Series: Loving You #2
Published by Loveswept Source: Netgalley
Genres: Alpha Guy, Contemporary Romance, Friendship, Military, Romance
Buy on Amazon
As a dancer who creates mesmerizing visions onstage, Neve James is looking for the same kind of stability in her love life. Her pen pal, Rory McRoy, is on leave from deployment in Afghanistan, so she heads to Boston to surprise him. After corresponding for months as part of a “Support Our Troops” initiative—and exchanging dozens of “Read When You’re Alone” letters—Neve knows what Rory likes, and she intends to fulfill his every fantasy. But all they get are a few blissful moments together before they’re interrupted by a woman claiming to be Rory’s fiancée.
Rory has fallen hard for Neve’s letters. When he finally meets her in person, he has to have her, right then and there—until Neve takes off in a fit of anger. Forced to return to Afghanistan before he can fix things between them, Rory waits four agonizing months to prove that he’s not the man Neve thinks he is. But by the time he arrives in New York, she’s already made up her mind. Luckily, Rory never backs down from a challenge, and he’s prepared to put everything on the line for love.
So I thought this was a cute premise for a book, meeting and falling for the guy you were pen pals with while he was serving overseas. I’ve been a pen pal for a deployed soldier before (although it was so not romantic like it turned out to be in this story), so I know the importance of helping keep spirits up of the people who are away from their homes and families. I have to admit I was expecting this book to start more at the beginning of the pen pal relationship, but man you are thrown right into the here and now when the book starts, but the letters are interspersed throughout the book, and it was so much fun to read how they got to where they are now.
So Neve is an interesting character, when the book starts she is really in the middle of trying to be a different person. Before this point she had lived her life a little fast and loose, but she is on a mission to live a better life, to be a better person. She starts writing a soldier, Rory, and they have some really funny and sometimes sexy letters. Neve definitely has some serious self confidence in her letters, and I think part of that comes from the fact that they are so removed from each other that she is able to put herself out there a little bit more. But in person, Neve is a lot more confused and not nearly as self-assured. Part of what I like about her is that she is so determined to be strong, and to do things on her own, she fights to be independent whenever possible, but when she lets her guard down and opens herself up to others it really is enjoyable to watch her figure out who she is and where she fits in the world.
Now Rory, I loved Rory. Full disclosure, I am not really a fan of shorter guys, so when it said he was like five foot four, I thought to myself he wasn’t really my kind of guy. But I loved his personality, and I love how much he fought for Neve and to make things right with her. The thing with Rory and Neve is that when the book starts they are in the middle of one massive miscommunication, Neve wants nothing to do with him, and he isn’t willing to walk away without explaining himself. I don’t think Rory ever thought that Neve and him would be anything more than friends who hooked up, he definitely wasn’t thinking they would be in it for the long haul. But, life surprised Rory, and he was so amazing at taking care of Neve, and convincing her to let him in. I loved that he saw her for who she really was and not for the bad things in her past. Yes, there are certainly some missteps that Rory makes, but he really is a good guy, and a good hero.
I liked this romance, it was a fun read for me. I was really impressed with how well the author did at making this book intriguing even though it took place in one location for a great portion of the book. The characters were complex, and their chemistry was hot. If you like military guys in your romances, then you should seriously consider picking up this book.
Today, like yesterday, and the day before that, Neve Jaimes thought dying would be easier than living. Mostly because she didn’t do sick very well.
“Damn this flu.” Damn feeling so weak and dizzy every time she tried to sit up. But she’d done it, had even managed to remain upright long enough to put on her bathrobe. Now, for the next challenge, she slid her bare feet into the slippers beside her bed, used her arms to push off, and stood with the ease of a severely arthritic 109-year-old. Everything hurt. Ten miserable days with no end in sight. “Enough already.” She needed to get well. Needed soup, which was why she’d forced herself out of bed.
With Mom and Dad away and her best friend, Brooke, now living hours from New York, there’d be no homemade chicken soup deliciousness in her immediate future. Takeout from the deli down the street would have to do.
In the kitchen Neve steadied herself against the counter long enough to pick out a spoon, then plopped into a chair, exhausted from expending the minuscule amount of energy required to travel a few dozen feet, thankful her one-bedroom condo was small and all on one level.
When someone knocked at the door she opened her eyes and lifted her head from where it rested on her folded arms on top of the table, but made no move toward the door, partly because she felt too dizzy to stand right at that moment, but mostly because her brother, Nate, the bringer of the soup, had a key.
She met the second, louder knock with a groan. Honestly, what the hell was the purpose of giving your overprotective big brother a key to your condo—which he had annoyed and harassed you for until you begrudgingly gave it to him—if he didn’t use that key for emergencies? Which this was, on account of Neve not being able to remember the last time anything other than ginger ale or warm tea had passed her lips. With her body completely depleted of nutrients, she needed sustenance to fight off the virus running rampant through her system.
Once the dizziness faded, Neve stood. “Pain in my ass.” And everywhere else, for that matter. Hunched over and clutching her old purple robe closed in front of her, she shuffled to the door and opened it. The of refreshingly cold November air felt good on her fevered skin. But the bright midday sun shot like spears into both eyes, blinding her. “Jeez.” She slapped a hand over her face, a little harder than intended, sending a throb of pain through her skull. “Owwwww. Did you bring the ibuprofen?”
Shit. That didn’t sound like Nate. Positioning her hand like a visor, she squinted at her unwanted visitor, to find five feet, seven inches of sexy, way too good-looking male dressed in tan boots and matching light green camouflage pants, jacket, and bucket hat. Well, triple shit. It’d been four months since she’d met him in person for the first and only time, when she’d learned he wasn’t the good guy she’d thought him to be during their eight months as pen pals. This man who she’d confided in, who knew more about her life than her best friend her brother, turned out to be a liar, and she wanted nothing to do with him.
“Go away, Rory.” She turned and reached out to slam the door in his face. In one quick motion, he stopped it. Most people would consider Rory average height for a guy, but he was much taller than Neve, who stood a tiny bit over five feet. And with his big, defined muscles, he had her beat in the strength department, too.
“What’s wrong, Neve? You look like crap.”
Probably smelled like crap, too, since she hadn’t bathed or changed her pajamas in . . . too many days. And you know what? She could care less. “Why, thank you for those kind words, you sweet-talker. You really know how to make a girl feel beautiful.” She tugged at the door again. It didn’t budge. “Now move your hand. I don’t have the strength to fight with you today.”
“Even if you did, I’d be ready for you this time.”
She did not appreciate the amusement in his voice. A few months ago she’d taken him, a U.S. Army soldier, down to the ground and incapacitated him, with surprisingly little effort, and they both knew it. “You promised not to come looking for me if I didn’t want to be found. If I recall correctly, you wrote, ‘But I swear on the life of Father McGinty, my priest back home, that when I’m stateside I’m not the man I need to be when I’m here, that I would never hurt you, or come looking for you if you didn’t want to be found.’”
Shifting so the sun wasn’t shining directly into her eyes, she gave him her very best glare. “And well, whaddya know? You did hurt me”—not physically and she’d never willingly admit how much—“ here you are. There’s a reason I used a PO box, a reason I never gave you my home address. Because I didn’t want to be found! Maybe next time you should think twice before swearing on the life of your priest, because you, Rory McRoy, are a damn liar.”
That mini-tirade zapped what little strength Neve had, and she fell back against the door, trying to catch her breath, praying her legs would hold her up for a few more minutes.
He stepped toward her. Too close. “Let me—”
“No.” Neve tried to yank her arm out of his hold, her weakened state making the attempt totally ineffective, embarrassing even.
A deep, familiar, very welcome voice bellowed, “Get your hand off of my sister.”
Thank goodness. Help had arrived in the form of her six-foot-tall, big and strong police officer brother, in full uniform—which meant he had his gun. “Shoot him.” Of course he wouldn’t, but saying it felt good.
Cool, calm, and collected, Rory remained on track. “We need to talk, Neve.”
“No, we don’t.” This time when she pulled away he let her.
“Are you pregnant?” Rory asked, loud enough for Nate to hear.
Nate yelled, “Why the hell does he think you’re pregnant?” as he came within arm’s reach of Rory. Close enough to strangle him, which might just come in handy.