BOOK REVIEW: A Lover’s Lament by K.L. Grayson and BT Urruela

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Synopsis:

In a matter of seconds my entire world changed, and it was in that moment that I stopped living and simply began to exist. In my grief, I sent a letter to the first boy I ever loved. I hoped in writing it I’d find some peace from the nightmare I was living, some solace in my anger. I didn’t expect him to write back. I wasn’t prepared for his words, and I certainly wasn’t ready for the impact this soldier would have on my life. A deep-rooted hate transformed into friendship, and then molded into a love like I’d never known before. Sergeant Devin Ulysses Clay did what I couldn’t: he put the shattered pieces of my heart back together, restoring my faith in humanity and teaching me how to live again. But now that I’m whole, I have a decision to make. Do I return to my life as I knew it and the fiancé I left behind, or do I walk away from it all for the only man to ever break my heart? *** I’ve been living in hell, but you won’t hear me complain.   These men depend on me, as I do them, and this brotherhood is the only family I’ve ever known. The Army saved me from a callous mother and a life on the wrong side of the tracks that was quickly spiraling out of control. So unlike most of the men in my platoon, going home wasn’t something I longed for.  I was content overseas, spending my days defending this country that gave me my life back. Fighting became my new normal … until her.  A letter from Katie Devora—a letter that I almost didn’t open. Her words put a fire back inside of me that I didn’t know I’d lost. She gave me hope during a time when I was fighting every day just to stay alive, and now it’s time I fight for her.

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The synopsis and the praiseworthy reviews were what hooked me into “one-clicking”, A Lover’s Lament. I was excited to see what would unfold for Katie and Devin and the literary masochist in me was bracing for the proverbial fall. I expected heartache, the kind that leaves my throat feeling sore from trying to reign in my emotions too much or the day after puffy eyes from finally releasing all that pent up emotion. But rather, I found myself feeling flat lined. I wanted to squeeze out so much more of “the feels” out  of this book, so much so that I kept turning the pages in hopes that the next chapter would begin to slowly bring me to my knees.

I came to realize after finishing the book that what had gone awry for me was the lack of emotional connection between Devin and Katie. Here’s the thing, the whole love affair seemed too quick, almost an insta-love to me even though they’d known each other for years and years. I wish that the authors had set up their relationship with more substance, something to make readers like myself feel the profound connection they had for one another in their early years. The sort that would have helped me feel like their reunion was worth all the tragedies in the world. Although we do get a taste of the feelings that were developing between Katie and Devin in the past, it was almost like they were separated way too soon into their new found relationship to have made a lasting impact for me. I found myself then suddenly whisked away into the present, 10 years after that fateful night when they lost contact with one another. This made it seem  like the events that occur thereafter was too much of a fast forward for my taste.

The heroine of the book Katie, is suffering from a tragic loss which causes her to finally open her eyes only to realize just how unhappy she is with her life. For some weird reason, I didn’t feel a connection with her; the sympathy I usually feel over a character’s sadness never broke through the surface. I hated how she treated Wyatt. I thought the way she dealt with that whole situation was callous. I felt so bad for the poor schmuck.

Now Devin, for me, his whole point of view was the saving grace. I was floored by the amount of detail, both the tangible and intangible. I felt like the authors really took me there. Like I was sitting right next to those brave men and women in a Humvee in a war torn country. Certain scenes were so explicit and so vivid that The words, “whoa,” “holy sh*t,” “no way!” kept popping up in my head. I loved that! It wasn’t until I had texted my blog partner, Michelle about just how much I loved these parts that she’d informed me that one of the authors had actually gone through it and was speaking from experience. The world suddenly made sense and I have to praise him for being able to write about the ugliness he experienced. I thought that was incredibly brave and it gave civilians like myself a peek at what soldiers have to go through and the respect I have for them was that much more amplified. So for that, I am so thankful to have picked up this book.

A Lover’s Lament though somewhat lackluster in the romance department for me, allowed me to get into the mind of Devin Clay who represents so many courageous service men and women out there. I would recommend this book for that very reason. I personally think that this was a great outlet to share such experiences to people like myself who wouldn’t necessary pick up a non-fiction book about wars and the fight that comes with freedom.

About the Authors:

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K.L. Grayson resides in a small town outside of St. Louis, MO. She is entertained daily by her extraordinary husband, who will forever inspire every good quality she writes in a man. Her entire life rests in the palms of six dirty little hands, and when the day is over and those pint-sized cherubs have been washed and tucked into bed, you can find her typing away furiously on her computer. She has a love for alpha-males, brownies, reading, tattoos, sunglasses, and happy endings…and not particularly in that order.

BT Urruela was an infantryman in the US Army from August of 2004 until February of 2011. At the end of a year long tour in Baghdad, IQ, his vehicle was hit by two roadside bombs, which took his right leg below the knee and the life of his commander. He was awarded a Purple Heart for his wounds, an Army Commendation Medal, and Combat Infantryman’s Badge. He medically retired from the Army in 2011 and moved to Tampa, FL where he currently works as the Vice President and COO of VETSports, a veteran community sports nonprofit he co-founded in 2012. He travels the country for speaking engagements and as a member of the Wounded Warrior Amputee Football Team.

We Like It Big Tunes:

Think of Me- Rosi Golan

When you hear but you just don’t listen
When you’re looking but you just don’t see
When you’re thinking there’s no rhyme or reason
Think of me
Think of me

When you’re getting to the end of a hard day
And you’re thinking it’s a long way home
When you’re thinking that you’re just plain crazy
Because you’re on your own
Think of me

I will find you, I promise
I will make you believe, oh
That I’m in this crazy love for the long haul
So think of me
Think of me

When you’re laying on my favorite pillow
All you want to do is fall asleep
When you’re gazing out the bedroom window
Please think of me
Think of me

When you’re driving down an empty highway
You’re surrounded by the sky and sea
When you’re seeing such a thing of beauty
Do you think of me?
Think of me

I will find you, I promise
I will make you believe, oh
That I’m in this crazy love for the long haul
So think of me
Think of me

‘Cause if I make you a promise
That’s a promise that I’ll keep
And I’m in this crazy love for the long haul
So think of me
Think of me

And I’ll be home soon
I’ll be home soon
I’ll be home soon
Home to you
‘Cause if I make you a promise
That’s a promise that I’ll keep

And I’m in this crazy love for the long haul
So think of me
Think of me

Yeah, I’m in this crazy love for the long haul
So think of me
Think of me

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