Publication Date: July 2, 2013
Genre: Military Romance
(Received for an honest review from Sourcebooks Casablanca)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound
Jeanette Murray on the WEB: Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads
Books in the series:
The Officer Says I Do (2012), The Officer Breaks the Rules (2013), The Officer and the Secret (2013)
Coverart: Click the image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.
Excerpt from The Officer and the Secret, courtesy of the authors website.
If There's One Thing He Hates, It's a Secret...
Coming home after a rough deployment, Captain Dwayne Robertson wants some stability in his life, and finds it in the friendship he's forged with Veronica Gibson while he was away. But her past is a well-guarded mystery, and Dwayne doesn't know if he can deal with a woman who has something to hide...
And She's Filled with Them...
Veronica Gibson doesn't want anyone to know about her bizarre upbringing. She's finally escaped her missionary parents and would be enjoying her independence if she didn't feel so insecure about fitting in. She can easily envision a glorious future with Dwayne—but can she build a new life on a web of lies?
Jeanette Murray brings readers the final book in the Semper Fi trilogy, The Officer and the Secret. Military romance has become a rising trend and books like this one prove that there will be a lot more to come. A struggling Marine and an innocent young woman, what a combination! Murray's straight forward voice is refreshing and entertaining. Her characters shine in this story focusing on current issues and honesty. The Officer and the Secret is a novel romance fans won't want to miss!
I have to admit, I'm a sucker for a man in uniform. I have a lot of respect for the military and the men and women who allow us our freedoms. I have recently started reading more military centered romances. Catherine Mann is a favorite of mine and Jeanetter Murray as well. One of the things I think Murray does so exceptionally is to make her military characters so realistic. She understands the military attitude and the vulnerability that these kinds of characters don't often show and she uses that to make her stories get right to the heart of service men and women.
The Officer and the Secret is easily my favorite of this series. Murray has created a series that doesn't just leave her other characters in the shadows. The couples from the first two books in the series are very important characters in the third book and I thought that was wonderful. It was nice to revisit those characters and relationships and it just added a new dimension to this book. It allowed the reader to see where Dewayne and Veronica had been and how far they come in this one.
Murray focuses on an issue that has long plagued military men and women. Re-adjustment to normal life after being deployed. I thought she dealt with this issue in a very admirable way. Not only did she show the devastating effects of PTSD, she also showed a character that knew he needed help and wasn't afraid to seek it. Dewayne is such a wonderful character, strong and courageous but vulnerable and susceptible as well. I liked the fact that she made him a real man, with issues and fears, just like anyone else. I know we tend to think of servicemen as larger than life and able to handle anything, but sometimes it's the normal everyday things that bring them down. I appreciated the fact that Murray was able to convey that.
Veronica was also a very good character. In some ways she was a breath of fresh air, an unspoiled innocent. But she was wise beyond her years. It was her inner peace that became the balm to soothe Dewayne's tortured soul. I thought that Murray portrayed her as someone with great understanding, yet she was also afraid. Like everyone else she wanted to fit in and her upbringing wasn't your typical suburban life. Growing up in the wild's of a third world country has left her with issues adapting to American society, so in a way she relates to Dewayne like no one else can. I thought it was a wonderful combination. This relationship seemed like one of those that you just knew would somehow work despite the obstacles they had to face.
I really enjoyed this book, though there was an aspect of it that did not sit well with me. Veronica's upbringing was portrayed as almost abusive in a sense that her parents were more concerned about others than her. Personally, I know a lot of missionaries and I know the lifestyle and the sacrifices that they and their families make on a daily basis. And I think Murray was a little harder on that, than she had to be. I know it made sense for the storyline and it was important to the theme of the book, but I still found myself cringing, because not every missionary family is like that and I hope that readers understand that is was an isolated case and necessary to the plot. Missionaries aren't evil people who don't care about their own families. Just sayin...
Murray has written a very compelling novel with intriguing characters, current military issues and some hot and steamy romance to boot. The chemistry between Dewayne and Veronica is palpable throughout the novel and when they finally come together it is very passionate. I liked that, because both are very passionate people and it stands to reason that it carries over in all aspects of their lives, especially the bedroom.
This is definitely a book and a series that I would recommend to those who enjoy military romance, or who are thinking about trying it.
The Officer and the Secret is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag, even though I did have a bit of a hiccup with this one it was still an exceptional read!
About the Author:
Jeanette also writes contemporary romance under the name Kat Murray.
Jeanette spends her days surrounded by hunky alpha male heroes...at least in her mind. In real life, she's a one-hero kind of woman. When she's not chasing her daughter or their lovable-but-stupid Goldendoodle around the house, she's deep in her own fictional world, building another love story. She and her family recently settled on the outskirts of St. Louis, and they are having fun exploring their new area.
For more information, head over to her website at www.jeanettemurray.com, follow her on Twitter at @KJMurrayBooks, or find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/jeanettemurraybooks