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I'll be home for Christmas
A batch of special Christmas cookies helps a wounded ex-Ranger remember the love of his life. A surprise phone call reunites a woman with the soldier who once broke her heart. There's no place like home for ...
I'll be home for Christmas
A batch of special Christmas cookies helps a wounded ex-Ranger remember the love of his life. A surprise phone call reunites a woman with the soldier who once broke her heart. There's no place like home for the holidays, and there's no better way to spend them than with the one you love.
Edited by Angela James, this anthology includes:
Starting from Scratch by Stacy Gail
Hero's Homecoming by Rebecca Crowley
Stories are also available for purchase separately.
Posted November 28, 2013
Find this review and more at Lusty Penguin Reviews!
Gifts of Honor, a contemporary military romance anthology by Stacy Gail and Rebecca Crowley, contains heart-wrenching stories of love, second chances, and forgiveness.
Stacy Gail’s “Starting from Scratch” tells the story of injured Army Ranger Sully Jax and his wife, Lucy Crabtree. Returning from his last tour of duty with retrograde amnesia, Sully remembers everyone from his past, everyone except his wife, Lucy. Sully, definitely an alpha male, takes defending his country seriously which makes him hero. But, Sully is human too, and when he divorces Lucy, he hurts her even more than when he announced his last tour of duty. Sully is a complicated character because he still feels drawn to Lucy and inadvertently hurts her every time he sees her. With all of Sully’s struggles, you can’t help but fall in love with him. Lucy is a strong-willed character who truly loves Sully and misses him dearly even though he is home, which just drew her character to me. Gail, with her graceful writing style, beautifully and realistically shows the struggles of both characters—Sully with his lost memories and Lucy with her memories intact. Sully and Lucy are an endearing couple, and the stunning and absolutely wonderful way Sully gets his memories of Lucy back as well as his heartfelt apology will bring tears to your eyes.
Rebecca Rowley’s “Hero’s Homecoming” is the story of Captain Chris Walker and Beth Tate. Captain Walker returns from Afghanistan blinded by a suicide bomber. Chris and Beth had an intense four-day relationship before Chris went out on his last tour. Even though they continued to stay in contact with each other, Chris breaks off communications with her and ends the relationship with a terse two sentence e-mail after his injury. No one is more surprised than Beth when Chris calls six months later, needing a ride from the airport. Beth fell head over heels in love with Chris during those four days. As angry as she is, Beth’s loves runs deep, and she cannot leave Chris alone at Christmas. Beth doesn’t feel pity for Chris and does her best to learn how to help him while allowing him to remain independent too, which I just loved about her character. Battling in his own way, Chris comes to terms with his injury and his future, which is an amazing thing to see. Even though everyone knows that Chris is a hero, Chris is unable to see it. Beth eloquently shows Chris why he really is a hero, which brought a huge smile to my face. Better still, when Chris fully realizes what Beth went through while he was gone, his exquisitely heartfelt speech brought tears to my eyes.
Two captivating stories, two memorable couples, and two perfect endings make Gifts of Honor an irresistible anthology that is a definite must read for the Christmas season.
I received an eBook copy of the book for the purpose of an honest review. I was not compensated for this review, and all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Posted October 15, 2013
Two short stories, one theme, love, loss, and hope for the future. Includes a short novella by Stacy Gail, Starting from Scratch and an offering by Rebecca Crowley, Hero’s Homecoming. Both focus on returning soldiers who have been injured, damaged and almost broken in war and the women who loved them before they left. Both stories are short, yet filled with heart, and hope for the future when the present seems so bleak.
Starting from Scratch by Stacy Gail follows the return of Sullivan Jax after he is wounded in action and has no memory of the woman he loved, his wife, Lucy. Emotionally shredded by his indifference to her and his request for a divorce from a woman he doesn’t know, Lucy tries to pick up the pieces of her shattered heart. Sully struggles to remember their life together, but comes up blank. Could the magic of Christmas bring them back together if they start from scratch? Can Lucy’s heart survive another rejection?
Stacy Gail has poured just enough emotion into her story to make me feel for both Lucy and Sullivan. From the smell of Christmas baking to the internal struggles of each character, I was watching, just like the rest of their town, hoping for a Christmas miracle for these two!
Rebecca Crowley’s Hero’s Homecoming is a little darker and less sweet. Chris returns home after being blinded in battle, his world is now dark and he is faced with challenges a sighted person can never imagine. He met Beth just before he left for his tour of duty, but their connection was immediate and deep. Now he is home, and feels the need to protect Beth from becoming his caregiver, a job she is more than willing to take on, if he would just give her a chance. Beth is confused, because the tender lover she began to fall in love with was replaced by a bitter stranger. Are they ready to truly commit to each other? More importantly, can Beth get over her bruised feelings and understand what the future holds for them?
Rebecca Crowley wrote a very good story, but I didn’t believe that these two were meant for each other, they didn’t seem to have that connection that comes with time and truly knowing another person. A few days physically together followed by months of separation and correspondence just didn’t feel like enough to base a lifetime on. Ms. Crowley did paint incredibly vivid scenes regarding the trials faced by a sightless person and her ability to make Chris’ anguish feel real was a remarkable plus to this romantic novella.
I received an ARC edition from Carina Press in exchange for my honest review.