Gifts of Honor Anthology by Stacy Gail and Rebecca Crowley
Released: November 21, 2013
This book has two holiday military stories. I recommend them both.
Starting from Scratch by Stacy Gail
This is the first I’ve read by Stacy Gail and I liked it. Sullivan comes home from another tour in Iraq, but this time he comes home with a severe head injury. When he left months before this, his wife Lucy was very angry that he signed up for another tour without talking to her first. Lucy has always been a very supportive military wife, but she wants him to choose her rather than the war for once. Then he gets injured and comes back to the states for a very long rehabilitation. Due to his injury, he has amnesia and can’t remember who Lucy is. He lashes out every time he sees her and demands a divorce. Lucy, at a total loss for what to do and wanting to be as supportive as she can, accepts this, leaves him and tries to move on with her life. She rents a small apartment, and accepts a baking position at a local bakery. But then Sullivan finishes his therapy, and moves back home too. Uh oh.
Sullivan may not remember Lucy but he is attracted to her. THERE IS ANGST Y’ALL!
This story makes you have ALL the feels for Lucy. She still loves Sullivan – as her husband – but since he doesn’t remember her at all, what is she to do? And when he starts to flirt with her, and try to court her Lucy becomes so conflicted. She is so scared to let her heart get crushed again, but at the same time all her heart wants is Sullivan. Sullivan is a good guy who got dumped with horrible circumstances.
My one complaint is that the end felt so rushed. I wanted the story to slow down just a bit so I could come to terms with all that happens in the final pages. Otherwise a nice read.
Hero’s Homecoming by Rebecca Crowley
Captain Chris Walker met Beth and spent four amazing days with her. Then he left for Afghanistan, with promises of keeping in contact. And he did, he even felt like he was falling in love with her. And then a bomb went off and the world went dark. He woke up and couldn’t see. Depressed and scared, he cuts off all ties with her. Now he is out of the hospital, and can’t wait to get back to the house he grew up in. But with a bad snow storm that keeps his parents from picking him up at the airport, he makes a phone call to Beth.
Beth was devastated when she heard nothing from Chris for so long. She thought he was dead. Now the phone rings and the man she loved needs her help, more than she knows. She takes him back to her house, and when he admits he still wants a relationship with her, Beth is terrified to open her heart up to him again.
For the most part I really enjoyed this novella. I think the author does a great job with quickly showing us how these two met and fell for each other, but also spending most of the story in present day. You can really feel how much these two belong together but the angst that is keeping them apart makes sense too. I love how Chris is portrayed – the struggles both mentally and physically he has to overcome with his blindness and the PTSD from war. I was a little off-put by Beth at some points. She was very hurt when Chris stopped contact-with her – which I understand. But at the same time she has to understand the immense way his life has changed by being blown up and sometimes I felt she was a little more on the selfish side.
Overall though a nice, angsty read. Both of these novellas go well together.
Or you can purchase them separately