In 2003, journalist Connor Regan marched through London to add his voice to a million others, decrying the imminent invasion of Iraq. Eight months later, his brother, James, was killed in action in Mosul.
Three years on, Connor finds himself bound for Iraq to embed with an elite SAS team. He sets his boots on the ground looking for closure and solace—anything to ease the pain of his brother’s death. Instead he finds Sergeant Nathan Thompson.
Nat Thompson is a veteran commander, hardened by years of combat and haunted by the loss of his best friend. Being lumbered with a civilian is a hassle Nat doesn’t need, and he vows to do nothing more than keep the hapless hack from harm’s way.
But Connor proves far from hapless, and too compelling to ignore for long. He walks straight through the steel wall Nat’s built around his heart, and when their mission puts him in mortal danger, Nat must lay old ghosts to rest and fight to the death for the only man he’s ever truly loved.
'Between Ghosts' makes the fourth book that I've ever read which was set during a war. Two of those books were written by Greg Iles and anyone who knows me, knows he could write a recipe book and I'd read it cover to cover, the third book was by Amy Lane and it was set during WWII as were the Greg Iles book so this book is even more unique in that it's set in modern times and that's something I really would rather avoid in my stories because the fact that men and women are still fighting and dying in wars is a reality that I don't want crossing over into my reading. I read to escape from what can often be a harsh and unfair world so it's rare that I intentionally choose something that's going to slam home the facts of what I maybe want to forget about for a while.
Ok, so now you know why I choose to avoid war stories. So what made me break my rule for this one...a number of reasons not the least of which was that it got really good reviews from a number of my friends, whose opinions I trust and respect. it was written by an author who, even though, I've only read a couple of their books so far has impressed the hell outta' me and then even though I own the book and could have just read it I was presented with the opportunity to listen to the audio book and after listening to the sample, well, all I could say was sign me up because "Holy Hell!!! Craig Beck's voice just does it for me." He's British...ok? I have a weak spot for British accents...so sue me.
Now about the story...let me start by saying this is not what I would typically call a 'romance'. It was for a lot of intent and purpose a war story but it also contained a story about love and not just a romance, although that is there too. Ironically there were a lot of different forms of love in this story. There was the love that one has for their family, their country, the love that bonds people together, specifically soldiers, to form a family of their own during trying times and beyond and yes there was a love story as well not a grand epic romantic type of love but one that grows and endures and it's built on trials and hardships, a love that makes one person put their life on the line for another without hesitation, without second thought for their own safety and well being. It's a quiet love, soft and subtle but still filled with a passion all it's own. That was how I saw Connor and Nat's love.
I'm not going to go into the details of this story because I think it's a story best appreciated between the individual reader and the author's words. What I'm going to say is how I felt as I read this story...as I journeyed with Connor to find out what really happened to his brother. I felt his frustrations of not knowing the details. How could I not? I have four brothers and you can be damned sure if something happened to one of them I'd want to know the hows and whys of what happened. I felt his frustration at how he was treated by the men in the unit that he was assigned to. At feeling like he didn't quite measure up. I shared his fear and worry at being in such a volatile climate and so many other emotions. Even if I didn't truly feel them I could see and understand why they were happening because I was there in that moment with him.
Garret Leigh drew me into this story with her words, Craig Beck surrounded me with it, with his narration and in the end I cried...so many tears, some were happy tears, some were sad, many were a bit of both and I think maybe not all of them were for this book so much as what it represented...the reality that I imagine gave birth to the idea because fact is stranger than fiction and it is also colder and harsher.
"Between Ghost" is a story about war but it is also a reminder of the fact that even in the middle of war, that with strength and courage there can exist love and hope. For me this was an incredibly powerful story and a wonderful way to start off a new year.
********************An audio ARC of 'Between Ghost' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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