Ex-ballerina Ellie Bell has twenty-four days left until her self-imposed man-less year is up. No more falling for the wrong kind of guy—charming, sexy, bad. Why can't she find someone sweet like Charlie, her soldier pen pal? His e-mails meant the world to her, and she can't stop thinking about him…until she meets Hunter, whose muscles and cocky smile threaten to have her relapsing.
Before Charlie "Big Game Hunter" Johansson's last tour of duty, he'd gone through women like crazy. But after connecting on a real, emotional level via letters with his best friend's sister, Charlie's ready for a relationship—with Ellie. But then her brother introduces him as Hunter. Proving he's no longer a player by becoming her dance partner for an Army benefit seems like it could convince both siblings he's changed. Except the harder he falls for Ellie, the harder it is to come clean. Can he convince her to fall for the real him before it's too late?
Each book in the Perfect Kisses series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Book #1 - Playing at Love
Book #2 – Speaking of Love
Book #3 – Falling for Her Soldier
Book #4 – Making Waves
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Falling for Her Soldier
A Perfect Kisses Novel
By Ophelia London, Stacy Abrams, Alycia Tornetta
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2014 Mary A. Smith
All rights reserved.
Ellie paced in front of the mirrored wall, keeping an eye on her line of pigtailed students doing their final barre exercise. Every demi-plié might not have been perfect, but watching the little heads bob up and down in sync was like a shot of heaven to her soul.
"Aaand four." Ellie took an exaggerated wait for it pause, then threw a hand in the air. "Perfecto!"
With that, eight little girls dropped their expressions of focus and reverted back to giggling, rowdy four-year-olds.
Okay, torn knee or no torn knee, Ellie wouldn't change her profession for the world.
"Missus Ellie? What leotard are you wearing next time?" This caused the rest of the girls to huddle in a circle around Ellie's legs. She couldn't help laughing at the question; she got the same one after every class.
"Hmm." She tapped her chin, faux deep in thought. "Light blue or zebra stripes?"
There was a collective gasp. "Zebra! Zebra!"
It was decided. "That's my favorite, too!" Ellie cheered along with her little group. "Now get some water and don't forget to practice your élevés at home."
Eight tiny voices rang out that they wouldn't forget, then there was a noisy dash of slippers sliding across the glossy floor toward the studio doors. Eight parents awaited their girls in the outer room. Some she would get to know very well over the next few years, and others she would probably never see after year one. That was just how it went.
Ellie grabbed a bottle of water and crossed the room, gathering towels and pulling tape off the floor along the way, tidying up after her final class of the day.
"Hey, prima 'rina. How'd it go?" Jane stood at the open glass door, wearing a black tank top catsuit and an ultra-sheer red skirt that barely covered her cheeks. Even on the days when she was manning the front office and not teaching a class, Ellie's best friend was decked out like it was opening night.
"It was perfecto," Ellie answered. "Didn't you hear my ending call?"
"Every time," Jane said. "Lori's jazz class is canceled, so I'm going to lock up and grab lunch. Want to come?"
"I can't — Wait. Where are you going?"
Jane stopped in front of the mirrored wall and tightened her long, dark ponytail. "I was thinking The Phoenix."
"Danger." Ellie cringed. "I'll get ice cream if I go there. Hot fudge sundaes wreak havoc on the body." She stood beside her friend and compared their reflections. Jane waved hello to them both. They were about the same height, but while Jane rocked a year-round tan, Ellie was as pale as they came. And with her shock of auburn hair twisted into a bun, she could've blended in with a white wall.
"Men prefer curves," Jane said, knocking their hips together. "It's a proven fact."
"And I should care because ...?"
Jane picked up a lost-and-found T-shirt left draped over the barre. "Because you're not going to be in cold storage forever. One of these days, you'll want to start dating again."
"It's not that I don't want to date; it's that I choose not to for the time being."
"How many days left until your self-inflicted one-year dry spell is over?"
Jane snorted. "Not that you're counting. This personal crusade of yours, it's totally cray-cray. Why are you doing it?"
Ellie stacked plastic chairs against the wall. "I've told you a thousand times why. I became one of those sad stories: nice girl falls for not-so-nice guy. Over and over and over." She rolled her eyes. "I was a walking, talking cliché."
"I call BS. I know you've had a string of bad luck with men, but —"
"A string?" Ellie couldn't help scoffing. "Bad luck?"
"Okay, very bad luck. You somehow managed to pick the wrong guy every time. But that's no reason to cut yourself off completely."
"I don't happen to agree," Ellie said. "The past eleven months have been like a breath of fresh air. I haven't once been stood up." She counted off on her fingers. "Haven't been lied to by a man I trust, haven't been cheated on, and not once have I fallen for a jerk."
The past almost-year had also been emotionally enlightening. She'd taken stock of her life and relationship choices. Yes, there'd been a "string of bad luck," as Jane had put it. But it took two to tango, and Ellie took responsibility for her part in picking the wrong men. She was not going to do that again, not fall into the same trap of a sexy body, charming manners, and bad-boy attitude. She deserved better.
"You can't tell me you're not happy with the studio," Ellie added, leaning against the piano in the corner. "With my mind focused away from the drama of a relationship, our roster's never been stronger. I could probably sell this place for a huge gain right now. Business is booming."
"That's because you turned into a workaholic," Jane pointed out. "Sure, you single-handedly turned this place into a more profitable business in a year, but at what expense?"
Jane draped a towel over her shoulder and looked her friend in the eye. "Ellie, at one point you were teaching five classes a day, plus handling all the recruiting and choreographing the end-of-season recital. No one can be expected to keep that up. The expense is that you have no life outside these four mirrored walls." She gestured around the room.
Jane did have a point. But honestly, the thought of being "out there" again was kind of terrifying. Her head was finally on straight. She knew what she wanted and deserved from a relationship. But what if ...her first time back out there, the pattern started again?
What would that say about her?
At least she had twenty-four days before she needed to waste a single brain cell worrying about that. And at least she still had the e-mails ...
"Women have needs, too," Jane said, cutting into her thoughts.
"You're so modern."
"It's like anything you deprive yourself of. Sooner or later you'll snap, go berserk, and it's all you'll want."
Like hot fudge sundaes, Ellie thought. She'd been hoping after five years of retirement, she would get over that particular craving. But it was still going strong.
"It's sweet you're concerned about me becoming Franklin's town tramp, but don't worry, I'm completely dry."
Jane looked at her with concern. "Just please don't turn all bitter and anti-men on me, okay? You're supposed to be the optimistic one around here. If your heart loses the ability to trust, you'll never love again."
Ellie burst out laughing. "You sound like a Hallmark card. Never love again ..." she quoted in a robotic voice, her eyes wide and staring, arms extended like Frankenstein's monster.
"Whatever," Jane said after a snort. "So you're seriously telling me there hasn't been a single man in eleven months? Not even the thought of one?"
Ellie bent over to roll up a mat, but she couldn't stop herself from smiling, remembering that last e-mail —
She jumped about a foot and glanced up to see Jane pointing at her, mouth held in a huge grin. "Ellie Bell," Jane said in an accusatory tone. "You big cheat, there is someone. When did you meet?"
Ellie felt her smile fade, driven away by the cold chill up her back. "It was right after my brother ... you know." It pained her to watch her best friend's animated smile disappear as quickly as hers had. When would the topic not silence a room?
"How is Sam?" Jane asked, all the playfulness in her tone gone.
"Good," Ellie answered. "You know, considering."
"I've seen him a few times since he's been home. He seems fine, but I don't think I'll ever get used to that scar."
A knot pulled tight in Ellie's stomach. It would take time to get used to it, that three-inch line running down the side of her brother's face, but she would. She'd convinced herself it was from shrapnel, but for all she knew, it was gunfire, an IED, or worse. The Army had not been very forthcoming with the information about what happened in Afghanistan three months ago. She didn't want to think about it. Like her brother, she was trying to move forward.
"Sam's doing much better. He'll be his old self in no time." Ellie gave a firm nod, needing to assure herself. "I'm telling you, though, hanging out at the WS is really helping him; that place is a godsend." She stood in front of the mirror and pulled pins out of the tight bun on top of her head. Heavy auburn hair tumbled over her shoulders. "I'm meeting him there for lunch." She glanced at the clock on the wall. "I need to change."
"You're going to that rec center?" Jane asked, walking empty water bottles to the recycle bin in the corner. "I thought it was only for Army peeps."
"The Warrior Station," Ellie confirmed, running her fingers through her hair, loosening the waves. "It's not officially affiliated with the base in Indianapolis, so civilians can go there, too. Which is nice; brings some drama to Franklin, otherwise we're just another suburban college town." She paused. "And I think Sam likes hanging around other military people," she added. "Although, I'm not sure if that's healthy. Or maybe it is. I don't know."
Jane's one-track mind was set elsewhere. "Let's circle back to this someone you've got the hots for."
Grateful for the subject change, Ellie grabbed her duffel bag and started peeling off her dance gear. She wished she'd told Jane about it a long time ago, though. Instead, she'd kept the whole thing hidden inside her heart like a little secret. She should have told someone — her brother, especially.
"One of the guys over there," she began, trying to sound more breezy than she felt, "he e-mailed me a few days after I got the call about Sam being hurt."
"Like his general or something?"
Ellie laughed. Jane had lived for years in the shadows of an Army post and still had no clue about the military.
"No," Ellie said as she pulled on jeans and a T-shirt. "It was the staff sergeant from his unit. Charlie's his name."
Jane scratched her head. Of course she had no idea what a staff sergeant was Honestly, Ellie hadn't known either, not until she'd Googled it after receiving a second e-mail from Charlie Johansson.
"He wanted to let me know Sam was okay and would be transferred to a hospital in Germany. He probably knew I was freaking out, since it's just the two of us."
"How did he know that?"
"They were friends over there." Ellie hesitated, part of her not wanting to relive the story. "He was with Sam when it happened, like, with him."
"Oh, you mean ...?"
As Jane's voice faded out, the empty dance studio felt eerily quiet. "I don't know the whole story," Ellie continued, "or even a fraction of it, but I do know there was an accident and Sam was unconscious. Charlie carried him out from wherever they were."
"Whoa," Jane whispered.
"Yeah. He e-mailed me the info of where Sam was being taken." She took a deep breath. "I was so grateful for the information that I replied immediately. The next day he wrote again, telling me Sam was being moved." She glanced out the glass, down toward her office where her cell was. Over the past three months, she'd become addicted to her phone, never wanting to be too far away from Yahoo.
"I replied to him," she continued, "thanking him, obviously, then, I don't know, we started chatting."
"Chatting," Jane echoed skeptically. "Are we talking cybersex?"
"No! Jeez, nothing like that. We talked, I sent pictures." Jane's mouth fell open. "No, no, not pictures." Ellie couldn't help laughing. "Like, one time he mentioned he played football in high school and how much he missed the color of the field in the fall. So the next day, I drove over to Franklin High and took a picture of their field. I e-mailed it right then and told him I was watching the football practice."
"You did all that for someone you don't even know?"
"He saved my brother's life, Jane."
Ellie could have added that every message she received from Charlie Johansson in those two months was like a little blessing when she'd been the most terrified in her life. She'd felt completely cut off from her brother, even when he'd been moved to Walter Reed. That hospital was still across the country. Charlie's e-mails had kept her holding on when there was nothing else, and they'd meant the world to her.
"And by then," she added, "I felt like I did know him. He grew up in Indiana, too; he's been in the Army for ten years, has a younger sister, loves southern barbeque, and wants to spend a week golfing on his next leave."
"His leave?" Jane blurted. "Is he home? Where does he live?"
Ellie sighed. "Indiana is all I know; we didn't exchange that kind of personal info. We e-mailed for two months, but at the end of his last message, he said he'd be gone for a while. You know how the Army is." Suddenly, her throat felt a little tight, not quite over the fact that he'd stopped writing. "I got that last message the day Sam came home a month ago. Since then, I haven't been following his unit."
"And you haven't heard from him since?"
She shook her head, shaking away another twinge of sadness. "For all I know, he could be off in the desert somewhere."
"Or deep undercover in the Russian mafia," Jane added, her eyes going wide.
"I don't think the Army does that." Ellie chuckled. "All I know is, we e-mailed for two months, then it stopped cold. I think maybe he was tiding me over till he knew I wasn't alone."
Jane tilted her head. "That's kinda sweet."
"He was sweet," Ellie said, feeling a little tug at her heart. How was it possible to miss someone she didn't even know?
"But not sweet enough to keep you occupied for the next twenty-four days?"
Ellie laughed and tucked the front of her too-long T-shirt into the front of her jeans. "Apparently not."
"Keep me in the loop this time. Oh, and if you ever do decide to sell the studio," Jane said, pulling open the glass door, "if you don't come to me first, I'm taking back your BFF card. Give Sammy a big hug for me."
Ellie climbed in her car, ready to head to the Warrior Station for lunch with her brother. Instead, she pulled out her phone and flipped to the folder of saved messages.
The field hasn't changed a bit since high school, she read. I can't tell you how many hours I spent on that thing. Huh. Makes me sound like an old man. Thank you for sending the picture, Ellie. I've had a hell of a hard day, and you have no idea how seeing this little piece of home makes me smile. Ellie was smiling, too, as she read, and twirling a strand of hair. If I was there right now, I wouldn't run down the field for a touchdown. I would stand under the home goalpost, because that's the spot where Coach said he believed in me and told me why. Ellie loved this part of the story.
I was a sophomore, she read on, still trying to find my way. The things he said changed my whole outlook, made me a better player, a better teammate. After that, before every single home game, I'd go to that spot and give the post a high five. Yeah, it sounds really lame, but I couldn't let myself forget that moment. Funny, I've never told anyone that before. I wish I could show you that spot, Ellie. I wish I could stand with you under that goalpost and tell you exactly how I felt, how I feel now.
Ellie closed the message, getting the same flutter in her tummy as the first time she'd read it. Only a few messages later, and it was over. She still didn't understand why he'd never written again. Maybe he was undercover with the mafia and couldn't communicate for fear of being made. True, the e-mails started out as simple messages about Sam's whereabouts, but they'd turned into more. She'd looked forward to his e-mails; she'd liked them.
She'd liked him.
Excerpted from Falling for Her Soldier by Ophelia London, Stacy Abrams, Alycia Tornetta. Copyright © 2014 Mary A. Smith. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Such an amazing story that is touching, funny, and sweet! It is a great read that will leave you wanting more. Well paced, great characters, and the HEA you will be hoping for from the first page. Highly recommended!
I loved this book! A hot military man and a redhead ballerina who wouldn't love that. I have loved this whole series but this one is my favorite! you wont be disappointed with this series. can be read without reading the others but why would you!*
Falling for Her Soldier was a cute road overall. Ellie and Charlie were definitely very adorable together. I liked reading about their talks and their dance practices. A lot of times with books this this I find myself asking “Why don’t you just tell the truth??”, and that was definitely the case here. However I did think there was enough outside interference from Ellie’s brother that I could buy the scenario to an extent. You know how sometimes there’s one aspect of a book that probably shouldn’t be your main focus, but it bugs you so much you almost can’t focus on anything else? Yeah. I had that happen here. Ellie is supposedly planning this benefit for the centre where soldiers and veterans gather, and yet besides her dance with Hunter you don't see her working on anything. What’s up with that? Did she delegate? Where did these magical volunteers come from, and how was stuff donated? As someone who's planned events and has worked for a non-profit hosting a big fundraising event it was annoying to have everything glossed over. Yes there was mentions of press for the event, but what about all the work it took to get the event planned? All it would have taken was a few mentions here and there. You don’t need scenes of characters going door to door to business or anything, but on the opposite end of the spectrum to have this important aspect completely ignored was quite strange. Okay, end rant. Beyond this detail which bugged me and that probably most people wouldn’t even pick up on (!), this was a decent enough read overall. It had its fun aspects, it held my attention, and it was a quick and easy read.
I really enjoyed this book. I features Charlie "Big Game Hunter" Johansson and Ellie Bell. She is a ballerina, who suffered a life altering injury, and currently runs a dance studio started by her mother. He is her recovering brothers best friend, who earned his nick name by being a player. They connect sight unseen through e-mail, when Ellie's brother is injured. The e-mails continue for 4 months, but they lose touch when charlie starts to develop feelings for Ellie. The novel combines a great soldier romance with a dancing with the stars style performence. The 2 main characters had great chemistry and dialouge, and funny supporting characters. It held my attention and made me want to read more by this author. I highly reccomend this book for anyone... I was given a ARC for an honest review.
I had a smile on my face the entire book. I instantly loved Ellie and Charlie (liked both viewpoints) and could totally hear them in my head, sarcasm and all. This a great sweet and sexy read!
I loved this book from the first page. The chemistry between Ellie and Hunter (Charlie) was sizzling. Ellie was on a ban of men for a year, nearing the end of the year when she meets Hunter at the SW. Hunter is a womanizer and Ellie's brother's best friend from the army. Ellie knows Hunter as Charlie from emails, where they connected, when her brother was injured. Can she believe that Hunter is that same person that she knew as Charlie. Loved the fun and the banter from these two. Highly recommend this short sweet romance. I received this ARC from the publisher for a honest review. (less)
I’m not usually a fan of deception romances, even if it was an accident on Charlie’s part, but this one worked for me. There wasn’t really a good way for him to come clean any earlier than he does because I don’t know that Ellie would have believed he had changed until she got to know him. With Falling for her Soldier, London once again delivers a romantic treat full of heart and humor that left me feeling satisfied at the end. I think that at this point I’d pick up any story that had her name on the cover without even reading the blurb. Full review available at Romantic Reads and Such on wordpress.
Another fun romance from Ophelia London! The plot reminded me of You've Got Mail (one of my favorite chick flicks). I immediately liked Ellie. It took me longer to like Hunter, but by the end of the book he'd won me over. This fun read is full of flirting and kissing and (rated PG) sizzle!
A very romantic case of mistaken identity. When I was given the opportunity of reading this as an ARC I did a little happy dance; Playing at Love was the first Bliss book I ever read, I loved it and subsequently Speaking of Love and I'd always hoped that Tess' brother Charlie would get his story. Charlie has a pen-friend, Ellie, sister of his best friend and the man whose life he saved in Afghanistan. They've never met, both have developed feelings and when they do there's a case of mistaken identity; Ellie has no idea Charlie is Charlie but Hunter, her brother's playboy army buddy. Having sworn off men for a year, she has no intention of being another of his conquests and is waiting for the day she meets Charlie... I have to confess I found it a little steady to start with, but when it did get going it was fun, sweet and very romantic with some real touching moments; the all too true reality of what our armed forces suffer whilst on deployment and after was handled with sensitivity and realism. Charlie and Ellie have a wonderful chemistry and are so loveable; both are flirts and the way Charlie chips his way into Ellie's affections, despite her brother's warnings, is charming, heartwarming and fun. And whilst the path their story took didn't hold any major surprises, the reveal, as expected as it was, did. With Tess, Jack, Mac & Rick ever present and their lives evolving, Falling for Her Soldier is a good addition to the series and one I would recommend. I received a copy of this as an ARC from the publisher for an honest and unbiased opinion.
Rating 4 1/2 Stars I finished Falling for her Soldier by Ophelia London and I must say that I wasn't let down. This story has everything that makes a Bliss story bliss. Anyway, Ellie Bell has given up being with men for a year and she's approaching the year mark when she meets Charlie Johannson. However, she doesn't know it's Charlie, because when finally meets him face to face he's introduce to her as Hunter. Charlie use to be a big player, but after the last deployment something happen that changed him and he no longer wanted to be know as Mr. Big Game Hunter. Now Charlie is trying to win Ellie as Hunter. He actually wants to tell her the truth, but he was given bad advice so keeps up the Hunter act. I found Falling for her Soldier delightful. It was fun to watch Charlie try to get Ellie to look at him as a decent guy than Mr. Big Game Hunter. Some of the things Charlie did for Ellie were really sweet. Even help her stay true to her goal. I love how he tries to do the honorable thing. However, I was waiting when when the Charlie/Hunter secret was going to happen, because it was bound to happen when he wasn't prepare. Overall, a heart melting good read. So, if you are looking for that feel good story, you might want to read Falling for her Soldier. Copy provided by the publisher
This was my first adult novel by Ophelia London and I am so glad I picked this one up for review! I loved Ophelia's Definitely, Maybe in Love, so I was excited to read one of her adult contemporaries next! Falling For Her Soldier definitely didn't disappoint. When I first started reading I felt a little deja vu. Ellie has put herself on a year long dating ban because she always tends to fall for the wrong guys. Her last relationship ended badly and so she set a ban to basically detox herself of all jerk guys. She's been with cheaters and liars and she won't let herself fall into her pattern again. Upon being introduced to Hunter (who is really Charlie Johansson, but we'll get to that) by her brother, she realizes that she's heard stories of the notorious 'Big Game Hunter' and he is exactly the kind of man she needs to steer clear of. Hunter is known for his playboy ways, but after a frightening encounter in Afghanistan, realizes he needs to make a change in his life. I've read a lot of storylines with the hurt female and the playboy turned good guy and I was afraid that this story would follow the grain and not really be anything new. Not the case here! I was already fan of London's writing style and even though this particular trope has been done time and time again, she still manages to take it and really make it her own and I loved the direction she took Ellie and Hunter's story. Ellie was such a sweet character and I really liked her. Even though she has placed herself on a dating ban, she can't seem to get the soldier who emailed her after her brother's accident out of her head. What started as just an email to let her know what was going on turned into something much more. They essentially became pen pals and she really cherished those emails he sent. However, after not hearing anything in 2 months, she is a bit devastated as she really looked forward to seeing them. Charlie Johansson holds a special place in her heart even though she has not corresponded with him lately. Oh Charlie. Having earned his nickname Big Game Hunter by his playboy past, he is looking for something more in his life. After saving his best friend Sam in Afghanistan and surviving an attack like he did, he knows something has to change in his life. When Sam mentions meeting his sister Ellie at the Warrior Center, Charlie is a bit crazed. He thought about Ellie a lot and hated not continuing his emails to her. When they first meet, Sam introduces him as Hunter and Charlie just kind of goes with it, not realizing the repercussions that it may have. Ellie knows the stories about Hunter from her brother and yet she's having trouble associating this kind, sexy man with the one her brother described. I absolutely loved the slow burn of Charlie and Ellie's relationship. She is determined to stick to her ban and she won't let herself fall victim to another playboy. However, Hunter has given her no reason to believe that is the man he is. Instead, he shows her a kind, generous, always willing to help man and she finds herself torn between Hunter and Charlie. She feels guilty over her feelings for Hunter when she knows she doesn't want to give up on Charlie. Whew, yeah that was some pickle he got himself into! Sam is not supportive of Hunter starting a relationship with his sister and warns him away. Hunter knows he should respect his best friend's wishes, but he can't get Ellie out of his head. Hunter's loyalty to his best friend is really great and all, but the heart wants what the heart wants and his wants Ellie's. Hunter has already decided to volunteer at the Warrior Center with Ellie and after finding out the Center is having financial difficulties, the two take it upon themselves to figure out a way to raise money to keep it open. Throwing a ball to help raise money is a great idea and I love how Hunter really stood up and took action, even going out of his comfort zone to do so. Watching him learn the tango is DELICIOUS and I absolutely cracked up over all the Michael Bublé references. However, Hunter knows he can't continue keeping the truth of who he really is from her and is afraid of how she will take the news that he is really Charlie. Fans of London's series will be happy to see Jack and Tess from Playing at Love and Rick and Mac from Speaking of Love make an appearance in this book as well. I am excited to go back and read the first two in the series now! Falling For Her Soldier was a beautiful story about love and forgiveness and is definitely worth the read.
It is lovely to read such a delightful story with great characters and plenty of humorous moments, too! I have to confess, some parts of it had me laughing out loud - especially the dance scenes and those involving references to Michael Bublé! Ellie Bell has had enough of bad romances and has self-imposed a man-less year for herself. It has just twenty-four days to go. That shouldn’t be a problem, should it? Well, she has been exchanging emails with Charlie Johannson and is looking forward to meeting him for the first time, even though he has suddenly cut all contact. She’s at the Warriors’ Station, where she volunteers, when she meets ‘Hunter’, a member of her brother’s army unit and his close friend, who is on leave awaiting re-deployment after returning from a Tour on the front line. She has no idea that he’s also the same Charlie who she’d been emailing. Her brother, Sam, had told her many stories about the antics of Hunter, most of them involving him being a player to be avoided. However, Charlie’s experiences on the latest Tour have changed him and his outlook. He only stopped emailing Ellie when he realised she was his best friend’s sister and that would break the brocode. Now they’ve met, the attraction is mutual, despite his bad reputation. Can he resist her - or can he convince both her and her brother that he’s changed? Will love find a way to bring them together Working together on a Charity fund raising event is how the two end up having dance lessons and there are some brilliant scenes. However, when Ellie discovers that Hunter is Charlie, how will she react? Can she forgive him for the deception? How will Sam react? This is a great story, with well developed characters. It definitely put a smile on my face and it is so great to read a romance which is so well crafted it doesn’t need steamy action to make it enjoyable. If you are an fan of fun and enjoyable romances, take a chance on this one and see if you agree with me that it is a great example of this genre. I look forward to reading more of this series and by this author in future. I requested and received a copy of this novel via NetGalley. This is my honest review after choosing to read it.
Falling for Her Soldier is a sweet story. Falling for a soldier via e-mail is romantic and probably foolish, but Ellie doesn't regret it. She regrets the end of it. Not knowing why and not getting to meet him has her questioning her choices. Add to that her less than stellar track record with guys and well...she isn't exactly thrilled. Hunter, Big Game Hunter to most, isn't actually named Hunter. A stupid nickname and a worse reputation make him uncomfortable now that he's decided to change...or has he. Charlie met a girl. He liked said girl. He realized it wouldn't work because she is his buddy's little sis. End of story...or just a beginning. Falling for Her Soldier will have you shaking your head and grunting in frustration. It will also have you smiling and smirking at the corny innuendo. Enjoy the fall!
Yes I read this book twice and it was just as great the second time around; reminding me why I loved it so much the first time. It's an uncomplicated, love story with two wonderful characters, a grumpy brother and a cast of secondary characters that completed the full picture. A very single Ellie teaches ballet at her now deceased Mom's dance studio, her bestie Jane works there also and since Ellie is coming down to the wire on her 365 day absolutely no men diet, Jane's been giving her gentle or not so gentle pokes. Okay Jane isn't subtle. We love Jane. Ellie has a history of making bad choices where men are concerned and doesn't trust her own judgement. The diet has worked, almost too well where she's had no life outside the dance studio. Or so Jane thinks. She doesn't know about Charlie and the e mails. When Ellie's brother Sam is wounded overseas his best friend there gets in touch with Ellie, keeping her informed and giving her more information than the Army provides. They strike up a friendship and e mail each other. Charlie and Ellie both are open and honest with each other, it's a safe place to land for them both. Charlie knows that Sam is all Ellie has, since there Mom died it's just the two of them. Sam returns home to their town in Indiana and spends much of his time at the WS. It's a place where both active and medically outed soldiers can come and feel at home. The place is self contained offering everything from counseling to a deli, library and a great retired Marine who oversees the place. Ellie hasn't heard from Charlie in two months. She constantly checks her email on her phone hoping to here from him, but nothing. She worries that something has happened, repeatedly reading his last mail looking for any kind of clue. Nada. When she meets Sam at the WS for lunch she meets one of his friends from his unit who is home waiting for orders for his next assignment. His nickname is Hunter and you have to read the book to get the details on that one, which his reputation is well known, so much so that when Sam was recovering from his injuries he entertained Ellie with Hunter's stories with women. When the meet and she realizes it's that Hunter she immediately throws up the wall. What she doesn't know is that Hunter is actually her Charlie. Her missing man and after being warned of in the nastiest kind of ways by Sam to stay away from Ellie, Charlie still wants to be her friend and eventually tell her. Since Ellie just started volunteering at the WS Hunter signs up too. When Charlie tells his very pregnant sister what's going on, his brother in law encourages him to befriend her then tell her. Charlie wants to tell her in the worst way. The two becomes fast friends and she eventually tells him about the no man diet. He's still conflicted over not telling her, Sam is still being an ass and poor Ellie is just Ellie. I loved Ellie. When the WS looses its funding Ellie takes on the task of fundraising along with Charlie and with some help they have a plan. Charlie has a plan too, that he's going to tell her, but every opportunity this poor guy has gets screwed up by someone or something. When Ellie finds out in a very public way who he is, let's just say it's not pretty. Charlie is heartbroken, Ellie is one angry woman especially after finding out her brother knew and he was in part at fault. Yes it wasn't pretty. Add Jane to the mix and a couple other angry women the men are dead meat. The worst of it is that the fundraising ball
This lady writes a really great tale
Not trashy and great romance. Fun for a light read.
** 3.5 stars ** I'm adore the Bliss line from Entangled, and I've heard really good things about all of Ophelia London's books. Falling For Her Soldier is the third in the Perfect Kisses series, but can easily be read as a standalone. However, with the glimpses of past leading couples, and with hero Charlie being Tess from book one's brother, I will say that now I would love to go back and reading Playing at Love and Speaking of Love. Falling For Her Soldier has a trope-double whammy: falling for the brother's best friend, and a case of mistaken, or misrepresented, identity. I almost always love the falling for the brother's best friend, but am sometimes iffy on the misrepresented identity, lies of omission or not. In this case, it absolutely worked for me. Charlie's shame at his former "Big Game Hunter" ways, his hope to become a better man, and his feelings for Ellie all combined to portray a man who is desperate to win the woman he'd come to care for via correspondence. Despite the duplicity, I got Charlie and I wanted him to win his girl. The girl in question, Ellie. She is nearing the end of a man-free year. Bad choices and bad relationships have caused her to spend the past year working on herself, evaluating why she always picks the wrong guy. I liked that she was very self-aware, and adored seeing her fall for the soldier despite her resistance. Characters who strive to do and be better, and a romance that was sexy and intimate behind the scenes has me recommending this to fan of Bliss (or Bliss-like) books. Falling For Her Soldier was a really sweet, endearing love story. Favorite Quote: He traced his fingers up her spine, then slid a hand under her hair, resting it on the back of her smooth neck. When they finally kissed, he felt the strangest sensation of coming home, like when he took that first step onto American soil after a long deployment. His heart pounded hard, pushing hot blood through his veins, while at the same time, he felt at peace with her, free, yet securely connected.
4 stars - Great bliss romance First Impression...I liked the idea of these two having an online relationship before they met. I was interested to see how that would play out with the deception mixed in. The Story...I was drawn in quickly and I wanted to read it straight through. Ellie hasn't had the best experiences with guys so she on a break - a year long break. The problem is the emails from Charlie. He saved her brother, Sam, and made a huge difference for her while she waited for Sam to get home. But the introduction was all wrong. He was surprised to meet her when he did and didn't react when Sam introduced him by his nickname. He spends a lot of time stressed and guilty about not setting her straight right away. While I'm not one for lying, Charlie didn't do it on purpose and there was a little man code with Sam to deal with as well. I easily forgave him his mistake. Besides, it made for a very interesting story. The Characters...Loved Charlie. He's been a player and can't quite loose that image but his last mission effected him more than he wants to admit. I loved that he was very much aware of what he would do if he was still being "Hunter" and how he resisted it. Yes, we do get about half the story from his point of view. I enjoyed that. I like Ellie too. Her one year without guys was a bit out there but if goals work for ya, then more power to ya. The Writing...I enjoyed the writing. This was my first Ophelia London book but it won't be my last. I enjoyed her style. It was sweet romance and I really enjoyed it. Could I Put It Down...Didn't want to. In The End... Great bliss romance.
Flirty and Romantic Everybody loves military men right? I know I do! How could you not love a strong, powerful man who fights for something so amazing as the freedom of an entire nation? Falling For Her Soldier was absolutely sweet, romantic, predictable and totally cheesy but you know what? It really WORKED for me! Ellie Bell has a pen pal. After her brother was injured overseas she began an email relationship with his commanding officer Charlie Johansson following up on his progress. The two corresponded over a few months until Charlie cut off all contact and stopped responding. Ellie was hurt by his lack of communication until she met the infamous Hunter. The guy well known around the base as "The Big Game Hunter". There's no way she would fall for this guy right? With his amazing smile, fantastic body and extremely lame pickup lines it doesn't take long to fall under his spell. Ellie's character wasn't hard for me to like. Being a ballet dancer was just one of her charms that I enjoyed reading about but it was her penchant for falling for the wrong type of guy that I could relate to. After a career ending knee injury she's resigned herself to running her mother's dance studio where she teaches. Those that can't do, teach. Right? I could really feel her emotional loss of not being able to dance professionally because of her knee. I always wanted to be a ballerina but my body isn't right for it. My love of the art is what drew me into Ellie's story and reminded me of the movie Center Stage which I love! Even though she had been hurt by her previous boyfriend Drew she didn't let that stop her from getting on with her life and moving non. I admired that she made a vow to herself not to date at all for one year. I think we as women who get stuck in a rut of dating certain guys and need to take a breather once in a while. Mine lasted for almost six years so I could identify with Ellie in that department. She wasn't the type of woman to fall for a man's crap and the way she put her brother Sam in his place when he tried to tell her what to do was adorable. Charlie Johansson A.K.A "Hunter" was an instant lovable guy for me. I knew from the very first words uttered by him that he would become a favorite for me. "How You Doin'?" he said. What the hell? Since when did he channel Joey Tribbiani? That was the moment I fell hard for this guy. The two sides he's displaying both internally and externally with Ellie are what kept me on my toes. He's been a bad boy in the past and has gained a solid rep from it by all his buddies on base but I knew he wasn't a complete bastard. Yeah he was a bit of a slut but after his near death experience in the war overseas he's had a change of heart and wants something real. Something he started with Ellie in their emails. I love that she flustered him at times. He was so caught up in her personality and beauty he would unintentionally slip back into his "Hunter" personna. I started feeling bad for him after a while though because he was really beating himself up about his past and I hated seeing him upset. I did loved that while he was trying to escape his reputation and show Ellie he was a different man now, he didn't blow off his previous behavior. He owned it and never made excuses and that to me showed the growth that he had been striving for since he returned home. I love a man who owns his mistakes and Charlie was the ultimate man in my eyes. I have a thing for military men and have done the whole pen pal/relationship thing once before so this story just worked for me because it was so similar to my own experience. And while mine didn't work out in the long run the story between Ellie and Charlie was great and I enjoyed the way things went for them. I loved how Charlie respected the goals Ellie set for herself and she in turn opened herself up to giving him a chance despite his past. Both Charlie and Ellie had a wonderful character growth I was pleased with and that they both learned from each other and themselves. The supporting characters made me laugh and had me curious to how the other stories in the series panned out for them. Charlie's sister Tess was so sweet to Ellie and sympathetic because she knew her brother. Sam, Ellie's brother who was injured intrigued me to know his story and see how things will work out for him too. Falling For Her Soldier is what I personally like to call "Redemption Romance". After reading something dirty and so called "sinful" this is the kind of book to wash away your sins. It was clean and romantic and utterly cheesy but so good. I always enjoy a dual POV story going back and forth between both characters. It really helps me understand both people and where they are coming from. For some unknown reason I always end up jumping into a series two or three books in but I found myself following the story and it's previous characters just fine. You could absolutely pick this up as a stand alone and follow it and I recommend you do because this was a good book. The romance, the mild drama and the sexy ARMY man didn't hurt the story at all. This one was very tame and while I like my romance a little bit steamier it wasn't a problem to just enjoy it for what it was.
This was such a sweet story--a definite feel-good read. It's third in the Perfect Kisses series--I have books one and two as part of my never-ending TBR--but it's not necessary to have read them to enjoy this novel. (However, you do see the heroes and heroines of books one and two in this one--and they're adorable. You're definitely going to want to read their stories as well. Consider yourself warned.) I really liked the combination of dance instructor and soldier heroine and hero. Add to that the fact that their first "meeting" was via a series of emails, and it just gets that much better. Adorableness overload! Their earlier contact gave just enough of a back story to make their falling in love during the time frame believable. It can be tough to make a lying-about-who-you-are story work and even tougher to make the character who does so come off as sympathetic, but it works here. As much as I felt for Ellie having been lied to, I was actually one hundred percent with Charlie after his secret is outed. No small feat, believe me! Ophelia London has definitely penned a light, happy romance here. It was just what my weekend needed! I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.