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Monday, August 8, 2011

The Army Ranger’s Return by Soraya Lane

The Army Ranger’s Return by Soraya Lane
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length(192 pgs)
Heat: Sensual
Rated: 4 books
Reviewed by Snapdragon

A soldier's second chance…

As nervous as a teenager about to go on her first date, Jessica Mitchell waits for Special Forces Ranger Ryan McAdams—her best friend for the past year—whom she's never met! They've been pen pals while Ryan was away fighting for their country and Jessica was secretly fighting her own demons back home.

She knows widower Ryan's fears of returning to civilian life and his hopes of reconnecting with his son. Now she can't wait to meet him face-to-face—to hear his voice and see his smile…

Can there be ‘love before first sight?’ Jessica Mitchell has spent a year exchanging letters with US Army ranger Ryan McAdams. Their first meeting – predictably – gives her a lot of anxiety. There aren’t just doubts about him – but she is full of self-doubt, as well as concealing a secret.

The wonderful thing is, each of them, through their letters, gave the other something to look forward to. The letters are cleverly shared, revealing so much more than they manage to stammer out in person. Ryan has seen the horror of battle and warn. He’s known personal tragedy, as well as a personal failure. He’s far from being the man his son needs to be.

At times, Jessica seems both bossy and silly. Ok, so she’s likely right, especially about his son. And, possibly, he needs someone to point him in a better direction. However, is seems overly familiar considering they just met. As readers, it's easy to feel a bit impatient with Jessie, especially at the start. Then again, we don’t know her her occasional awkwardness gets a less than sympathetic response from us. As it does from Ryan.

She has to worry if things between them would change, if he knew. Occasionally, her worry, her dragging interior monologue, is repetitive and fails to move the story along. It fails to reveal anything new about her – and its easy to feel impatient, as we simply want her to tell Ryan and know his response. In one sense, this worry is predictable, but in the series of emotions experienced, it really is not.

Truth and honesty challenge both of the main characters; challenge their feelings and trust – really in both ways. They are not ‘untruthful’ people, but each is used to struggling with their own battles, and not revealing their greatest challenges to another.

The Army Ranger’s Return is very sensitively and believably written. Lane creates powerful but very human characters, with admirable qualities, but also with qualities they each struggle with. There is an undertone of melancholy at times, but it makes the contrast with the joy of love so much more poignant. Do read.