Title: His Soldier
Author Name: Anna Lee
Publication Date & Length: March 6, 2015 – 200 pgs
Sometimes you find love where you least expect it, for Sergeant Ryder Brooks that’s writing letters home to Dean Anders, his army pen pal…
After a tragedy, in a way to honor his brother and try to cope, Dean becomes a army pen pal to Sergeant Ryder Brooks. The two connect through letters and phone calls for a year, falling in love and making plans to meet when Ryder finishes his tour. However, in an effort to save one of his men who steps on a mine, Ryder loses his leg. Broken and depressed, he doesn’t think Dean will want him. But once Dean learns what happens, he immediately goes to Ryder, determined to help him heal and show him that he loves him no matter what. Ryder has a long road of recovery ahead of him, but with Dean’s support, he realizes his life isn’t over, it’s just beginning if he’ll only give them a chance.
This was a wondering story. It has pain, loss, but it also has happiness and hope. We all know that when a soldier comes home, sometimes they come home to a different type of fight, but not any less important.
I loved the relationship that Ryder and Dean embark on. Their long-distance letters bring both peace and hope to lives that were both damaged by war.
I really wanted to hug Joel every time he was mentioned in this story. He was supportive, open-minded and grateful. Not only did he witness what true friendship was, he also demonstrated it right back. The friendship is one that will withstand anything.
I wanted to boot Bentley in the rear each time he was mentioned. It is asking too much of anyone to hide any type of relationship – to not allow his friends to be who they are. Bentley was someone who never was going to learn that lesson and the fact that he tried to hurt both Ryder and Dean, that he had no redeeming qualities, I could have done without him in the book.
Finally, I LOVED Dean’s family. When I say family, I mean those he surrounds himself with. DNA does not make your family. It was so awesome that Dax was his friend – so often people have no where to turn.
I really enjoyed this book
This book had me crying from the second page. If you’re a fan of Nicholas Sparks or John Green, you will enjoy this raw, emotional story.
When Dean loses his brother in Afghanistan, he signs up to offer pen-pal support to another deployed soldier.
Ryder is a sergeant deployed in Afghanistan. When Dean’s first letter arrives, Ryder is lonely and experiencing huge stress. But Dean’s letters start to quickly make Ryder’s life just a little bit better.
The two men write and talk over the course of Ryder’s deployment. After nearly a year, they are close and looking forward to Ryder’s return. When Ryder loses his leg in a last minute act of heroism, plans change.
Ryder needs rehabilitation and emotional support when he returns and he doesn’t want to make demands on a man he’s never actually met. Both men struggle with relationships and and neither man trusts easily.
I really loved the premise of this book, but the execution was slightly clunky. The book needs a final grammar and punctuation edit. The developing emotional bond between the two men was at times overshadowed by a series of complex sub-plots and discussions that seemed to repetitively re-hash the same topics. There were obvious reasons for the sex scenes being delayed and tentative, but it was difficult to sense any real heat in the bedroom scenes that were included. Supporting characters, like Beth, Joel and Jessie were well developed, but more villainous characters were pretty one dimensional.
But still, the men are sweet and their emerging relationship is charming. The story of loss and new hope is gentle and tender.
Ultimately, Anna Lee definitely knows how to pull at heart strings. You will need a box of tissues, a glass of wine and a tub of Ben and Jerry’s for this one.
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So, uh, I’ve never really done this. I mean I had a pen pal when I was, like, eight, and I waited for the mailman every day to see what Skylar would say about kangaroos in Australia. Everything is so techy now, you know, email, texts, and written letters are rare. I guess that was part of the appeal—this just feels more important taking the time to write by hand. And you deserve that.
The reason I decided to become a pen pal is I recently lost my brother and, well, I thought in his memory I’d do more to give back and find ways to support guys like him going through hell over there and fighting for our country. I want to say thanks, and I honestly do admire you. I don’t think I could do it. I’m a creature of comfort and complain ridiculously when it’s hot.
Anyway, I keep going on about me. Thanks for everything you’re doing. I hope you’re staying safe. I’m sure you got a lot going on so if I don’t hear from you it’s okay. I just wanted to let you know I’m thinking of you and wishing you a safe journey home.
Anna Lee graduated from the University of California Riverside with a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing. Living with a disability, she has overcome many challenges and puts her passion for life and love into her writing. She lives with her family and dogs and enjoys writing late into the night. When she isn’t writing, Anna enjoys spending time with her nieces and nephew or chatting with her friends about her favorite books and TV shows.
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