by Chanel Cleeton
Published by Berkley on January 3rd 2017
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The author of Into the Blue and Fly with Me returns with the newest, hot and high-flying Wild Aces romance...
A year after losing her husband, Joker, the squadron commander of the Wild Aces, Dani Peterson gets an offer from his best friend, Alex “Easy” Rogers, to help fix up her house. Dani accepts, and their friendship grows—along with an undeniable attraction.
Racked by guilt for loving his best friend’s widow, Easy’s caught between what he wants and can’t have. Until one night everything changes, and the woman who’s always held his heart ends up in his arms. Yet as Easy leaves for his next deployment, he and Dani are torn between their feelings and their loyalty to Joker’s memory.
But when Dani discovers something that sends them both into a spin, the conflicted lovers must overcome the past to navigate a future together…
In all honesty, I was a bit worried about the theme of this book going in. While I do like the dead ex trope, most of the books I’ve read and enjoyed, it was the hero who needed to get over the loss of a wife or a girlfriend or fiancée and not the other way around. I always find it harder to read when the heroine is the one who lost the love of her life because I feel like women feel more deeply and takes a lot more time to get over a relationship especially when that relationship was a loving one. I know it’s prejudiced to think this way but I cannot help it. Hence, my worry that I won’t be able to enjoy it as much.
I was wrong.
I repeat. I WAS WRONG!
This book slayed me. Chanel Cleeton found a way to make this story shine. And there are a couple of things (really smart decisions on her part) the author did that really made this book work for me.
One, she made this book messy.
Yup. You heard me right. This book didn’t shy away from all the messy emotions involved in trying to get over someone you love. You feel Dani’s emotion from pain and devastation to guilt to lust to guilt to love and everything else in between. The same goes for Easy.
To anyone who’s not familiar with the Wild Aces series, Dani lost her fighter pilot husband during a routine exercise. He was part of the Wild Aces which includes the previous two heroes in the series and Easy, the sexy and wild pilot who carried a torch for Dani for years. When Dani lost her husband, her Air Force family rallied behind her, especially Easy. As much as Easy wanted to be there for Dani, he has to deal with the fact that he’s in love with her and feels guilty for being the one alive instead of Joker.
I loved how the author didn’t shy away from all these things. Everything was laid out for readers to experience. My heart hurt for Easy. You feel his pain of always loving someone who can’t love him back. You’re there when he tried so hard to reel in his feelings and failing. To be perfectly honest, I was torn between wanting him to find someone else to love him completely and wanting him to find his HEA with Dani.
It was a beautiful mess. And I loved every single word of it.
Another thing that the author did with this book aside from not shying away from messy emotions was how natural the progression of Dani and Easy’s relationship was. It wasn’t an easy journey. Their HEA was hard won. I kept looking at the percentage of my Kindle device noting that even towards the end, things are still shaky between them.
Now with any other book, that would’ve infuriated me. But again, this book was able to convince me that Easy and Dani have a strong enough foundation that despite the uncertainty now, that everything will turn out amazing. I mean, how awesome is that? And the whole credit goes to how well written this book is. Don’t worry though, their HEA was definitely solid and like I said hard won, which made it even more precious.
My new year is off to a good start because holy smokes, this book was amazing! I highly recommend that you guys read this book. It can be read as a standalone but I would recommend that you guys read the other two in the series, especially book one. You’ll appreciate their story more if you get a glimpse of what these characters have been through before they could get their happily ever after.
An ARC was provided by the publisher for this review.