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

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Review: Against All Odds by Jezz de Silva / @entangledpub @jezzdesilva

Series & Title: Outback Hearts, Book 1: Against All Odds
Author: Jezz de Silva
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Newsletter
Publisher: Entangled Publishing: Select Contemporary
Release Date: September 18, 2017
Genre: Contemporary, Uniform, Romance
ARC Received From: Entangled Publishing via NetGalley
Reviewed For: Entangled Publishing

The bomb ticking inside Abigail Williams has shadowed every moment of her adult life. With the timer counting down, Abi embarks on one final adventure into the Australian outback before returning to L.A. to fight for her life.

Sergeant Ryder Harper survived over a decade in Australia’s most elite military unit. He’s ready to hang up his assault rifle and drag what’s left of his broken body back home. He dreads the long flight back to Brisbane, until he collides with the stubborn, maddening seductress sitting beside him.

Abi ignites a need deep inside Ryder, leaving him desperate for more time with this woman with mesmerizing eyes and an even more intoxicating spirit. But when Abi finally relents to Ryder’s offer to be her outback guide, she has one condition: When it’s time, he’ll have to let her go.

Abi and Ryder are kindred spirits. While Ryder has already been through surgery and rehab and physical therapy, Abi hasn't. She will but not until after she's lived as much life as she can between now and her surgery date. They meet on a plane, Ryder to go home, Abi to find adventure and make memories. Their attraction and interest in one another has much to do with physical appearances as it does with their life-changing situations, which caused a lot of "Will they?" "Won't they?" for me. Not sex. *chuckles* That's a given because Abi was reminded by her loving sister to have sex while she traveled. Being a virgin wasn't in the cards for her at this age; neither was having a bomb in her head. But it was what it was and now it was time to live like tomorrow was her last.

And living took on a whole new meaning when Ryder insisted he show her his beautiful country himself. Spending that much time together allowed them to get to know each other beyond the physical, and, man, was it a lovely sight to see. To feel so much from a chance meeting is incredible.

This is where the "Will they?" "Won't they?" came in. See, Abi's condition was never hidden. It was shelved for a moment while she enjoyed herself but it was always there, in the back of her mind, in the back of mine. It hovered over what, in other stories, would have been a guaranteed HEA. That's not to say Ryder and Abi didn't have one, but there was this constant push and pull inside of me. There was plenty of doubt they'd have one but Mr. de Silva gave them one they oh-so happily deserved.

Reality doesn't always disappear where books are concerned. The topics of disease and death are, honestly, two I try to avoid when reading. There are exceptions to that, of course, but I usually read to escape. The reality of both these topics hits far too close to home for me, especially now.

The characters, their support team, their outlook on life--even if devastation might lie on the horizon instead of hope--makes these stories worth reading. The ability to capture those emotional highs and lows can't possibly be easy to do. Mr. de Silva does it beautifully.

Ryder and Abi's story will made me laugh and smile, but it was also a sober reminder that sh*t happens and that it's up to you to make the most of where you are and what you have.

Please don’t freak out. I’m just your average Aussie romance writer ; )

Allow me the honour of taking you on journeys with tough heroes, tougher heroines, and guaranteed happily ever afters.

My long suffering First Reader and I live in a tiny one wombat town in the hills outside Melbourne, Australia. And when I say one wombat town I really mean it. I see the little girl when walking Bear and Max, my plot and character consultants.

Our little patch of heaven is overrun by a zoo of geriatric rescued animals who eat us out of house and home when not sleeping or guilting us into walks. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

When not tapping my fingers or banging my head on a keyboard creating happily ever afters, I love spending time with family and friends, cooking, EATING, gardening, renovating our castle, and teaching personal protection : )

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