ARC Review: The Way Home by Cindy Gerard

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Four years ago Jess Albert got the news that her husband Jeff was killed in action in Afghanistan, and a painful void entered her life. The more time passed, the more acutely she felt that emptiness. But when Tyler Brown, former military hero and all-around alpha male, shows up a year after she’d last seen him, Jess gradually begins to realize there is one thing that can make her feel whole again—love.
As they’re planning their wedding and new life together, Jess receives shocking news: her husband is alive, under the care of a young Afghani woman hiding him from the Taliban. Even as he sees their happily-ever-after slip away, Ty arranges for the One Eyed Jacks and Black Ops, Inc. teams to make a daring and dangerous rescue mission to bring Jeff home. The hardest thing Ty or Jess has ever done is to let the other go.
When Jeff returns to Jess, broken physically and emotionally and with no memory of their history, they try to heal their marriage and each other. But as time brings them together more as friends than lovers, an unexpected development helps them see the true way home, to the people they love.
“What can you do that I haven’t been able to do in three and half years?”
“I can give you a reason and enough time to get used to the idea.”

I’ve been a fan of Cindy Gerard since her Bodyguards series. Her name has become synonymous with Romantic Suspense for me. Her books have never failed to keep me at the edge of my seat with suspense, action, and just enough steam to make it even better.

This book was different. But in the case here, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. While it was not quite what I had suspected, I enjoyed it immensely. It was a little less on the action and the suspense, and a little more on romance. It was a heartwarming and poignant story about love and second chances It was, in a word, wonderful.

When Jess lost her husband four years ago, the last thing she expected was to see Tyler Brown again. Lost in a dark emptiness that has become her life’s companion, the only thing that Jess feels is empty.

I adored the way that Tyler pursued Jess. He wasn’t pushy, he respected her boundaries, but at the same time he knew just what to do to get past them. As much as I wanted to get irritated with Jess at times and the way she seemed to almost push Ty away, I could’t help but feel for her. I understood her hesitancy, but I loved watching her walls slowly crumble for Tyler.

But then the news that the husband she had thought was killed in action is actually alive, Jess and Tyler’s world comes to a crashing halt.

I wasn’t quite sure how I would like having a dual story, but Miss Gerard pulled it off seamlessly.

My heart broke for Jeff and everything that he has been through. Reading about his captivity and struggle to survive after was not easy, nor was his struggle to pick up his old life after being rescued. I’m not going to lie, I spent quite a few parts of this story a blubbering and crying mess. Nothing was glossed over. It was real, gut-wrenching, and incredibly emotional.

It was great to get some more of my favorite characters from previous books; Mike Brown, Jonny Reed and Nate Black. But this book was not about action and suspense, or even the steam that we’ve gotten in Gerard’s previous books. And I did not mind one bit.

What we did get was a wonderful and emotional story that I enjoyed from beginning to finish.

**ARC courtesy of publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

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