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    Sweet, slow build romance

    Jake suffers from PTSD and survivor’s guilt after leaving the Marines. He’s trying to figure out what he’s going to do with himself and what normal now looks like. He’s struggling with being known as a hero and coming back to his small hometown where everyone knows everything about everyone else just exacerbates his emotional turmoil. Then he meets a darling little girl and her beautiful mother ... his life isn’t ever going to be the same :) Laurel’s husband was also a veteran but he didn’t handle his troubles very well. Widowed and raising their daughter alone, she’s very hesitant to get close to a man with so many similar issues. It doesn’t take long for her to realize that Jake is strong enough that he just may be able to handle his problems. And help her handle hers. There’s some trouble caused by old enemies that add a little extra drama and danger to the story, but it doesn’t overshadow the love story. Showing her skill, Sala does a great job of tying it all together and helping to bring closure to a few different things. My favorite part is the slow build between Laurel and Jake. They get to know each other, find their footing, then move from acquaintances to friends and on to lovers. Both are carrying a lot of baggage but together they figure out a way to share their load. Giving readers a satisfying and realistic happy ending. (Although this is part of a series, and we’ve seen some of these characters time and again, this can very easily stand on its own. Nothing of any importance comes from past stories and Sala does a great job keeping the characters fresh for returning readers but keeping new readers involved.) Honest review given voluntarily after receipt of an ARC.
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