Wednesday, July 6, 2016

4 stars-- Into the Blue (Wild Aces #2) by Chanel Cleeton

Sometimes it just doesn't seem possible that a romance will be able to survive the hurdles in its way--a messy decades old breakup, hurt and regret, careers and lives on opposite sides of the country--but when things finally fall into place it's beautiful, touching, and just leaves you smiling. That...was Into the Blue. Once again, Cleeton simply wowed.

The quick of it is that Eric is suffering from burn out and a case of PTSD and needing some time away from his job as a fighter pilot. So he heads back to his home town--and to a woman he once loved but has avoided for a decade-- to figure things out and maybe, just maybe, find what he needs to soothe this restless soul and mend her long broken heart.

I absolutely loved these two. Eric was sexy, a little cocky, and dealing with a lot of pain and uncertainty when it came to his career in the air force. And Becca? She's strong, caring, and independent. She's also got a dirty mouth, can be a little awkward when nervous and just made me smile.
I put my head in my hands. "Did you just decide to call me to annoy me today?" (heroine)

"Um, you called me."

Shit. So I did.
Now their romance. Hot damn! It was steamy as all get out but didn't gloss over the hurt from their pasts either. Things really got messed up back when they were younger and it could be hard watching them try to move past that. The undeniable attraction and soul deep need for each other tempered with the memory of the hurt they'd gone through years earlier. I loved seeing them working on fixing the past and getting to know each other now that they were both truly grown and successful (they're early 30s in this book vs early 20s their first go around). The sexy bits were seriously sexy too. Had me fanning myself and maybe squirming a bit too. lol The chemistry between them was just scorching hot and crazy sensual. And some times just flat out make a girl sigh romantic.
"On our first date. I told you I spent half the night fantasizing about you. You didn't ask me what I was doing the other half."

I grinned, feeling a little drunk on him. "Do I really want to know?"

Whatever I'd imagined, his answer definitely wasn't what I'd expected.

"I was falling in love with you."
One thing I absolutely loved was that Cleeton addressed something that's so often ignored--military and mental health. Eric's dealing with PTSD after losing a friend in a terrible crash. And he's not really talked to anyone about it for fear of being labeled and it hurting his career. One night they're out and it all kind of bubbles up and he apologizes for bringing the mood down and ruining the night and she tells him not to worry, she's there to listen, encouraged him to actually see a professional, etc. It was just nice seeing it mentioned in the book and how important it is for both sides and that if you have someone in the military that needs to talk to be there for them. Maybe you can't fix what's going on but just listening and being supportive can mean the world.

All in all, Into the Blue was an excellent romance and a lovely addition to the series. Cleeton weaves a beautiful tale of love, healing, and finding home that's romantic, heart felt and funny to boot. I'm all on board and can't wait for more!

Eric Jansen—call sign Thor—loves nothing more than pushing his F-16 to the limit. Returning home to South Carolina after a tragic loss, he hopes to fix the mistake he made long ago, when he chose the Air Force over his fiancĂ©e.

Becca Madison isn’t quick to welcome Thor back. She can’t forget how he shattered her heart. But Thor won’t give up once he’s set his sights on what he wants—and he wants Becca.

Thor shows Becca that he’s no longer the impulsive boy he used to be, and Becca finds herself irresistibly drawn to him. But will Thor be able to walk away from his dream of flying the F-16 for their love or does his heart belong to the sky?

*covers link to Amazon

Challenges: Pick Your Genre (contemporary) | Goodreads

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