Published: Amazon Publishing: Montlake Romance
Date: 26th November
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Summary from Goodreads
Cory Marcel worked tirelessly over eight grueling years to develop a successful military career. After her commanding officer violently assaulted her, she lost everything—especially her trust in people. Despite the emotional damage threatening to sink her, Cory agrees to accept a new job at a furniture store in Perfect—a job that could offer the fragile brunette the chance to start over.
Ted Lovejoy cofounded Langford & Lovejoy Heritage Furniture, but lately he feels like an outsider in his own business. When he meets Cory, Ted realizes his company can do more than just build furniture—it can also help rebuild lives. He longs to help Cory recover from her pain, yet every time he gets too close to her heart, she pushes him away.
While Cory can’t resist her attraction to Ted, she fears the demons haunting her will drag down both of them. Could this kind, soft-spoken man help her finally bury the past…and unlock a future full of hope and happiness?
This is the third book in the Perfect, Indiana series by Barbara Longley. I hadn't read the two that come before it, however I found that it didn't matter too much. Although of course reading in order does give background to previous character's stories. However this one was still able to be enjoyed as a stand alone. I actually do have the first two in the series on my Kindle, and will catch up with the previous two at some point.
All these stories so far deal with war veterans dealing with PTSD, no easy task. This book explores the issue of PTSD when a superior officer violently assaults Cory and the after effects of that in her life. She is dealing with the armed forces who dismissed her as 'unfit for service' and given dishonourable dismissal. Rather heavy issues to deal with - and real ones. We meet Cory as she struggles to get out of bed and refocus her life. She has no job, no money and very little hope. Then her best friend and mother get moving and before she knows it she has a job and is with people who understand and support her.
Cory and Ted are immediately attracted to each other, however both are sensitive and Ted has his issues too. As the story unfolds they learn more about themselves and each day make choices that will eventually lead to love and healing.
I enjoyed the story, and I liked the characters and the wider community. I thought the eventual outcomes were realistic and time frames worked well. I did wonder though at the first time Cory and Ted made love, I wondered was it perhaps too soon, I chose to think that real love brings healing, and that intention to be involved fully in therapy can bring rapid progress.
Sometimes as I read a book I come across a dessert that sounds like I should make it! Cory takes Lemon Bars to a shared meal early on. I was on my iPad straight away to look it up as I had never heard of them. They do indeed sound very nice - and with lemons falling off my tree in the backyard something better to do with them than let them rot!
If I had a 0.5 marking system for books I would give it 3.5, I don't, so I am rounding it up to four.