Thursday 25 December 2014

Book ~ "Gooseberry Island" (2015) Steven Manchester

From Goodreads ~ They met at the worst possible moment ... or maybe it was just in time. 

David McClain was about to go to war and Lindsey Wood was there at his going-away party, capturing his heart when falling for a woman was the last thing on his mind. While David was serving his country, he stayed in close contact with Lindsey. 

But war changes a person, and when he came home very little had the same meaning that it had before – including the romance that had sustained him. Was love truly unconquerable or would it prove to be just another battlefield casualty?

David is a soldier and just about to head to Afghanistan for a year when he meets Lindsey.  They spend his last night sitting on a bench talking and getting to know each other.  They become pen pals while he is gone and fall in love, planning for their future together when he returns home.

But David has horrible experiences in Afghanistan and comes back a changed man suffering from  PSTD.  Nothing matters to David anymore as he tries to get on with his life.  Lindsey's father also suffers from PSTD because of his experience in the Gulf War and she doesn't think she can handle having someone else with it in her life.

This is the fifth book I've read by this author.  It is written in third person perspective with a focus on David and Lindsey.  It's dealing with a serious topic that I imagine many who have been in wars have to deal with.  David was lucky he had people in his life who cared about him and never gave up on him.

I found David and Lindsey's interactions a bit over the top ... too sweet and unrealistic.  I can't imagine a man saying the sugary stuff David did.  For example, in the first chapter, David is on a date who tells him he is "worse than a girl" because rather than going dancing, he would rather sit on the beach and spend the night talking about their past, their dreams and their future.  I can't imagine a guy ever saying stuff like that to someone, especially someone he isn't serious about.  With that kind of writing, the book was like a Harlequin Romance ... but then it got serious when David got to Afghanistan, which I found to be a conflict in tones.

FYI, until January 31, 2015, the author and the publisher, The Story Plant, will donate $1 to the Wounded Warrior Project for every copy of Gooseberry Island that is pre-ordered and sold. All you have to do is email them a copy of your receipt and they will make the donation. In addition, they will also donate a copy of the ebook to returning soldiers (one donation for each copy sold).   The book is available for sale at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo and IndieBound.

I received a copy of this ebook from the author at no charge in exchange for my honest review.

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