances throw Alex Thompson and Dylan Paris together, they are instantly drawn to each other; but they are young and have vastly different backgrounds and live on opposite coasts.
Dylan is damaged having had a tough childhood that has affected his outlook on life. Alex grew up in a life filled with privilege, a life constrained by her parent’s controlling ways.
If these two are going to find love, you quickly learn that Dylan will have to push past his fears and Alex is going to have to find the strength to stand up to her parents.
The use of the secondary characters in this book was well done; Mr. Sheehan-Miles uses Alex’s family and Dylan’s military colleague, Ray Sherman to build the story and character details. Sherman was used really well in the story; he was a bridge, he often forced communication. I really enjoyed this aspect of the story, it felt real.
I really enjoyed this book, I thought it portrayed a real picture of mental illness, in this case PTSD and I truly enjoyed that the characters have to work through this; it was not just fixed overnight.
I don’t usually enjoy YA books as I typically prefer a well written story with steamy scenes but this book transcended that.
Here is my review for book 2, A Song for Julia.
I was provided a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
Charles has been a soldier, nonprofit executive, short order cook, IT manager and run a restaurant. He doesn’t believe in specialization. He currently works as a communications and outreach specialist for a law firm representing disabled veterans.
Charles lives in Bethesda, Maryland with his wife Veronica and their two children.