BookHound
Reviews and Recommendations by Mel Odom, Professional Writer

A SOLDIER’S HOMECOMING by Rachel Lee

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 Rachel Lee returns to writing romance novels about her beloved Conard County in A Soldier’s Homecoming and is going to wow her fans who have been awaiting more stories. The title is a bit misleading because the story isn’t so much about Ethan Parish and Connie Halloran being brought together.

Ethan is just back from Iraq after spending months rehabbing from serious injuries, and he’s not sure where he stands in the world. One of the first things he wants to do is find his biological father, a man that didn’t even know he existed until Ethan is introduced to him.

In the meantime, Connie crosses paths with Ethan after she picks him up hitchhiking, which he isn’t supposed to do in that area. Instead of warning him and sending him on his way, she senses something about him and gives him a ride into town. They talk and he immediately intrigues her.

Almost immediately, a man tries to pick up Connie’s young daughter from school. The man even knew her name. The suspicion in town falls on Ethan because he’s the newest arrival there, but that quickly gets set aside.

Ethan deals with his father and doesn’t know what to do next. He’s willing to let some time pass till he gets it all figured out. The sheriff, however, knows that Ethan is a good man and that his recent arrival will actually help out with the search for the man that tried to abduct Sophie Halloran. He hires Ethan and sets him up as a “friend” to Connie who’s visiting from out of town.

Connie’s mother and daughter take to Ethan at once, and Connie doesn’t blame them, but she knows that the soldier is just passing through. She doesn’t want anyone to get hurt, but she acknowledges that Ethan is a good man for the role of protector.

Rachel Lee is a solid writer in any kind of fiction. She’s also done several thrillers. Her prose is precise, punchy, and pared-down. She only says what she needs to say, making each scene work, then going on to the next one.

I read this book in two sittings, which makes it a perfect read in my mind. The characters are engaging and the stakes are immediately understandable. Her dialogue is good as well, and the characters are decisive and accepting of their lot in life, making them the kind of people I’d love to meet and hear more about. This is the way romantic suspense should be written. Rachel Lee is skilled enough to make it all look effortless.

 

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