Craving Her Soldier's Touch
Category romance authors at their very best pack a lot of emotion and characterization into a rather limited page count. Unfortunately, when they don’t bring their A game, packing lots of conflict and emotion into a small book can result in a hot mess. Sadly, that’s what happened throughout most of Craving her Soldier’s Touch. This book just had too much going on and none of the various plotlines and conflicts got developed well enough to really pack a solid punch.
Before heading off to war, Ian Eddleton has a night of passion with Jaci Piermont. He has no intention of taking things further because he plans on a military career and he saw firsthand how his father’s military career embittered his mother, so he does not stay in contact with Jaci. Jaci falls in love with Ian and does not take his desertion well. She learns somewhat by accident that he has returned home, and her anger at his silence is immediately apparent. And from there the sparks fly.
There’s plenty of conflict in this story. We have: – Jaci’s dysfunctional family relationships and family history – the sudden reappearance of Jaci’s twin and the drama related to their crazy trust fund terms – Jaci running a domestic violence crisis center, with all the danger that sometimes brings – As mentioned before, Ian’s mommy issues – Ian’s tough readjustment to life at home You get the picture. There’s a lot going on in this book. And interspersed with all of this drama, we also have Ian and Jaci fighting and making up constantly.
The relationship between these two had me rolling my eyes every other chapter. In the beginning, Jaci’s hurt and anger over Ian leaving her without a word after their passionate night together makes perfect sense. However, he explains himself, they have hot sex – and then they fight again. There’s a constant cycle of fighting, talking and sex repeating itself throughout the story, and I found it tiresome. Also, the primary dynamic between these two consists of Ian telling Jaci what she should do for her own good while Jaci insists no one is the boss of her. Childish of both of them and annoying for the reader stuck in close proximity to their attempts at building chemistry.
In addition to Ian and Jaci fumbling their way toward the altar, we also see interactions between Jaci and her twin, Jena. Jena is basically likable even though she has come home with two secret babies in tow. Some of their interactions help the reader understand the complicated family history that drives Jaci and some of it frankly seems aimed at giving the author a convenient way to tip readers off to the existence of a trust fund for the girls that has some rather unusual terms they have to meet. One would expect this trust to form a source of tension for either or both sisters, but it gets shoved onto the back burner for most of the book, so it really felt unnecessary.
I have a thing for medical settings, and I like getting sucked into a good medical romance. However, this one just didn’t hit the spot. Not even close.