Review: The Way Home by Cindy Gerard


Title: The Way Home (One-Eyed Jacks #2)
Author: Cindy Gerard
Date of publication: 29 October 2013
Genre: Romantic suspense / Military

Author's links: Website / Blog / Goodreads

My rating: 5 Stars

Goodreads Blurb

Four years ago Jess Albert got the news that her husband Jeff was killed in action in Afghanistan, and a painful void entered her life. The more time passed, the more acutely she felt that emptiness. But when Tyler Brown, former military hero and all-around alpha male, shows up a year after she’d last seen him, Jess gradually begins to realize there is one thing that can make her feel whole again—love.

As they’re planning their wedding and new life together, Jess receives shocking news: her husband is alive, under the care of a young Afghani woman hiding him from the Taliban. Even as he sees their happily-ever-after slip away, Ty arranges for the One Eyed Jacks and Black Ops, Inc. teams to make a daring and dangerous rescue mission to bring Jeff home. The hardest thing Ty or Jess has ever done is to let the other go.

When Jeff returns to Jess, broken physically and emotionally and with no memory of their history, they try to heal their marriage and each other. But as time brings them together more as friends than lovers, an unexpected development helps them see the true way home, to the people they love.

My Review

I was provided with an ARC by the publisher via Netgalley.

I haven't read much romantic suspense but I really, really loved this one. This is my first book by Cindy Gerard and definitely will not be my last. I really enjoyed the lyrical writing style of Ms Gerard which drew me gently into the lives of the characters. She told their stories in an engaging way making me care deeply for the heroes and heroines, experiencing both they pain and suffering and their joy and happiness.

There are two main plot lines in this book - Jess and Ty's relationship on the one hand and the story of Jeff (Jess's husband, presumably killed in action in Afghanistan) and Rabia, the Muslin woman who saved him. These stories develop parallel to one another and even though they are told from the POV of the four characters, the narrative flows very smoothly.

The four character have unique and strong voices each telling his/her story in a deeply engaging and moving way.  

I really liked both couples, though naturally, I have my favourites. I liked Jess and understood her difficulty to move on after losing hers husband and especially her reluctance to get involved with another (ex)-military man. Yet, Ty was no Jeff. His perseverance, his openness and ultimately his love won Jess over. Out of this couple I found Ty far more appealing. He was the ultimate alpha male military man - honourable, loyal, protective and at the same time patient with Jess, giving her time and space to make her own choices. She came out as a it passive in their relationship, it was Ty was doing all the giving, taking steps towards their common future and she just allowed him to love her and take care of her.

Ty and Jess may be the central couple in this book, at least on first glance, but it was Jeff and Rabia who stole my heart and took my breath way. I felt very deeply for their suffering and all the pain they had to go through. Jeff's struggles initially just to to survive and then to regain what he had lost (his memory, his past, his physical and mental health) were presented with great sympathy and compassion and I found his story absolutely riveting.

Rabia, the Muslim woman who became his saviour both literally and figuratively was also a well developed strong character. There was some politics involved around her but they were in no way intrusive and just completed her character without taking away the romance of the story.

Initially my heart broke for Jeff and Rabia when he first remembered the attack on him, then when he was finally rescued and returned home, Jess's attempts to restore their previous life brought tears to my eyes. 

I loved the romance in this book, but the suspense element also worked well for me. I liked that it didn't overshadow the love story but complemented it perfectly showing the strength and honour of all the military men involved. 

Overall, it is both a heart-breaking and a heart-warming story beautifully told. It focuses on all the important things in life - love, honour, loyalty, family. And the ending provides the perfect HEA for everyone.

PS: Now I need too go back and read Mike's story asap. I just can't help it :)

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