I was provided with an advance reader copy by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Any and all opinions expressed in this review are mine alone. I received no financial incentives to review this book.
Series: Home to Glory #2
Published by Harlequin HQN on January 27, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Military Romance
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In Glory, Kansas, a fairy-tale wedding has local tongues wagging. But through this false engagement, can a wounded warrior and the woman he's protecting find true love?
Byron Hawkins doesn't want to be responsible for anyone ever again. The former Black Ops soldier is better at taking lives than saving them. But on mission in Tunisia to deliver a package to safety, Hawk is dismayed to find that the precious cargo is actually a hostage rescue, and that his orders are to take Princess Demara Petrakis back to US soil and hide her in plain sight—as his newlywed wife.
Back in Hawk's hometown of Glory, Kansas, petite, fierce Demara keeps surprising him; she may be royalty, but she's fully trained in martial arts and will sacrifice anything for her country. As the town rallies around the returning hero and his bride, he's finding that it's way too easy to play the part, and after the hell he has seen, that terrifies him. Hawk didn't want another life to save, but the passionate beauty he's sworn to protect might just turn the tables and save him, instead.
There is something wonderful about a story where you see the power of hope, love, and human strength shine through, in spite of some pretty solid darkness. I was lucky enough to find that in Sara Arden’s first Home to Glory novel, Return to Glory, and I am happy to say that same experience was had when I read its successor, Unfaded Glory.
Here are my thoughts on Unfaded Glory:
Unfaded Glory is not strictly a small-town contemporary romance – Sara Arden has blended into this story a fair measure of action, adventure, drama, and suspense. Much of the first part takes place away from Glory, however in the construction of their story, this is rather important, and excellently done.
Byron’s past is littered with intense pain and the haunting memories of the tragic mission he feels he should have never survived. He could have easily become a thoroughly tragic, hopeless figure, but I never lost that feeling that beneath the surface, there was a caring, compassionate man. Sara Arden seems to excel in writing this kind of hero – never making light of their past hurts – and I really wanted to believe that Byron would see his way to a life he truly deserved.
Demara may have been a princess – trained from birth to be blindly obedient and follow strict rules of behaviour – but boy, she is no shrinking violet. I loved how strong she was in her convictions, and the faith and trust that she has in Byron is incredible.
There are times where you can just about feel the intensity of their feelings for each other, and in turn, their despair at potentially experiencing a future without the other in it. However, I always found myself wanting and willing Byron and Demara to reach out and grab that chance at happiness. I may just have cheered when they did too 😉
The villains are truly villainous, and watching them being served a richly-deserved meal of ass-kicking was pretty damn satisfying. There are glimpses and visits from those we met in Return to Glory, and it’s just made me all the more keen to read more about this little Kansas town and its people. Only got to wait until May now!