If you are expecting a simple love story along the lines of girl meets wounded soldier and they fall in love and live happily ever after, then read no further. If you want more, then by all means continue for an excerpt and my review. You can also check out previous stops on the tour here and be sure to enter the tour giveaway for a chance to win a $25.00 gift card to the eRetailer of your choice and a Loveswept mug and tote.
Loving You Is Easy by Wendy S. Marcus
Series: Loving You #1
Published by Loveswept
Publication Date: December 9th 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Buy Online: Amazon ♥ B&N ♥ Kobo
She’s a survivor of the front lines of politics. He’s a wounded soldier returning home from the battlefield. Can they place their trust in the power of love?
Nobody plays the role of perfect politician’s daughter better than quiet, respectable math teacher Brooke Ellstein. But she won’t be caught swimming with the sharks again, not after the son of a wealthy donor sinks his teeth into her and gets away with it. Still, political connections have their perks, such as heading up the governor’s “Support Our Troops” pen-pal initiative—and getting first dibs on the smoking-hot sergeant whose picture shakes her right down to her goody-two-shoes.
When corresponding with sweet, classy Brooke, Shane Develen instinctively hides his commando tattoos and blue-collar roots—and he can tell that she’s hiding something, too. But Shane knows he’s gained her trust when Brooke gives him a blisteringly sexy photo. Then he’s injured in an ambush and a fellow soldier posts the snapshot online. Overnight, Brooke’s reputation turns to ashes. Even though he’s totally wrong for her, Shane shows up on Brooke’s doorstep, determined to set things right—and discovers that right or wrong has nothing on the chemistry they share.
Would he hug her or kiss her? Sure, Shane had made his stance on not wanting a girlfriend quite clear. But they’d shared a lot of very personal things with each other, over the past few months especially. They’d grown close—much closer than casual friends, at least from her perspective. Hoping he felt the same way, she popped another breath mint into her mouth, ready, just in case.
As the minty freshness hit her taste buds, worry pushed images of their first kiss aside. What if their meeting turned out to be an awkward handshake followed by stinted conversation and forced smiles while they each searched for an excuse to remove themselves from the other’s company?
No. They were too compatible, too much alike. And as the daughter of a politician with an eye on the governor’s mansion and possibly the White House, Brooke could make polite conversation with a palm tree if necessary. So kiss or no kiss, hug or no hug, their meeting would not be awkward. She wouldn’t let it be.
She paused from scanning the arriving passengers long enough to check the time on her phone. His plane had landed eleven minutes ago. How long did it take to get from the gate to baggage claim? Had she missed him? She rose up on her toes, looked all around, stopping still at the sight of army green camouflage uniforms in the distance. Her heart started to race, her chest tightening to the point it became difficult to inhale a deep breath.
Clutching her purse, she moved to get a better look. As the soldiers came closer she counted six men and two women, all weighted down with backpacks. Three looked very much alike with broad shoulders and shaved heads, darkish hair thicker on top. Would the few small or grainy images she’d seen of Shane online be enough to recognize him in real life?
People started to applaud and shout “Welcome home,” and “Thank you for your service.” Americans honoring their heroes. Pride mixed with relief squeezed her heart. He’d made it home. Tears threatened. Brooke inhaled a deep breath and willed them away.
Still too far away for her to pick out Shane, the soldiers veered toward a large and boisterous group waving handmade posters and holding red, white, and blue balloons. Brooke walked in that direction, skirting around a couple blocking her path, tripping on a baby stroller and muttering “Sorry,” too focused on where she wanted to be to pay close attention to obstacles along the route.
One man separated from the rest, a tall, muscular man with a handsome face very similar to the one that visited her in her dreams.
Brooke Ellstein and Shane Develen are from separate worlds that normally would never overlap. Shane is from a blue-collar background while Brooke is the well-bred and privileged daughter of a wealthy politician, accustomed to fine things. However, due to a pen-pal initiative to support the troops overseas, the two begin a communication that results in Brooke sending Shane risqué pictures of herself that somehow end up on the internet and set off a firestorm of huge proportions. Now she needs to get out of town and lay low for a while. Shane steps in and offers her a place to stay since he feels responsible for what she is currently going through. But a place to hide out is all he can offer. See, Shane has returned from the war with injuries both inside and outside and feels he is a bad bet. Now, it’s up to Brooke to convince him to take a chance on them.
I really was surprised by this book and took a while to organize my thoughts when I finished reading it. Ms. Marcus gives us a story that revolves around three major issues: the ease with which a person’s reputation can be destroyed via improper use of social media, PTSD in returning soldiers and finding the courage to let go of the past and reach out for the future. Don’t ask me how, but it worked!
Shane. Shane wore me out with his mood swings and his determined refusal to let anyone in. As much as he frustrated me, I also empathized with him for all he had lost as a result of the war. And Brooke. She was a study in contrasts: strong and weak, fierce and timid but overwhelmingly patient with Shane. The story was very emotional and there were times I felt annoyed and frustrated with Brooke and Shane and other times when I could only laugh. Watching Brooke take complete charge of her life and walk into her future was the high point for me.
Loving You is Easy is not pretty or tidy or hearts and roses, but is a realistic story of two imperfect people finding the courage to take a chance on love.
*ARC provided by the publisher *