I'M NOT CRYING, YOU'RE CRYING.
OK, dammit, I'm crying. I don't get weepy too often over books but the epilogue to this one is an absolute tearjerker.
I'm a sucker for military romances, especially for Army Rangers (see my own Ranger Heat trilogy, and I've got an upcoming book called Ranger's Rescue!) and Jesse Moretti is the ultimate hero. Suffering PTSD after a difficult childhood and a tough military career, still he can't help from being a hero; a ski and mountain ranger, he spends his spare time keeping an eye out for the widow and kids of another vet, his lovely neighbour Ellie.
The only thing is that Ellie has no idea who the mysterious benefactor is who keeps her snow shoveled in the winter and her yard tidy in the summer. It's not until her car won't start one miserably rainy night when she and the kids have strep throat that Jesse steps up to quietly take care of them.
Pamela Clare paints an incredibly vivid picture of a small town in the Colorado Rockies; I learned a lot more than I'd ever expected to know about ski field maintenance and rescue, along with finding about a sport I'd never heard of (skijoring sounds INSANE). The town of Scarlet and all the diverse characters that populate it really came to life on the page.
Jesse and Ellie's love story is slow-burn; Ellie's still dealing with the loss of her beloved husband Dan before their twins were even born, and Jesse has to cope with his own demons and get past the guilt of falling in love with a fallen war hero's widow (apparently that is Not Done if you were acquainted with said fallen hero, something I didn't know). Still, by the end of the book and the tearjerker epilogue set at Arlington National Cemetery I was absolutely convinced they belonged together.
Five stars for a wonderfully written, slow-burn military romance.
Falling Hard is available now on Amazon.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.