Half Broke (Veterans Affairs #2)
AUTHOR’S BLURB: On a Colorado ranch, two men damaged by war and love, fight for their place in the world and with each other. A Veterans Affair Novella.
MY REVIEW: A short, sweet, tear-prompting story to explore a couple versions of PTSD and loneliness and fear. Yeah, cuz it’s not hard to pack all that into a believable and delicious romance that’s only 46 pages long.<sarcasm alert> But it was done, and done well.
MY RAVE: This is a free novella in the series. It’s less than 50 pages, but free is a good price and it gives a pretty good feel for what you’re gonna go through, emotionally when you read the rest of the series.
Incoming (Veterans Affairs #1)
AUTHOR’S BLURB: What happens when what you need could cost you everything you’ve ever wanted?
What Dmitri Greenman wants is out – out of debt, out of his rundown farmhouse, and out of Red Deer, Colorado. Salvation beckons in the form of a job opportunity in California.
What newly-discharged army veteran Troy Johnson wants is simply to lay down – lay down his weapon, lay down some roots, and lay down the memories that haunt him. Red Deer sounds like the perfect place to do it.
Sparks fly when their paths cross one hot Fourth of July weekend, and suddenly they find that what they need is each other.
But the memories Troy is running from are hot on his heels and, whether Troy wants it or not, Dmitri is determined to save him from the demons he hadn’t even realized he was fighting.
MY REVIEW: Ooh, the tears that are shed for this one! The characters really let loose with the weeping and sobbing in this one and let me tell you, it gets to you. It crawls right up in your heart and kicks it in its cajones a few times just so you can join in on the fun. But don’t forget there is sexy times and romance, too. And cute doggies.
Now, this does need to be re-edited, but otherwise it’s good.
MY RANT: If you start out on one day, saying it’s a Friday, don’t turn around and say the next is a Friday. Be consistent. Map that stuff out. Trust me when I say this is not just you. This is every author. But this was at the BEGINNING of the book. At 2% and 5%. Oh, how I wish I had page numbers instead, but whatever. And if the same day that you date someone is when something else happens, don’t make it like it’s the next day. It’s not. We keep track. You ain’t bein’ slick or sly. We know what’s up. Just cuz you’re losin’ track with the different people you’re writin’ ’bout doesn’t mean we are. Write yourself a note or a calender or somethin’.
Christmas Outing (Veterans Affairs #3)
AUTHOR’S BLURB: Troy and Dmitri have worked everything out – well, almost everything. Except for the part where Troy’s family doesn’t know Dmitri exists.
Troy’s been out of the Army for almost a year, and except for a few short weeks, hasn’t been back to West Virginia at all.
Now Christmas is coming, and his mother can’t be put off any longer, not unless Troy wants to break her heart.
But Troy’s biggest fear is that going home, new boyfriend and service dog in tow, is going to break his Momma’s heart just as much.
Paper Hearts (Veterans Affairs #4)
AUTHOR’S BLURB: You never forget your first love. No matter how hard you try.
After getting caught making out with a boy in his parent’s kitchen the day of his high school graduation, Benito Quintana left his best friend (and unrequited crush) Mikey behind when he stormed off in a righteous teenage rage and joined the Marines.
The whole Marines thing didn’t work out so well, but one dishonorable discharge and a few alcohol-soaked years later, things are looking up. He’s almost a year sober. He has a new job, in a new town where no one knows his history of failure, so he can start fresh. He’s totally got this.
Michael Washington had his life all planned out. But seeing Benny with his tongue down some guy’s throat short-circuited his brain, and everything he thought he knew about himself went right out the window. Benny left before Mikey could get his head straightened out, and Mikey never did get the chance to explain.
Mikey’s world crumbled again when the death of his wife forced him to drop out of law school to raise his infant daughter. Four years later and he’s just getting his feet under him. Mikey is ready to give in to his long-suppressed desires. What better place than the Pride Masquerade Party for an anonymous hookup?
It isn’t until the masks come off that Mikey realizes he’s screwed in more ways than one.
MY REVIEW: I thought this was going in a different way because of the synopsis. But it didn’t. Maybe because of the author, maybe because of the characters, maybe because of the length of the book. Who knows. But it was good. It was a pleasant surprise. I was not let down in the least. The story stayed all in the present, not at all in the past. It felt like it was worn like a piece of clothing, where it had its own weight and feel and presence but was so just so universal for everyone that it wasn’t even noticeable unless it brushed up against something.
The story does seem to be a little lost on whether it wants to focus more on the romance part of the story or make some big intrigue about Benny’s TBI and alcoholism. Not that this is Highlander and “there can be only one.” But it helps to have one be the priority in the story.
Overall, a good writing, with several instances of name switches between the main characters. But I have a fondness for our military boys, past and present. And I look forward to the sequel trying to learn from this story.
MY RANT: When you write that you tell certain characters someone was in the military, don’t then turn around and have the same characters find out again pages later (what amounts to hours later in their world) with shock because they didn’t know that person was in the military and have them all of a sudden change their opinion of the person. AND have it accepted, in fact welcomed, by the person that told them BOTH TIMES. No, no bad dog! (um, that was meant jokingly, not rudely)
Paper Roses (Veterans Affairs #5)
AUTHOR’S BLURB: Cold feet, warm heart.
Mikey Washington really does want to be married.The whole thing had been his idea in the first place. So maybe “Do you want to marry me or not, pendejo?” wasn’t the world’s most romantic proposal, but Mikey had meant every word of it. Besides, Benny Quintaña had been making Mikey crazy since they were twelve-years-old. Mikey was used to it.
So why did planning this wedding feel like facing a firing squad?
When Benny had asked Mikey to marry him, Mikey’s answer had been “I’m going to fucking kill you.”
“Is that a yes?” Benny had asked. He liked to be clear on things.
“Yeah, for real, even though you’re an idiot,” Mikey had answered. That sounded like true love to Benny.
So why does Benny have the feeling Mikey has one foot out the door?
MY REVIEW: This is a story that quite definitely needs the fluff and filler from the first installment of the story or there’s not really much depth to the characters. It’s cute, it’s sweet, and it’s nice to see the where life’s roller-coaster took this couple next.
The writing is good, the story is a little predictable, but still brings tears in a few spots if you know the couple. Or are just one of THOSE people, I guess *looks away and sniffs*.