Tag: War/Military (page 1 of 2)

BOOK REVIEW – Making Faces by Amy Harmon

BOOK REVIEW – Making Faces by Amy HarmonMaking Faces by Amy Harmon
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Ambrose Young was beautiful. The kind of beautiful that graced the covers of romance novels, and Fern Taylor would know. She'd been reading them since she was thirteen. But maybe because he was so beautiful he was never someone Fern thought she could have...until he wasn't beautiful anymore.

Making Faces is the story of a small town where five young men go off to war, and only one comes back. It is the story of loss. Collective loss, individual loss, loss of beauty, loss of life, loss of identity. It is the tale of one girl's love for a broken boy, and a wounded warrior's love for an unremarkable girl. This is a story of friendship that overcomes heartache, heroism that defies the common definitions, and a modern tale of Beauty and the Beast, where we discover that there is a little beauty and a little beast in all of us.

Review:

Making Faces was beautifully lyrical and truly unique. While it took me a few chapters to connect to the story, since it’s written in 3rd person, I was so happy when everything clicked into place.  The characters who took you on their journey were multifaceted and fascinating.  And the flashbacks that were sprinkled throughout the story, helped craft a full picture of their history and what they meant to one another.  This book was heavily character driven, with a touch of Beauty and the Beast, and it left me looking forward to discovering the rest of her books!

“Why do terrible things happen to such good people?” Ambrose asked.
“Because terrible things happen to everyone, Brosey. We’re all just so caught up in our own crap that we don’t see the shit everyone else is wading through.” – Ambrose & Bailey

Starting out you meet Fern, Bailey, Rita and Ambrose.  While there’s many more characters I adored, those were my top ones.  They’ve started their final year in high school, and will soon be finding their place in the world.  But by that second chapter, I didn’t realize that I was stepping back into 9/11.  My  own memories slammed into me like a cold sheet of ice.  The terror I had for my fellow citizens, and the terror I had for one of my good friends who worked next to the towers, hit me just as hard today as it did years ago.  So watching the horrifying events take place put tears in my eyes and a sense of dead in my heart for what would unfold.

“She lost her son, Fern,” Ambrose said softly. His own anger dissipated as he spoke the simple truth. He took the towel from Fern’s hands and used it on her hair, wrapping and squeezing, absorbing the moisture, the way he used to do on his own. She stilled, obviously not used to a man’s hands in her hair. He continued his ministrations, and she sat quietly, her head lolling to the side, letting him.

Ambrose ended up enlisting in the military, to support his country, along with four of his best friends.  And their little tiny town was shocked to the core.  Ambrose, from his wrestling career, already had a full ride scholarships to college. Yet none of them took the path that was expected of them.  But I’m getting ahead of myself, I have to explain how they’re all connected.  Ambrose’s wrestling coach was Bailey’s dad and Fern’s Uncle.  And I loved how the team saw Bailey as one of them, how Ambrose stood up and protected him.  Because while Bailey attended meets, offered advice, and tracked their statistics, he couldn’t participate in the actual sport since he had Muscular Dystrophy and was in a wheelchair.

“Do you think there’s any way someone like Ambrose could fall in love with someone like me?” Fern caught Bailey’s gaze in the mirror again, knowing he would understand.
“Only if he’s lucky.” – Fern & her cousin Bailey

Fern, Bailey’s cousin, had been in love with Ambrose since she was a little girl, yet she never acted on it.  He’s this beautiful, muscular God in her eyes, and she’s very plain with her pale skin, thick glasses, a stick thin body and red hair.  Yet while that may describe how they looked on the outside, it doesn’t even a shine a light on who they were on the inside.  Fern was a caring, compassionate girl who loved and took care of her cousin, Bailey, so fiercely that it was powerful.  Their friendship was one of the most beautiful relationships I’ve ever read about.  And the other friendships in this book were beautiful too.  It made for such a strong theme.

“News flash, Fern Taylor!” Ambrose barked, slamming his hand against the dashboard, making Fern jump. “Everything has changed! You are beautiful, I am hideous, you don’t need me anymore, but I sure as hell need you!”

And while I watched the past and the present unfold into a beautiful story of friendship, hardships, school and war, we then moved ahead. To when Ambrose came back from war, alone.  And Making Faces took on a Beauty and the Beast element, that I loved!  Ambrose and Fern’s positions have flipped, yet their shaky friendship was still there.  While Ambrose wanted to hide from the world, Fern was determined to get close to him.  So watching Fern and her tenacious will was captivating, while watching Ambrose as he suffered, was heartbreaking.  

Death is easy. Living is the hard part. – Bailey

I did have a few hiccups throughout the story though. There was a strong religious theme, and I struggled with Ambrose not suffering more from losing his friends and from the horrific situation he was in at war. And lastly, Ambrose’s speech, at a certain event near the end of the book, felt off to me. It was too much about him, and that felt wrong. But regardless, I definitely recommend this book to people who are looking for something out of the ordinary, and who want to meet characters that you won’t find in every other book. Making Faces is also for people who want a story line that takes risks and shows the uglier side of life, whether it’s bullying, domestic abuse or even just the struggle of accepting who you are. While not everyone got their happily ever after, my heart was still happy with how the majority of theirs lives closed in those last few pages. And as an epilogue junkie, that ending was perfect!

PS Towards the end, there was a little touch of a spiritual or some could even say paranormal element (depending upon your view point on life), that I loved too.

*ARC kindly provided by Spencer Hill Press via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

BOOK REVIEW – Stay With Me (Come Back to Me #2) by Mila Gray

BOOK REVIEW –  Stay With Me (Come Back to Me #2) by Mila GrayStay With Me (Come Back to Me #2)
by Mila Gray
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

From the author of Come Back to Me comes a heartwrenching novel about a forbidden romance, a wounded marine, and the girl who’s determined to save him.

Didi Monroe has waited her whole life for happily ever after. So when charming Zac Ridgemont sweeps her off her feet, Didi believes she might finally have met the one.

Until she begins an internship at a military hospital in California. There she meets wounded marine Noel Walker. Frustrated on the outside and broken on the inside, Walker’s an irritating patient who refuses any care, keeping his distance from everything and everyone—including Didi.

Walker is strictly out of bounds. Didi knows this, respects this, but the more she tries to help Walker the closer the two grow. Soon neither one can ignore the sparks flying between them as their attraction simmers into dangerous territory.

But Walker doesn’t believe in love or happily ever after—not after what he’s seen. Not after what he’s been through. He doesn’t want to hurt Didi, but he doesn’t want to push her away either. She makes him feel peaceful. Hopeful, even.

Then tragedy hits, shattering both their worlds, and Didi realizes that love isn’t as simple as happily ever after. Love isn’t easy. It’s difficult. Messy. Complicated.

Now all Didi has to do is decide if it’s worth fighting for.

Review:

Stay With Me was an emotionally, beautiful story that will stay in my heart for a long time to come!  While there are many reasons I fell hard for this book, it ultimately boiled down to two things.  The characters and the sexual tension.  The characters easily worked their way into my emotions.  I couldn’t help but feel everything they did.  And the sexual tension and angst left me longing to read the pages as fast as possible while also slowing down so I could savor every sexy moment.  So yes, I definitely recommend this book, and I can’t wait for you to meet Walker and Didi!  But before I go any further, I want you to know that this book can be read as a standalone.  Although I love and highly recommend the first book too (Come Back To Me), it was about Didi’s best friend Jessa.  

Everything can change in a heartbeat. – Didi

Didi Monroe ends up taking an internship at a medical facility on a Marine Base, since she’s a trainee psychologist.  She’s the bosses daughter and knows that it won’t be easy, but she didn’t expect her first day to be a total nightmare.  And part of that nightmare has to deal with her run in with Grumpy aka Noel Walker.  Walker was part of the Alpha Team and was one of the youngest Lieutenants in the Marine Core.  But the majority of his team died while he was left blind with a knee injury.  

The goddamn darkness. I can’t get away from it. It’s like being slowly buried alive. Every day another shovelful of dirt gets thrown on top of me. – Walker

Walker didn’t even want to talk to Didi.  But as her daily visits added up, he started to warm up to her.  Slowly over time start they formed a friendship, yet it’s not that simple.  You see when Didi and Walker are around each other, there’s an underlying sexual tension that is through the roof scorching hot!  Their moments together had me holding my breath, because the electricity between them was mind-blowing intense.  It couldn’t be ignored.  And anyone around them saw it too.  There is a shaving scene and many, many others that you must read.  Those moments contain the perfect amount of sexual tension and angst!  I absolutely love when angst is done in such a fabulous way that I can’t help but have my emotions on edge.  

His hand nudges closer across the bed. I move my own hand to meet his. Our fingertips brush— that’s all. But it feels like I’ve just leaped across a line, smashing every last boundary that lay in the way. – Didi

Underneath Walker’s gruff exterior, he is suffering from PTSD.  Watching him struggle through the flashbacks, mood swings and nightmares shattered my heart into a billion tiny pieces.  Yet Didi’s friendship starts to help, although they have a lot of obstacles in their way.  She isn’t allowed to have relationships, let alone even be friends, with patients.  And he doesn’t want to tie anyone down, since he is blind.  But the connection between the two of them, even when they were talking about something as simple as music and movies, moved me.  It was pure and so real.

What are the scars on the inside like? Are they just as bad? And how do you heal those ones when you can’t even see them? – Didi

The story was rounded out with side characters that I absolutely loved!  Sanchez and Dodd were wounded Marines who were at the same facility as Walker.  They added moments of laughter and moments of heartbreak.  I became just invested in them, and I hoped they would get their happily ever after too.  And I loved the friendship they not only had with Walker, but with Didi too.  They saw that Didi had this huge heart and good head on her shoulders.  I loved that she tried her hardest to help others and find good in the world.  While some of her choices, cough Zach cough, made me shake my head, it made her that much more human.  She had flaws, just like we all do, and it made me love her that much more!

There’s another pause before he asks, “What color’s the sky?”
I smile, but at the same time I feel a sharp tug in my heart. What must it be like to know you might never see the sky again, or colors?
I look upward. “It’s blistering blue. Swimming-pool blue. Like someone’s poured chlorine into it.”
“Is chlorine blue?” he asks.
I laugh. “Actually, I have no idea. But the sky is very blue today. And there’s not a single cloud.”
He tilts his face up to the sun and I find myself staring at him, at the hard line of his jaw and the soft curve of his mouth. I look quickly away.

So yes, I definitely recommend this book!  Especially if you love tortured males and slow burn romances!  Although I will say that I wish this story had an epilogue.  There was an epilogue in Come Back To Me, the book about Didi’s best friend, and it was absolutely perfect.  So I wish Did got one too, since I had a few questions about the future.  But then again, I’m an epilogue junkie.  But regardless, I can’t wait for you to read Didi and Walker’s story!

*ARC kindly provided by author in exchange for an honest review*

 

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), iBooks (click on titles) & Book Depository (click on book #)
***Each book can be read as a standalone.***
Come back to me mila gray
Come Back To Me #1
Reviews:

Jen
stay-with-me-mila-gray
Stay With Me #2
Reviews:

Jen

 

About Mila Gray:

Mila Gray is a pen name for Sarah Alderson, author of Hunting Lila (winner of the Kingston Book Award), Losing Lila, Fated, The Sound, Out of Control and Conspiracy Girl (all Simon & Schuster).
Having spent most of her life in London, Sarah quit her job in 2009 and took off on a round the world trip with her husband and daughter on a mission to find a new place to call home (a journey that was documented on this blog and later turned into a book).
As well as writing young adult novels and screenplays, Sarah also writes adult fiction for Pan Macmillan (Simon & Schuster in the US) under the top secret pen name Mila Gray.
Find out more here: 

 

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BOOK REVIEW + EXCERPT + GIVEAWAY – Come Back to Me (Come Back to Me #1) by Mila Gray

BOOK REVIEW + EXCERPT + GIVEAWAY – Come Back to Me (Come Back to Me #1) by Mila Gray

I am so ecstatic to be a part of this tour! Come Back to Me became one of my favorite books of the year! So check out my gushing 5 Star review below, read an excerpt, and enter the giveaway where we at Star-Crossed Book Blog get to give away one copy of Come Back to Me, yay! Enjoy!

BOOK REVIEW + EXCERPT + GIVEAWAY – Come Back to Me (Come Back to Me #1) by Mila GrayCome Back to Me (Come Back to Me #1)
by Mila Gray
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

In this heart-wrenching tale of love and loss, a young Marine and his best friend’s sister plunge into a forbidden love affair while he’s home on leave.

When a Marine Chaplain knocks on her door, Jessa’s heart breaks—someone she loves is dead. Killed in action, but is it Riley or Kit? Her brother or her boyfriend…

Three months earlier, Marine Kit Ryan finds himself back home on leave and dangerously drawn to his best friend Riley’s sister, Jessa—the one girl he can’t have. Exhausted from fighting his feelings, Kit finally gives in, and Jessa isn’t strong enough to resist diving headfirst into a passionate relationship.

But what was just supposed to be a summer romance develops into something far greater than either of them expected. Jessa’s finally found the man of her dreams and Kit’s finally discovered there’s someone he’d sacrifice everything for.

When it’s time for Kit to redeploy, neither one is ready to say goodbye. Jessa vows to wait for him and Kit promises to come home to her. No matter what.

But as Jessa stands waiting for the Marine Chaplain to break her heart, she can’t help but feel that Kit has broken his promise…

Riley or Kit? Kit or Riley? Her brother or her boyfriend? Who’s coming home to her?

Review:

Come Back to Me started off with a burst of emotion, and then slowly started to enrapture my heart.  Before I knew it, I was in the midst of an emotional powerhouse that floored me.  I can happily say that this is one of my favorite books of the year.  And that’s saying a lot, since we are currently in December.  But once you start to see how breathtaking, emotional, butterfly inducing and entirely addicting Come Back to Me is, then it becomes clear why I loved every minute of this story!

Jessa and Kit’s story is one about falling in love for the first time, and it made me squeal while grinning like a love sick girl! I felt their uncertainty of moving from friends into something more.  Excitement rushed into my stomach from their first kiss and the start of little touches here and there.  And I loved the anticipation, while they bantered, about taking their relationship to an even more intimate level.  It easily transported me back to my teenage years and my experiences, which made Come Back to Me even more enticing!

It all started because Jessa and her brother’s best friend, Kit, can’t ignore the electricity between them anymore.  Jessa’s brother, Riley, has been friends with Kit for years.  He even enlisted into the Marines right along with Kit.  But neither Jessa or Kit acted on their emotions or thoughts before this moment.  Now they only have one month together before Kit is deployed back overseas with Jessa’s brother, Riley.  And once deployment happens, either Kit or Riley won’t be coming back home to her.

While Come Back to Me was filled with cliches, honestly that’s a moot point.  Because the direction those cliches were taken made it impossible to knock the grin off of my face or stop the laughter that kept escaping my mouth.  This book was so much fun!  But, can I add a but?  In the midst of all of my giddiness, we catch back up with that first chapter.  The one where Jessa is about to learn which of the men she loves is coming back to her.  And I sobbed.  Yes I cry while reading, but nothing like this.  Gut wrenching, heart crushing, ugly sobbing exploded from me, and there was no stopping it.  I became that emotionally invested.  But have faith, because by that last page my heart somehow pieced itself back together, and I closed the book with a smile.

Each person I met was memorable.  Kit was adorably sweet and thoughtful with his words and gestures.  I seriously wanted to steal him out of this book!  Jessa had this happy, beautiful, free side to her despite having a controlling nightmare of a father who suffers from PTSD and a mother who idly stands by.  To Riley and how his situation and mannerisms wormed their way into my heart.  To even Didi, who was Jessa’s faithful best friend, whose book is next in line and I can’t wait to read!  I felt something for everyone that tumbled throughout the pages.  So if you love a swoon worthy story about falling in love for the first time, then I have a feeling that you’ll become captivated by this sweet, sexy, adorable story just like I was!

*ARC kindly provided by Simon Pulse via Fantastic Flying Book Club Tours in exchange for an honest review*

 

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), iBooks (click on titles) & Book Depository (click on book #)
***Each book can be read as a standalone.***
Come back to me mila gray
Come Back To Me #1
Reviews:

Jen
stay-with-me-mila-gray
Stay With Me #2
Reviews:

Jen
Order Come Back to Me:
 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg
Excerpt:
Chapter 1
Jessa
A whorl in the glass distorts the picture, like a thumbprint smear over a lens. I’m halfway down the stairs, gathering my hair into a ponytail, thoughts a million miles away, when a blur outside the window pulls me up short.I take another step, the view clears, and when I realize what I’m seeing, who I’m seeing, my stomach plummets and the air leaves my lungs like a final exhalation. My arms fall slowly to my sides. My body’s instinct is to turn and run back upstairs, to tear into the bathroom and lock the door, but I’m frozen. This is the moment you have nightmares about, play over in your mind, the darkest of daydreams, furnished by movies and by real-life stories you’ve overheard your whole life.You imagine over and over how you’ll cope, what you’ll say, how you’ll act when you open the door and find them standing there. You pray to every god you can dream up that this moment won’t ever happen. You make bargains, promises, desperate barters. And you live each day with the murmur of those prayers playing on a loop in the background of your mind, an endless chant. And then the moment happens and you realize it was all for nothing. The prayers went unheard. There was no bargain to make. Was it your fault? Did you fail to keep your promise?Time seems to have slowed. Kit’s father hasn’t moved. He’s standing at the end of the driveway staring up at the house, squinting against the early morning glare. He’s wearing his Dress Blues. It’s that fact which registered before all else, which told me all I needed to know. That and the fact that he’s here at all. Kit’s father has never once been to the house. There is only one reason why he would ever come.He hasn’t taken a step and I will him not to. I will him to turn around and get back into the dark sedan car sitting at the kerb. A shadowy figure in uniform sits at the wheel. Please. Get back in and drive away. I start making futile bargains with some nameless god. If he gets back in the car and drives away, I’ll do anything. But he doesn’t. He takes a step down the driveway towards the house, and that’s when I know for certain that either Riley or Kit is dead.A scream, or maybe a sob, tries to struggle up my throat, but it’s blocked by a solid wave of nausea. I grab for the banister to stay upright. Who? Which one? My brother or my boyfriend? Oh God. Oh God. My legs are shaking. I watch Kit’s father walk slowly up the drive, head bowed.Memories, images, words, flicker through my mind like scratched fragments of film: Kit’s arms around my waist drawing me closer, our first kiss under the cover of darkness just by the back door, the smile on his face the first time we slept together, the blue of his eyes lit up by the sparks from a Chinese lantern, the fierceness in his voice when he told me he was going to love me forever.Come back to me. That was the very last thing I said to him. Come back to me.
Always. The very last thing he said to me.Then I see Riley as a kid throwing a toy train down the stairs, dive-bombing into the pool, holding my hand at our grandfather’s funeral, grinning and high-fiving Kit after they’d enlisted. The snapshot of him in his uniform on graduation day. The circles under his eyes the last time I saw him.The door buzzes. I jump. But I stay where I am, frozen halfway up the stairs. If I don’t answer the door maybe he’ll go away. Maybe this won’t be happening. But the doorbell sounds again. And then I hear footsteps on the landing above me. My mother’s voice, sleepy and confused. ‘Jessa? Who is it? Why are you just standing there?’Then she sees. She peers through the window and I hear the intake of air, the ragged ‘no’ she utters in response. She too knows that a military car parked outside the house at seven a.m. can signify only one thing.I turn to her. Her hand is pressed to her mouth. Standing in her nightdress, her hair unbrushed, the blood rushing from her face, she looks like she’s seen a ghost. No. That’s wrong. She looks like she is a ghost.

The bell buzzes for a third time.

‘Get the door, Jessa,’ my mother says in a strange voice I don’t recognize. It startles me enough that I start to walk down the stairs. I feel calmer all of a sudden, like I’m floating outside my body. This can’t be happening. It’s not real. It’s just a dream.

I find myself standing somehow in front of the door. I unlock it. I open it. Kit. Riley. Kit. Riley. Their names circle my mind like birds of prey in a cloudless blue sky. Kit. Riley. Which is it? Is Kit’s father here in his Dress Blues with his Chaplain insignia to tell us that my brother has been killed in action or that his son – my boyfriend – has been killed in action? He would come either way. He would want to be the one to tell me. He would want to be the one to tell my mom.

Kit’s father blinks at me. He’s been crying. His eyes are red, his cheeks wet. He’s still crying, in fact. I watch the tears slide down his face and realize that I’ve never seen him cry before. It automatically makes me want to comfort him, but even if I could find the words my throat is so dry I couldn’t speak them.

‘Jessa,’ Kit’s father says in a husky voice.

I hold onto the doorframe, keeping my back straight. I’m aware that my mother has followed me down the stairs and is standing right behind me. Kit’s father glances at her over my shoulder. He takes a deep breath, lifts his chin and removes his hat before his eyes flicker back to me.

‘I’m sorry,’ he says.

‘Who?’ I hear myself ask. ‘Who is it?’

About Mila Gray:
Mila Gray is the pen name for Sarah Alderson, author of Hunting Lila, Losing Lila, The Sound, Fated and Out of Control.
 Originally from London she has lived in Bali for the last four years with her husband and daughter.

 As well as writing young adult fiction under the name Sarah Alderson and adult fiction under the name Mila Gray, she also writes screenplays.

Find out more here: 

Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Tour Schedule:
Follow the Come Back To Me by Mila Gray Blog Tour and don’t miss anything! Click here to see the tour schedule.

 

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BOOK REVIEW – Torn Sky (Rebel Wing #3) by Tracy Banghart

BOOK REVIEW – Torn Sky (Rebel Wing #3) by Tracy BanghartTorn Sky (Rebel Wing #3)
by Tracy Banghart
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

The end is near . . .

When Aris Haan brought down Safara’s biggest war criminal, she’d thought it was a turning point in the war. Victory was on the horizon, as was a peaceful future with her Promised, Milek.

But a deadly new threat has emerged: a Safaran bomb that could wipe out all of Atalanta in one catastrophic blast. Aris is tasked with finding the weapon before it is completed, a mission made more difficult when she starts to suspect that there is a Safaran spy in her unit. Friendships are tested, loyalties are strained, and suddenly Aris no longer knows whom she can trust.

In the epic conclusion to the Rebel Wing series, Atalanta’s fate rests on Aris’s shoulders. Can she find the bomb before it destroys everything—and everyone—she loves?

Review:

*Slight spoilers for Rebel Wing #1 & Storm Fall #2*

Torn Sky was a stunning conclusion to The Rebel Wing trilogy.  I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the friends I met in this series, yet at the same time the ending was absolutely perfect.  Looking back over this journey, here are some of the reasons I ended up falling for this series and of course the final book:

✮ Fast-paced action
The battle scenes that Aris and her fellow military members found themselves in would often leave my palms sweaty and my heart racing.  And it felt as though I was with Aris in her military jet evading enemy fire or down on the ground fighting the Safara’s soldiers.  It definitely made for an adventurous time!

✮Love
Whether it was Aris and Milek or Dysis and Calix, I always found myself smiling and sighing at their moments together.  Funny thing is, I usually only get attached to one couple in a book.  Yet I found myself caring for two different sets of people, because there was no way I could ignore how addicting Dysis and Calix’s story was also.

He had seen her at her most vulnerable, unconscious and bleeding. But that was nothing to this, to letting him see into her soul.
“At least we’ll have someone to hold onto at the end. We won’t be alone.” His arms slid around her, and her eyes closed, and the happiness, and the sorrow, and the fear collided as their lips joined once more.

Perilous Situations
While I thought the two previous books were filled with wonderful perilous moments, Torn Sky takes the cake.  I’m still reeling over a few different moments.  Moments were I didn’t know whether I wanted to pause and curl into myself or continue absorbing every single heart wrenching moment.  I love finding myself in that conflict!

His hand reached up and clasped hers, holding it against the less-bruised cheek. “I love you, Aris.”
“Don’t say it like that,” she said, swallowing back tears. “Like you’re afraid you won’t get another chance.”

The twists
All I can say is wow.  One of them cut so deep, that I couldn’t stop my eyes from filling up with tears.  I never saw it coming, or maybe I didn’t want to see it coming.  But when a huge light was shined on it, oh man did it hurt.  This was done perfectly, and I wish I could say more.

World Building
My friends know that my patience level for intricate world building is minimal.  But this series had such a good mix between giving us enough details to easily visualize their world and civilization, while at the same time not being bogged down with countless descriptions.

Strong Women
Aris, Dysis, and Galena each earned my respect as the series progressed.  They each had a fire in them, and at times each was a force to be reckoned with.  I loved when they wouldn’t back down, no matter how dire the situation was.  And I have to say again that I loved Aris and Dysis’ friendship!

She waited for him to answer, willed him to understand. She would do anything to protect this dominion. Even if it meant becoming a monster. – Galena

✮How it all tied in together
This is probably one of my favorite aspects.  The way the characters found themselves connected, or how certain events tied into other events, made for such an exciting time watching how everything was all twisted together.

I could go on and on, but these were definitely my favorites.  Although it was hard to narrow down my list!  But looking back, I am still a little conflicted over the multiple perspectives.  I think it added a more rounded feel, but then again I was stuck feeling as though I wanted to be watching another person’s perspective at the same time.  But regardless, this was such a fun trilogy.  And I will definitely be checking out Tracy Banghart’s other books!

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers) & Book Depository (click on book #)
Rebel Wing by Tracy Banghart
Rebel Wing #1
Review:

Jen
Storm Fall by Tracy Banghart Rebel Wing Series
Storm Fall #2
Review:
Jen
Torn Sky Rebel Wing Tracy Banghart
Torn Sky #3
Review:

Jen

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BOOK REVIEW – Storm Fall (Rebel Wing #2) by Tracy Banghart

BOOK REVIEW – Storm Fall (Rebel Wing #2) by Tracy BanghartStorm Fall (Rebel Wing #2)
by Tracy Banghart
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

In the action-packed sequel to Rebel Wing, Aris battles for life and love . . . and not everyone will survive.

Aris Haan gave up everything to join the Atalantan Military: her family, her boyfriend, even her identity. In the end, though, it didn’t matter that she was a war hero. When the all-male Military discovered that she was actually a woman, she was sent home and erased from history.

Now she has a chance to go back to the battlefield—as herself. But as hard as it was to be a soldier in disguise, it’s even more difficult now. The men in her unit undermine her at every turn. The Safaran army has spies everywhere, perhaps even on Aris’s stationpoint. And she’s falling for her mysterious superior officer, Milek. But their relationship is forbidden, just stolen moments between training sessions and missions. There’s no room for love in war.

Then Aris discovers that Safara’s leaders have set their sights on her, Atalanta’s hero. And she must find them before they find her . . .

Review:

*Spoilers for Rebel Wing #1*

Storm Fall was an action packed, fast-paced sequel that had me flying through the story.  Again, we find ourselves in a world that is easy to visualize, with characters that pop off of the pages.  And all of that is surrounded by war, love, fighting, friendships, sacrifice and hope.  This sequel was so much fun, and I can’t wait to see how this series ends.

“I’d rather die fighting for my dominion than sit at home watching it burn.”

With Aris back at her parent’s home, she is trying to work through the courage to fly again.   Flying was once something she loved with her whole heart, yet now it’s shrouded by the horrors she faced while at war.  But after a visit from Major Milek Vadim, that was just the push she needed.  But upon rejoining her unit, military life has become vastly different since she is now herself, as a female.  She is sexually harassed and so many times I wanted to reach my hands into the book and punch the asshole that was tormenting her.  Yet there’s many reasons why I love Aris, and one of them is that she is tough as nails.  She tried her hardest to rise above their sexism and hatred and show them that she deserved to be there just as much, if not more, then they did!  Her first flight into a war scene was epic!

“I keep trying to remind myself you’re my superior officer, that nothing could ever happen between us, and then you look at me like . . . like you care, too. And you talk to me, all gentle understanding, and I . . . I—”
Milek pulled free of her grip, grabbed her face with both hands, and kissed her.

Definitely one of my favorite aspects about this series is the relationships that unfold.  Especially the one between Aris and Milek.  Both are so deserving of something good in their lives, when so many things around them are tragic.  And I am so happy that I can finally talk about how I fell madly in love with Milek in the Rebel Wing!  Especially the cave scene, he’s so sexy, tough and charming without even trying.  And in Storm Fall, he becomes a force to be reckoned with!  I respected how he treated everyone, especially when he put people in their place.  But most importantly, I respected how he treated Aris.  He has such a huge heart and the decisions he made were admirable and warmed my heart.

Specialist Contas’s eyes wandered along her body, his hands clenched at his sides. “The kind of dress you can rip right off.”
Aris stood, drawing herself to her full height, aware of Dysis moving behind her. “You need to walk away. Now, Specialist.”
“Or what? I’m on a transjet out of here tomorrow, thanks to you.” His handsome face twisted. “You can’t touch me, bitch.”
Dysis stepped forward. “You’re right. She’s too polite.” She grinned, adding, “But I’m not” as she punched him in the face.

Another one of my favorite relationships in this book was between Aris and Dysis.  Dysis was Aris’ bunkmate who also disguised herself as a man in Rebel Wing.  So I am beyond ecstatic that we get to see this true friendship again.  This is how female relationships should be written!  Dysis and Aris’ friendship was strong, honest, and they loved and protected each other.  It warmed my heart seeing it flow throughout the pages.

Like Rebel Wing, we find ourselves following many different people throughout the story, where Aris is still the main lead.  And while it makes a well-rounded story, there were some situations where it made me pause.  For example, there were moments that I also wanted to be with Aris and Milek, when instead we were with Dysis.  And here is where I get a little lost because I still wanted that scene with Dysis.  Yet I wanted a little bit more of Aris during those times too.  A few of those situations flitted throughout the story, and while I was happy to be reading what I was, I also wanted to be elsewhere at the same time, which left me a little confused with my feelings.

Against his lips, against her better judgment, she whispered, “Is this allowed?”
“I don’t care.” Milek stroked her cheek with his thumb and kissed her harder.

But thankfully this time around, I never had an issue with names.  Even when old faces made a reappearance.  And I was happily surprised with how much action Aris and her fellow friends found themselves in.  It made for a thrilling ride again and again.  I love when a book finds the perfect harmony of mixing smiles with sweaty palms, and Storm Fall definitely hit it!  So now I’m off to read the final installment, and I can’t wait to see how this group will fare.  Keeping my fingers crossed for enemies defeated and some happily ever afters.  I know it’s war, but a girl can still wish.

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers) & Book Depository (click on book #)
Rebel Wing by Tracy Banghart
Rebel Wing #1
Review:

Jen
Storm Fall by Tracy Banghart Rebel Wing Series
Storm Fall #2
Review:
Jen
Torn Sky Rebel Wing Tracy Banghart
Torn Sky #3
Review:

Jen

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