Title: His Soldier
Author: Anna Lee
Publisher: Totally Bound Publishing
Length: 220 pages
Rating: B List
Blurb: Sometimes you find love where you least expect it. For Sergeant Ryder Brooks that’s writing letters home to Dean Anders, his Army pen pal.
After a tragedy, as a way of honoring his brother and trying to cope, Dean becomes an Army pen pal to Sergeant Ryder Brooks. The two connect through letters and phone calls for a year, falling in love and making plans to meet when Ryder finishes his tour. However, in an effort to save one of his men who stepped on a mine, Ryder loses his leg. Broken and depressed, he doesn’t think Dean will want him. But once Dean learns what has happened, he immediately goes to Ryder, determined to help him heal and show him that he loves him no matter what. Ryder has a long road of recovery ahead of him, but with Dean’s support, he realizes that his life isn’t over, it’s just beginning—if he’ll only give them a chance
Review: An emotional story of sacrifice and loss, honor and duty, love and romance, friendship and the family we make when we open our hearts.
Dean and Ryder were adorable together when they began their pen pal relationship. Slowly falling in love over the months that Ryder finished his tour in Afghanistan. Letters became phone calls, they were each other’s comfort and support. They’d begun making plans to be together before they’d ever seen each other in person. When tragedy strikes and Ryder is ready to give up Dean won’t let him. Instead both men begin healing together.
Both men carry a lot of wounds from painful childhoods and neither has ever been able to find love in a romantic relationship before. They are very sweet and caring with each other. Supportive, loving, always willing to listen and comfort. They understood one another and knew how to be there for each other. I loved that they were expressive and open, they allowed themselves to be vulnerable and ask for what they needed.
There were some complications and some of the past kept trying to pull them back, but they stood strong for each other. They’re both tough and street smart and nobody was going to take their hard won happiness away. Not without one hell of a fight.
Dean’s brother, Dax was felt throughout the story, even if he couldn’t be there in the flesh. He was a man who loved with everything he had and those he left behind would always feel his loss, but were under strict orders not to dwell in grief but be happy and live the life he couldn’t. He saved Dean and in a way he helped to bring his brother happiness, even after he was gone. Dean began writing to Ryder to honor his brother.
The rest of Dean’s family is great. Mama bear Beth (nobody messed with her babies without feeling the sting of claws and severely regretting it) and sweet almost sister-in-law, Jessie were great. Ryder’s family was his squad and then Dean’s family as the men began to weave a life together.
I enjoyed the slow build up of the relationship through their chatty letters. There is something old fashioned and romantic about allowing the confidences that can be shared through letters. It made the time they spent once they were together sweet and the speed of their commitment to each other seem genuine. I liked that while some things moved quickly, those were logical, they didn’t rush into things in a way that felt false or dangerous.
I really liked these men and their story, their family and friends. I connected with their daunting journey towards a good life together, it felt sweet, romantic and grounded in genuine emotion and love. I have to admit that there were several moments that had me emotional and teary eyed. I loved that both men highly valued their relationship and were willing, without hesitation or doubt, to fight for their man and their love. It was great watching them develop their own couple language and insight into each other, there was friendship, support, acceptance, safety, comfort, sensuality and contentment in their growing bond as each man became more in their love for the other. Highly recommend!
Reviewed by Nina