Series: Sanctuary Island #5
Published by St. Martin's Press Source: Netgalley
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Friendship, Law Enforcement, Romance, Second Chances, Small Town Romance
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When Tessa Alexander came to Sanctuary Island, she left behind a marriage to a man who didn’t love her the way she loved him. When she finally found the strength to set them both free, she discovered friendship and self-acceptance in her adopted hometown. Now she’s settled into a quiet life on her own—never expecting to see her husband again.
Johnny spent almost two years deep undercover, unable to let his wife into his cold, dangerous world. He’s shaken to the core when he comes home to find her gone. It’s painfully clear that Tessa is no longer the timid young woman he married—she’s become a force of nature, a brave and determined beauty. Johnny can’t let her go without a fight so he sets out to seduce his own wife. But will passion alone be enough to convince Tessa that her new life should include a second chance at happiness with a man who must learn to believe in love?
I don’t know about you guys but I love books about a guy in uniform, and I was really drawn to the blurb on this book. I liked that this guy was coming off of a long term undercover assignment only to find out that his wife had left him while he was gone. Yes it sucks, but I liked that the whole book was going to be about him trying to fix his marriage, what can I say, I like people who work for it.
So when the book starts I was pretty for a chapter or two. I liked Johnny, or rather I kind of liked where his story started. His assignment has just ended, it seems like it went really well and he’s getting all these accolades at his job for doing a great job on this long term undercover work. It’s clear he wants to get home to see his wife, and then of course the shoe drops. She left him a dear John letter, with divorce papers. I don’t know about you guys, but to me it made me kind of hate her right off the bat. I mean I’m sure it’s hard to live away from your husband for such a long time, I’m an army wife so I’ve been there, but to just leave him, move out your home, not leave a forwarding address, and basically just take off seems all kind of messed up.
Of course Johnny goes to track her down and try to fix whatever is wrong with his marriage, and this is where things went off the rails for me. Apparently these two, Johnny and Tessa, have been married for like almost a decade and apparently have not so much as kissed. It’s weird. I get why she left him, he wants to be loved, not have a roommate. And as it turns out Johnny has feelings for her, wants her physically, and loves her, so why weren’t they involved? And I’m sorry I know almost no guy who is going to go almost a decade without sex of any kind, so either he was sleeping with other people while they were married, or I dunno, it was just weird to me. I had a hard time getting on board with the whole premise of this couple. There is some backstory to explain things, but it still didn’t work for me.
Also another huge problem I had was the writing style. The POV kind of jumped around without much warning which was kind of off putting. But more than that, for me, was the I guess I would call it simplistic writing style. It didn’t draw me into the characters or the plot and seemed more like a short and sweet style, sometimes it felt a bit cheesy or not like real people, it just did not work for me. I think if you like the kind of short and sweet romance books, this would probably work for you, but it did not do anything for me.