older hero

Looking For Love by Stella Starling Review

    Looking For Love (Semper Fi, The Forever Faithful Series Book 2) by Stella Starling 3 Stars! 

Micah Finn Rawlings has lived most of his life blind, sheltered, and craving adventure. Now, at twenty-two, an operation has given him his sight back and he’s ready to take on the world.

Well, sort of.

His newly restored vision isn’t exactly all that he’d hoped it would be, but he’s definitely not going to let that stop him…. even if he does tend to trip over his own feet, have a slight problem with depth perception, and occasionally (okay, maybe a lot) get himself into situations that result in public embarrassment. Still, a few scrapes and bruises are a small price to pay for finally getting out there and living, and given that he has the best luck ever, even the most awkward moments tend to turn out pretty well in the end.

Proof? Tripping and falling at the feet of the hottest man he’s ever seen. A man who’s definitely interested in him, too.

Well… probably.

Maybe?

Actually, Micah has no experience whatsoever with such things and isn’t really sure, but a boy can hope, right?

HMC Zach Hunter, Medical Corps, U.S. Navy is many things. A patient man. An adrenaline junky. A bisexual serial dater going through an extended dry spell.

Losing a few good men to an IED inspired a come-to-Jesus moment of clarity for Zach, and ever since, he’s been looking for love. Dating any- and everyone who sparks his interest in the hope of finding something that, frankly, he’s not entirely sure exists.

At least, not for him.

The only problem? There hasn’t been a spark. At least, not the kind Zach’s holding out for. He’s not discouraged, though. Zach has no problem putting in some effort for the things that matter, and he knows that all good things are worth the wait.

Besides, it’s not like he can expect love to just fall at his feet… right?

Review

This romance is so sweet in places it might rot your teeth. But I am okay with that.

Micah is so sunny and I love him. I love Zach as well. I think the sex scenes later in the book could have been more exploratory but the sexy times are an important part of this book.

All the side characters are great. Reason tends to triumph drama and angst which is good. However, some of the conflict and lack of clear headedness for a while drags.

Overall, the heroes are so great, it is a lovely read.

A Seal Upon Your Heart by Pepper Pace Review

  A Seal Upon Your Heart  by Pepper Pace 4.5 Stars!!

Jane used to have a different name, a different life—but that was before she was rescued from the refugee camp after the Rwandan genocide and brought to the convent to be raised. Now she is being dismissed, told to go out into the world. But how does she do that when all she knows is the convent?
Sometimes she wants to scream, I am a child of Africa! And sometimes she wants to dream about a love that will save her from her loneliness…but mostly she wants to fit in.

Tim Singleton lost his wife to breast cancer less than a year ago and yet the pain and anger is still fresh in his mind. He hates the sympathetic looks from his colleagues and tolerates the invitations from friends with their good intentions. When Corrine died, so did Tim’s faith…so when he received the call from the convent that his wife had focused her charitable endeavors, Tim isn’t quite sure why he agreed to help the young African girl with a job.

She didn’t quite fit in with the others at the law firm that wore thousand dollar Chanel suits while her clothes were picked with care from the donation bin at the church. At nearly six feet tall, the shy girl tried to become invisible in the hectic world around her. But if her ill-fitting clothes didn’t draw attention to her, then it was a beauty that couldn’t be hidden so easily.

Soon Jane sees Tim as not only her benefactor, but her one true love. But can Tim finally open up and allow someone else to touch his heart? Can he forget their difference in race and age? And more importantly, would being with him mean the loss of her innocence?

Review

This is the kind of book that lingers with you long after you have put it down.

It starts with seemingly trite themes that one might find in an old Mills and Boon: a much older man (a grieving widower) and a his new personal assistant (naive and convent raised).

Then, the layers build. We are in Ohio. She is black and he is white. She is a Catholic and devout and he is non religious He drinks from grief. She has PTSD. She survived the Rwandan genocide as a young child and witnessed its horrors.

It is a powerful book and a powerful romance where they don’t heal each other but themselves.

The heroine isn’t perfect. She is young and struggles to find her full and complex self. The power issues bsased on age, money, race, gender and class are sometimes so intersting handled and sometimes clumsy.  She resilient and kind.

The hero too falters and errs and then becomes more. He contradicts himself and  doesn’t always do what he knows he should

There are no cookie cutter characters here and nothing is simple. The heroine is smart and so is the hero in terms of common sense, knowledge of profession, and emotionial intelligence.  Its glorious.

Racism and sexism are a large part of this tale.

I wish the sexism of the law firm and the hero’s privilege in it (he is never the issue but while he takes on a role protector and punisher, he doesn’t attack the issue at the systematic level that would be much more satisfying) had been more closely examined.

This romance is moving and a wonderful piece of writing as usual from Pepper Pace.