on September 10th 2015
Didi Monroe’s waited her whole life for the type of romance you see in the movies, so when Hollywood heartthrob Zac Ridgemont sweeps her off her feet, Didi believes she might finally have met the one.
While Zac’s away filming for the summer, Didi begins her internship at a military hospital in California. There, she meets wounded Marine Noel Walker.
Frustrated on the outside and broken on the inside, Walker’s a pain-in-the-ass patient who refuses all help.
Yet Didi can’t help but be drawn to him, and though he’s strictly out of bounds it soon becomes impossible to ignore the sparks flying between them.
As the attraction simmers into dangerous territory, Didi finds herself falling hard for a man she knows is going to break her heart. Because Walker doesn’t believe in love or happy ever afters. So what possible future can there be?
Then tragedy hits, shattering both their worlds, and Didi is forced to choose between fighting for love or merely falling for the illusion of it.
I’m a huge fan of Mila Gray’s Come Back to Me. It’s one of my favorite military romances and a must read. When I saw the arc for Didi’s story was available I had to read it immediately. And boy was I in for a wonderful ride, because this book is just amazing!!! I totally loved it. The book holds you tight from the moment you start reading the prologue. It’s so powerful, you immediately want to know what will happen.
This book is about love, about war, about healing, about friendship and family. The book is set up in a center for wounded soldiers and it touches deep into not only soldiers trying to rehabilitate from physical wounds but also PTSD. Sometimes the internal wounds are harder to heal.
Didi is an amazing strong girl. If you’ve read Come Back to Me, she’s Jessa’s best friend. She’s the daughter of two therapists and a PhD student herself and working at the center as an intern for the summer. She’s a romantic at heart. She’s looking for love, often in the wrong places, she’s longing for that deep meaningful connection that her parents and her best friends have.
“I want someone who’ll tell me that I’m their north star. Someone who’ll look at me and really see me. Someone who isn’t cynical about love and, most importantly, someone who won’t break my heart.”
Lieutenant Noel Walker is a wounded soldier that has experienced recent trauma overseas and it’s recovering from his injuries, both external and internal. He lost a great number of his soldiers on the field and is struggling with his recovery, especially the fact that he survived. The book is told in dual POV and being inside Walker’s head is fascinating.
“Some days are worse than others. Some days I’m not just lying in a coffin hearing someone shoveling dirt on top of the lid, some days I’m buried miles underground and nothing reaches me, not even sound, just the terrifying roar of silence.”
Walker is kinda stalled in his progress, he is considered a special case and he is very resisting to therapy, he doesn’t talk to anyone, hates any interaction, and then he meets Didi. Their connection is fantastic, you can feel it since the first moment that what they have will be special. Didi is very apprehensive because any type of relationship could jeopardize her future career, and Walker simply doesn’t think he has any chance of a future. But the connection is obviously there.
“But at the same time I register somewhere deep down inside me that same feeling I had this afternoon, that I don’t want her to go anywhere. She doesn’t even have to touch me. I just want her here. In the room. With me.”
“I should leave, go home, get some sleep. But I can’t stop thinking about Walker.”
The romance is slow building, despite the strong attraction, they develop a great friendship but it eventually turns into an intense relationship and they are both in too deep.
“Her cheek rests briefly against mine and I close my eyes and find myself holding her tight, like a man clinging to a buoy in a storm-swept ocean. She’s keeping me afloat. How do I let her go after this?”
“I wish there was a way inside that chest of his, a way to find the wounds in there and heal them.”
An unexpected tragedy changes the course of the story and rocks them both hard. Honestly, I’m not super happy about some of the decisions the main characters (and some secondary ones) make and how some things are resolved, but the ending is absolutely beautiful. In the end is all about redemption, for all.
“‘What’s between us . . . this exists. It’s real. It’s not always perfect, and I can’t promise you it won’t sometimes go wrong, like it just did, or that we’ll last forever. I don’t think I’m ever going to be able to plan for the future, and I know you want that. I’ve seen too much, witnessed too much, to be able to put stock in the future any more. But what I can promise you is that every single moment of the present I’ll be with you. And I know this –that what we have means something. It’s significant. It’s not “I can’t live without you” love. It’s “I don’t want to live without you” love.’”
I truly loved this book. The writing is beautiful and it keeps you hooked. The main characters were amazing, brave and strong. I also loved the secondary characters, Sanchez, Valentina and Dodds. It is one of those books that you will always remember. I would’ve loved and epilogue, but I truly recommend this one!
*ARC generously provided by Pan Macmillan via NetGalley in exchange of an honest review*