Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
A Colorado Veterans Novel
by Tiffani Lynn
Publication Date: June 7, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Synopsis: Marina Rossi is a tornado of personal chaos, always stumbling into trouble no matter how hard she tries not to. After being scarred by her family and placed into foster care as a teenager, she finds solace with Jasen until he’s moved to a new home. Because of all she’s endured, her biggest fear is being alone and her only goal in life is to create a loving family.
Jasen “Dex” Dexter aged out of the foster care system and dove straight into a career as a sniper in the Army. After nine years of service his platoon was ambushed, forever changing the course of his life. Now a police officer, Dex is known for being patient, calculated and methodical. He enjoys the solitude his life provides and wants to keep it that way.
Dex’s perfectly arranged life is turned on its head when he encounters Marina in a compromising situation. Even after twelve years apart it only takes them seconds to recognize one another. As Marina faces more trouble than one woman should, Dex feels his orderly life slipping away. While he tries to sort out his conflicted feelings, Marina becomes the target of a crazed stalker. If Dex doesn’t make a decision, it might be too late for both of them.
This is a very moving story of two people who met and connected as children in the foster care system then were torn apart by that system. Years later, they are now adults and their lives have followed very different routes. He’s been in the army and is now a police officer whilst she’s desperately trying to make a good life for herself but keeps being knocked down again. From the very start this is a dramatic story with Marina Rossi forever seeming to be in trouble and Jasen Dexter (Jase/Dex) keeps coming to her rescue. Their attraction is still their after more than a decade but she’s so caring and easily conned that even a crazed stalker putting her at risk leaves Jasen bamboozled and discombobulated, wary of upsetting his orderly life but also reluctant to let her go again.
As usual for this author, the characters are flawed, striving to better themselves but conflicted in just what they want or how to achieve their aims. They are definitely brought to life and easy to empathise with, making this a highly emotive and very engaging story. The plot has plenty of twists to add suspense to the mix, creating a superb story that I thoroughly enjoyed. It is the second book in the series and does contain characters first encountered in ‘Finding Purpose’ and I appreciated the opportunity to reconnect with them and learn how their relationships and attitudes have developed, though I don’t think you have to have read that book to appreciate this one.
I have no hesitation in highly recommending this novel – and the earlier one in this series. They are well written, with complex characters brought to life in a brilliant romantic suspense. I was given a copy of this book and chose to read it. This is my honest review after doing so.
An Excerpt to whet your appetite:
That night Jase slipped into my bed this time and held me again. I’ll never forget the feel of his bony arms wrapped around me. You’d think it was uncomfortable, but it wasn’t. His arms provided a safety I couldn’t remember feeling before then and haven’t since.
Jase whispered into my ear, “Tomorrow they’re gonna separate us, Mari.” He wasn’t Spanish but his Spanish accent was strong when he called me that. It sounded like he was saying Ma-dee. “I heard them talking downstairs. They don’t want us to get too close.” He moved his hand down between us, placing something cold in my hand and said, “I want you to have this. It was my grandma’s. The picture fell out a long time ago but it’s real silver and it’s pretty. You deserve pretty things, Mari. You deserve more than what you’ve been given.”
“I can’t take your grandma’s locket.”
“Yeah, you can. You deserve it. Someday when you find someone you love you can put their picture inside and wear it close to your heart.”
“Jase,” I whispered as emotion clogged my throat.
“Don’t let anyone hurt you anymore. If there’s another boy like Freddy, tell on him. I won’t be there to help you.” He moved his arm around me and pulled me tight to his chest while I clung to the silver locket in my hand.
I didn’t want to upset him so I nuzzled in close to him and fell asleep. When I woke the next morning, I was alone. I jumped up, threw my clothes on and ran downstairs, afraid that he was gone and I wouldn’t get to say goodbye. The social worker was passing through the doorway and I caught sight of Jase’s royal blue T-shirt he wore often already in front of her.
I thumped my way down the stairs at warp speed and screamed his name as I rushed out through the screen door and flung myself at him. I knew he couldn’t stay, but my heart was breaking and I couldn’t help but beg him. I needed someone with me who didn’t try to use me for sexual favors, who protected me, who cared about me.
“Please, please, please don’t go!” I begged as if he had control of what was happening.
He held me close while I wrapped myself around his scrawny body and held tight, all the while crying. The social worker said something I couldn’t hear clearly above my sobs and I felt his body jerk and heard him say, “Give me a minute, will ya? Hasn’t she been through enough? Let us say goodbye.”
“Mari. Mari, stop. Listen to me. I can’t stay. They won’t let me. But remember what I said. Take care of you. Protect yourself at all costs and tell if you have to. Don’t let anyone take advantage of you ever again. Mari, you’re beautiful and sweet and amazing, so much better than the rest of us. Keep the locket close to you and know I’ll always think of you.” Then he kissed the side of my head because he wasn’t tall enough to reach the top. As he stepped away and climbed in the backseat of the car he said, “You’re gonna be okay.”
The last glimpse I had of Jasen Dexter was of his gorgeous aquamarine eyes luminous with tears that sat on the edges of his eyelids but never fell. He was tough as nails even back then.
by Tiffani Lynn
Publication Date: April 4, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
When Judson’s father died suddenly, he dropped out of college and became a Navy SEAL. He left everything from his old life behind, including the girl he loved, but never told—Quincy. After ten years, Judson’s military career ends abruptly when the vehicle he’s in runs over an IED. He has his hands full learning to live with one leg, PTSD and a civilian life he wasn’t ready to return to.
Judson and Quincy are reunited when their mentor dies. Once Quincy realizes the depth of his pain, she knows it’s her turn to be the saviour. Years of pent-up passion are unleashed, but it may be too late if Judson can’t crawl out of hell. Quincy has every intention of healing this wounded warrior before his demons are the ones who determine his fate.
Tiffani currently resides in Florida with her husband, three daughters and chunky yellow lab. She graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in social science and spent five years working for Hospice. When she’s not writing or taxiing her children around she enjoys reading and attending concerts. Tiffani is also a crazed fan of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa Bay Rays, and the 2016 World Series Champion Chicago Cubs.