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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Taps to the Soul by Kimberlee R. Mendoza

Taps to the Soul by Kimberlee R. Mendoza
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary; Inspirational
Length: Full (173 pgs.)
Heat: Sweet
Rating: 4 books
Reviewed by Lily

While in Iraq, Specialist Elena “Star” Mellor’s caravan is attacked and terrorists capture her. Frightened, she finds comfort in the dark cell from another prisoner named Wesley. Eventually she is rescued, but he is presumed dead. She returns to the US saddened by her loss and unwilling to let her guard down.

Sergeant Wesley Denton can’t stand new girl, Specialist Mellor. He finds her vain and disruptive. He has one mission—to find the woman he lost in Iraq. The last thing he needs is Elena distracting him from his search.

If they don’t destroy each other, could Elena and Wesley find what they’ve wanted all along?

From the first eerie sound of "Taps" on page one to a dirty cell somewhere in Iraq, Kimberlee Mendoza captures the heart of anyone with family or friends on the front lines and pulls them into the inner circle of military life. It's a story which makes one wonder just how a place of fear and deprivation is able to initiate a tale of love between two otherwise strangers.

Elena Star Mellor, rebellious child of hippy parents, is in the wrong place at a very wrong time. She finds herself thrust unwittingly into battle. It’s not the physical scars that will haunt her, but the emotional ones that follow her back to the States where she searches for a love that may have lived only in her imagination during her darkest days.

Wes “Dante” Denton, in a struggle to overcome his upbringing by a father who views the quality of life by military rank and file, uses the Army life as a way to survive the only way he knows; a way to complete what is expected of him. When he is suddenly put in the role of protector in order to survive, he doesn’t have the emotional resources to handle the task and walk away a victor.

Two young soldiers, bitter and injured, press to rise above the sounds and sights of battle as they seek out love and wonder if it will ever be part of their lives. They make each day a search that ends in frustration and heartache until one day . . . by chance . . . author Mendoza brings them to attention and orders them to explore the relationship she has so artfully created for them. You’ll get the chance to find out whether or not the characters followed orders or disobeyed and paid the price.

Ms. Mendoza did her research. Anyone having served in the military will be proud of the way she reveals the hardships as well as the joys of military life. Her ability to show spiritual growth in her characters without preaching and their desire to trust in God even in unlikely circumstances indicates a natural knack for faith-filled storytelling at its best. I am anxious to dig into another book by this author and I recommend it highly.