A Companion to the Robbie & Sam Series
Three years after running from Thornwood, Colorado, to join the Army, Daniel Messana is no closer to figuring out who he is or what he wants out of life. Now that he’s home, his constant companions are loneliness, PTSD, and guilt over the way he mistreated one of his brothers and abandoned the other.
Franklin Cooper, or Coop, enlisted at eighteen and loved every minute he spent in the Army—until an IED in Afghanistan took his sight. Now he’s home and, with his service dog by his side, ready to regain his independence. The trouble is no one will let him do anything for himself. He’s drowning beneath his family’s oppressive love, and his only respite is the time he’s allowed to spend at the on-base pizza place once a week. That’s where he meets Daniel, and those afternoons become even more special. But both men have a lot to work through before they can take the next step together.
I had high hopes after reading the blurb and was really looking forward to reading a gripping story of healing between two war vets. Instead, this was a quick, easy and pretty light read. I was left wanting more and feeling somewhat underwhelmed by the story. I haven't read the previous books in this series, and frankly, I'm glad for that, because I'm not sure that if I'd seen first hand what Daniel had been like as a teenager or witnessed the things he'd said and done to his uncle and brother, I wouldn't have considered he did enough to apologize and redeem himself in this story.
I liked Coop, but I didn't care for how pushy he was. As a defenseless blind man, I'm not sure what the author was thinking by making him so overbearing and insistent at trying to forcibly insert himself into a romantic relationship with a man who is not only a virtual stranger, but has also informed him multiple times that he's straight. This was really unrealistic and could have been a very dangerous situation for Coop. The progression of their relationship was way too fast. After three of four meetings they are dead set on moving in together and although they don't profess love, well, it was still way too fast. I wish the author had slowed things down and had Coop and Daniel get to know one another better. I wanted to really see them explore their feelings. I did love that Daniel was so intent on helping Coop garner his independence, something that even after a year of being back home, his parents aren't willing to help him achieve. Coop's parents insist on babying him and doing everything for him, while Daniel is willing to help him learn how to do for himself.
All in all, this was a sweet and enjoyable easy read, but it needed to be fleshed out some. Recommendable!
*Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn’t a requirement.*