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I really enjoyed this story this is my first introduction to this author and I can't wait for his next installment of the series. the storyline was compassionate funny and entertaining, it shows the sacrifices of soldiers coming back from the most the difficult part of their lives and their resilience of those solider who come back broken and the people who loves them help them through it. I highly recommend this story and author.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
The audiobook begins with a prologue – a quick explanation of where the characters fit in other series written by the author. A quick reminder for fans, no big deal if this is your first foray into her work. Then there is a short story which starts this new series. In ‘Micah’s Soldier’, Garrison is coming home, not expecting anyone to greet him. He is facing what many soldiers do – no teary reunions, no families to embrace them – just an empty life to return to. Garrison isn’t expecting any welcome, but when it comes, he knows who to blame – or who to thank.
This short is heartwarming and dovetails nicely into the novel. In the first chapter of ‘Treading Water’ we meet Jared Ramos who is starting a charitable foundation to help vets coming back from overseas with physical and emotional problems.
This is a very timely discussion that needs to be had. For almost 20 years, the US and other coalition countries have been sending their very best soldiers – often young and naïve men and women – into horrific situations for which they are not prepared. Even those who manage to come home without physical injuries have psychological problems and this is often where the government fails these brave men and women. Jared, and his new assistant Aiden, aim to do everything they can to help. I didn’t read the blurb first and therefore was surprised when the story moved forward without these two, but I suspect their stories will be told later in the series.
Enter Sean. The young man, injured in a freak accident on an aircraft carrier, is now in the hospital. He’s going to survive, but his physical recovery is going to be tough and the results are uncertain. His cousin Julian, along with Sean’s friend Shane, race to Sean’s side. Sean and Julian are as close as brothers. Military service runs through the Brand family, but Julian wasn’t cut out for soldiering, instead is working hard to set-up his own Bed and Breakfast in Florida.
Shane has also been injured and is facing the precipitous end to his military career with two years left to go. Shane and Julian, in their concern for Sean, turn to each other for comfort. But with one man clearly destined for home & hearth and the other notorious for his one-night stands, how are they going to make it work? As well, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell might finally be history, but that doesn’t mean every gay officer has suddenly decided to come out.
This book challenges the reader to face the reality of what our soldiers face every day. We expect them to keep us safe, then we often fail to care for them when they come home. Having Sean as such a strong presence in the book helps bring that perspective into sharp focus. In fact, there are three alternative POV’s – Julian, Shane, and Sean. Although Sean isn’t part of the romance, his story is as important.
A perfect ending – with a few lovely surprises – again dovetails into the next story. Jared and Aiden bring another soldier out to stay with Julian and Shane. From the quick glimpse, it is going to be a heart-wrenching story and I can’t wait for it.
The book was great.
The audio recording is another issue altogether. The narrator, Casey Hunter, does a good job, but there are large pauses right in the middle of scenes. There are no POV changes or anything else to account for these weird pauses. Also, there is no pause between the chapters. The narrator says the last line of the one chapter, announces the next chapter, and begins the next chapter – all in one breath. It is jarring and irritating. Not enough to reduce the power of the story, but definitely enough to reduce the enjoyment. Andrew Reyna is listed prominently as the producer, so I’ll put the blame at his feet. I hope these issues are resolved by the next project.
This wonderful book is timely while not being preachy. Can’t wait for the next one.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Wow, I loved this story and will be reading/listening to more of JessieG.
The story flowed quite nicely and you got a feel for all the characters and what struggles they go through.
I am looking forward to more in this series..
The only real gripe I had with this audio is that there was no pause between the end of the chapter before the announcement of the next chapter but this does not stop you from enjoying.
What wonderful stories. Having read Micah's Soldier I was really looking forward to listening to that and Treading Water.
Jessie brings her characters to life with their thoughts, emotions and interactions with each other. The world created in these stories is an extension of her Sizzling Miami series. Jared covers Miami and Forgotten Soldier as well as quick appearances from Bull, Red and their family.
Micah's Soldier is a quick read/listen but is full of emotion and experience from both Micah and Garrison. You are pulled in quickly and rooting for the couple to come together and be strong enough to support each other through what's to come.
Treading Water is a new story for me and I really enjoyed it but struggled on two points. Shane and Shaun are very similar names and through audio it's easy to get the two muddled up. Also what detracted from truly enjoying the story was the narration. Andrew is a good, clear speaker but there wasn't any inflection or accent to differentiate between the characters. I sometimes found it hard keeping up with who was talking within conversations.
I adore the way Shane and Julian come together for their best friend/cousin. The way their relationship blossoms feels very natural and flows through the pages. The support that they offer each other leads to them growing even more in themselves. Shane is still in the closet at his navy job but Julian could possibly be the man that he wants to be his true self for. Julian has been happy running his B&B on Key West but meeting Shane leads to him wanting so much more in his life and willing to put in the work to get both Shane and Shaun happy in his home. Shaun is a strong character, fighting for himself and the life he now finds himself living. You're quietly rooting for him with regards to his health and love prospect in Esme.
I'd definitely recommend the book(s). Looking forward to the next release from Jessie G. I would advise listening to a sample of the audio book before purchasing to ensure that you fully enjoy such a great book and are happy with the narrator throughout the book.
I received an copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.