Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Not a Hero by Sarah Robinson - Review


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Author: Sarah Robinson
Publication Date: 4 October, 2016  
Publisher: Self-Published
Series:  StandAlone...maybe
Genre:  Contemporary Romance, Military background
Age Recommendation: 18 and up
Rating: 4 Stars
~ I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ~ 

Book Description:

From the bestselling author of the Kavanagh Legends MMA series, Sarah Robinson's Not A Hero is an emotional standalone military romance where love battles trauma, and there can only be one victor. 

Former Marine, Miles Kydd, is trying to readjust to civilian life after ending his career and returning to his small home town when he learned his father was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Once the town hero and star quarterback, Miles no longer feels like the man he was, or who he's expected to be--possibly because his demons have followed him home from Afghanistan.
Meeting Zoe Brooke, his father's live-in nurse, gives Miles the slightest glimmer of hope that he can still find happiness despite the dark secrets he holds inside. The chemistry between them is undeniable, and together they are explosive--in more ways than one. A helper at her core, Zoe is more than willing to care for Miles's heart, but not at the expense of her own, and she's not afraid to tell him that. She knows what having a painful past is like, and she wants to help him with his, if he'll let her. Things get complicated fast when Miles realizes burying his secrets isn't actually the same as healing from them and if he wants the girl, he's going to have to tell her the truth--the one thing he can't do.

NOTE: This novel contains graphic content, violence, and sexual scenes. Meant for 18+ years of age. 


My Review:

Wow, this book is a truly emotional journey.  Don't even start it with out a tissue in hand and if you have any tigger warnings involved around PTSD or Cancer take a deep breath before going in.  It's a beautiful story but it can be heart breaking at times.  

Not a Hero is a departure from Sarah's Kavanaugh men and women...the lightness that you find in their stories you won't find here.  The everyday struggles that you find the Kavanaugh's dealing with you will find here but it's almost as if in Not a Hero it's in a fish bowl, a microcosm, instead of this big encompassing thing you see in the Kavanaugh series.  What you will find that is similar is her men and women.  Miles is hurting, deep with in his heart, he's strong and he's trying to prove that he can be the strong man, that he doesn't need anyone.  He's tough but he's got that sweet side to him that Sarah is so good at writing.  Zoe, like most of Sarah's heroines is a tough girl.  She doesn't need a man to take care of her, but she is willing to let just the right one in.  She's been through a lot but has pulled herself (appropriately) by her boot straps and will keep moving on.  I love that about Sarah's heroine, they are different than her heroes but they are just as strong if not stronger some times.  Why am I comparing the two? Because, this book is quite the departure from what we've come to know in the Kavanaugh series and yet it isn't so different that you won't want to pick it up.  If you have fallen in love with Sarah's writing style, her characters, and their development you will love this book as well.  

I don't like sitting here reaching what the book is about, you can see that in the description and I know you don't want me to give anything away so I won't.  I want to tell you how wonderfully Sarah wrote this book.  I want to tell you how carefully she wrote this book.  She is tackling a huge issue in this story, one that is affecting more and more people and more than just the Soldiers that live with the actual trauma.  Talking about PTSD can be a slippery slope for an author.  They have to condense into a few hundred pages a story that introduces the issue, create an environment that will bring the issue to life on the pages, find a way to work through or begin to work through the issue, and wrap it all up as neatly as possible.  I think the thing that impressed me more that the fact that Sarah not only tackled the subject head on and gracefully is that she didn't solve Miles and Zoe's problems.  She created an environment for them where they can live with the challenges, where they can work them out, but she doesn't magically make everything better...she leaves them open to fight through, she recognizes that PTSD doesn't go away with a visit to a psychologist or even after many visits.  She recognizes that the Soldier can't just push it back and not allow it to affect anyone but them.  She knows that PTSD affects everyone, the person suffering, their friends, their family, their jobs...

I loved the relationship between Zoe and Miles, it isn't an insta love at all.  They have know each other for years (although I wish they had known each other better as teens, but that's just my romantic heart getting in the way) but just as acquaintances.  They are separated for years and when they come back together there is definitely insta lust but it takes time and a whole lot of faith and fight before they work past the lust and into a love relationship. I loved the strength of this couple (together and individually) especially when they are at their weakest.  Yes, one can be weak and strong all at the same time and it is nice to see that portrayed so honestly on the pages of a book.  

While Not a Hero is about the romance between a particular couple I think in the end it is more about having faith in yourself and in the ones you love.  Knowing like I said about that you can be strong even when you feel that you are at your weakest.  That even when you are at that weak point you are still loved.  I really hope that Sarah will continue this storyline with Tobin, that man needs his story told just as much as Miles if not even more. 

Go into this book knowing there is a lot of heartache and a lot of hurt and while everything isn't going to be sunshine and lollipops everything is going to just as it should be and that can be just as wonderful as a....and they lived happily ever after!  


**If you or someone you know is struggling with PTSD please check out this website for more information and know that while it may not ever be 'sunshine and lollipops' you CAN still have your 'happily ever after'. **

Aside from being a Top 10 Barnes & Noble and Amazon Bestseller, Sarah Robinson is a native of the Washington, DC area and has both her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in criminal psychology. She is newly married to a wonderful man who is just as much of an animal rescue enthusiasts as she is. Together, they own a zoo of rescues including everything from mammals to reptiles to marsupials, as well as volunteering and fostering for multiple animal shelters.

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