final lineRating: 5 stars
Buy Links: 
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Length: Novel

Staff Sargent Corey Yarwood has seen a lot in his years as a Recon Marine, but nothing more troubling than his most recent deployment and the incident in Ghazni. Borey doesn’t remember all of what happened that day, but what he does remember has messed him up. So if he needs to drink to get to sleep….well then, he drinks.

Meeting a man who holds his interest hasn’t been in the cards since Corey returned from Afghanistan. But Sean Chandler isn’t just any man. Sean is understanding and sensitive to what Corey is going through. Corey isn’t sure that he’s ready for any sort of relationship right now. As a matter of fact, he’s sure that his life is too messed up to drag someone into his problems, but Sean refuses to back down.

At the same time Corey is working through his growing attraction to Sean, another investigation into the events of Ghazni opens with Corey right in the center. If that weren’t enough, a former fellow Marine who served with Corey in Afghanistan is now being accused of murder and threatens to take down the Corps while pointing fingers at Corey. As his life turns to the side of extreme stress, Corey has to face of his own severe PTSD and learn to deal with the events of the past, or turn into something that he despises and risk losing Sean before they even have a chance to begin.

I say this at the end of every one of the books in The Recon Diaries series, but I love this book. I think The Final Line is my favorite of the series so far. It is an intense emotional rollercoaster that puts readers in the passenger seat of an amazing ride. I am continually blown away at how McKenna presents some of the most difficult situations with such realism. This book has a major focus on PTSD – the dark side and the side of the proactive. It’s both beautiful and horrible subject matter that I am increasingly intrigued by. I’ve read a lot of books recently that focus on or contain PTSD as a character issue, and this book is by far my favorite of the bunch.

Corey is such a complex, three-dimensional character. He’s tortured and broken. His pride is afraid of facing his issues, yet he’s strong enough to trust the people he cares for to catch him if he falls. He’s strong and honorable. Corey is everything I picture in a Marine. He doesn’t let PTSD define him. Instead, he defines how it affects him. He doesn’t give up and he works to make his life, and the lives of those he cares for, better. I am impressed by McKenna’s ability to delve into a near-shattering psyche and create such strength and unwavering loyalty. Corey is beautiful.

Sean is probably one of my favorites of all time. He is a rock. A man who knew nothing about Corey other than he drank too much in order to sleep, Sean latches on and becomes a grounding stone for Corey. He’s incredibly patient and understanding. He’s strong enough to push back when Corey tries to push him away. He is the perfect match for the overworked, overstressed Marine. And together they are perfect.

The writing in this book is wonderful and incredibly engaging. This is not a book you pick up and put down. Kendall McKenna has perfected storytelling and it shines in this story. This is a book that you will pick up and lose sleep over and then thank the author for it. It’s exciting, mysterious, heart-wrenching, and fabulous. I loved every second of it from the everyday lives of Recon Marines to the ho-hum life outside of the excitement. I loved the slow build of the relationship. I love the intense emotions that had me laughing one moment and crying the next.

I don’t think I can say enough to describe how absolutely perfect Corey’s story is. I’ve been waiting for a while for Corey to get his own book and I am not disappointed in the least. In fact, I’m more than impressed. It’s everything I could hope for Corey and so much more. I loved literally everything about this book and I can only hope that Corey and Sean will show up in another story someday. I highly, highly recommend The Final Line by Kendall McKenna.

Note: The Final Line is the third book in The Recon Diaries series. In my opinion, the books are best read in order so that readers can be introduced to Corey and understand some of his background, especially with Jonah. And really, you don’t want to miss out on Brothers in Arms or Fire for Effect. They are both wonderful books as well.

Cover: This third cover in the series is once again mastered by Jared Rackler. The beauty of the Marine, the emotion, and the memories of battle – it’s a beautiful and perfect cover.

crissy sig