Returning Special Forces soldier Nate Calhoun is struggling to adjust to small-town life. It’s a relief to get back to the bunkhouse with only his memories and a bottle of bourbon for company. Only Sarah Anderson can see straight through Nate’s surly exterior to his pain. As childhood sweethearts they were inseparable—until he left, shattering her heart.
But hanging out like they used to—racing horses and shooting the breeze on the ranch—they begin to see that there really might be that spark still between them…
I must confess I haven’t read the other books in the Larkville Legacy series, of which The Soldier’s Sweetheart is a part. This is an oversight on my part that I am definitely going to correct. This was both sweet and heartwarming, as well as emotional and dark in parts.
Nate is broken, finding it very hard to reconcile his past life and future prospects. Like many returning servicemen and women, he is struggling with his physical and emotional experiences in Afghanistan. He deals with it by alienating those closest to him, and basically existing rather than living. This aspect of his character rang true for me, as there have been moments in my life where talking about things that have happened has been nigh on impossible.
The only person with enough courage to keep trying to help Nate is Sarah, his former girlfriend. I liked that despite their painful history – he left her, she married his best friend – she was able to put that aside because she could see that he needed help and that the same good guy she knew before was still there.
There were misunderstandings between them as to why their past was the way it was, but the great thing about Nate and Sarah as a couple is that they were able to move past those issues once it was cleared up. I also really liked that there was no instant wedding within 3 days of them admitting their feelings. Nate loves Sarah a great deal, but knows that there are still things he needs to do to make himself better before they settle down. I appreciate that he didn’t just go off without telling her why he needed to.
This was a lovely story. I have had the pleasure of reading a number of Soraya Lane’s previous titles, and this was another tick to her name as far as I am concerned.
My rating: 4 out of 5
Release Date: 2 January 2013
Note: I was provided with an advanced reader copy of this book by Harlequin via NetGalley in return for an honest review.