Emme Sawyer is a twenty-two year old navy corpsman assigned to a marine unit heading into Helmand Province. The unit is attacked and lives are lost. Sawyer begins to question her faith, wondering where God is in all of this. She finds comfort in her commanding officer, Raven. Their relationship is difficult. They are in the Afghanistan desert and they are both aware of the military's view on fraternizing. Can their budding romance survive?
This novel takes us to the front lines in Afghanistan. It is not a pretty sight. War is terrible and this novel does a good job of portraying the emotional toll experienced when someone is killed. The friendships formed in the heat of battle are strong and the death is painful.
Women in the military, especially in combat zones, has been an issue. This novel really gave me a sense of how both the men and women must act in order to keep relationships civil. During their romance, Raven asks Sawyer to voluntarily go back to the hospital where she was originally assigned, leaving the front lines. “I can't do my job if you're out there running around,” Raven says. At another point, Raven wants to kiss her but Sawyer is busy helping village children and says, “Let me do my job. Please.” Even though this is a romance, it does point out the difficulty of men and women on the battlefield together. Emotions and hormones run high in situations where life is so fragile.
This is a pretty intense romance as the relationship develops rather quickly. Sawyer's character is developed well as the novel is from her viewpoint. Raven remained pretty aloof as far as his character development goes. He is the team leader and responsible for his men, so he takes a somewhat hard attitude. When the romance developed, I was a little surprised at his emotion. It just seemed to appear without warning.
There is some mild swearing, but nothing one would not expect on the battle field. This novel shows how romance might occur in the military under battlefield conditions.
Connie Ann Michael grew up in Seattle but moved to Central Washington State after college. She is a second grade bilingual teacher. She is married and has two college age sons. Find out more at her blog: http://www.connie-avidreader.blogspot.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
Ananiah Romance, 292 pages. Publisher's website for the book.
I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.