Let me just put this out there right now, I don’t read a lot of military fiction or romances. While I love military history and have family that have served and continue to serve in the military, it’s just not a genre that I ever think about picking up to read. Ever. No real reason why, I just simply don’t think of it.
So why now? Here is the shallow answer—I loved the cover. Sure the cover lured me in, but I have to admit I was intrigued by the summary and I love Southern fiction and thought this one might be a diverting read.
Plus, I love romances what can I say. There is just something so satisfying about a happily ever after that I just can’t say no to! That’s how I came to review this one and I am not at all sorry that I read it!
At thirty, Greer Hadley never expected to be forced home to Madison, Tennessee with her life and dreams of being a songwriter up in flames. To make matters worse, a series of bad decisions and even crappier luck lands her community service hours at a nonprofit organization that aids veterans and their families. Greer cannot fathom how she’s supposed to use music to help anyone deal with their trauma and loss when the one thing that brought her joy has failed her.
When Greer meets fifteen-year-old Ally Martinez, her plans to stay detached and do as little as possible get thrown away. New to town and dealing with the death of her father in action, she hides her emotions behind a mask of bitterness and sarcasm, but Greer is able to see past it and recognizes pieces of who she once was in Ally. The raw and obvious talent she possesses could take her to the top and Greer vows to make sure life’s negativities don’t derail Ally’s potential.
After Greer is assigned a veteran to help, she’s not surprised Emmett Lawson, the town’s golden boy, followed his family’s legacy. What leaves her shocked is the shell of a man who believes he doesn’t deserve anyone’s help. A breakthrough with Ally reminds Greer that no one is worth giving up on. So she shows up one day with his old guitar, and meets Emmett’s rage head on with her stubbornness. When a situation with Ally becomes dire, the two of them must become a team to save her—and along the way they might just save themselves too. (summary from Goodreads).
This is a new to me author and I was drawn in by the fact that she has won awards for her writing. She must be doing something right—-right? Well the answer is yes—yes she is! This book got me in the feels. It was an emotionally packed novel. There was a lot of things going on here, love, redemption, self discovery—all the things and I had a lot of emotions while reading this one.
All of the characters face very realistic and relevant problems in this book. I loved watching the characters navigate their feelings as well as the issues with the other characters in this book. This author did a fantastic job at showing the strength of each character that was unique to them. As a reader, I felt like I was going through the emotions of each character right along with them and I was entirely hooked on it all.
The setting was also cozy. I don’t live in the South, but I loved reading about the small town life and I really felt like I was right there with the characters. I watched a documentary on the famous Blue Bird Cafe recently and I loved seeing it here in this book in a small way.
This book is full of tragedy but also redemption and I am so here for it. I am glad I decided to take a chance on this one. This was so much more than just another ‘romance’ novel. It has a ton of heart and soul and I think it will appeal to a wide audience. There is a lot to love and if you are looking for an emotional read then give this one a shot! I also have a giveaway for this one going on over on my Instagram page so pop by for a chance to win a copy!