Captain James Lee Hooker is lost. When deployed, a solider under his command was injured and Jamie knows it was his fault. He left the Army and the love of his life, Sergeant Easy Jacobs, and made a new start. After caring for his grandmother, he’s left with her house and her ill tempered dog when she passes. He teaches yoga and writes a blog, and is just existing. Until Easy Jacobs comes back into his life.
Easy’s cousin Austin is missing and he needs James Lee’s help. Since Austin suffered a TBI in Afghanistan, he’s not the same. And he’s trekking across the southwest on a bicycle. The two men embark on the journey to find him, and find the love they had for each other in the process.
This story begins with sadness and despair, and ends with a whole lot of hope. I picked it up because I love a good road trip story and this book doesn’t disappoint in that regard. As Jamie and Easy crisscross the southwest, interesting locales and locals give the story a rich backdrop. I enjoyed these characters and enjoyed their journey.
The book is told in first person from Jamie’s POV, and that means we get to know him really well. He’s got a lot on his shoulders, but most of his baggage he put there himself. I liked watching him grow as the story progressed, and I loved his interactions with Easy. It was clear from the start that these guys meant the world to each other before, and that it hasn’t changed at all.
In regards to the romance, though, I felt like things were missing at times. These guys had to have some hard conversations to get past what had happened between them, but I felt like they never really got that far. The conversations would start, but then one, or both, would play it off or give in because they “didn’t want to fight.” I’m not saying there needed to be arguments to make this feel more real, but I was looking for more heartfelt conversation than we got. There were the beginnings of it. There were even some tender, wonderful moments between them. But I was missing that last bit that really took their conversations from the surface to depth, so that I could be confident in their HEA.
But I did say this book ends with hope, and that was maybe the thing I enjoyed the most about it. Throughout the story, they propped each other up. And then things work out for the best all the way around. I was really happy with the last quarter of this story, and it elevated the whole thing for me.
This was a quick, easy read with some really lovely moments and two characters who need to find their feet again. If you’re looking for some broken heroes who put themselves back together again during a great road trip, then this is the one for you.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.