Here and Now
Book 2, American Valor
This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.
The Rangers of the 1st/75th fight hard, train hard and play hard. They are physically strong and mentally tough, disciplined and courageous. But all their military training hasn't prepared them for falling in love.
Former Ranger Medic Lucky James feels right at home working long night shifts in the ER, but less so during the day, when his college classes are filled with flirtatious co-eds. When his 19-year-old chem lab partner shows up at his work with dinner for “her Lucky,” he quickly enlists the help of Rachel Dellinger, a nurse and fellow third shift vampire.
Rachel is a people pleaser at heart, but she’s finally decided enough is enough when it comes to her on-again, off-again boyfriend. When Lucky begs Rachel to help him ward off the advances of his teenager pursuer, she blackmails him into helping move her things out of the apartment she shared with her ex into a place all her own.
From there a friendship is born between two people just trying to make it through the night. Neither are living in the past or planning for the future. Until one day changes everything.
a little less angst from a military themed story
I don’t think any of us have trouble understanding the difficulties facing those who return from war, but Cheryl Etchison brings a story that is all about moving forward, and avoiding glances in the rearview mirror.
Lucky is a former Ranger, a medic for his unit. After his military career ends, he’s decided to return to school while working 3rd shift at the local hospital. Not interested in much more than getting through his next set of tasks, he’s slowly reintegrating into civilian life. If only his classmates were as understanding as his work colleagues.
Rachel is one of Lucky’s coworkers, and while they are ‘friendly’ they aren’t friends. Until his chemistry lab partner shows up with a dinner and more on her mind. Quick thinking and desperation have Lucky begging for help in pushing off the young co-ed. But, Rachel needs something too: the relationship with her boyfriend is notoriously unstable, and she’s finally decided that enough is enough. She’ll help him, if in return, he puts those muscles to use and helps her move out.
These two are adorable together: tentative steps to knowing one another ignores that first spark of attraction as they both decide to be friends. Well, the friend zone is as dangerous to their hearts as any war zone that Lucky ever served in. Wholly competent and decidedly capable in an emergency, the whole ‘feelings’ thing has him in knots, with no way out. Rachel is desperately trying to become less of a people-pleaser, learning to say no, and speak for what she truly wants. But she never thought she’d want another relationship.
With secondary characters that add humor and moments with a couple from the first book, this story is sure to please people who want a little less angst from a military themed story, but still want to understand the characters’ decisions, choices and motivations. A wonderful introduction to the series that works well on its own, although I’m now curious about Danny and Bree.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.