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A Soldier Comes Home, by Cindi Myers

This is a Harlequin Superromance, a relatively short novel at just under 250 pages. It is also my introduction to Ms Myers writing. The book tracks several different relationships affected by the current armed conflicts in which the US is involved.

Here’s the blurb:

It takes courage to start over

No one is waiting for him when Captain Ray Hughes returns from his tour of duty. With his soon-to-be ex-wife gone, it’s just him and his little boy now creating their own version of a family. Although he faces a lot of uncertainty, Ray is determined to raise his son the best way he knows how.

Chrissie Evans is a complication Ray didn’t expect. Almost against his will, he’s drawn into a relationship with his widowed neighbor. Chrissie is everything he could desire in a woman and he wants a future with her. But can he promise her what she needs to hear?

Single Father—He’s a man on his own, trying to raise his children. Sometimes he gets things right. Sometimes he needs a little help.

I liked the way the two main characters are introduced, each in his/her own private hell. Loneliness in the middle of a crowd, indeed. I also like that they don’t jump into bed after a week or two, instead letting the relationship develop—you know, as adults should do, particularly when there’s a kid around.

I thought the exposition was just a tad heavy-handed in just how cold and distant Ray’s parents are and how shallow and selfish Tammy, his soon-to-be ex-wife, is—but then again, it is conceivable that he may have fallen for her if she showed him a lot of attention, precisely because his parents are so cold. Then again, I also like that we get to see that Tammy is not two dimensional, and that some sense is made of her ill-advised decision to leave both Ray and T.J.

T.J. is a bit too precocious to be real—in my experience, no three year old has developed empathy enough to ‘worry’ about the feelings of the adults in his life. At most, he’ll project his own feelings and needs and wants onto them.

I liked Rita and Paul’s subplot at the beginning, but by the time it got solved, it seemed that its only purpose in the story was to serve as incentive for Chrissie to face her own baggage. Which is perfectly okay, but perhaps just a bit too obvious for me.

The ending is a little too neat for my tastes—but then I’m known for my dislike of epilogues.

Mostly, while I think it is important to write about the effect that war has on families and communities, I fear that my own baggage interferes with my enjoyment of this novel. As a child of divorced parents, and a divorced mother myself, my experience is that divorces are never neat things, and the custody agreement outlined in this book would conceivably damage the kid more than at least one other potential alternative.

6 out of 10

You can buy A Soldier Comes Home from Amazon.com here, and from Amazon UK here.


  • The Profane Angel
    July 12
    8:32 pm

    Perhaps I shouldn’t be commenting on this post, as I haven’t read the book (but others with similar propositions, though I usually ended up throwing them across the room) because 24 years of my life were spent as an Air Force officer’s wife (jet jockey) and both of my sons are in the military – the eldest returned a couple of months ago from a fifteen month tour in Iraq, the younger is learning to fly jets for the Navy, so I have definite opinions about books using military members as characters, if, and only if, the author has no real experience within the military community.

    It’s an odd community, with its own mores and so forth, with many absences, entirely too much adultery, a lot of financial strain on lower ranking members, and gosspimongers like you wouldn’t believe. It requires great sacrifice, hardship, and perserverance. Stability? My children constantly say they don’t have a “home” while at the same time proudly claiming the title “Brat.” Each base is a tiny town, self-contained, and not only does everyone know what everyone makes on payday, they know what everyone is doing, period, and talk about it animatedly.

    So I am naturally, and probably unjustifiably, suspicious of books written with military characters, because I don’t think the truth can be reflected by in the writing of someone who hasn’t had all hell break loose the day after spouse deploys, or hears all about Brad coming to visit Nancy in the evening while Sam is deployed, who hasn’t lived through the stress of a deployment, especially now since many of those take the troop to a combat zone. I think military wives want to read material they can really identify with, see their struggles and their joys reflected in accurate vernacular, acronyms, characters – but I guess that’s true of all fiction, readers who specialize in an area aren’t terribly fond of, say, someone who creates a doctor character and then confuses a gurney with a catheter.

    It’s a damn hard life, the military, with more than its share of pain and anger, and yes, happiness, too. I hope this book was written by someone who lived it and can show it, big hairy warts and all. The most basic principle of the military is a hard one for the spouse to assimilate – that the troop/airman/marine puts the job ahead of family, always, for reasons that may seem difficult to understand but make perfect sense within the military culture. So I hope this is a good book, the review was well written. Just had to toss my opinion in, because it was my life for so many years. TPA


  • Its a beautifully done cover; so wholesome, so sweet. I’d never buy it..LOL


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