Brooke Ellstein is a teacher and the daughter of a politician moving up through the ranks. Her father is running for governor and has hopes to someday make it to the White House, which her mother never lets her forget. When her students begin a program to be pen pals with soldiers overseas, Brooke ends up getting a pen pal of her own. Soon Brooke and Shane Develen are becoming friends, and even though Shane doesn't want a girlfriend Brooke begins to hope that he will see her as more after they meet. But when a sexy picture that Brooke sent to Shane in confidence is leaked online, her life is instantly turned upside down and everything she has worked for is suddenly destroyed. Shane shows up determined to make things right, but will it be too little too late?
I thought that Shane was a good guy that had a rough transition back to reality after facing a lot of things most people never even have to think about. He was a normal guy that had been raised by his family with not a lot of extras, and he believed that he wasn't good enough for Brooke and what she had always known. Even though he seemed to care about her, he was constantly trying to push her away. He didn't want her to get attached to him, and he felt like she deserved more. But Brooke refused to give up on him, and I loved that about her. For Brooke, their circumstances didn't matter. She just needed someone to love and fight for her, and I felt badly for her at times. But she never let his mood swings or his constant hot and cold behavior stop her from trying to convince him that they could be great together. I thought that they were really good for one another when Shane wasn't trying to push her away.
While the hot and cold did get a little old, I really felt as though it was real and believable. Shane and Brooke's relationship in this story was proof that just because a soldier makes it home alive, it doesn't mean that their transition will be easy or that everything will go back to normal. He was dealing with so much and he really needed the love and support of his family to adjust to his new life at home. I wish that this story had focused a bit more on their time apart and the letters that initially brought them together. It was the whole reason for their meeting to begin with, and I felt like it was pretty much left for the reader to imagine. I wanted to see more of their correspondence, and I felt like the reader really missed out because of it not being very much of this book. I think that this was a good read, but could have been great had things been a bit different. If you are looking for a contemporary read about a soldier and his girl, this one might be something you want to give a shot.
**ARC Provided by Random House Publishing Group-Loveswept**
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