Thursday, January 23, 2014

THE WAY HOME by Cindy Gerard

Publisher:  Gallery Books
Published:   October 29, 2013

Genre:   Contemporary Romance
Book format: Ebook
Obtained via:  Publisher (Edelweiss / Above the Treeline)
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina

Five hearts

There comes a time when you need to stop living in the past and move into, at the very least, the present.  Maybe you don’t need to look at a future and getting to the present is a big step, but sometimes you need to get there.  Sometimes you need a little help, sometimes you don’t, but opening your heart can make a world of difference.

A year ago in the midst of a daring rescue Ty Brown met a woman he soon found he couldn’t forget.  Arriving on her doorstep in the dead of winter with Nate Black’s boys, Jess Albert said nothing more than “these were my husband’s” when she turned over that husband’s guns to the warriors at her door.  Jess and her actions stayed with Ty long after the rescue ended.  And he always meant to return.  But along the way a woman named Maya entered his life.

Three years ago Jess heard the words no military wife or girlfriend ever wants to hear…. “We regret to inform you.”  Hearing those words froze Jess in time.  But when Ty Brown arrives unannounced on her step she begins to unfreeze.  Slowly but surely Jess and Ty return to the world of the living…they still mourn their losses, but they find their way to the present.

A half a world away a man wakes to find himself chained and in pain, but with no memory of how he came to be in this place.  A woman who tells him her name is Rabia, cares for him as best she can given her limited means.  And Rabia protects him from those who hunt him.  But can one woman protect a warrior against Taliban hunters.

When word reaches Nate Black and then Ty that Jess’s husband isn’t dead after all but instead a prison in faraway Afghanistan, Ty does not hesitate to say he will join in the rescue attempt.  How many broken hearts and shattered dreams can one small family endure?  More important, can love heal those hearts and turn those dreams around.

I’ve been a fan of Cindy Gerard’s since I read her book, DREAM TIDE in the early 1990’s.  Her men are heroes…not in a large way, but with quiet assurance.  Her female characters are the kind of women you’d like to have as a friend.  Readers will see bits and pieces of themselves in different characters in each book giving you the sense of coming home with those characters.  When I pick up a Gerard romantic suspense I settle in for non-stop adventure and heart stopping missions to unfold on the pages.  Her latest, THE WAY HOME takes a slightly different tack and seems to open up another dimension of Ms. Gerard’s talent.  Oh yes, there is a white knuckle rescue where I found myself holding my breath till I knew the outcome.  And there is a passionate romance.  But there is a well done, new dimension when she takes us into the darkest moments of a prisoner of war and the effects of war itself, not just on the soldiers, but the people who live through it on their home grounds and those waiting at home. 

More than once I thought Ms. Gerard had written herself into a corner and each time was happy to see that rather than fencing in her characters, she took them to another level.  THE WAY HOME is a sensitively written story that invites the reader to experience the myriad effects of war and at the same time gives hope.  I wasn’t sure I would like the dual romances unfolding, but the way Ms. Gerard brings everything home is so well done. 

While part of not just the One Eyed Jack series, which is a continuation of several of her earlier series you do not have to read the books in order.  Ms. Gerard gives just enough back story for the reader to understand what came before.  THE WAY HOME is not just a story for our times, but for times to come. 

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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