Word Count: 6,660
Average Goodreads Rating: 3/5 stars
My rating: 1/5 stars
Jolene Franks and Sam Caldwell have been ready to tie the knot for a year. But thanks to both of them being deployed, the wedding was postponed. Until now. Finally they can take a break from the military long enough for a honeymoon, but they'll never take a break from being patriots serving their country.
This book could have been so good. There's a kickass military heroine, a long-awaited reunion and even some (almost) steamy sex scenes as well as a honeymoon in Hawaii. Oh yes, this book had potential, and that is probably why I'm so angry at it at the moment.
I don't even know where to begin with this crazy storm of horrificness. There's the rushed love story, the barrage of characters at the end (because this is just an introductory novel for the "real" books of the series, featuring the other characters) and the patriotic moral being shoved down my throat.
There's no reason for this story be less than at least 15,000 words. The whole thing was so rushed, I couldn't even care about Jolene and Sam when they got married. Then the honeymoon in Hawaii was glossed over. And believe me, you don't gloss over a honeymoon in Hawaii. Ever. I don't care how uneventful it is, you don't go from one flight to the next without at least mentioning a romp in the sheets, or a luau, or something in between.
The sex scenes in this story could have been good, but for some reason they just weren't, not even when the two of them joined the mile high club. Maybe because the writing style wasn't my favorite, or I just wasn't that attached to the characters, but they just weren't. I did not get an ounce of pleasure from these scenes and they took up about half the story.
The other half appeared to be patriotic propaganda. There was so much of it. At least four patriotic songs were played and everywhere I look, there's some mention about how there's nothing as patriotic as serving your country, and how they're so proud to be patriots, and it's sexy when you jump down the throat of someone who says the United States isn't perfect. It's like the author used a military recruitment poster as a writing prompt and published it as is.
Don't get me wrong. I have complete respect for the troops. And the United States is not even close to being the worst country in the world to live in. But it's not Narnia, either. There's plenty wrong with the United States, including the high number of homeless vets. So having all these "patriotic" characters pisses me off.
I understand that this is going to be a series about a family who loves the military, but that does not mean the story needs to get preachy. There could have been much more character development to balance the patriotism out and then it wouldn't have been an issue for me. But as it is right now, the main characters have about as much depth as an Uncle Sam poster and I can feel the moral of the story being beaten over my head with about as much force as a two-by-four and it's not a good feeling.
Morals are totally fine in stories. In small doses. If it's obvious enough that it affects the story, then there's a problem. The patriotic moral here is more blatant than the morals in the beginner chapter books I used to read for a kid. The moral should be much more subtle for an audience old enough to know what a blow job is.