The war is over. The battle for love has just begun.
As Marines, Cal and Jim depended on each other to survive bloodshed and despair in the Pacific. Relieved to put the horrors of war behind him, Jim went home to his apple orchard and a quiet life with his wife and children. Knowing Jim could never return his forbidden feelings, Cal hoped time and an ocean between them would dull the yearning for his best friend.
But when Jim’s wife dies, Cal returns to help. He doesn’t know a thing about apple farming—or children—but he’s determined to be there for Jim, even as the painful torch he carries blazes back to life. Jim is grateful for his friend’s support as he struggles with buried emotions and dark wartime memories. Then Jim begins to see Cal in a new light, and their relationship deepens in ways neither expected. Can they build a life together as a family and find happiness in a world that would condemn them?
Timeless. I know I’m late to discover the beauty of this story but in all honesty, I think love like this is timeless. And yes, you read that correctly, this story is beautiful. There is war and the terrors and pain that accompany it but the strong heartbeat of their love carries us through the murky pages with tendrils of hope sprouting here and there. Andrews takes us through the paces of their time in combat and afterward when their deployment is over. As we jump from the early part of the decade to the latter, you can’t help but feel the power of their struggles. Active duty isn’t always pleasant or easy to read about, especially during combat. Yet in this case, it was critical to understanding the depth of their bond. I wasn’t merely curious, I was 100% vested in their lives. I was grateful we knew early on they both survived the war but losing one’s life wasn’t the only ill-fated destiny the soldiers faced. Their bodies may be whole but broken hearts and broken minds take their toll. The energy built as the pages flew by and before long I was rapt…grappling with the impressive and palpable emotions. Soon they discover, they truly can do anything together. If only the rest of the world could accept that their hearts belong to one another.
It’s easy to fall for Cal and his charm. Born into wealth he had just about everything he wanted growing up. Except for the love and acceptance of his family. Joining the Marine Corp gave him a new family, one that would never let him down. Jim had the picture-perfect life at home but couldn’t face his own true desires. As he wrestled with shame and guilt over his affections, Cal was extraordinarily patient with him. As a religious country boy with a family, he had certain expectations, many from himself. He couldn’t be with a man. Could he? But once he has a taste of what life with your soulmate is like, he knew everything before was a lie. His internal battles after the war brought their own kind of agony. Keira not only nails the emotional pull but she exceeds at sharing them. I felt their highs and lows. I endured their misery and elated in their joys. I was anxious and scared and furious. But then I was overcome with happiness. Between their brothers in arms and their blood-born families, the secondary cast is hefty. And yet, I can easily tell you great details about all of them. I loved the farm. I loved the children. I loved how they selflessly loved each other. Ha! Guess I should move onto the next section…
When I think of the love that Cal and Jim share, I can feel the waves wash over me. It was not an accident but inevitable. I believe Cal’s heart would know Jim’s heart anywhere and vice versa. I imagine Jim’s spirit would follow Cal’s beyond the ends of the earth. I can see them taking their last breaths, moments apart because one cannot exist without the other. And not that one would intentionally take their own life but their connection is everlasting and so strong if one goes, so does the other. That’s the type of love they have. These warriors love another with formidable force, one that you don’t often witness. I feel fortunate to know them and their story. And I can only hope the same for you.
War…these marines (heroes) grant us an intimate glimpse into what they endured in WWII. Forbidden love…they shouldn’t have fallen in love, they couldn’t love freely but some love simply can’t be stopped. And prepare for a turbulent journey fueled with passion, self-discovery, and devotion…with an immensely rewarding conclusion.
If you don’t mind slipping back in time, this love story is sure to sweep you off your feet. They take a chance on each other, why don’t you?
Title: Semper Fi
Author: Keira Andrews
Length: 332 Pages
Publisher: KA books
Release Date: November 11, 2014
Buy Link: Amazon