Title: Man of Honor
After his mother's funeral, ex-Army Ranger Drake Sullivan wants only to disappear and drown his sorrows in whiskey. Then he sees her: Mea Jones. An untamed, sexy-as-hell whirlwind of energy. A few years ago, she showed him the best-and hottest-night of his life, then walked away without a backward glance. But he's never stopped wanting more.
When it comes to guys, Mea has rules. One night. No dating. Whatever it takes to have control and keep it. With Drake, it's all heat and hurt and hunger, and pretty much the opposite of control. And that makes him dangerous as hell. Mea has her own demons, and falling in love-or even in lust-is strictly a no-go proposition. But she soon finds out Drake is incredibly single-minded when it comes to getting what he wants. And he's determined to be the exception to all her rules.
Reader advisory: The heroine's past deals with dark elements some readers may find disturbing. Recommended for mature audiences only.
Author: Diana Gardin
Other books by this author that we've reviewed: Saved by the Seal, Saved By The Seal, Sworn to Protect
Series: Battle Scars
Other books in this series that we've reviewed: Saved by the Seal, Saved By The Seal
Published by Forever Yours Source: Author, Publisher
Published: August 2nd 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Amazon
Visit the Author's Website
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This book snagged me from page one and kept me enthralled until the end. So much so that as I searched for things to include in this review, I had to keep stopping myself or I would have just reread the whole book. Every little conversation is that gripping.
Both Mea and Drake are well defined, interesting, edgy and completely likable. There attraction is hot and you really want to see them get together. It’s nice to watch Mea drop her protective walls, in a way she never has before, because Drake is different for her than other men. Finding someone she can trust is huge in her life and in this story. That these two had a one night stand years ago but were soon after thrown together on a regular basis is a great twist. Drake is more than willing to continue their relationship but Mea has strict rules. One is to never be with the same man twice but Drake broke another that bothers Mea much more. The thing is, she forgot to tell Drake the rules and he was completely unaware he was doing something wrong. He still doesn’t know why Mea avoids him. He blames himself for whatever he unknowingly did. It’s not until much later than Mea realizes her omission. The scene where they finally discuss it was heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time.
The two have been dealt the worse when it comes to parents and are, naturally, still affected by it. Gardin does a great job of writing Drake with overwhelming, difficult emotions but in a way that he is not diminished as a man. Being your typical alpha military veteran, he’s not addressing his issues and he starts climbing into a booze bottle after the death of the neglectful, alcoholic mother. An all too real response. Mea is there for Drake is a tender, touching way. A favor Drake soon returns when an unruly patron grabs her and causes a dad-induced PTSD flare up. These two are far too stoic to just share what they’ve been through and are still going through. The way pieces of their pasts come out here and there over time is perfect for building the sexual and emotional tension throughout the book.
There’s a good deal of suspense too because early on Mea finds out the father who sexually abused her, is up for early release from prison. She must deal with the emotions this news unearths. When her worse fear comes true and she learns he’s out and looking for her to “make amends” she doesn’t for a moment believe his story about apologizing. Drake, the perfect mix of caring boyfriend and highly skilled special operator, is the ideal man to have at her side. But he’s not. He’s hours away and is forced to race to catch her before something horrible happens.
Gardin does an amazing job writing about the horrors and lingering issues caused by incest. Mea’s memories are horrific, the issues she must deal with thoroughly authentic, her healing challenging and only just beginning. Drake is obviously going to help her tremendously.
Gardin also excels at writing dialog that’s exactly what’d you hear people this age using. It’s fun and fresh.
This book is the third in a series but I never felt I was missing part of the story because I hadn’t read the first two. It’s another talent to bring the reader up to date without rehashing the previous books in too much detail. I definitely want to read those stories but only because I know they’ll be awesome, not to fill in the gaps.
I am adding Gardin to my “must read” list.