TBR Challenge 2012 Review: The Army Ranger’s Return by Soraya Lane

Posted January 18, 2012 by Tracy in Reviews | 6 Comments

January’s Theme: Category Romance
A soldier’s second chance…
As nervous as a teenager about to go on her first date, Jessica Mitchell waits for Special Forces Ranger Ryan McAdams—her best friend for the past year— whom she’s never met! They’ve been pen pals while Ryan was away fighting for their country and Jessica was secretly fighting her own demons back home.
She knows widower Ryan’s fears of returning to civilian life and his hopes of reconnecting with his son. Now she can’t wait to meet him face–to–face—to hear his voice and see his smile…
Jessica and Ryan have been pen pals for a while. Now Ryan is returning from the Army and wants to meet Jessica. Jessica is determined to think of Ryan as just a friend but they had become so very close via their letters to each other that it’s hard for her – especially after she sees him.
Once the couple meet in person they find yet another connection to each other. Though Ryan is leery to talk about the cancer that took his wife he knows that he needs to discuss it with Jessica as it affects his relationship with his son. Jessica is hiding something too. Though her feelings for Ryan grow daily as they spend time together she’s keeping from him the fact that she is only but a year out from surviving cancer. Jessica knows Ryan doesn’t want to deal with anything cancer related so she knows the relationship must end.
I read the blurb of this book and it looked really great but unfortunately it didn’t quite work for me in all ways.
The book starts out with Jessica moments away from meeting the man that she’s been a pen pal with. We don’t find out until much later in the book how they became pen pals but that was ok. When the two meet they don’t quite know how to act around each other. They are both attracted to the other but they had been so emotionally intimate during their letters to each other it was kind of awkward to finally meet in person. I personally thought that the meeting would be less awkward because they had shared so much in their letters but that wasn’t the case here.
The couple start spending time together but throughout it all there was just this stilted talk and well, I’ll say it again, awkwardness. To me they never seemed to just flow together and feel comfortable with each other – even when they were in bed together.
I really liked that Jessica helped Ryan work on the relationship with his son but I hated that she was keeping her cancer from him when she knew he felt so strongly about it. I perfectly understand her reasoning behind it, I really do and I felt for her wanting to be treated as someone who was “normal” in her eyes. But that just made me think she didn’t trust Ryan fully and what is love without trust? IDK, I really went back and forth with this story and in the end it was good but not great. An interesting way to pass a bit of time, but nothing that knocked my socks off. Some may feel differently but that’s how I felt about it.
Rating: 3 out of 5

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6 responses to “TBR Challenge 2012 Review: The Army Ranger’s Return by Soraya Lane

  1. I think I liked this one better than you did *g*. For some reason the awkwardness between them worked for me. It seemed more 'real life' than if they had met and everything went smooth as silk.

  2. I've been reading a lot of reviews for this one lately and I'm planning to give it a try 🙂 Sorry it didn't work so well for you…

    I think it depends a lot on people… Sometimes it's easier to talk to people you've never met, which is why I can see them having such an intimate relationship via letters… but once they meet, it changes everything. I think that sounds quite realistic…

  3. Kristie and Nath – I think that the awkwardness was expected when the pair first met but it bothered me that they never seemed to get over it. If I'm reading two people falling in love I guess I expect them to be able to have a non-stilted conversation at some point when they're not in bed. lol

  4. Tracy, sorry you didn't enjoy your read. That's an interesting take on this book. Like Nath, I've seen a few reviews for this book too and I like your POV. Also the fact that Jessica kept the cancer information from Ryan after their feelings changed sounds off to me as well.

  5. Hilcia – I did enjoy it actually. It was a good read but just not great.
    Yes, I did have some issues with it but it was a nice way to pass the time.
    Yes, Jessica keeping Ryan in the dark about the cancer when she knew how strongly he felt about it rubbed me the wrong way – especially since she was actually going through it throughout the time they were corresponding. That was before she knew his issues with the disease. IDK, it didn't sit right.

  6. Nath sort of hits it on the head for me. That's why I was able to roll with her keeping her cancer from him for as long as she did.

    I went back and read my own review after seeing yours and found this line: "The one sticking point here is definitely The Big Secret." LOL! So yeah, it worked for me, but I can totally see it not working for everybody.

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