The Way Home is the second book in Cindy Gerard's One-Eyed Jacks series, but don't let the cover fool you! Yeah, this is a romantic tale filled with the kind of joy the holidays deliver, but it's also one exciting, heartbreaking, uplifting, steamy, and hope inspiring love story.
Four years ago Jess got the news every Army wife dreads - her husband has been killed in action and won't be returning home to her. She had struggled with Jeff's Special Forces 'here today, gone tomorrow' assignments, and they'd even fought about it before his last deployment, but his death left a gaping, empty place inside her, one she tried to fill - or mask - by throwing herself into work. But Tyler Brown, ex-military hero and all around sexy, alpha male, has Jess realizing that maybe it's time to stop merely existing, and time to start living again. And maybe even love again. Wedding plans are set and these two wonderful people who have both known great loss are looking forward to a future filled with the kind of love they never thought they'd find again, when word comes down that Jeff's been found alive - though not necessarily well - and a team is being sent to Afghanistan to rescue him and bring him home.
This type of storyline is tough to write and even tougher to write well, but Cindy Gerard has pulled it off with flying colors! I wasn't sure what to expect, but I should have known better than to doubt Ms. Gerard's ability to tell a story that would draw me in and touch me deeply.
Tyler Brown, younger brother to Killing Time's Mike Brown, is such an amazing guy. He's not your typical action romance novel hero, but he's a hero, nonetheless. Caring, compassionate, sexy-as-sin, and patient yet determined to get what he wants - he's got what it takes to get my *swoon-worthy* stamp of approval.
Jess turned out to be every bit as amazing as Ty. She's also compassionate and caring, but I respected her for her loyalty to Jeff and her honesty with Ty and Jeff, both. She's strong and independent, but she's got an ability to love and nurture that made me admire and care about her and her happiness.
I'll admit that the happily ever afters fell into place a bit quicker and more conveniently than is realistic or likely to happen, but as I said, this is one of those special love stories, the kind that we hope for, the kind that happens through the magic of Christmas.
My sincerest thank you to Netgalley and Gallery Books for providing me with a copy of this wonderful story!