He’s back from the dead, on a new mission…because two can play her game!
After two years as a POW presumed dead, SAS soldier Lee Davis is finally going home. Back to his family, friends and…fiancée? He doesn’t have a fiancée…the night before his last deployment, Juliet Browne rejected his proposal. That makes the sight of her playing the grieving almost-wife beyond infuriating. Feigning amnesia, Lee decides to put Juliet’s “commitment” to the test.
Yet tormenting her conscience isn’t as easy as Lee thought it would be. Juliet’s still the woman whose memory got him through the worst of his captivity and her actions now prove she cares—a lot. And despite her betrayal, he needs her more than ever. Because Lee is beginning to realise that for him, Juliet is home.
A Prior Engagement is currently available from the eHarlequin website, and will be available elsewhere in May.
I didn’t know this book was ever going to be written, but am happy there was some closure given to unfinished business from past books. Karina Bliss’ series about returned NZ Special Forces soldiers has made for some great reading, but I’d recommend reading them in order, because by the time we reach this one, there’re a lot of characters with a lot of tough backstories.
The reason this book surprised me is because it is about a character everyone thought had died in the Middle East.
Is the setup for this story a little farfetched? Of course it is. However, there’s something appealing about ‘back from the dead’ stories, and I’m willing to forgive an author for improbabilities as long as they can draw me in. I think Bliss managed that here.
Really, really, don’t read this one first or you’ll miss out on a lot of the emotional impact. In addition to Lee Davis, our returned from the dead hero, we have Jules Browne, the woman he loved. Nobody knows she actually turned down Lee’s marriage proposal immediately before he was deployed; everyone thinks they were happy together until the end. Now he’s back, and things aren’t going to be easy to work out.
Because of the situations they have been thrown into, neither character is as immediately likeable as most others in the series, but by the end of the book you’ll be able to see where they’re coming from and how past events have shaped who they are.
There’s a lot of involvement of previous characters in this book, so I would recommend giving yourself a quick refresher of past plotlines before diving in.
Harlequin still commits the crime of removing most things that make this book distinctly Kiwi (metric system, British English etc.). For example, you can’t just replace kilograms with pounds and have it mean the same thing. 20 pounds (9.07 kilograms) does not equal 20 kilograms (44.09 pounds). We’re supposed to be shocked by Lee’s weight loss in captivity, but because the number wasn’t changed along with the system of measurement, it just… wasn’t… shocking…
However I really enjoyed the use of distinctly Kiwi words in some places. Maori terminology that was somehow allowed to be kept in added to the New Zealand flavour of the book. Now, if only editors would allow us non-Americans to use the word arse!
I’m glad Bliss wrote this book. It had a lot of themes I enjoy reading, and made for an enjoyable – if emotionally difficult – read.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.