Tuesday, November 25, 2014
In Wolf Haven (Jackson Hole #9) by Lindsay McKenna, Skylar "Sky" is a former ER and Navy RN. While she was in Afghanistan, a mission went tragically wrong and the results were horrific. Suffering from severe PTSD and now back in civilian life, Sky finds she can no longer do the job she once did. It is a struggle for her to move on from what happened, and a struggle to get through each day. Unable to find and keep a job, unable to continue living with her parents, Sky has no idea what comes next. When she gets a job at Elk Horn Ranch, Sky starts to feel just a little bit lighter and have some hope for the future.
Former SEAL Gray also works at Elk Horn Ranch, helping guests and working the wild life haven side of the ranch. As soon as Gray first sees Sky, he feels an instant connection to her. Gray knows all about PTSD, and as he gets to know Sky better both personally and professionally, the connection and the attraction between them grows. Both of them want more ... but neither will push it. Gray patiently is there for Sky, making her realize she doesn't have to do it all alone, it's ok to lean on someone. With Gray by her side and a sense of peace at Elk Horn Ranch, Sky slowly begins to heal and feel like her former self again.
Both of them have issues in their lives they are dealing with, but together life seems brighter. Together can they get through the rough patches of life and the sudden danger in Jackson Hole, finding a future with each other?
In Wolf Haven, Lindsay took me on an emotionally charged journey. Lindsay writes with great flow and seamless transition from scene to scene, blending it all together perfectly. Sky has a lot on her plate, from her PTSD, her new relationship with Gray, and her family dynamics. She is a courageous, strong heroine, even if she does still feel scared and anxious. I didn't feel like her character had to grow, because she is not a weak character. Sky needed to heal and the healing she needed to experience and the way Lindsay brought it to life was powerful and very believable. I really liked Gray, what he stood for and how he was with Sky. He has his own past he's dealing with, and being with Sky helps him cope with that when he never thought he'd be able to. I really liked the maturity of both of these characters, and how they desire each other so strongly but don't rush into anything. They also don't put a huge emphasis on the fact that they work together, they just make things work.
Wolf Haven is about so much more than a relationship between two people. Lindsay explores PTSD indepthly, and she does not sugar coat anything. There is a strong sense of realism in Lindsay's writing, and the raw emotions of the characters will at times make you want to cry for them. Lindsay obviously knows what she's writing about...she shows us what war does, that when a soldier leaves war it's not left on the battlefield, but part of that comes home. She also gives the reader a strong understanding of PTSD, how and who it affects...it is not a solitary disorder.
I liked the animals in Wolf Haven, and the sense of peace and love that animals bring to people, how therapeutic they can be. There are quite a few secondary characters in Wolf Haven, and they all have their roles and work well with the plot line. Lindsay's descriptions of the people and the place really bring it to life, and I could particularly picture Iris very well! Wolf Haven is part of Lindsay's Jackson Hole series, but can definitely be read as a stand alone.
Well paced with a great writing style that is easy to fall into, Lindsay gives us strong, memorable characters and situations in Wolf Haven. I'd recommend Wolf Have to any romance reader looking for a romance with strong military and western tones that will make you care and feel for and with the characters.
I was given a free copy of Wolf Haven for an honest review. Lindsay has a website with all her news and a newsletter you can sign up for at http://www.lindsaymckenna.com/
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