Navy SEAL Reece Browning sacrificed body and soul in the line of duty. He survived torture at the hands of America’s enemies, but lost his career and his voice in the process. Traumatized and desperate to get his PTSD under control, Reece escapes to Eagle Ridge Ranch. Under the big Texas sky, he finds peace, a renewed sense of purpose—and a woman who makes him feel like a man again. Her smile lights up his dark days, and her caress helps him forget the night terrors.
Ex-Marine Gina Wilson also bears painful scars: emotional wounds inflicted by men she once trusted with her life. She has fought hard to overcome her demons and build a good life for her daughter, and Reece is too intense, too damaged, too raw to let into her heart. Yet she’s drawn irresistibly to his steely gaze and heated embrace. No one else understands what it’s like to suffer in silence. And when Gina’s daughter is threatened, it’s Reece who risks everything to save the day.
This series is turning out to be a rather epic experience to me with the deeply wounded heroes of the war returning home and trying to heal their bodies and minds from the horrors they have experienced.
Both Reece and Gina are broken, so terribly broken inside. Yet they meet as Gina is trying to help to heal the outside wounds that Reece has in him. Gina's wounds are not known, the terrors in her mind are deeply buried for the sake of her daughter. Together they are the perfect fit for each other, if only they learn to make compromises, learn to give room for the other, learn to come over the troubles of their minds.
The romance between Reece and Gina is rocky, I didn't expect anything else. There are moments between them that are so sweet, there are moments that just makes you wonder if they ever were meant to be. Reece has learned from his father how to talk to a woman and how to treat one rightly. His sweet words are at times over the top, but I also felt that Gina needed the over the top kind of romance to get over the terrors she had experienced and learn to love and live in a relationship with Reece, thus so perfect for each other.
The PTSD, how it is described, the moments of utter panic, the memories from the war, they were so vivid, so clearly painted in my mind by the author that something inside me broke a bit. I am still in tears as I write this because the fate of so many of these brave men and women is the doom of never getting the help they need, there just aren't enough of these places where they can heal with the time they need and with the resources they require. How it effected personally on Gina and Reece both, the moments as they shared their painful, unthinkable lot in life - I can't help but admire how well they both were able to function.
There are several sensual sex scenes, that I thought after the first one were not necessarily needed for the plot development, but I also liked that the story continued beyond the initial coming together, and showed the rocky journey they had, and how they had to take time to work on the relationship after their life otherwise calmed down.
I had to come to acceptance of the healing powers of the waterfalls in the last book, I dealt with it then and was easier to accept it now. The history of the place was brought in an eerie way, that gave me chills.
Piper was the balance of the tale that brought light and joy with just mentioning her name. Her connection to Reece was amazing, it helped to heal some deep wounds inside of him, and speed up the recovery that could have been otherwise impossible. She gave hope to the darkness Reece was living in.
There are moments in the story when I was belly laughing out loud either because of the funny moments or the corny things said. There were moments I wasn't sure I will survive the reading because the strong emotional connection I had with the story, and how deeply invested I got in the tale and the characters. The book kept me up late into the night, it is addictive with the constant twists, deep emotions, danger, fear, laughter, and joy. I am hooked on this series, that is for sure, eagerly waiting for more
~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
MY GRADING SCALE:
5 Spoons - Amazing, memorable story that I loved and want to read again. The best of the best and not given lightly
4 Spoons - Fantastic, entertaining story that I enjoyed and connected with and will gladly recommend to readers
3 Spoons - A good story, not much that stood out but I was engaged enough to spend the time to read it through
2 Spoons - A story with some issues, that were a problem to me
1 Spoon - Not for me