Series: Unlikely Love #1
Published by Hachette-Forever Source: Netgalley
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Military, Romance
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Only love can heal his wounds . . .
Gunnery Sergeant Jake Sanders made it through the war in Afghanistan, but he's struggling to survive the peace at home. Still scarred by his experiences overseas, Jake now spends most of his time working out and tending to his brother's bar and grill. He's not looking for a girlfriend and avoids intimate relationships . . . until he meets the bar's gorgeous new manager.
Ex-ballerina Sophie Agnés couldn't take her eyes off Jake the moment she saw him-he was, after all, sleeping half-naked in her new office when she arrived on her first day of work. The chemistry between them is immediate, and soon it's not clear who is seducing whom. But Sophie fears that something is keeping Jake from opening his heart to her. And a man with dark secrets may not be the right man for her after all.
I go either way on military romance novels, sometimes I absolutely enjoy them from beginning to end and other times I feel like the whole book reads like one giant cliche of what being in the military “really is,” I was definitely please with the portrayal of the military/vet in this story. Plus I have a serious weakness for all things ballet (I think it stems from years of ballet class) so for me this book was just about everything I could ask for.
So Sophie gives up her career as a ballet dancer to be the manager of a bar, and Jake is half owner of said bar, but he is suffering from a big case of PTSD from his time in a war zone. From the moment Sophie means Jake, she is compassionate and kind to him, she finds him drunk and passed out on her couch on her first day of work, and without knowing the guy she makes sure everyone leaves him alone and takes care of him. I think it says a lot about who Sophie is that she was willing to take care of someone she didn’t know at all without so much as a second thought, she definitely has a good heart.
Jake is damaged, haunted by things that most people could never understand and will never experience for themselves. Jake wants to be a good guy, he wants to be the guy everyone wants him to be. But he has a serious case of PTSD and sometimes he has episodes that can’t be predicted and that he without a doubt doesn’t know how to handle all that well. He also has some issues letting people in as well. But thankfully he has an overprotective brother, Dave, who keeps a watchful eye on him.
I think my favorite thing about Sophie and Jake is how much Jake wants to make sure he never hurts Sophie and Sophie just wants to be there for Jake in any way she can. She wants to truly know Jake, to be there to help him through any episode he might have, and just love him unconditionally. I liked that the progression of the relationship is slow going, that they both went into it slowly and really had a much more emotional connection before a physical one. I think that sometimes the build up to the physical makes the pay off so much more worth it in the end, and in this case it worked so well. I really liked the two of them together, even when Jake makes mistakes and makes stupid decisions, you always know he is coming from a good place, so I spent the whole novel really rooting for the two of them.
Lately I just want to say how impressed I was with Rose’s portrayal of Jake, his PTSD didn’t read as over the top, it read as authentic, and that’s not an easy thing to do; she did a good job representing vets who suffer from PTSD and I couldn’t review this book without mentioning that. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes a contemporary romance, especially if you like books with military characters in them. Happy reading to you all!