A Soldier's Return

  • Author RaeAnne Thayne
  • Release Date January 22, 2019
  • Publisher Harlequin
  • ISBN/ASIN 9781335984838
  • Our Rating
  • Reviewed by Dorine

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Our Review

A SOLDIER’S RETURN by RaeAnne Thayne is a sweet romance between two medical professionals who reconnect in their hometown, wondering if their imagined future apart is inevitable. If only they’re willing to forgive their pasts.

Eli Sanderson lived through aiding victims in war-torn locations so long that small town life may seem ho-hum. That’s before he reconnects with his high school crush, working in his dad’s medical practice. Now divorced, will she find the changes in Eli overwhelming or just right?

Eli isn’t looking for a new life. He’s more than satisfied traveling the world, compassionate about serving those in desperate need of medical care. Still dealing with the tragic loss of two people he cared for, he doesn’t seem like boyfriend material for Melissa Fielding. But Melissa soothes him in a way that he didn’t know he needed.

Dealing with her ex-husband, Cody, and his new wife and future baby isn’t on the top of Melissa’s road to healing. But she has her daughter to think about and knows Skye needs her father, so she is trying to adjust. When Melissa sees Eli for the first time in years, sparks fly and she’s not sure she can handle a short romance, knowing he’ll go back to traveling the world. She lived that life with her surfer ex-husband and is ready for small town familiarity.

I enjoyed watching Eli open up to Melissa about his experiences. Melissa’s daughter is a cute addition to the story, allowing Melissa and the reader to see Eli’s softer side. Eli’s dad is an intriguing character. I’d love to see a second-chance romance written for him.

There’s a bit of excitement when a storm hits their town, but for the most part this is a character driven love story, moved along by dialogue and daily obstacles very easy to relate to. This is very romancy, filled with lots of feelings and thoughts in that direction, pushing the emphasis on the developing love story. Even though it has a lot of the small-town characteristics of a much longer book that’s more like women’s fiction, it is very well suited in category romance due to its focus on the romance.

A SOLDIER’S RETURN is book four of THE WOMEN OF BRAMBLEBERRY HOUSE series, which from what I gather has a mystical presence that aids in the love stories. I haven’t read the first three books, so even though it wasn’t confusing, I felt I had missed something without that series’ knowledge. I’m sure those who have savored them will be thrilled that this book and another continues the series where it supposedly left off.

It’s a cute idea – that Brambleberry House and gardens, or previous tenants, assist in the lives of those who live there. The story easily stands alone without that nuance, but I can see how it might tie all the stories together. Fans of the series will better appreciate those hints.

I’m not a huge medical romance fan, so this isn’t the type of book I’d normally pick, but I love RaeAnne’s small town romance style, so it was natural to request this book for review. I watch every medical drama on television (shall we say addicted?), and I have medical professionals as friends and family, so the medical situations seemed well done and were interesting. I especially related to one experienced mom and her family’s relationship with the main characters.

Sweet romance lovers will like the focus on this couple’s journey to happily-ever-after. I enjoyed the hint at the end for two more books, one in this series and one for HAVEN POINT. The HAVEN POINT story especially has me intrigued with its flare for an uncomfortable reunion. I’m thrilled that RaeAnne Thayne’s future is flowing with a variety of books to tempt all her readers. I appreciated the crossover between series. Nice touch.

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