A Thousand Stolen Moments by Connie Ann Michael was given to me in exchange for an honest review. I'm not usually a fan of military romance stories but this was, in my opinion, well worth the read. I thank the author for letting me have a copy.
Synopsis from Amazon:
Can you choose between fighting for your life and fighting for your heart?
When twenty-two year old Emme Sawyer joins a Marine unit heading into Helmand Providence, she focuses on what she does best: keeping her men safe. But, when the unit is hit by an IED, Emme realizes she can’t save everyone. With her humanity on the line, and her faith in question, she seeks comfort from Raven, her commanding officer. Soon, Emme develops feelings that don’t belong in a combat zone, where each step could be your last.
Raven keeps his emotions locked up tight, never allowing the men to see him sweat. But when Emme joins his unit, all bets are off; and the feelings he thought he left stateside begin to emerge. Knowing that the deserts of Afghanistan are the last place to start a romance, and the United States military’s view on fraternizing; Raven tries to deny his heart. Emme and Raven learn you can’t always choose where love finds you. And that sometimes, you just have to trust in God’s plan.
As I said above, military romance usually isn't my first choice when I pick up a new book. I'm always wary that it will be all romance and no story. I enjoyed this one however for several reasons. First, I liked the characters. I liked who they were as human beings struggling through a time when each of them felt alone and scared, not knowing if there was a future ahead of them. Clearly, no one who hasn't been in these types of situations can ever know what it is really like, but I felt like the author did her research and gave a fairly realistic picture of what it might be like. Second, it was engaging. Many romances can tend to be a bit overbearing in the romance department but I found myself not wanting to put the book down. Unfortunately, I was sick so I was forced to put it aside for a couple of days but as soon as I felt better, I was right back to it so that I could finish.
Favorite character? Definitely Tahk. He's not really Emme's older brother, only her guard, but he represents the big brother every girl without one wishes they had. He is the ultimate good guy. In my opinion, he was the glue that held the entire story together. Sure, the developing relationship between Raven and Emme was fun too, but Tahk was the character I enjoyed the most.
There is definitely a bit of violence and gore in the book as the author tries to give the reader an idea of how horrific it must be in a combat zone but Emme represents all of the strong, courageous women we have in our armed forces. I found my heart breaking for her several times in the story but also hoping for her happiness.
The book isn't overly lengthy so it would make a great weekend book. I would completely recommend it. Enjoy!