Her Perfect Life

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Overview

Note: Original published by Signature Spotlight for the general market. In 2014, the author rewrote this book and created this Clean Read Edition.

While flying a routine border patrol mission over Iraq, Air Force Captain Katie Slater's plane is downed and hurtled deep into enemy territory.

Everyone thinks she's dead.? But Katie awakens to injury and captivity. She remains a hopeless P.O.W. for six long years. ...

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2006 Paperback Grade: B Catalog: Romance Harlequin General Synopsis: 268 pages. Everyone thinks she's dead...While flying a routine border patrol mission over Iraq, air force ... captain Katie Slater's plane is blown from... Read more Show Less

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Her Perfect Life

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Overview

Note: Original published by Signature Spotlight for the general market. In 2014, the author rewrote this book and created this Clean Read Edition.

While flying a routine border patrol mission over Iraq, Air Force Captain Katie Slater's plane is downed and hurtled deep into enemy territory.

Everyone thinks she's dead.? But Katie awakens to injury and captivity. She remains a hopeless P.O.W. for six long years. Finally, aided by a compassionate guard, she is rescued and returns home. Finally, she is free!

But the perfect life she had left behind with her husband, Sam, and her children, Molly and Jake, has vanished. Sam has remarried. Her children, who barely remember her, have another mother they love. And Katie's former copilot, C.D. Quade, her rock and confidant, is tormented by the guilt of having left her behind. Nothing is the same.

Katie has lost everything. She must come to terms with the loss, with her imperfect past, and her uncertain future. During her years of captivity, she shuttered to survive. Now, what of her memories is real and what is tricks of the mind? Uncertain, she's determined to confront the truth. To put the military behind her, and take a chance on a dream of opening her own garden center. She finds peace in the garden. Yet many obstacles remain and even she is unconvinced she has the strength to start a new life. Can she begin again? Rebuild her perfect life?

Endorsements

"Katie Slater's whole life is a war story, literally and figuratively, and her only weapons have been ripped from her soul. To fight her way to freedom, she dons an emotional armor that only love can pierce." -Joyce Holland, Northwest Florida Daily News

"Her Perfect Life is the perfect read. From the very first sentence, I was hooked by this engaging and heartfelt story of a woman's journey through danger, adventure and romance." -Susan Wiggs, NYT bestselling author

Awards

* Reviewers' Choice Award, Single Title Novel of the Year

* RITA® Award Finalist

* RT Best Novel of the Year with a Romantic Element?

* RT Career Achievement Award Nomination for Series Romantic Adventure?

* ?Harlequin Readers' Choice Award Finalist, Best Book of the Year?

* Holt Medallion Award Finalist, Best Mainstream Novel of the Year

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Editorial Reviews

Northwest Florida Daily News - Joyce Holland
Katie Slater’s whole life is a war story, literally and figuratively, and her only weapons have been ripped from her soul. To fight her way to freedom, she dons an emotional armor that only love can pierce
New York Times Bestselling Author - Susan Wiggs
Her Perfect Life is the perfect read. From the very first sentence, I was hooked by this engaging and heartfelt story of a woman’s journey through danger, adventure and romance.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780373836925
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 4/11/2006
  • Series: Signature Select Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.60 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

A USA Today best selling and award-winning author, Vicki Hinze, has written over thirty-five books (fiction and nonfiction) and hundreds of articles that have been published in as many as 63 countries. She is also a columnist for the Social-In Network (Global).

Vicki writes most often in Romantic Suspense, Thrillers with a romantic element, and Military Romance or Military Thrillers either for the general market or for the Christian market. She has written series, political thrillers, suspense, paranormal romantic suspense, time-travel suspense, women's action adventure, thrillers, psycho-thrillers and contemporary romance with a strong mystery element. All of her books contain elements of suspense, mystery and romance. She enjoys genre-blending and is known as a trailblazer for doing so.

After her fourth published novel, she returned to college and earned an MA in creative writing then a Ph.D. in Philosophy (Theocentric Business and Ethics). She founded Writers' Aids to mentor other authors, which evolved into Writers' Zone, where she answers questions on craft, the business of writing and the writing life and maintains a free online writers' library, ON WRITING, on her website, www.vickihinze.com. By request, some of those articles are on Kindle. Additional podcasts, workshops, lectures and feature articles are also in the writing library.

Hinze is a sponsor of The Book Club Network, International Thriller Writers, and American Christian Fiction Writers.

Between family and writing commitments, she has little time for hobbies and her other interests. Her favorite non-writing activity is home-improvement projects. Knocking down walls appeals to her. For fun, she designs book covers.

Organizations in which she is active: ITW, MWA, RWA, ACFW, NINC, ACRA, AG, AWSA, Emerald Coast Writers, the Book Fun Organization. She is the founder of Christians Read.

Hinze's blog (vickihinze.com/blog) is divided into five categories: My Kitchen Table (chat), On Writing (Craft, business, life of writing), My Faith Zone (spiritual journey), Thinking Aloud (a thought to ponder for busy days), and Vicki Hinze Today, which contains all kinds of articles from multiple sources on things of interest relating to the book industry.

Raised in New Orleans, Hinze then married a Hurricane Hunter/Special Ops officer. They and their children moved every few years. Mississippi, California, Illinois, Florida and Texas. They settled in Northwest Florida.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2009

    Gotta Read This Book

    I found this book to be really really good. You can't put the book down once you started to read it. I got teary at the sad parts of the story. I recommand it to everyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2007

    A Significant Tribute to Women Prisoners of War in Modern Times

    Only Vicki Hinze could write such an insightful, passionate, human drama and still call it romantic suspense. Yet, if Danielle Steel had written this moving story, there would be an immediate clamor to adapt it for television, especially since it is about a woman air force pilot shot down over Iraq in the Gulf War. This novel should be on screen. It delves into the depths of a woman, who, by virtue of being a combat pilot, makes her a different breed from other heroines. Few authors explore what drives a woman to fly in male-dominated skies. Is it competition? Is it arrogance? To fly today¿s fighter jets she has to be precise, smart and have calculating nerve under stress, the same as any top gun. Robert Gandt, a former top gun himself, writes military thrillers and depicts two kinds of women combat pilots in his stories: those who use their gender to make a political statement¿they have ambition but they are actually unsuitable to fly¿and those who are born with flying in their blood. He recognizes there is no sexual difference between real ¿flyers.¿ There is only their desire to soar and to feel the spiritual freedom birds experience. A born flyer is a very independent being. To be in a military environment would seem to be an oxymoron for such independent souls, but for all of their apparent daring and brash nerve, genuine pilots are very grounded people. They have an innate discipline and spiritual awareness of ¿being at one¿ with their aircraft, its flight/ground crew and, at times, with the supreme maker of the Universe. Understanding this is what makes Vicki Hinze¿s heroine, Captain Katie Cole Slater, a fascinating study. Her will to survive through torture and rape¿endless days, months, years of captivity¿stems as much from the natural courage of being a woman, who is a wife and mother, as it does from her innate drive to become a pilot. Her mantra¿¿That which is endured is conquered¿¿builds momentum through the novel as she gains remarkable wisdom and strength during her journey into hell as a prisoner of war and through smashed dreams when she returns. She rises above the expected bitterness that many in her shoes would feel, and she does it in a most credible way¿through the interior dialogue the character shares with the author¿s readers. This story starts with Katie¿s rescue from imprisonment in Iraq six years after her plane was shot down, but flashbacks as her full memory returns of her terrible ordeal depict what she suffered and how she suffered. What sustains her is her dream of returning home to her husband and two children, but once she is returned to them, she has to face how their lives have changed. Believing she was dead, her husband remarried, and the children adore their stepmother. Katie¿s former co-pilot also survived the crash but can no longer fly. His friendship becomes her lifeline, for the hope that kept her alive is dead. Now she has to rebuild her life completely without her husband and reclaim her children without alienating them. I dare say the reason Katie triumphs over such devastating blows may be because she is a woman and not a man. She benefits from a woman¿s nurturing nature. Nevertheless, Katie¿s psychological resolution is in sharp contrast to the experience of nurses returning from Viet Nam as depicted in the TV series, ¿China Beach,¿ where the lead character became an alcoholic when she couldn¿t reconcile her life at war with her life in peacetime. Katie triumphs. She finds love she reclaims her two children without disrupting or separating them from everyone they love and she channels the sense of achievement she gained from flying into a different passion designing gardens. She has a whole life she loses it, and she regains it fully, but at a price. Traumatic flashbacks still possess her ten years later, but she makes peace with them¿she lets them go. And they gradually fade into the past where they belong. Captain Katie Cole Slater¿s personal belief system

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2007

    Her Perfect Life

    Shot down flying a mission over Iraq, Captain Katie Slater has been a prisoner of war for six years. Suffering abuse at the hands of her captors in silence, the only thing that has kept Katie sane is her need to see her husband and children again. Katie lies in her cell at night mourning the death of her copilot and wishing for the day someone will find her in her desert hell and she can once again be free. Katie's wish comes true days later when she is liberated. Back in Florida, Katie is one unhappy captain. Something is wrong and no one will tell her what it is. Demanding answers and refusing to cooperate with her doctor, Katie wants to see her husband and her children and she wants to see them now. Katie's doctor finally relents and Katie is allowed to see her husband Sam after six long years. The reception Katie was expecting from Sam doesn't happen. When Sam comes clean about his life and their children, Katie has to be sedated. C. D. Quade, Katie's copilot, can't believe the love of his life is alive! Filled with joy but tremendous guilt for all she suffered in the last six years, C. D. demands to see her. What he finds is a shell of the woman he has loved through life and death. Vowing that he will not leave Katie, C. D. sets out to prove to her just how much she is loved. Katie has to fight her way back to normalcy. Refusing to talk about her time in captivity, she is unable to come to grips with her abuse and let it go. With C. D. by her side and her children slowly learning to love her again, Katie has a fight on her hands--a fight she will not let her now dead captors win. Her Perfect Life by Vicki Hinze absolutely tore my heart out. I can't imagine being in Katie's shoes and the fact the story is so realistic made Her Perfect Life dearer to me. I wanted to choke her husband Sam but then couldn't fault him for decisions he made. As much as I couldn't stand Sam, I loved C. D. Patient, kind, and extremely supportive, I thought him the perfect love for Katie. As for Katie, if she were a real person, I would honor her bravery and service. Her character was that well written. Her Perfect Life was emotional, romantic, and just an all around poignant read. It made me angry, laugh, cry, and then smile for a job well done. I feel Ms. Hinze honors the bravest of the brave with Her Perfect Life and I am proud to have read it. Talia Reviewed for Joyfully Reviewed

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2006

    Powerful, emotional story

    This book is a treasure, one I'll probably re-read again. A woman who's lost six years of her life in captivity returns to have her world turned upside down. Expecting a clichéd TV-movie script, I was delighted to read instead a story about real people struggling with emotions and adjustments. No stereotypes or predictible plot here. Of all of this author's military stories, this is my favorite. And that's saying a lot!

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    tense character study

    For six years Air Force pilot Katie Cole Slater has been a prisoner of war held by a warlord in Iraq, but now is free to go home. She survived her ordeal due to her now frayed photos of her husband Sam and their two children Molly and Jake. First the army psychiatrists want to know more about what went wrong. Katie is uncooperative as she is irate that they keep her from her family and that they assume team when she was abandoned and her team was that of one. Her motto now is do not depend on anyone except yourself. However, even home is not what it was when she went on active duty as her spouse Sam has remarried as she was assumed dead. Heartbroken her only connection is her copilot C.D. Quade who she thought died when their plane crashed. Still she is irate with C.D. because he failed her in the desert by leaving her behind. C.D. feels guilty for what happened to Katie, the only woman he loves. He plans to help her readjust though her world has seemingly collapsed in the time she spent as a captive. --- HER PERFECT LIFE is a tense character study that grips readers from the moment that a justified belligerent Katie comes home and has to deal with the brass, a remarried former husband, and the belief that her pal deserted her. The story line is totally Katie as she adjusts to life in a strange America after six plus years of captivity. The romance between her and C.J. augment a strong look at a former POW trying to regain her equilibrium. --- Harriet Klausner

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