From the Start by Cheryl Etchison
American Valor #3
Kacie is ready for her little sister’s wedding to be over so she can stop stress eating her way through her entire kitchen. She thought she had the perfect guy but after 7 years he bails and Kacie is left confronting the sad truth that she’s pushed away all her dreams to accommodate her ex. Even after meeting Michael she doesn’t want to get involved because he’s leaving for North Carolina in a few months and she doesn’t want her life to get sidetracked again. Michael is ready to the leave the military but he can’t as long as his little brother is still enlisted. Michael promised his dying mother that he’d watch out for Danny and after a serious injury almost kills Danny, Michael is even more determined to protect him.
I’ve always enjoyed Cheryl Etchison’s writing because it just flows really well and her characters always feel very real. This was the perfect pace to lead up to the wedding and each part felt like it was helping to develop the story instead of just filling time. I always appreciate a romance that the characters have to work for and make compromises for. It makes the story feel more real when it’s not just wrapped up in a pretty bow. Both characters had to really confront their preconceptions and hang ups in order to work things out. I also liked that hey didn’t fall into instant love with each other and it took time for them to really learn each other. At the same time, they each cared for the other so that helped to develop the eventual “I love you’s”.
Kacie was ready to move on with her life but she couldn’t stay away from Michael. Kacie was a perfect blend of strong and independent but also flawed and self-conscious about certain things. Basically, Kacie was like an actual real life woman who might be put on a tough facade but still has some insecurities. She was also pretty honest with herself and knew when she needed to make some life changes.
Michael was a wonderful hero and he will definitely make a great new book boyfriend. I loved how charming and cocky he was without being annoying about it. His joking and innuendos really helped bring his character to life and I often found myself chuckling at his comments. I was also happy to see Bree and Danny again because Once and For All is probably my favorite book by Cheryl Etchison so far.
There were some scenes that were dropped at a chapter end and I wanted to actually experience the scene. For instance, Kacie is confronting Michael on why he can’t leave the military and the chapter ends when she realizes what he promised his mom. We don’t see anything else from this scene and are left to wonder how the rest of that conversation went.
3 out of 5 stars
For many women, Ranger Battalion Surgeon Michael MacGregor is the ideal man. He’s far better than average looking, a generous tipper, not to mention an officer and a doctor. So when he encounters a woman resistant to his charms, he finds himself… intrigued.
Kacie Morgan has had her fill of arrogant military men since the last one left her with a shattered heart and one heck of a career rut. Now, with her prestigious fellowship starting in the fall, all she has to do is survive the summer—and her little sister’s wedding.
When an ill-fitting bridesmaid dress has Kacie wanting to temporarily shake things up in her carefully planned life, she knows just the man to call. They agree to a no-strings, summer fling, although it isn’t long before Michael wants Kacie for forever.
But to win her heart, he’ll have to confront the nightmares from his past if they’re to have any chance at a future.
Published by Avon on May 23, 2017
American Valor reviews
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