Letters from Home
Author: Bethanne Streasser
Review Copy Provided by the Publisher
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.
Ever since I read about Steven Spielberg’s War Letters, I’ve been fascinated by books, both romance novels and non-fiction that feature war letters. So when I saw this one in the list of ARC reviews, I was intrigued. Unfortunately, while the premise was good, the story just didn’t quite work for me. Novellas are hard for me because invariably I end up wanting more. In this instance, I felt like the author had a good idea – the secret admirer writing letters – but tried to cram too much into the 80pg(ish) novella. I think it would have worked better as a long story where the characters could be more developed.
That being said, I had some issues with the age of the characters – Lena is supposedly an Army doctor, but as far as I can figure, she is only in her mid-20’s (maybe late-20’s at the most). The timing just doesn’t work – 4 years undergrad, 4 years of med school. And no mention of her med school within the story line, only her undergrad was mentioned – which kind of just struck me as weird. IMHO, her being a medic (enlisted) would have been more believable and also done away with what would have been fraternization if Zack had remained in the military (as he was enlisted and her an officer). But that is just my military experience speaking out…for anyone not familiar with the military, it probably wouldn’t be as noticable.
I do think that the author has potential and i’ll be interested to see what she writes in the future – I’m just sorry that this one didn’t quite work for me. Overall, I gave it 2.5 stars.