Reviewed by JustJen
Title: His Soldier
Author: Anna Lee
Heroes: Ryder Brooks/Dean Anders
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 200 Pages
Publisher: Totally Bound
Release Date: March 6, 2015
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: 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.
Review: This is a really sweet story. After Dean loses his best friend and stepbrother in the war, he decides to be a pen pal to another soldier as a way to deal with his loss. He ends up writing to Ryder, and the two begin a relationship that spans about a year through letters and phone calls. Unfortunately, before they can finally connect, Ryder is wounded and sent home to recover.
I really enjoyed the pen pal correspondence and watching these guys learn about each other. Their feelings grow, and they both feel as though they are perfect for each other. However, before they have the opportunity to meet, Ryder decides Dean doesn’t deserve a broken man, etc. and cuts off contact. Thankfully, a “friend” of Ryder clues Dean in, and he wastes no time in making sure Ryder realizes he is in love with the man from the letters and that his injuries are not an issue. They still struggle a bit, as they adjust to their new life, but it is these little things that I enjoyed seeing.
Dean’s family is fantastic. His “mom” is also the mother of the best friend he lost, having adopted him when he was a teen and that friend saved him from life on the streets. Dean’s original family is worthless, but Mama Beth and Jessie both make up for it. They take Ryder into the family as one of their own and are there when things get tough.
I love soldier stories, and stories where they are no longer soldiers but find new lives for themselves when forced to give up the only career they thought they’d have. It is easy to understand how they must feel when faced with such changes on top of their disabilities. If only they were all lucky enough to find someone like Dean who is so willing and determined to help them overcome.
There were definitely things here that just seemed a bit over the top that threw me out of the story. So much happened to these guys, it was one thing after another, starting with Dean’s childhood, his family, losing his friend, etc. Then there are crazy ex’s, jealous crushes that came out of nowhere, etc. These guys have been building up their sexual tension for over a year, though we didn’t really see that in the letters, so it was somewhat expected that they’d be all over each other when they finally meet. However, it was hard to imagine a guy still recovering from an amputated leg getting it on in the hospital. I suppose anything could happen, but these things just added up and took away from the story.
Setting those things aside, this was still a really sweet story, and I enjoyed many aspects of it. It kept me interested until the end and feeling satisfied when I got there. This was my first book by this author, but I’m definitely going to look at more of her work.
Overall Impression: I liked it
*I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*