LETTERS FROM HOME
An Army doctor, Lena Rodriguez has always been too busy with school or the Army for romance. But the letters she received during deployment have captured her heart. Back home for the holidays, she awaits Christmas morning to meet the man who has turned her life upside down.
When Zack Benson watched his best friend's sister Lena leave for Afghanistan, he knew he had to tell her he loved her. So he sent her anonymous love letters. Now that she’s home, he realizes he's made a tactical error. Lena has fallen for the man in those letters but still thinks of him as a brother. He has to convince her otherwise because if he succeeds, he’ll get the best Christmas present ever. But if he fails, he could lose her for good.
Zachary Benson has a secret...He's in love with his best friend, Mike's sister, Elena (Lena) Rodriguez. Unfortunately, there's the "code" to adhere to plus she's a busy gal. Enlisting in the Army and becoming a doctor has consumed all of Lena's time. And then she gets deployed to Afghanistan, leaving Zack on the tarmac not even knowing he showed up to see her depart - and possibly tell her how much he cares for her.
Elena is from a large family and likes to indicate that she joined the Army for some alone time. After leaving for Afghanistan, Lena receives a letter each month of her deployment, plus an extra one on her birthday, from a secret admirer. Over the course of those months she's managed to fall in love with the author, even though she doesn't know who it is. One of the final letters sets a face-to-face meeting date on Christmas morning, and Lena is both nervous and excited.
When Lena is finally back home, she's still thinking heavily about the letters but equally as heavy about Zack. Lena has been crushing on him since she was 12, knowing that he was off-limits. But she's a mature adult now and when she thinks she's figured out the connection between the letters and Zack's new found attention to her, she drops her inhibitions and goes with her feelings.
When it's time to see if the letter writer and Zack are one and the same, a tragic event shakes up her entire world.
I absolutely adored this novella. The chemistry between Zack and Lena is low key at best at the beginning, but as the novella progresses, there is a definite growing strength of the sparks. Both have grown up believing that they can be nothing more than friends/brother-sisterly, knowing full well that there were other feelings invading their hearts. The letters Lena receives are heartwarming and yet her family, while supportive, also make sure that when she goes to meet the mystery man she is not allowed to go alone. In this day and age it's important to make sure there is a certain level of safety. It's very responsible of the author to incorporate safety into her writing.
Speaking of the author's writing, Bethanne Strasser writes wonderfully. The dialogue of her characters is fluid, understandable, and smooth. There aren't any uncomfortable sections or areas that I felt needed to skip. The author provided enough background and details to convey the story but not so many that it felt cluttered or over-embellished. I found this novella to be very worthy of my time and I'm glad I was able to add Letters from Home to my library.
Review Copy Courtesy Of: Entangled Publishing, at no cost in exchange for an honest review.
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About the Author:
I strive to live my dreams.
A couple of years ago, my husband took that step and joined the Army. An accountant by trade and finally fed up with a life that aggravated and frustrated...always reaching for the almighty dollar, he came to me and said, what if I join the Army?
Sure! Please, join the Army. I want my happy husband back. :D I took my cue from him. Though writing has been a part of my life for a long time, my drive had settled in to an easy-going 55 mph. Not too fast, not too slow, with an occasional burst of speed to thrill me.
I write romance--suspense, contemporary, and an occasional paranormal. My stories are full of life, family, and love. I write a lot. I have a lot to share. I love stories that encompass the world. You can find me reading just about any genre of romance, but my favorites are fast-paced suspense, where life is on the line and love is the only saving grace. I want a book that makes my heart pound and my pulse race.