Title: The Way Back Home
Author: Carmen Jenner
Genre: Military Romance
Release Date: 30th May, 2017
August Cotton shouldn’t be here. When a tragic accident calls him home to Magnolia Springs, this returned Veteran adds his parents to the list of things he’s lost in recent years, right along with his IED detection dog and his left leg. As the sole guardian of his four-year-old sister, August must rely on his Marine training in raising a tiny hellion who’s as stubborn as he is. But the Corps could never prepare him for this. Nor could they prepare him for Olivia Anders, a woman who’ll stop at nothing to get her way.
As owner of Paws for Cause, Olivia is no stranger to the broken men and women who return home from war. She’s no stranger to broken dogs either. In fact, she’s made it her mission to pair the two and enrich both of their lives, but pairing ornery and aloof August Cotton will take some work. The last thing August wants is some pushy southern woman occupying his parents’ bed and breakfast and forcing him to open up about the hell he narrowly escaped, but that’s exactly what Olivia intends.
They complete one another, and yet they can’t stand to be in the same room.
Can Olivia make this hardened Marine feel again and finally show his heart the way back home?
*** Intended for a mature 18+ audience only. This book may contain triggers for some readers.
Free in Kindle Unlimited
I climb off the bike and slowly push it up the drive before abandoning it in the graveyard of broken mowers, tractor parts, and cars that make up the Cottons’ garage. I’m stalling. I know this. I know that he didn’t mean to hurt me. It was my mistake—I screwed up. I ache all over, and I want to just melt into a hot bath, but the second I walk in the door August is there, towering before me.
“Olivia,” he says. His eyes are red-rimmed, bloodshot, and stricken.
“No.” I shake my head and step back. I’m afraid if I let him apologize, if I don’t walk away now he’ll see between the cracks. He’ll discover why my arms are scarred. He’ll find that darkness within me, and I won’t know how to put it all back inside. I won’t be able to reel in the thread that’s unraveling from my center, promising to smother all that’s good like so much black tar and sorrow. “I can’t. Not tonight.”
“I’m so sorry. I feel sick to my stomach.”
“I can’t do this now,” I say more firmly, pushing past.
“Olivia, please?” August grabs my arms, drawing me against him. I struggle in his grasp, but it’s useless.
“Don’t touch me!” Tears spill over my eyes, and I shut my lids against the pain that feels as if it will tear me in two. “Let me go, please?”
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Reviewed by Anna Green on behalf of #KFF
This story is about August Cotton, an ex-Marine who was severely wounded during his tour in Afghanistan. He could not cope and decided to stay away from his family and wanders around the country chasing his demons. He receives a phone call and finds out his parents died from a car crash leaving his much younger sister all alone. Reluctantly he goes home to take care of Bettina, the precocious four year old girl with an adorable lisp.
Then we meet Olivia Anders the owner of Paws for Cause, a charity that rescues dogs from shelters and train them as support dogs for vets with PTSD. Olivia comes across as a very strong and stubborn woman but underneath that tough facade is a broken past and her aim is to fix as many people and animals as she can. Olivia is very passionate and single-minded with her project but when she gets to know more about August she can’t help but fall in love with him. The heart wants what the heart wants, right?
The main focus of the book is about Olivia’s project: giving rescued dogs and veterans with PTSDs a second chance in life and how to deal with mental illness. Starting a project in a small town that turns a blind eye on veterans doesn’t make Olivia’s cause very popular. It’s an uphill struggle for her and the attraction between her and August slowly simmers. Their first meeting didn’t go down very well, sharing a mutual dislike for each other but every day they spend working together draws them closer.
The other characters: Bettina, Josiah, Beau, Dalton, Jude du Pont, Betty the piglet, Zora an ex Military Working Dog and Xena one of the support dogs Olivia trained, make a very interesting and lively menagerie for August and Olivia.
This book is all about second chances not only for the main characters but also for those around them. Olivia managed to turn her life around and help others. August not only lost his left leg during his tour in Afghanistan but he also lost his parents in a car accident. Because of his past he thinks he is not worthy of a second chance. Will Olivia be able to convince him that he deserves a second go in life or will she realise that there are things you just can’t fix?
I have always liked the author’s style of writing. Her characters are so real and well developed, each page you turn you see them growing larger than life. And when she gives you a strong heroine, a damaged hero, a sassy four year old, a piglet, rescue dogs, an insight on mental illness and a very worthy cause, I can’t help but give this book 5 stars!
Carmen Jenner is a thirty-something, USA Today and international bestselling author.
Her dark romance, KICK (Savage Saints MC #1), won Best Dark Romance Read in the Reader’s Choice Awards at RWDU, 2015.
A tattoo enthusiast, hardcore makeup addict and zombie fangirl, Carmen lives on the sunny North Coast of New South Wales, Australia, where she spends her time indoors wrangling her two wildling children, a dog named Pikelet, and her very own man-child.
A romantic at heart, Carmen strives to give her characters the HEA they deserve, but not before ruining their lives completely first … because what’s a happily ever after without a little torture?
PUBLISHED TITLES TO DATE: