Title: Walking Wounded (A Linden Bay Romance) 3rd Edition
Author Name: Lee Rowan
Publication Date & Length: May 22, 2015 — 200 pages
John Hanson joined the military because he wanted to serve his country. Lacking a home and family of his own, the idealistic young man longed to be a part of something bigger than himself. He didn’t expect to find love in officer’s training—so when an assignment took him away from Kevin Kendrick, the love of his life, he sacrificed personal happiness and did his duty.
Kevin has made his own sacrifices. Career came first, and the impressionable Army brat, tired of living in his father’s shadow, pledged his loyalty to his country and followed his ambition.
Now, seven years later, when the Army Kevin so faithfully served has made him the scapegoat for their latest Middle East snafu, he can only think of one place to go, one man who can provide solace and heal his wounds—John.
Reunited, the two war-weary lovers once again discover their passion for life, love, and one another. But Kevin’s past isn’t through with him yet, and when an old enemy surfaces, the two men realize that they must face the nightmares of the past together if they are to have the future they dream of.
Sadly, PTSD stories are pretty common right now. This one focuses on British officers. Kevin and John were lovers during their training, but they haven’t seen each other since Kevin joined the SAS and John went to Kosovo as a UN peacekeeper. Several years later, and both men have left the army. Their respective experiences have left them emotionally fragile when Kevin turns to John for support.
The story starts gently as the men get reacquainted and begin to help each other through their PTSD experiences. But the second half of the book sends them running from mercenaries, assisted by Kevin’s former SAS teammates. It is an odd combination of events and I didn’t feel the book was long enough to accommodate both storylines.
I was annoyed by the odd Americanism in the story. Having married into a family of British army officers, the actions, accents and dialogue between these two men was less than convincing. John and Kevin alternately sounded like Americans and British squaddies – not like Sandhurst graduates at all.
I also found the timeline of the book confusing. The war in Kosovo started in 1998. But the men only had a seven year army career – there’s a ten year gap if the book ended in 2015.
Leaving my concerns aside, I liked these two characters and I believed in their relationship. I wanted them both to succeed and to build a life together.
Lee Rowan has been writing since childhood, but professionally only since spring of 2006, with the publication of her Eppie-winning novel, Ransom. She is a lady of a certain age, old enough to know better but still young enough to do it anyway. A confirmed bookaholic with a wife of many years, she is kept in line by a cadre of cats and two dogs who get her away from the computer and out of the house at least once a day.