Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Book review: Loving You Is Easy by Wendy S. Marcus

I like reading romance featuring soldiers returning home from war, and trying to get back to a normal life. I like reading how finding love helps them getting over the horrors they witnessed during the war. So when I hosted this book during the blog tour, I put it on my TBR list straight away. I didn’t have time to review it for the blog tour, though, so a little time passed before I bought it and actually had time to start reading it.

The first few pages pulled me right in. The book starts with Brooke writing a letter to a soldier deployed overseas, Shane Develen, and his reply to her letter. I’ve always liked the idea of keeping in touch with soldiers overseas, who must feel terribly alone away from home and witnessing awful things every day. I admire those men and women who put their lives on the line to protect others and maintain peace, and giving back to them with a few nice words and a little human affection is the least we could do.

After these letters, there’s a prologue, describing Shane coming home on a short leave and Brooke showing up at the airport to surprise him. I’m a sucker for soldiers coming home to their loved ones—just like Brooke. I think it’s extremely touching and soooo romantic, and I really liked reading it. However, even though their interactions made me smile, I honestly could’ve done without the bedroom scene (not going to say more, but suffice it to say I don’t particularly like graphic scenes thrown in for no particular reason, and I felt this was one of those—but then again, this is only my personal opinion, so you might find it fits perfectly where it is).

Fast forward a couple of months. Brooke wakes up to find her whole life has been turned upside-down by some sexy pictures she’d given Shane and that have ended up on Facebook. Her career as a school teacher could be ruined, as well as her whole life—and her father’s political career. When a student makes worse claims, the police get involved and Brooke’s life spirals out of control. To make things worse, she hasn’t heard from Shane for two months and she doesn’t know what to think of it all.

These chapters had me hold my breath and feel uneasy. The tension and fear Brooke felt was palpable and made me feel as I was living it with her. I rooted for her but I had no idea if she’d ever manage to come out of it unscathed. Luckily, Shane walks in—or rather limps in, and offers her an escape: She can stay with him and his family until things calm down. Everything seems easy-peasy, right? They can spend time together, make up for lost time, get to actually act like boyfriend and girlfriend. Too bad Shane’s not the man Brooke met a few months before, both physically and psychologically and coexistence will turn out to be harder than Brooke thought.

All in all I liked this book. I liked the chemistry between Shane and Brooke, especially in the beginning when they were only pen pals. I liked their banter and I have to say I admired Brooke for her strength. In spite of Shane’s opinion that she was a delicate girl who belongs in the high society of New York City and not in his blue collar world, Brooke turns out to be anything but delicate. Underneath her expensive clothes and good manners, she’s a tough woman who knows how to stand up for herself—apart from her mother, the one person Brooke just can’t contradict or disappoint.

As far as Shane is concerned, I was a little torn. I liked him, but at times I wanted to slap his face; then my heart went out to him and I wanted to hug him. But then I wanted to slap him again. To say he’s moody would be an understatement, but it’s also quite understandable, after what he’s been through.

One thing that left me a little confused was Neve (Brooke’s best friend) and Rory’s (Shane’s soldier friend) story. I’m not sure if there will be a book about them, to resolve the whole matter, or this was it. In a way, it felt a bit like a cliffhanger, and it left me hanging there with lots of questions about what had really happened between them and why Neve hated Rory so much. I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get to know the whole story. 

To summarize, even though there were a couple of steamy scenes, which in my opinion could have been a little shorter and less descriptive, all in all the story flowed well, the dialogues felt real and there was the right amount of angst, tension and romanticism to keep me wanting to read more and get to the HEA. I would recommend this book to fans of romance novels featuring wounded war heroes—as well as heroines who’ll fight for their men.

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