Here and NowSeries: American Valor #2
by Cheryl Etchison
Published by HarperCollins, Avon Impulse on July 26th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Rangers of the 1st/75th fight hard, train hard and play hard. They are physically strong and mentally tough, disciplined and courageous. But all their military training hasn't prepared them for falling in love.
Former Ranger Medic Lucky James feels right at home working long night shifts in the ER, but less so during the day, when his college classes are filled with flirtatious co-eds. When his 19-year-old chem lab partner shows up at his work with dinner for "her Lucky," he quickly enlists the help of Rachel Dellinger, a nurse and fellow third shift "vampire".
Rachel is a people pleaser at heart, but she's finally decided enough is enough when it comes to her on-again, off-again boyfriend. When Lucky begs Rachel to help him ward off the advances of his teenager pursuer, she blackmails him into helping move her things out of the apartment she shared with her ex into a place all her own.
From there a friendship is born between two people just trying to make it through the night. Neither are living in the past or planning for the future. Until one day changes everything.
What a diamond in the rough I found! On a whim, I picked up Cheryl Etchison’s Here and Now, the second book in her American Valor series. I didn’t read the first book, but from reading the synopsis, it appeared to me that I didn’t have to read the first book to understand what was going on in the second book. It certainly didn’t hinder my entertainment!
Rachel Dellinger has gotten herself into a rut of a life. By happenstance, she’s ended up living with her boyfriends, one right after the other, and hasn’t really lived on her own since leaving home. It’s time for Rachel to be independent. But old habits of taking care of mean and nasty parents are holding her back and keeping her in her small town.
What appealed to me about this story is the military aspect. I love a man (or woman, I’m equal opportunity) who is brave and has served his or her country as part of the armed forces. After serving his country for about 10 years, Lucky James finally takes time from the military to get the education he’s always wanted to become a doctor. But he’s finding that the civilian life, with it’s young, mindless co-eds and hospitals with strict rules, are harder than he’d thought they be. But if he wants to be a doctor, he has to pay his dues.
Lucky and Rachel have a past that includes Rachel’s younger brother who used to idolize Lucky. So ten years later, when Rachel accidentally runs Lucky over in the Hospital parking lot where she also works, they aren’t exactly glad to see each other. But what started as a cantankerous reunion ends up worming its way into a great friendship.
But this is a romance, where’s the romance??!! Ahhh, it’s a slow build type of romance. But being a quick read, we don’t waste a long time on the slow burn. And THAT’S what I loved about this book! It got down to the nitty gritty of the romance – do you take a chance on risking your heart on a guy who may not stick around? Do you risk your friendship?
The writing is good, the story moves fantastic, the characters are well fleshed out. This is just a well done romance all around! Like I said, a total gem! I’m so stupid-glad that I took a chance on this! I will be continuing with this series. I just like what Ms. Etchison does with a military romance.
Military AND small town romance lovers!