There are some debts you can't repay...
Josh Walker is loyal, reckless, and every girl's dream. But he only has eyes for December Howard, the girl he has yearned for since his high school hockey days. Together they have survived grief, the military, distance, and time as they've fought for stolen weekends between his post at Ft. Rucker and her schooling at Vanderbilt. Now that Josh is a medevac pilot and Ember is headed toward graduation, they're moving on—and in—together.
Ember never wanted the Army life, but loving Josh means accepting whatever the army dictates—even when that means saying goodbye as Josh heads to Afghanistan, a country that nearly killed him once before and that took her father. But filling their last days together with love, passion, and plans for their future doesn't temper Ember's fear, and if there's one thing she's learned from her father's death, it's that there are some obstacles even love can't conquer.
Flight school is over.
This is war.
Flight&Glory Book 1: Full Measures
Flight&Glory Book 2: Eyes Turned Skyward
Flight&Glory Book 3: Beyond What is Given
Flight&Glory Book 4: Hallowed Ground
About the Author
Rebecca Yarros is a hopeless romantic and lover of all things chocolate, coffee, and Paleo. In addition to being a mom, military wife, and blogger, she can never choose between Young Adult and New Adult fiction, so she writes both. She's a graduate of Troy University, where she studied European history and English, but still holds out hope for an acceptance letter to Hogwarts. Her blog, The Only Girl Among Boys, has been voted the Top Military Mom Blog the last two years, and celebrates the complex issues surrounding the military life she adores.
When she's not writing, she's tying on hockey skates for her kids, or sneaking in some guitar time. She is madly in love with her army-aviator husband of eleven years, and they're currently stationed in Upstate NY with their gaggle of rambunctious kiddos and snoring English Bulldog, but she would always rather be home in Colorado.
Read an Excerpt
A Flight & Glory Novel
By Rebecca Yarros, Karen Grove
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2016 Rebecca Yarros
All rights reserved.
Four Months Earlier
"I'm just saying that not all of us are six-foot-four, Joshua Walker." I tilted my head to the side as he put another cooking gadget Mom swore we needed onto the top shelf of the kitchen cabinets.
Josh turned that damn smile on me and shut the door with a flick of his hand before caging me between his hips and the counter. "Okay. When you need something from the top shelf, I'll race over and get it down for you."
"Not the point." I fought back the smile that had been a nearly permanent fixture during the last two days that we'd lived together.
You live together. No more long distance. No more missing him.
I looped my arms around his neck, letting my fingertips graze over the newly cut hair at the base of his head. "What about those times you're not here?"
His gaze dropped to my lips. "Well, then maybe you could simply choose not to fondue for lunch?"
My stomach warmed at the look in his eyes — the one that seemed to ignore that we'd just gotten out of bed an hour ago. His arms tightened around me, bringing our lower bodies flush, and my pulse leaped.
"But maybe I like melted chocolate," I whispered. "It has all kinds of uses."
Those smoldering brown eyes locked on to mine, and I saw it there — the longing that had been our companion these last two years, waiting to finally be together, the insane chemistry that never failed to turn my body pliant the moment he so much as whispered my name.
That did it. I was a puddle before his lips even touched mine. His mouth brushed them once, twice, before settling over me in a languorous kiss that had me arching against him. I opened for him, and Josh took advantage, stroking his tongue against mine with enough friction to set me on fire.
My heart soared, pouring so much emotion into me that I wasn't sure my body could handle it. A laugh burst free, and I felt him smile against my mouth in response.
"Kissing me is funny?" he asked, lifting me to the counter to bury his nose just beneath my jaw.
"No!" I giggled again as he growled.
His face lifted, the light in his eyes reflecting the sheer joy I couldn't contain. "What then?"
My fingers traced the lines of his face, catching on his rough morning stubble. God, he was just so freaking gorgeous. Somehow he'd gotten hotter in the last two years, time stripping away the last vestiges of boyhood from this glorious piece of man. "I'm just happy."
"Well, that's the idea."
"I keep thinking about the hours we spent driving between Nashville and Fort Rucker, and the stolen weekends, and the good-byes ..." And the times we both wondered how long our relationship could stay this strong without living in the same zip code.
He kissed me softly. "No more good-byes."
"Promise?" A tremor slipped into my voice.
He cupped my face and looked so deeply into my eyes that I knew he was reaching for my soul. "I will never leave you again by choice, December. This is it. We made it through the worst, and now we're here."
I sighed and nodded. "So now what? Everything we've done has been to get to this point."
A breathtaking smile swept over his face. "Now, we're just happy. You and me, and this townhouse full of boxes."
Bam! Bam! Our shared duplex wall carried the noise from our neighbors. "It's a little early for a hammer, Jagger," I muttered.
"But maybe not too early to get nailed?" Josh wiggled his eyebrows and swallowed my laugh with a kiss.
If happiness had its own electrical current, we could have powered the whole city of Clarksville.
The alarm blared on my cell phone, and I reached for it, randomly slapping the counter in search while trying not to break from Josh's mouth. Oh, screw the phone.
I wound my arms around his neck and threw myself into the kiss, angling the way I knew he liked and sucking his tongue into my mouth. He groaned, sinking his fingers into my hair, and then drove me insane with every lick, nibble, and caress. Josh pulled back with a gentle bite on my lower lip and then silenced my phone.
"Fun time's over, Ms. Howard. You have class in an hour and ten minutes." He waved the phone.
"And?" I questioned, sliding my hands under his PT shirt to feel the delectable ridges of his abs.
With a muttered curse, he retreated. "And it takes one hour and seven minutes to get there, which means it's time for you to go."
I threw on my best pout. "I can skip."
He took my messenger bag and travel coffee mug and thrust them both into my lap. "No. We had a deal. Normal life, which includes you going to class, no matter how badly I'd like to take you back upstairs and listen to you scream my name as you come."
Need slammed into me, and my breath left in a rush. "That's really not the best argument to get me to leave."
He put the kitchen island between us. "We don't have to fight for time together anymore. This is our normal, babe. So you go to class, and I'll go to work. And if you're a good girl ..."
I hopped off the counter and slung my bag over my shoulder, stalking him until his back hit the counter. "If I'm a good girl?" My fingers dipped into his waistband.
His eyes darkened, and his gaze dropped to my lips. "You'll find out when you get home."
Home. I lived with Josh. A fresh wave of euphoria bloomed in my chest. "You have a deal. Whatever will you do while I'm gone?"
"Oh, the normal. Go to work, maybe hang those pictures you marked for the upstairs hallway. Seriously, who frames the Gettysburg address?"
"An avid historian who happens to love that speech." I pushed up on tiptoe and kissed him. "I'll see you later, love."
He tucked my hair behind my ear. "Send me a text and let me know you made it."
I grabbed my coat out of the front closet and zipped it up, barely remembering my coffee as I ran out the door with my books.
"December!" Josh called from the doorway as I slid the key into my car.
His smile stole the very sun from the sky. "These have been the best three days of my life. I love you."
"I love you, too. Just wait until you're sick of me." I winked, and he laughed.
"Not going to happen. Have a nice day, dear!" he sang, waving and stepping through our front door.
I pulled out of our shared driveway, slightly jealous that Paisley's car was still parked. She'd completed everything she needed face-to-face last semester and was finishing her degree with online courses. We'd all decided on a little neighborhood on the outskirts of Clarksville, Tennessee, and lucked out that the new development had both sides of a duplex open.
Jagger declared the gods of realty had smiled upon their bromance, and we'd signed the leases. I loved being so close to our friends.
Driving an hour to Nashville twice a week to finish at Vanderbilt was more than worth it to sleep next to Josh every night. Besides, it gave me a chance to call Mom, or catch up with April or Sam. As mild as this January was going weather-wise, it was an easy trip.
I made it to a parking space with seven minutes to spare and ended up sprinting to class, taking the first seat along the U-shaped conference table. My laptop fired up as our professor walked in.
"Good morning, seniors," Dr. Trimble said, placing his coffee on the small podium. He glanced at each of us in turn. "Welcome to Thesis. It's good to see so many familiar faces. For those of you who don't know me, I'm not sure how you made it through Vanderbilt without being subjected to my rambling, but bravo."
A small murmur of laughter passed through the twenty or so of us.
He ran a hand over his balding head and adjusted his houndstooth bowtie. "Before we get started, I'd like to introduce my TA." He motioned with his hand, and I turned with the class toward the back of the room. "Mr. Graham is working on his masters, and is doubling as my research assistant."
The corners of my mouth lifted when Luke stood and waved, offering me a smile and a nod. He mouthed, "Coffee?" and I gave a small nod before turning my attention back to Dr. Trimble.
"He'll also be handling the applications for the dig I'm overseeing this fall in Ephesus, Turkey. For those of you continuing on to your masters and doctorates, it would behoove you to apply, as only those who are accepted on the dig will be considered to start in a special spring opening in those programs. Now, let's get down to business."
An hour and a thick syllabus later, Luke and I headed toward the coffee shop.
"How's it going, Red?" he asked, nudging me with his shoulder.
"Good," I answered as we walked. "Josh and I moved in together, and it's pretty perfect so far."
"Ah, the hockey star returns." He held the door open for me, and the welcoming smell of espresso filled my lungs.
"The hockey star never left," I elbowed him. "How is David?"
Luke snorted. "Still leaving his boxers on the floor, but I love him, so what can I do?"
"It's a pretty small problem in the scheme of things, right?"
"There are worse problems to have," he answered. "Hopefully the line isn't too long. Our spot is open."
Once our coffee was in hand, we took up seats on the small loveseat in the corner that we'd claimed during study sessions my junior year. "What are your plans after graduation?" Luke asked, brushing an errant piece of blond hair out of his eyes. He was still trying for the surfer look, but it was growing on me.
"Well, Josh is stationed at Fort Campbell now, so I'm throwing around the idea of getting my masters ... maybe my doctorate?"
"Ooh." He leaned forward with an indecent grin. "Talk academia to me."
I laughed and shook my head. "I ... I have ..."
"Spit it out."
"I kind of want to start focusing more on the writing aspect, really dig in historically, maybe publish something? It's probably stupid. I should teach. That's the practical answer."
Luke raised his eyebrows. "You kept a long-distance relationship thriving, and you want to talk about practical? You're a romantic at heart, honey — you can't fool me. You also do whatever you set your mind to, so if you'd like to be the next David McCullough, I think the world is ready."
"What about the next Howard Zinn?" I suggested. "Revolutionize what everyone thinks they know. Look at history from another side and not just the victor's?"
He tapped his fingers on his paper cup and tilted his head. "You need to apply for the Ephesus dig."
I sputtered, nearly spewing coffee all over his cream sweater. "What? That's in Turkey."
"Well, I don't think we can move the location, so yes, you'd have to come to Turkey."
"You're going?" That was definitely an incentive.
"Seeing as my dad funded it, I kind of have to."
"Did he get tired of buying hockey teams?" I joked.
"Hey, it's just the one, and technically since it's an expansion team, he didn't buy it, he started it. Stop changing the subject and think of all the opportunities. Putting your hands on arguably the most untouched Roman ruins in the world ... You're still emphasizing in European History, right?"
I nodded slowly, trying to process his suggestion. "I just moved in with Josh. I can't up and leave."
"Red, it's like two months, which is a blip on the radar to you guys, and you'd earn mad street cred with Dr. Trimble toward getting into whatever program you want."
"Okay, you don't get to say 'street cred' again without me laughing."
"Fine, but you need to apply. You'll get accepted. Your grades still stellar?"
Could you really spend two months away from him when you've been apart for so long?
"Then I think this is something you really need to consider." He rummaged though his messenger bag and brought out a stapled packet. "This is the application. It's not due until spring break. You'd really be an asset, Ember. Plus, if you're just now thinking about your doctorate, you're behind the power curve. The dig would let you into the spring program. Without it, you're behind a year. Plus, it's not like you didn't love the one we did last year, and that was a baby dig compared to this."
Ephesus. A real dig. A chance to discover something — a new theory, a new fact, something I could sink my teeth into and maybe even publish. A real-life use for all the work I'd put into my college career. But not seeing Josh? Voluntarily being long distance again? Madness. I pushed the application away. "I just can't."
He shook his head and stuffed it into my bag. "Yes, you can. You're a brilliant woman, Ember, and if he loves you the way you say he does, he'd never dim your light. Don't become one of those women who forget who they are just because they're in a relationship. At least think about it."
"I will," I promised.
He filled me in on his relationship, and I gave him the short version of how the move had gone, until it was time to head to another class. I'd loaded my schedule last semester, so all I needed were three this go-round, thank God.
I called Josh from the car on my way home. Home! I'd never been so excited to see what a normal evening could hold. "Hey!"
"Hey, babe." His tired voice came through the car speakers.
"How was your first day at the unit?"
"Mixed, I guess. You headed home?"
"It's never easy being the new guy, and yeah I'm on my way. GPS has me fifty-five minutes out. Are you in the same company as Will?"
"Yeah, Carter and I are both in Charlie. Jagger's in Bravo with the other attack guys. You concentrate on the road, and I'll work on getting us some dinner, how does that sound?"
Something shifted in my stomach, an unease that crept up my throat. "Everything okay?"
"It will be once you get here." He tried to sound upbeat but didn't quite make it.
"Okay. I love you."
"I love you so much it hurts. See you in an hour."
We hung up, and I cranked some music, but I couldn't shake the crappy feeling that settled in my chest, or help but think about that Ephesus application in my bag.
I walked through our front door five minutes earlier than the GPS predicted. Our living room was partially put away, some of my books haphazardly stacked on the white bookshelves, and a few framed pictures were laid on the square coffee table.
My fingers grazed over Dad's face and that familiar ache returned. Two years, and I still missed him every day.
"I thought you might want to decide where to hang them," Josh said, coming from the small dining room where our four-person table from my old apartment was a cozy fit. He kissed the side of my head and pulled me into a hug, chasing away the sadness with his love.
"That sounds great," I answered, wrapping my arms around his back. He'd already changed into a pair of jeans and a Henley. I had to admit, I liked my Josh better than Lieutenant Walker. "What is that heavenly smell?"
"Takeout from the Italian place down the street. I grabbed your favorites," he said, leading me to the table after I took off my jacket and dropped my bag.
We sat and my mouth watered at the tortellini Alfredo in front of me. "This looks so good." I shot him a sly grin. "Is this what I have to look forward to at the end of my school days?"
He laughed. "Day three and you're ready to divvy up the household chores."
My cheeks flamed because ...
"Don't worry, I know you already have a color-coded chart somewhere dictating what needs doing and when. Just stick it on the fridge, and we'll get it done." His smile melted me more than the wine he'd poured.
He knew me way too well. "The chart isn't color-coded, but that's not a half-bad idea."
"There's a fresh pack of highlighters waiting for you in the desk drawer. Now tell me everything about the first day of your last semester of college."
I filled him in on everything about the classes but paused when I thought about the application. "There's ... there's a dig."
"Another one? That's awesome. Where are you going?" he asked as if it was nothing, simply taking another bite of his food.
And I loved him all the more for it.
Josh would never hold me back, never discount my dreams to pay for his own. That's why I couldn't abuse that love. "It doesn't matter. I'm not going. I don't even know if I'd get in."
"You'll get in. Why don't you want to go?"
"It's not a two-week trip this time, it's two months, in Ephesus, Turkey, and I don't want to be away from you that long."
"Turkey?" His fork paused on the way to his mouth.
"Yeah, and not the bird." I shook my finger at whatever smart reply he was thinking. Jagger had rubbed off on his sense of humor.
Excerpted from Hallowed Ground by Rebecca Yarros, Karen Grove. Copyright © 2016 Rebecca Yarros. 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
It was perfect. Absolutely perfect.
I just finished the last book in this series. Oh what a bittersweet feeling... happy to have read such a wonderful series and sad that it was the last in the series. Solution? I will just need to start over from the beginning to get my "FIX".
Author is so talentec
*ARC received from Entangled Publishing in return for an honest review* Josh and Ember are finally together for all of five minutes, then he has to deploy to Afghanistan. When tragedy strikes, Josh's reaction is understandable, but throughout the rest of the book, he blames himself for what happened and wavers back and forth between two thoughts "Ember is the most important thing in the world to me and I can't lose her" to "I don't deserve her, she'd be better off without me." He says she is his reason for existence but he continually rips her heart out. I just wanted to smack him upside the head through most of the book. I loved their romance in the first book of the series, Full Measures, but this one, as well-written as it is, and as invested in the outcome as I was, was kind of depressing, because there was so much pain in it and not a lot of hope. I love these characters and I understand there's a process that Josh has to go through but it was still difficult to read. The beautiful ending almost makes up for it. I am wavering between 4 and 5 stars for this book so I guess I have to go in the middle with 4.5.
I really love everything I have read by this author. I cried so many times reading this book. Thank you for such a great read!!
Here was my salvation. December was my saving grace. *** Little did Josh and Ember know, but the real war would begin the moment he returned home from it. Fighting every day to remain sane and go one hour without the guilt crushing in on him. Working tirelessly to make others believe you really are ok when you say "I’m fine." Will their love be able to survive or will they become casualties themselves? I will be the first to admit I have no real connection to the army life and war. But since I know this author does and has lived this life day after day, I am confident that the way this story unfolds is as close to real as it gets. So let me just take a moment and say thank you to those of you who are serving, those of you who have loved ones serving and those of you who are holding down the fort back here at home. You guys deserve all the love and prayers! Thank you!! *** Holding her was so easy when the world around us got too complicated. Everything else slipped away until I was left with the simple, incorruptible truth that I would always love December Howard. I just prayed my love wouldn't destroy her. *** So, back to the book. I'm going to tell you something crucial. Something you must listen to very closely to. Have. Tissues. On. Hand. That's it. Because I bawled about every other chapter. Especially around the 20% mark and most definitely around the 70% mark. I was a blubbering, hot mess. I was surprised I could read through my blurry, tear filled eyes. So much pain flows through this book. It isn't all romance and rainbows. It's gritty and raw and torn open, broken hearts. And sometimes there is the sweet and beautiful here and there. But most of all it is real. Heart-wrenchingly real. Most definitely one of my favorite books so far this year. Yeah, I am only a few reads in, but this book spoke a million words to me. It has me looking at our world in a whole new light. Thank you, Yarros for this one. 5 Gut you from the inside out Stars!
Hallowed and Haunted- time heals and romance abounds This is an emotional journey that will have you crying and cheering on Josh and Ember. This book is about their relationship and how long distance relationship put a strain on them then immediately after Josh graduates Flight school, then off Josh’s second deployment in Afghanistan. Ember is stressed and worried about his being in the middle of war . When Josh came back, he was dealing with PTSD and he pushed Ember away. There was times I didn’t think they would make it together. I worried because no matter what, Ember was always there for Josh and he took her for granted but they hung in together and the ending was good. I think I would have rated it higher but Josh was a bit of a douche which kept my rating down. My Rating: 4.0 stars **** *A gifted copy was provided by the publisher for my honest review*
Couldn't turn thr pages fast enough. My heart rate was high the entire time.
What an emotional, profound, lovely journey Josh and Ember went on! I haven't read any of the first books but now feel I need to to get the whole story for Josh and Ember, along with their close friends. I was able to enjoy and follow their story just fine, but would love to see how it all began. There were times I smiled, times I teared up and times I wanted to fuss at Josh as I read their story. My heart went out to them both for their losses and struggle to keep going. I loved their saying they had together, but was frustrated with Josh to remember those words. But in the end, he totally melted my heart when he finally realized what he wanted. I enjoyed this story and its very real glimpse into the hard life of being in the military. This made me respect, admire and be more grateful to what our servicemen and their families endure. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Netgalley.
There are some debts you can’t repay. Josh Walker is loyal, reckless, and every girl’s dream. But he only has eyes for December Howard, the girl he's craved since his high school hockey days. Together they have survived grief, the military, distance, and time as they’ve fought for stolen weekends between his post at Ft. Rucker and her college at Vanderbilt. Now that Josh is a medevac pilot and Ember is headed toward graduation, they’re moving on—and in—together. Ember never wanted the Army life, but loving Josh means accepting whatever the army dictates—even when that means saying goodbye as Josh heads to Afghanistan, a country that nearly killed him once before and that took her father. But filling their last days together with love, passion, and plans for their future doesn’t temper Ember’s fear, and if there’s one thing she’s learned from her father’s death, it’s that there are some obstacles even love can’t conquer. Flight school is over. This is war. Review: Okay, get those tissues ready and you may need more than one box. There is a lot of emotional punch to this story. The Author did an excellent job of getting us into her characters, you could see their motivations, insecurities, hopes, fears and love. I had not read this series or Author before and did not know that this is a continuation of a previous story in the series. Even though I did not read their first story, I can understand why from reading this book everyone wanted more of this couple. I am not sure how else to put what I think about the book into a sensible review so I will leave it at this... This is a beautifully written love story! 5Stars *Received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.*
Gives true insight into the lives of our military families. One of the best series I have ever read. Tragic and triumphant. I finished this book 2 days ago and still can't get it out of my mind. The characters are that amazing. This author is truly gifted.
Want a book that will make you feel all the way from your head down to your toes? Want a story that will leave you breathless and stunned? Look no further. Rebecca Yarros continues to amaze me with her brilliant writing. Every book in the Flight & Glory series is a spectacular story of love, loss, and meaning. Her books touch your heart and leave you needing a moment to collect yourself. It has been a while since I have actually had tears streaming down my face while reading a book. Sure I tear up, but actually tears rolling down my cheeks... Not too often these days. Hallowed Ground is a beautiful and heartbreaking story. I was so nervous going into this book. The teasers and initial reactions were making me hesitant. I knew I would read it, without a doubt, but I found myself preparing mentally before I read the first word. What I found was remarkable. Rebecca needs to wear a pin on her lapel that says "World's Best Writer." She is one of those authors that will grip your soul and pull your emotions out. Not only is the general writing and story flow wonderful, the emotion and characters are tangible. At times, while reading, it was excruciating. I cried. At times I was giddy with laughter and smiling like a fool. It seems like I had become jaded from reading so many stories that when something truly spectacular comes along, I am left in awe. I know I am going above and beyond with my praise, but the continuation of Ember and Josh's story was not what I expected but exactly what I wanted and needed. This book deals with so many rough themes. There is war, tragedy, and pain. It felt like this story broke away from the series in a subtle way. Each book before this has great depth and emotion, but this one has something raw and gritty. Ember and Josh have fought valiantly for what they have. They are established. Their time together and apart creates a couple that is ready for anything. I love how you never doubt their love for one another in this book. So often in a book about war and pain you wonder if their love is enough to conquer what is happening. In Hallowed Ground it was never a question. The love and connection between these two will withstand anything. It makes things harder to feel and process but the base foundation of love, friendship, and soulmates is never in doubt. As much as I could go on and on, I will stop rambling. This book is beautiful. Point Made. It is harsh and cry worthy. Ember and Josh are by far my favorites. They have that factor that hundreds of stories are written about. For me, they are up there with famous couples like Romeo & Juliet, Jane & Edward, Cathy & Heathcliff, and Darcy & Elizabeth. They have that spark and tenacity that will hook you into the story, gripping your emotions, and making you hope that there is something to hold onto in the end. And Hallowed Ground has a story to hold onto, filled with characters to love and a book to immerse yourself in.
This was my first time reading a book in this series. Having not read the previous books, I found it a little hard to keep the couples straight in the beginning. However, I had no knowledge of Josh and December's prior history. That being said, I found this to be a unique, beautifully written and very emotional story of love, loss and guilt. Ms. Yarros does an amazing job taking us through a wide range of emotions with characters that are easy to connect with. This novel will leave a lasting impression long after you are finished reading. I was hooked from the start. A must read! ARC received from Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
This book... actually this whole series is literally breathtaking! I thought I had gotten a good dose of December and Josh from their previous story but this book... this book had me on the edge of seat, tugging at every single one of my heart strings with all of the raw emotions. Beautifully written. The storyline kept me interested throughout the entire book. I never had a "blah" moment or felt like a chapter in the book was unnecessary. I loved how very real and relatable Josh's problems were after returning home. It was flawlessy written and described with complete accuracy. Josh is the definition of an honorable, selfless and courageous man. I CAN NOT fully sum up how freak'in amazing I think December is. She is so strong and inspiring. As for the rest of the characters, I couldn't love any of them more than I already do. They've grown into such a close knit and loving family. I enjoyed reading about their relationships with each other. December and Josh, their love story literally sets me on fire. It makes every hopeless romantic crave a love as pure and unconditional as theirs. Even with the book closed, a part of me feels like I'm still living in their story. It's just one of those stories that stay with you. Already this hands down one of my favorite books of 2016 and just one of my favorites of all time! This is a MUST READ!!
I remember reading “Eyes Turned Skyward” by this author and being very impressed by how beautifully and empathetically it was written - and I’m pleased to say that skilful talent is showcased again in this addition to the series. In this case the main characters are Josh and Ember, high school sweethearts who are, at last, getting the chance to make their lives together. Needless to say, with this author, nothing is going to go smoothly for them! It is a beguiling read with charismatic characters facing decisions that will impact on their own and others lives, choices that will determine whether they have a chance of achieving a HEA together or not. The story is full of difficult circumstances, turmoil and angst. It paints a dramatic picture of the impact of choosing a life in the armed services has on not just the service personnel but also those near and dear to them, especially when deployment is in hostile territory like Afghanistan. The conflict, loss of friends and injuries sustained have easily seen physical impacts but it is the hidden psychological trauma that can have far reaching, deleterious results on relationships. Whilst striving to help loved ones achieve their full potential, sometimes misunderstandings and misinterpretation of expectations can actually cause more harm than good. This story is a true roller coaster ride, with so many emotional experiences woven into the story - sometimes you’ll feel like laughing alongside the characters only then to hit rock bottom and feel more like crying. It isn’t an easy story but there again, nor is real life, especially for members of the armed forces in scenarios like these. The ending is dramatic and the epilogue absolutely enchanting - I loved Quinn!! In case that hasn’t made it clear, this is a great story from an amazing series that I have no hesitation in highly recommending to anyone who enjoys their romance with considerably more emotional depth than is usually prevalent in the genre. This is another memorable, emotive and moving story from a highly talented author of an amazing series that I have no hesitation in highly recommending to anyone who enjoys their romance with considerably more emotional depth than is usually prevalent in the genre. Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley, too, for letting me read an ARC of this book in exchange for this, an honest review.
There aren’t a lot of perks to being a slow reader. There are few people with whom I can truly buddy read because they’ve finished the book by the time I reach Chapter 5 (thank God for blog partners who don’t care and still call it a buddy read anyway). I’m never up to date on all the new releases that catch my eye. And based on my current TBR, I’ll be 120 years old before I finish all the books I’ve already purchased (and that’s assuming I never buy another book in my life – HA!). One of the things I do love about reading at a slower pace, though, is how absolutely immersed I become in the stories. I live, breathe, and sleep the characters and their worlds for days on end and there is no feeling in the world quite like it. Curious as to how long I spent with the Flight and Glory series, I tallied all the days and it ended up totaling 49 for all four novels. 49 days spent enjoying some of the best storytelling I have ever read. 49 days etching these books into my soul. 49 days falling in love with characters who I will never forget. The strongest installment in the series, Hallowed Ground was the perfect conclusion to the journey Josh and Ember began back in Full Measures. Emotional rollercoasters are one of the hallmarks of Rebecca’s books and this one in particular was packed with such intense feeling and angst that it commanded all of my feelings. I swooned. I ached. I had to take several well-earned chapter breaks. I expressed myself in private messages with lots of crying face emojis. And by the end of the epilogue, I was bursting over with joy and a wonderful sense of completion. The story brought Josh and Ember’s hard-fought relationship full circle in such a way that I wouldn’t change one single part. I have been staunchly Team Jagger since Eyes Turned Skyward, but I have to say that Hallowed Ground showcases Josh’s steadfast love and devotion for Ember in such a way that I realized that I had definitely underestimated him. As sad as I am that the storyline is now complete, Rebecca did this series complete justice and I look forward to revisiting these books when I’m in need of a truly epic love story.
5 plus stars Hallowed Ground was such an emotional, heartfelt and memorable read. I laugh, I cried, I swooned, then sobbed and cried some more, sooooo many feels! LOVED!!! I've been thinking about my review, a lot. I've struggled with what I was going to say. How was I going to capture my feelings without talking about certain scenes and certain people and not spoiling it for you? Seriously I don't think I've ever had this problem before, this is how good no slash that, how brilliant this book was. Every page will make you feel, every person will touch your heart, and believe me when I say this you will be touched. Hallowed Ground is the final installment in the Flight & Glory series and while it can be read as a standalone I highly/strongly recommend you take the time out to read the other books. Going into this book after reading Josh & Embers story in Full Measures will add to your experience. And having formed a relationship with Josh, Ember and all the gang when a certain something happens it will be so much more emotional. And there I go again, here come the tears.... Hallowed Ground will make you laugh, smile, cry, swoon and cry some more. And that epilogue? *Perfection* You will not be disappointed to have picked this book/series up, this was a heartfelt & emotional ending to a brilliant series. It's no secret I'm a HUGE fan of Rebecca Yarros & her work. She gives her readers believable and memorable characters with storylines that touch your soul. You can tell this talented author writes with heart and I cannot wait to see/read what she has planned for us next!
Oh. My. Goodness. Hallowed Ground is such a good book. It's going to be tough to review without spoilers--so much goes in inside those pages, and I wouldn't have wanted to know any of it before hand!--but I'll do my best. Confession: I've only read this book (#4) and the third one ( Beyond What is Given in the series so far. I know, I know! Reading the first two is a definite priority. I've got Josh and Ember's first book (#1 in series, Full Measures ) in audio, so there's actually a good chance I'll be able to get it read before the semester's over. Since I know how they're going to end up (SO MANY FEELS), I'm even more motivated! ;) So...can you read this book without having read the others? Yes, probably. Will you know all the backstory and really "get" the relationships of all the people and couples? Probably not--some recapping is here, but definitely not of every single detail you should know. Hallowed Ground is a powerful story all on its own, no question, but you'll get more out of it if you've read the other books first. Hallowed Ground gripped me right from the very first page. Ms. Yarros definitely writes from the heart, and it's clear that she has experience with what she's talking about--with the alternating first person narration of the story, you really feel as if you are experiencing everything right along with the characters. They made me laugh. They made me cry. They made me laugh and cry at the same time. Thank heaven for waterproof mascara, because there was actual sobbing today on my lunch break as I neared the end of the book. Sobbing. At my desk. So much is going on in this story--Ember's finishing school, getting ready for graduate studies, and contemplating a summer dig in Turkey (that sounds freaking awesome, BTW. So jealous!) She and Josh have just moved in together, and Paisley and Jagger are in the other half of their duplex. Josh is now a medivac pilot, and just as they start to think that they've finally gotten some stability in their lives, bam! Josh finds out he's (along with Jagger, and Will will be following soon) heading to Afghanistan. And so it begins... Admittedly, much of Ember and Josh's relationship conflict could have been resolved with better communication. However, Ms. Yarros does an excellent job of making me believe that there were times when one or both of them literally couldn't have that conversation for one reason or another...and that reason wasn't always because they were in different parts of the globe. They kept going, though, as you do--as you must--and in the end every tear was absolutely worth it. And bonus: the title comes from The Gettysburg Address. And the text of that document ends up helping Josh get his head out of his butt toward the end. Seriously, how awesome is that? Just when I thought the book couldn't get more fantastic.... Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
Hallowed Ground is a beautiful, romantic and perfect end to the Flight & Glory series. I loved this book from start to finish. Ember and Josh were first introduced in book one and it was a beautiful story, as well. You don’t have to read the other books in the series, because Hallowed Ground does give you enough of the back story though, so you don’t go into the book completely lost. However, this is such a great series and each book is intertwined, I would highly recommend reading all of them. Ember and Josh have been through a lot and Ember is not thrilled about being a part of the military life anymore, but she loves Josh and accepts him for him and that life goes along with him. When Josh gets his orders, Ember hides her fears that he won’t return and Josh encourages Ember to follow her dreams, because he fears not returning either. The time before he leaves had me blubbering. Their relationship is threatened in more ways than one and there were times I was just sure they weren’t going to make it. There are so many emotional ups and downs. Make sure you have your tissues handy. You’re going to need them. Rebecca Yarros wrote a fantastic ending to one of my favorite series. I highly recommend reading the entire series, but this one is by far my favorite. I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This book was harder to read than Full Measures. True, the death of a parent can make tears fall, but I found myself crying more during Hallowed Ground. Josh and Ember are made for each other, but that didn’t mean they were without their problems. Everything they go through in this book is in keeping with the world Yarros has created, and with these characters we’ve come to know. That’s actually what made this novel a tear jerker. I’m so invested in these characters that I wanted things to end a certain way, and worried they wouldn’t. I really enjoyed reading about the other characters as well. Sam, Ember’s best friend, was back a bit, and so was Jagger. Since I haven’t read the second and third books, the other characters from Josh’s flight school weren’t known to me. However, I’m interested in them enough to want to go back and read their stories. Everyone was really well-developed, and Hallowed Ground made me fall even more in love with Rebecca Yarros’ writing. I’m not sure if this novel is the final novel in the series, or if Yarros will revisit the other characters again. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. I would recommend this book for fans of romance without love at first sight. These two cheaters have known each other since high school. Even though they didn’t get together until Ember was in college, their history really fleshed out the story. I would also recommend this novel to readers looking for a romance that feels earned, and has two really great cheaters to root for. Both Josh and Ember are likable, and when they would fight I found it hard to pick sides. I also found all of the other characters to be really likable, which is unusual for me. If you’re new to this series, I recommend starting from the beginning. You probably could jump in with Hallowed Ground, but reading Josh and Ember’s love from the beginning will be worth it. I received this book for free from publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I was a little hesitant to read this. I'm new to not just the series but the author as well. This story was extremely well written and pulled me in from the beginning. I finished in within 24hrs from starting it. I didn't know the story of Ember & Josh when I started this book. I didn't know any of the characters back story. Yet I didn't once find myself being lost. I just found myself more intrigued with where all of these characters were headed. But Ember & Josh really hit home for me. I know the military life and how easy it can get for the wife to stand in her husbands shadow while standing by his side and supporting his decisions. But Josh tried his best to fight against that. Through all of their struggles you see Josh fighting to make sure Ember stays true to herself while their relationship grows. Even though there are times they don't see eye to eye Ember & Josh continue to fight for each other and for a future together. This is a true love story to me. I only wish I had started the series from the beginning.
*I was given an ARC in exchange for my honest review* I was so hesitant to read this book. Never being one to like to say goodbye to a series, especially when it comes to my favorite characters, I almost didn't want to read it. I would open it, read a chapter and then tell myself not to read the next. I just wanted things to never change -to have my Flyboys with me always -but curiosity eventually won out and I finally worked up the courage to take the plunge and read the rest of Hallowed Ground. I'm glad I did. I absolutely...ABSOLUTELY...loved this book from start to finish. I laughed. I cried. I wanted to smack Josh and Ember upside the head sometimes at their behaviors. Ultimately there was a connection between myself and the characters that made them so incredibly realistic to me. This just goes to show that Rebecca Yarros has created characters so three-dimensional and full of heart and soul that they don't feel limited to just inked words on pages. These characters have been such a part of my heart since I first was introduced to them in Full Measures and I'm glad I got to read the end of their story as well as what happened to the others. This story not only focuses on the flaws of our characters but their strengths as they battle their demons for the sake of love and each other. Though it breaks my heart having to let them go, I know their stories are done. When I finished the last page of the chapter, not only did I cry because of the ending but because of the beauty of their beginnings; the ones we'll never be privy to. So thank you, Rebecca Yarros. For gracing us with these wonderful characters. For showing us a love worth fighting for. And for putting a little bit of Josh and Ember in our hearts always. Thank you.
4 - Live well. Love hard. Stars! Josh and Embers story continues in Hallowed Ground, the fourth book in Rebecca Yarros’ Flight & Glory series. This is a couple I have a massive soft spot for as the story of their meeting and everything that happened after in Full Measures was probably one of my most emotional and enjoyable reads of 2014. I will be honest and say I was a little nervous to start this one, having such strong emotions about Josh and Ember, means I really wanted the continuation of their story to be the absolute best it could be… And after my experience with the last book in the series I wasn’t 100% certain Rebecca could pull it off. Hallowed Ground, was as much of an emotional roller-coaster as Full Measures was, but I think the main thing you pull from the story is just how far Josh & Ember have come as a couple over the last two or so years, and the depth of their feelings and the strength of their relationship because of it. "Sometimes the littlest catalysts cause the biggest impacts." Expect tears, I cried loads, expect heartbreak, you’ll witness loads, prepare yourself for drama, shocks and more surprises than you would think capable for an author to weave into one book, but Rebecca did, and she did it well. Josh and Embers continuation isn’t an easy read, but then I didn’t really expect it to be. "When it comes to you, to how much I love you… I have no morals. No honor. I would lie, cheat, murder, steal, dishonor everything I hold dear if it meant spending my life with you. No measure of duty, or God, or country could ever make up for losing you…" I cannot recommend this book, or for the most part the whole series enough. Considering the epilogue, I wonder if this may be the last time we spend with the crew that we have met and fallen in love with over the course of the four books, I hope that isn’t the case as I would like to see how and where everyone ends up in a few years’ time. "No more good-byes." ARC generously provided via Netgalley, and it was my absolute pleasure to provide the above honest review.
I always manage my expectations when I pick up a “military” romance. Very few authors have the real life experience to draw from. They make their hero a SEAL or “Special Forces”, make him an alpha-male, and call it a day. Hallowed Ground blew me away. Not only is it a true military romance, it touched me in a deeply personal manner and I might not be the most impartial reviewer. You see, I’m a combat veteran. Between two tours to Iraq and two tours to Afghanistan I was deployed for more than half of a five year period. Rebecca Yarros has truly captured what military family life is like. Hallowed Ground is so much more than a romance. As the wife of an Army aviator and daughter of an Army officer, she has lived the life and it bursts through the pages in every nuance of this book. Most importantly, she has managed to capture the emotions of being a military family. Not just between lovers, but between the friends you collect and make your family. The joy, the fear, the grief, the anger, the frustration. All of it. This could be a bit of a downer for some readers. There is a lot of emotion in this book. It’s not the usual happy-conflict-resolution romantic formula, but this is probably one of the most honest stories you will ever read. And when he jumps off the cliff and then meets her at the airport…not really, but extra points if you get the movie reference. ;) As much as I loved this story, there were times I felt a little lost. Hallowed Ground is the continuation of Ember’s and Josh’s story from Full Measures. There are a lot of references to their back story. This is absolutely not the fault of the author – it is completely my fault for being a new fan of Rebecca Yarros. I only mention as a warning for other new fans – go read the first three books. You won’t regret it!
Sometimes people do things for the sake of love, even if it's something they don't necessarily want to do, and no one knows this to be truer than December Howard. She loves Josh, and the idea of him returning to Afghanistan haunts her, that place has taken so much from her and she can't imagine giving it the opportunity to do it again. She is hoping her love for Josh will be enough to keep him safe, but she also knows that it's not always a guarantee and that has her scared to death. The possibility of losing him is unbearable, but she must put those feelings aside now and make the most of the time they have together now... before the war he signed up to fight calls him back to Afghanistan. Josh Walker's heart belongs to December Howard, together they have survived and conquered so many things, so he has know doubts that they can survive him making one more trip to war. The idea of leaving her behind is haunting, but duty calls and he must do the job that he signed up for, even if there's a chance he may not make it back to her. He wants to make the most of the time they have together now, and make sure she knows how much he loves her, and make her believe that they can get through this, just like they have so many times before. After reading the synopsis for this story I knew it was one that I had to read, and I am happy to report it was everything I expected and so much more! This beautifully written story captured my attention right from the start and held on tight all the way through. Josh and December's story was packed with emotion, passion, intensity, heart and I truly enjoyed every minute I spent reading it!! Definitely a very impressive NetGalley find for me, I look forward to reading more from this author in the future!! Highly recommend you give this one a try, it is sure to touch your heart, and provide you with few hours of some very enjoyable reading! ARC requested through NetGalley and kindly provided by Entangled Publishing, LLC in exchange for a honest review.