Thursday, August 13, 2015

A Promise of Forever, by Marilyn Pappano

Forever (Grand Central Publishing), ISBN 9781455561568

Avi Grant is a US Army sergeant home on leave after five years in Iraq and Afghanistan, is glad to have a month in Oklahoma before going to her new assignment. After years of war, she'll be an instructor at the Signal school in Georgia. And after twelve years in the service, she's only eight years from retirement.

She's also dealing with a load of grief, though, Too many friends and fellow soldiers died, including Col. George Sanderson. He inspired her military career and has been like a second father to her, and he was killed just three months ago. One of the things Avi has to do is visit George's widow, Patricia.

What she doesn't expect is to meet Patricia's son from her first marriage, Ben Noble. Ben is handsome, smart, a respected orthopedic surgeon, and has never really gotten over resenting George Sanderson because his mother left his father for George.

The attraction between them is immediate and strong, but the obstacles between them aren't minor. Their very different feelings about George Sanderson aren't the only problem. More serious is that Avi is committed to eight more years in the army, and even if she changed her mind would still be in for two more years, while Ben is determined to stay in Oklahoma, near the two sisters he had a large hand in raising, as well as the mother he's rebuilding a relationship with. They've got a lot to work through, and they don't have much time to do it in.

I like Avi, Ben, and their friends and family. The emotional issues are real and are handled well. The dogs, of course (what, I haven't mentioned the dogs?) stole my heart, and Avi and Ben establish themselves as good people in the way that matters most to real dog people. For more general appeal, I'll note that both careers are treated with respect, and as being important to the characters.

Recommended.

I received a free electronic galley from the publisher via NetGalley.