A MARINE FOR CHRISTMAS
Diamond Dust Trilogy - Book 1
by Beth Andrews
Release Date: November 9, 2010
One of the things I admire most about this 2010 RITA winning author’s writing is her willingness to tackle difficult subjects head-on. From the first page of A Marine for Christmas, the characters are sucked into the turmoil of an emotional maelstrom and I went right along with them, never even considering turning back. Brady Sheppard has loved Liz Montgomery for half of his life but she ripped his heart to shreds by breaking their engagement in a Dear John letter sent to Afghanistan. The book opens as a drunken Brady, a shattered man both figuratively and literally, crashes Liz’s wedding to another man.
Twenty-six year old, JC Montgomery loves her older sister even though she’s spent most of her life trying, unsuccessfully, to measure up to her. Not only has Liz has always been prettier, slimmer, smarter and more successful, she’s always had Brady, the man JC has been in love with for as long as she can remember. When Brady threatens to ruin her sister’s wedding reception, JC convinces him to leave and drives him home, never intending to stay. But, when Brady kisses her, she throws caution to the wind and takes a moment out of time for herself…a moment that leaves her pregnant…and brokenhearted. Because Brady still loves Liz, wants nothing to do with JC or the baby and is headed straight for a lifetime spent at the bottom of a bottle.
See what I mean about tackling tough subjects? Brady is a broken man. His career dreams have been shattered right along with the shattered knee he received courtesy of roadside terrorists in Afghanistan, the love of his life dumped him for a doctor, the post-war guilt and flashbacks he suffers are just one symptom of the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) overtaking his life and the only comfort he can find is in a bottle. It’s going to take one very strong, very special woman to bring him safely out of the storm and back into the sunlight of a happy life.
Andrews doesn’t make things easy for her characters and, while Brady and JC have the happy ending they deserve, she doesn’t wrap up everything prettily with ribbons and bows. This is real life and relationships have suffered: JC and Liz, JC and her parents, Liz and her husband, Brady and his mother and brothers. All of these relationships face challenges because of the actions of the various characters and only with love, trust and time, will they begin to mend. As a reader, I appreciate that Andrews recognizes this and keeps her stories true to life. As this is the first book in a new trilogy, I have hopes that we will see the progression of these relationships throughout the series.
A Marine for Christmas is a new release. Next year it’s going to be one of those treasured friends I lovingly re-visit each Christmas. I have no doubt it will continue to be for many years to come. If you haven’t read Beth Andrews yet, I strongly encourage you to pick up a copy of A Marine for Christmas. It’s a gift that should be on every romance reader’s list!