If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all. - Oscar Wilde
We shouldn't teach great books; we should teach a love of reading. - B. F. Skinner
No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. - Mary Wortley Montagu

Friday, September 4, 2015

Review: Home by Jezz de Silva / @samhainpub @jezzdesilva

Title: Home
Author: Jezz de Silva
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Release Date: September 29, 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Military, Interracial, May-December, Romance
ARC Received From & Reviewed For: Jezz de Silva

Love always finds a way home.

For two decades, Evelyn Watson’s husband, Mark, protected her from the horrors of military life. Now Mark is dead, his dark world has crashed down around her, and she wants answers. Mark didn’t die in a training accident, and Eve will keep fighting until she unearths the truth.

Corporal Jamie Turner barely survived the mission that claimed the life of his sergeant and mentor. Command can strip his rank, throw his broken body in jail, but there’s no way in hell they’re stopping him from delivering the truth to his best friend’s wife.

As Eve pulls together the shattered remains of her world for the tiny life growing inside her, the young man her husband thought of as a brother rebuilds the only home she’s ever known and shines a light into her darkness.

Yet as she struggles to allow herself to love again, she’s acutely aware of how far—and how hard—she could fall. Especially if fate ensures Jamie isn’t there to catch her.

Warning: Prepare to have your heart stolen by an indestructible protector who’ll stop at nothing to rebuild the heart and soul of the woman he loves.

Jamie's resilience and insistence that Eve know the truth about her husband Mark's death pushed him to not only heal as well as possible so he could find her but to also defy military protocol. A career soldier, his decision to tell her everything would no doubt put his career in jeopardy but he knew it was a risk worth taking.

If the story jumped in after Mark's death, I would have questioned Jamie's reasoning and sanity. But the story opens with these two men in a war zone. The author gives an amazing glimpse into the friendship between them, even though Mark was Jamie's superior, and shows why Jamie was wholly committed to bringing Eve closure.

Eve was shielded from the truth of Mark's military work because he chose to protect her from it. It didn't mean she was ignorant though. She knew what he was doing and where he was going was dangerous; she just didn't know the extent of the work he did. But Eve didn't want to bury her husband under pretense. She wanted the truth. All she got on her quest was deflection, text book answers because of the nature of Mark's work. And yet she pushed on, refusing to give in and give up because she deserved more than what she was being given. All she wanted was full closure because, damn it, she deserved it and nothing less and Jamie gave her that.

I loved that Eve was pregnant throughout this story, although I can only imagine how daunting it must have felt to know that she would raise the baby with it ever knowing its father. She could share stories, show pictures, but there would always be a void where Mark should have been in the baby's life.

It would have been an easier if the author decided to make Eve a conniving bitch, sleep with Jamie, then claim the baby was his. The author didn't and instead used the pages of this book to show how the relationship between Jamie and Eve progressed from acquaintances to friends to lovers. They grieved together the loss of the man who connected them then rejoiced in the fact that their love wasn't hinged on guilt, obligation or a desire to make sure the baby was provided for.

One thing that really stood out in this story was Mark's constant presence. Even though he was gone, Jamie and Eve never forgot about him. He was there when they reminisced, when they talked about the future, when they talked about the house. Everything was a reminder of the man they'd lost. And I loved that the author didn't cast him aside to make more page space for Jamie and Eve's story.

I know the warning at the end of the synopsis uses "indestructible" to describe Jamie, and he earned that title after the hell he went through overseas and at home as he tried to reach Eve, but it is such a perfect description for Eve as well. Neither are indestructible in the physical sense but they both possessed incredibly strong spirits that got them through the hardest time of their lives and kept them moving forward into something completely unexpected. Reading Jamie and Eve's story was an experience. Emotions, actions, words. Everything was live and in color, so to speak, and it was amazing to be so deeply drawn into a story that I felt like I was a part of it, like the characters weren't just people made up to entertain me but people I actually knew.

Jezz de Silva might be new on the published scene but this novel isn't amateur work by any means. That's a testament to de Silva's ability to write and Samhain's recognition of incredible talent when they see it. Incredible work for a debut novel and I can't wait to read what Jezz de Silva writes next.

My long suffering first reader and I live in a tiny one kangaroo town in the hills of Melbourne, Australia. (And when I say ‘one kangaroo town’ I really mean it, we see the little guy when we walk our dogs.)

Our home is overrun by a zoo of geriatric rescued animals who eat us out of house and home, when they’re not sleeping or waiting to be walked…and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

When not tapping my fingers or banging my head on a keyboard I enjoy spending time with family and friends, gardening, renovating our home, cooking for that long suffering first reader of mine, and teaching women’s self defence.

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