Wednesday, November 26, 2014

"Heart of a Soldier" by Belle Calhoune

About the book

A Soldier's Unexpected Homecoming

Returning soldier Dylan Hart heads to Texas to finally meet pen pal Holly Lynch. When he arrives, he's shocked to discover the plucky beauty he fell in love with has kept a very big secret. Scarred emotionally by his past, Dylan is deeply hurt that Holly didn't trust him with such a vital truth about herself. When he's hired as a cowboy on her family's vast ranch, he's committed to staying in town. And as he slowly reconnects with the woman whose letters once saved him, he'll have to take a look inside his heart to discover what matters most.

This book will be released in January 2015

I received this book from Ms. Calhoune in exchange 
for an honest review which I have gladly provided below

My Review

“Heart of a Soldier” by Belle Calhoune is a book that I received gracious from Ms. Calhoune in exchange for an honest review, and I really don't think I can do justice to this absolutely fantastic story that resonated with me so deeply that I am humbled to have received an early copy of this book. To be honest, the heroine Holly, is the one that I connected with unlike just about any other heroine that I have read about in a very long time. Sure there have been others that I have connected with in one way or another but this seemed to be so much deeper, and so I might be a bit bias on my thoughts because of that.

This book continues 'the roses' story, which we got a little glimpse of in “Reunited with the Sheriff” for this is Holly's story. Holly I must be honest is a character I hoped to see but frankly due to her circumstances, I really doubted that we would for it just didn't seem to match a whole lot of the romance idea of an ideal heroine for a book. Personally I thought she would have made the ideal heroine (and I was right) but maybe that is because I could understand part of her issues. I am so glad that both Ms. Calhoune and Love Inspired took that step forward with something so out of the norm for this was an absolutely beautiful story.

Holly is a woman who have faced a great of hurdles in life and while she could have turned angry, cold and bitter, she was in fact a warm and such a giving woman who seemed to understand things differently. I could understand her thinking and her fear completely and thought it was wonderful that through it all she had a sense of humor about her, even if it was cover up for other feelings. She wasn't so determined to be right that when things are pointed out to her that she wasn't willing to listen, even if she didn't like listening to the truth.

Dylan is a man with some secrets of his own who is searching for something he is not quite sure of though. His spur of the moment decision, in a manner of speaking, takes him on a path that he wasn't prepared for in the slightest. Regardless what he tells himself at first for sticking around, I have to say that I actually so enjoyed Dylan's honesty at least with himself. Here is a man who may have been making excuses in the long run but at the same time he was trying to take things easy for he didn't know what he could handle and didn't want to hurt anyone in the process. I think regardless how he reacted at first, I fell in love with him on page 43 (regular print) when he admitted to himself what the barrier to the truth for him was. How many other people would actually admit that and in my opinion and limited experience, not many would.

I have to say that through the ups and downs, the unexpected surprises, and well the predictable events, this is a book that I found myself crying through while laughing and cheering characters on. The romance is something that is not easy which made it seem so realistic on both parts. Granted letters helped a great deal in a lot of ways for the limitations that each had were not glaring in the others face, which allowed a deeper connection. I loved the old fashion snail mail letters being the connection that brought the two of them together in the first place, for it is such a lost art it seems with email now a days.

I so hope that all who read this book, enjoy it as much as I did. This is a book that I will be keeping for a long time until the pages are falling out because I have read it so much. I truly hope that we see more of 'the roses' in future books for there are still two more who need their own happy endings.