Five years ago…
Dexter Davidson checked his watch for the thousandth time that morning. It was nearing noon and his bride-to-be was over an hour late. His father stood in the chancel, his rented tuxedo making him appear distinguished and genteel rather than rough and worn like the farmer he was. But the look on his face was what killed Dex the most. It was one of pity and a growing resignation.
“Fuck this,” Dex growled as he clenched his jaw tight and walked down the aisle, between the rows of pews where the guests waited for the ceremony to start. The chapel doors were open to the outside because it was springtime and warm. But it was also raining. A soft, gentle rain, but rain nonetheless.
Perhaps the rain had caused a delay. Dex stood in the open door and took his phone from his pocket. Annabelle still hadn’t answered his texts. He sent another one, just in case, and felt his heart shrivel just a little bit more when no answer came.
He tried calling but it went to voicemail without even ringing. “Belle,” he said, his throat tight and his eyes stinging, “where are you, baby? I’m worried. Please let me know you’re safe. If you’ve changed your mind, it’s okay. Just let me know.”
It wasn’t okay if she’d changed her mind, but what else could he say? Annabelle Quinn had been his girl for the past four years. He’d fallen madly in love with her in an instant. He’d known her most of his life, had ignored her for much of it because she was his little sister’s best friend, but one day, pow!, she’d smiled at him the way she had a million times before—and he was done for. He’d been hers from that moment forward.
And now they were supposed to be getting married. He’d come home on leave from the Army at Christmas and asked her to marry him. She’d said yes. She and his sister had planned everything while he went back to Afghanistan and did his best to stay alive. He didn’t know how long he stood there before he felt a presence beside him.
“I’m sorry, Dex.” Katie put a hand on his arm. “She’s not coming.”
The fun of any elite military book is that they are capable...and more so than your average stockbroker hero, and in this one, Dex does not disappoint. And, the fact that he is capable, that you can trust him, and that he is the guy you want to have your back when there is a situation is exactly what Annabelle uses as her reason to reach out to him...and it is the reason he is ultimately not able to turn her away.
Dex and Annabelle have a history, and it is a harsh, heartbreaking one that leaves you with no doubt as to why Dex still holds a grudge. I think we all would...although, the more details you get from Annabelle, the more she tells Dex, the more his walls start to erode. And, you can understand why. The reasons behind what happened in the past are bad enough that you can move to forgive in the future. And, that is important.
The writing and the characters were strong, you like Dex and Annabelle and you want things to work out for them. You can feel her hurt and anguish over their past, and you can feel his anger...and those strong emotions tell you that there is still something there in the present.
I recommend this book.
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