Battle Scars by Jane Harvey-Berrick

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Synopsis:

From the dusty plains of Afghanistan to the sleek corridors of the New York Times, journalist MJ Buckman seeks the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. What she doesn’t expect to find is a man who’s her complete opposite … and fits her perfectly.

Marine Sergeant Jackson Connor knows that relationships don’t work for men in the military. He’s living proof of that. But when a steely-eyed temptress in a flak jacket, who carries her moral cause in front of her, crosses his path, he’s furious, curious, and all kinds of in-lust.

* * *

A grown-up love story about two people who aren’t looking for love, but realize how precious it is when they find it. They don’t play games and there are no stupid misunderstandings, just life standing in their way.

Can they compromise? And what does that look like in a modern relationship between two driven people?

Assignment Vs deployment.

They’re always traveling in different directions. What relationship can survive that?

Review:

Battle Scars was not that good. I was expecting a great story about a military guy and a journalist that follows the story wherever it goes. Only...I never saw a connection between these two. Ever. It was told to me, but it wasn't there. And it didn't work. Everything was really surface level, tell not show so it was just not that good. 

MJ is a foreign correspondent who gets saved by Jack when one of her stories goes awry. Jack is not at all happy that his men were put in danger because of her, but she apologizes afterward and tells him if he is ever in New York to look her up and she will buy him a drink. As a thank you. And that is exactly what he does. And the story goes on from there. Jack is still in the military so finding time together can be tricky. Between his deployments and her travel for work, it is not easy. And I never really saw them caring about each other. Everything was too quick and easy and told to me so I didn't care. 

The other issue? It felt like the author was using the story more as a commentary on what is happening around the world than a romance like it is billed as. And some of that stuff I struggled with. Like the story Maggie follows up on in Amsterdam about refugees. She talks to an older lady who rides her bike around, has always felt safe and no worries, but one day one of the refugee boys called her a whore for riding her bike with shorts on and now she is afraid to leave her house. That made me do a huge eye roll. She does then go and talk to someone that works at one of the shelters to get the other side of the story, but it was a bit...I don't know. I live in Berlin and we have a lot of refugees here. Are there some issues? Sure, I guess, but I haven't noticed a ton of difference in the way things are now compared to a few years ago. It is not like it is suddenly super unsafe to be out and about. I don't know. I get a lot of the anti-refugee nonsense from people in the states and it bugs me. Because even if some of them are bad, even if some of them cause harm to people, I would rather help everyone out than turn them away. Because the situation where they are from is horrible. And I can't imagine being in their shoes. Here in Germany they have to take integration classes to learn the language and cultures here, and it would be hard. I can't imagine leaving everything you know to try and make it somewhere safe. It was just one of many things that were snuck into the story in a kind of heavy-handed way and made me roll my eyes. 

So yeah, I was not a fan of this story. It was too much a commentary on the world today and the characters were flat and I don't think I ever really knew them at all. Definitely didn't see them fall in love so I didn't really care what happened to them. 

Rating: ★ ★

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