For Army Staff Sergeant Jack Nelson, the military is more than just a career goal; it’s the only life he knows. That is, until a tragic explosion leaves him wounded in body and spirit.
His military service ended, Jack returns to his parents’ home to recuperate. Expecting a time of quiet contemplation, Jack is blindsided by the most inappropriate of attractions… the widow of his lost brother-in-arms. While Marithé’s sweetness soothes Jack’s agony, she’s also suffering from her own grief.
Will the couple be able to find a future together, or will regret, guilt and secrets destroy their troubled romance?
I recently finished the first book in Ms. Northup and Ms. Beaudelaire’s ‘Wounded Warriors’ Series – ‘Saving Sam’ – and was very much looking forward to reading the second book, ‘Justifying Jack’. I was pleased to discover it was another well-written and insightful book from this writing team, one which I have thoroughly enjoyed.
The characters in this series are interrelated, and while the books can definitely be read as standalone novels, I personally believe the richness of the stories will be better absorbed by reading them in order.
In Justifying Jack, we get to know Jack Nelson, who served overseas with Sam Wallace from the first book.
‘Saving Sam’ gave insight into the traumas of PTSD and what happens when servicemen return home, emotionally and mentally battered by their experiences. Justifying Jack takes a different tack, showing us what happens to those left at home when their loved ones go to war – and what happens when their loved ones don’t make it back.
I was pleasantly surprised by the complete change in tone and direction this story took when compared to Saving Sam. Jack Nelson served overseas with Marithe’s husband, and was injured in the same attack which left Marithe a widow. Struggling to come to terms with the impact his injury will have on his future, Jack returns home to recuperate and begins to piece his life back together, whilst struggling to ‘find his place’ in the civilian world.
Ms. Northup and Ms. Beaudelaire have again created well-rounded characters who face their issues with quiet courage and determination. The path they journey is not an easy one, and it is to the authors credit that they make their characters face up to their problems and tackle them in a way which is both very natural and not contrived in any way. The fact that these two authors are working together to create these stories is a credit to them, for the storyline itself retains a seamlessness which usually only applies to single author books. The synchronicity of the writing is beautifully done, and there is never a point at which I was thinking ‘Author A wrote this part’ or ‘This is Author B’s section.’
This is a lovely, enjoyable and well-written love story, and one that I happily recommend.