Thursday, December 18, 2014

ARC Review: Semper Fi by Kiera Andrews

Semper FiFrom the blurb:
The war is over. The battle for love has just begun.
But when Jim’s wife dies, Cal returns to help. He doesn’t know a thing about apple farming—or children—but he’s determined to be there for Jim, even as the painful torch he carries blazes back to life. Jim is grateful for his friend’s support as he struggles with buried emotions and dark wartime memories. Then Jim begins to see Cal in a new light, and their relationship deepens in ways neither expected. Can they build a life together as a family and find happiness in a world that would condemn them?
As Marines, Cal and Jim depended on each other to survive bloodshed and despair in the Pacific. Relieved to put the horrors of war behind him, Jim went home to his apple orchard and a quiet life with his wife and children. Knowing Jim could never return his forbidden feelings, Cal hoped time and an ocean between them would dull the yearning for his best friend.

Heather's rating:

Guys, please don't let my 3.5 star rating deter you. If you are a fan of military M/M, especially GFY/OFY military books, you MUST give this a try!

This was my first Keira Andrews read but it certainly won't be my last. Really beautifully written and full of emotion, I was swept away by this story.

I'm a total whore for GFY/OFY books. I actively collect them and savor them like candy. This was a particularly believable GFY/OFY story, fitting well with the time period. I loved every part of the book that was told in the present (aka, mostly 1948) time period. The post war stuff, when these two guys were trying to figure out what they meant to each other. I loved the interactions between Cal and Jim, and both of them and the children. The slow way that the two men came together and how they made a life for themselves was beautiful.


I think I'm not cut out for military stories. For one, I find reading about suffering and violence to be both boring and disturbing. I don't enjoy it. The flashback scenes (taking place during the war) started out okay while the guys were in basic training. However, as they moved into the war zones and the fighting escalated, I sort of checked out.

The problem for me is that I simply didn't want to read those parts of the book. At all. I understand why they were there. They set the stage for everything that followed; the flashbacks, the dynamic between Jim and Cal, etc. However, I still just plain didn't like them! I started skimming and then ended up totally skipping a few scenes, just because I wanted to rush back to the post-war period. I don't have the interest or the stomach for those types of stories, I guess.

Also, though I enjoyed the post-war parts of the book a great deal, I wasn't as emotionally invested in these characters as I would have liked. Now, that could also be my fault for not paying close enough attention during the war scenes, but for whatever reason, I wasn't holding my breath while reading.

I feel almost guilty rating this book because I want all military fans to find this gem. It has a lot to offer. However, if I'm going to rate this one on how much I enjoyed it, it is no more than 3.5 stars.

I loved that epilogue, though. That was the one moment that almost brought me to tears.

**Copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review**

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Hope you enjoyed my review!

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