His Soldier by Anna Lee ~ (Book Blast, ARC Review, Author Interview, Book Blast Questions, Excerpt and Giveaway)
Author Name: Anna Lee
Book Name: His Soldier
Release Date: March 6, 2015
Publisher: Totally Bound Publishing
Cover Artist: Emmy Ellis
Sometimes you find love where you least expect it, for Sergeant Ryder Brooks that’s writing letters home to Dean Anders, his army pen pal…
After a tragedy, in a way to honor his brother and try to cope, Dean becomes a army pen pal to Sergeant Ryder Brooks. The two connect through letters and phone calls for a year, falling in love and making plans to meet when Ryder finishes his tour. However, in an effort to save one of his men who steps on a mine, Ryder loses his leg. Broken and depressed, he doesn't think Dean will want him. But once Dean learns what happens, he immediately goes to Ryder, determined to help him heal and show him that he loves him no matter what. Ryder has a long road of recovery ahead of him, but with Dean's support, he realizes his life isn't over, it's just beginning if he’ll only give them a chance.
Categories: Contemporary, Erotica, Fiction, Gay Fiction, Romance, Military
So, uh, I’ve never really done this. I mean I had a pen pal when I was, like, eight, and I waited for the mailman every day to see what Skylar would say about kangaroos in Australia. Everything is so techy now, you know, email, texts, and written letters are rare. I guess that was part of the appeal—this just feels more important taking the time to write by hand. And you deserve that.
The reason I decided to become a pen pal is I recently lost my brother and, well, I thought in his memory I’d do more to give back and find ways to support guys like him going through hell over there and fighting for our country. I want to say thanks, and I honestly do admire you. I don’t think I could do it. I’m a creature of comfort and complain ridiculously when it’s hot.
Anyway, I keep going on about me. Thanks for everything you’re doing. I hope you’re staying safe. I’m sure you got a lot going on so if I don’t hear from you it’s okay. I just wanted to let you know I’m thinking of you and wishing you a safe journey home.
Pages or Words: 55,000 words
At the age of 16 Dean's mother discovers him kissing another boy, and his father beats him badly and his mother throws him out of the house. His best friend, Dax and his mother take him in. After Dax, a soldier is killed overseas, to help him heal Dean begins to write letters through a pen pal program for soldiers who have no family or friends to write to them. His pen pal is Ryder.
Ryder didn't expect much from the pen pal program. He definitely didn't expect to find the guy of his dreams, but alas he did.
Dean and Ryder write back and forth, talk on the phone and exchange emails for almost a year. They start to fall for each other. They are supposed to meet, but instead after being badly injured, Ryder sends Dean a letter with a fellow soldier telling him they can't meet.
As a reviewer maybe I am wrong to have an opinion about what should have been in the book, but as a reader and especially a beta reader, well here goes anyway. This book had so much potential. The author had so much to work with. I was excited and couldn't wait to read this book. It started well, then it just fell apart. I was so disappointed. The author had the perfect conflict, in Ryder's injury. I think the author should have focused on this as the major conflict for this book. Instead it was passed over, ignored and other less believable conflicts are pulled in to give the story angst, when the angst was staring her right in the face.
The book was well written and flowed well. Dean and Ryder had good chemistry. I actually love books where the MC's stay together and work through their problems, but there was no tension in this book. It was too syrupy sweet and the conflicts that were brought in ended too soon, and too neatly, almost before they even began. I wanted love this book, and I wanted to care, but honestly by the end of the book, I just didn't care if they got a HEA anymore. I was just ready for it to be over. :/
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About The Author:Anna Lee graduated from the University of California Riverside with a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing. Living with a disability, she has overcome many challenges and puts her passion for life and love into her writing. She lives with her family and dogs and enjoys writing late into the night. When she isn’t writing, Anna enjoys spending time with her nieces and nephew or chatting with her friends about her favorite books and TV shows.
Where to find the author:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/authorannalee
We Asked Anna:
Favorite place to write?
My bed with my Surface tablet.
What was your first job?
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Harry Potter jelly beans, they were gross.
Why did you choose to write M/M stories?
About five years ago I began reading M/M and found some amazing friends and fellow authors who encouraged me to write in the genre as well. I discovered I enjoyed writing MM and its dynamics. So I wrote my first MM novel, got it published and the rest they say is history. Writing in this genre I’ve realized how exciting and interesting it is and how many possibilities there are. I want to write it because love is love and there so many stories I want to tell that I’m passionate about and inspired to write involving beautiful men who love each other. That’s what it’s about showing relationships with men who just want to love freely and without fear.
What is your perfect book hero?
I like flawed heroes. Guys who are brave, compassionate, and strong and also have a vulnerable side. I like those guys who aren’t perfect, but will do anything for the people they love. They make sacrifices selflessly and make a difference for the better.
This story has a really heavy topic. How hard is it to be in the head of a really broken character?
It wasn’t difficult because I didn’t see Ryder as broken though he himself did. I just saw him through Dean’s eyes. Ryder was scared and vulnerable after losing his leg, and he didn’t think he would be wanted or loved, but when Dean showed him otherwise it allowed him to see there was hope and he could heal.
Is there a message in this book you want your readers to grasp?
That there is always hope. No matter what you go through, no matter what life throws at you as long as you have people who love you, you can get through it.
What book would you take with you to a deserted island?
Am I stranded on the island? I might need a book on survival, lol. If it’s just for leisure I’d say John Wiltshire’s The Bruise-Black Sky.
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Rafflecopter Prize: PDF Copy of His Soldier