Friday, January 5, 2018

Review: A Hero to Come Home To by Marilyn Pappano

Title: A Hero to Come Home To
Series: Tallgrass
Author: Marilyn Pappano
Read copy: eBook (Kindle)
Published: June 25, 2013
Publisher: Forever

First he fought for his country. Now he'll fight for her.

Two years after losing her husband in Afghanistan, Carly Lowry has rebuilt her life in Tallgrass, Oklahoma. She has a job she loves teaching third grade and the best friends in the world: fellow military wives who understand what it means to love a man in uniform. She's comfortable and content...until she meets a ruggedly handsome stranger who rekindles desires Carly isn't quite sure she's ready to feel.

Staff Sergeant Dane Clark wanted to have a loving family, a twenty-year Army stint, and then a low-key civilian career. But the paratrooper's plans were derailed by a mission gone wrong. Struggling to adjust to his new life, he finds comfort in the wide open spaces of Tallgrass—and in the unexpected attention of sweet, lovely Carly. She is the one person who makes him believe life is worth living. But when Carly discovers he's been hiding the real reason he's come to Tallgrass, will Dane be able to convince her he is the hero she needs?

My rating:

Carly Lowry had lost her husband to the war in Afghanistan and she cannot imagine letting any other man close enough to break her heart. The only company and solace she needs, she gets from her fellow Army widows. Then Dane Clark walks into her life, and maybe Fate is offering Carly another chance of being happy and getting the best of life.

I came to know the little town of Taallgrass, Oklahoma in the short story A Family for Christmas. I liked Ilena, the Army widow determined to continue with her life, even after losing her husband, so I expected all the members of the Tuesday Night Margarita Club (all Army widows) to be just like Ilena. Sure, they've lost the men they loved, but they weren't afraid of living their life after their husband's death.

Unfortunately, this story proved me wrong with its prologue in which Carly was so far removed from a human being accepting her Fate (a whole year after her husband's death, mind you), it made me queasy. She improved quite a lot throughout the story, but there were always moments that made me roll my eyes...Like her refusal to pack her husband's stuff two years later, stubbornly wearing his favorite perfume, even though she didn't really like it, refusal to make any changes to the house...Until she met her hero.
Who was even worse with his pity party about his lost leg. At least you're alive, you ass!

Yes, maybe this review is making me appear heartless or at least cold-hearted, and yes, I understand people grieve in different ways, but did we really have to be saddled with an unable unwilling-to-move-on heroine and a self-pitying hero with body-image issues?

They got on my nerves so much (him more and more as the story progressed, while she improved) that I couldn't have been bothered to enjoy their "romance". Which felt rushed at least judging from the ending. They worked better as friends, IMO.

There were other problems with the story that cannot be overlooked: the two side-plots involving one of Carly's friends who should've killed her spoiled, self-centered bitch of a stepdaughter and buried her in their backyard instead of turning her other cheek as the good book teaches, the rancher, who lost his wife because she couldn't live without her legs (talk about selfish), that had a one-night stand with another of Carly's friends (I don't know why, I guess it will serve as background for their book), and the whole praying, churchgoing, bible-reading-in-the-evening shtick. At first it pissed me off at the publisher for not warning unsuspecting readers, but then I just skipped those parts.

I liked the premise, and it had its brighter moments (when the heroine wasn't bemoaning her lost husband and the hero forgot about not having a leg), but overall it was quite a disappointment.


Post a Comment