Sunday, February 17, 2013

Mission: Soldier to Daddy - Soraya Lane (HR #4369 - Mar 2013)

Series: Heroes Come Home (Book 5)

Luke's toughest fight yet is for his family

In the special forces, Luke Brown trained for the harshest of war situations; pity there's no training for being a husband and father. After two years away, he wasn't expecting his wife to welcome him open-armed, but he wasn't anticipating divorce papers either.

When she sees him standing on her doorstep in his immaculate uniform, Olivia longs to feel her handsome husband's strong arms around her. But raising their son has been tough, and watching little Charlie fall in love with a dad who might leave again is terrifying.

Luke doesn't want to walk away again-and he's determined to win back his wife and child!

Very good book that also deals with some tough issues.  Luke has been gone for two years without any contact with his wife and son.  Now he's back and he wants to get to know his son and reconnect with his wife.  He knows he screwed up by leaving again when he had promised he wouldn't but now he wants to make it up to her.  Olivia doesn't want to risk her heart again and she really wants to protect Charlie from the pain of having his dad walk away from them again. 

I liked both Olivia and Luke.  I could see where she was coming from, with her fear of Luke leaving them again.  They had fallen in love quickly and then married when she got pregnant.  They hadn't done a very good job of communicating with each other about expectations and what would happen in their futures.  When Charlie was born it added a lot of stress that neither of them dealt well with.  Olivia found herself constantly picking fights with Luke to the point where he escaped into his work and then accepted orders to deploy just to get away.  This left her alone to raise Charlie with no support at home to give her any relief.  This built on her resentment and hurt which was only increased by the lack of contact from him while he was gone.  I liked the fact that she didn't try to keep him away from Charlie when he returned and that she tried to make things easier for him that way.  She tried to protect herself from falling for him again but soon realized that she had never stopped loving him.  She did start doing a better job of listening to him and came to realize that their problems were not all his fault.  She did backslide at the end by refusing to listen to him when he wanted to talk about his future but did finally hear him out.

Luke had lost his parents when he was young and ended up in foster care.  He hadn't planned on ever having children because he didn't want to risk causing the same kind of problem for another child.  He never expected to fall in love with Olivia and then end up as a father anyway.  Having not had any example of how to be a good father he didn't know how to deal with all the problems of a fussy infant and a stressed out mama, so he ran.  He knew what he was dealing with in the army and it felt like family to him.  When he ended up in Special Forces he really felt like he was making a difference and he allowed himself to push his real family into the background thinking they were better off without him.  Then came the day when he realized how important they were.  When he went back he didn't know how to make amends to Olivia.  I loved seeing how hard he worked at it and how determined he was to make it work this time.  His biggest issue was that he had to learn to talk to her about his feelings.  He was awkward about it at first but the more he did it the easier it became.  He still wasn't great at it which contributed to their problem at the end of the book but motivated him to find a way to make a future that would work for both of them.  I also loved seeing how good he was with Charlie once he got over his fear of doing something wrong.  

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