48 Following

Tina's Reading Books

Genre fiction lover:  Romance, Sci Fi, Fantasy, Mystery, Urban Fantasy


Compassion - Xavier Neal, Kim Collins

This has to be the worst cover of a romance novel.....


But this was a really good book.


I love it when a book pleasantly surprises me. I haven't read the author before and more often than now I am giving new-to-me authors extra scrutiny before I pick up a book. Too many frogs out there not enough Princes (...*sob* everytime I say Prince these days I can't help but tear up a little).

But this was very good and enough now that I have a new author to look for.

The story is told in alternating chapter POVs in first person from Jaye, the heroine and Archer, the hero.

Jaye is a single lady librarian who lives in an upscale neighborhood. She has a job she loves and a family who loves her. Her only real issue is that her life has been somewhat on hold in the personal front since her fiance died three years ago. And in many ways she's subconsciously behaving as if her fiance is just out on an extended break. She hasn't packed up his things, the house is more his personality than hers, etc.

Archer is a war vet who has returned with a limp courtesy of shrapnel from his last tragic mission which saw the death of his two best friends. He is also suffering from PTSD thanks to that last missions as well. Through a series of circumstances each more unfortunate than the last he has found himself homeless.

Their paths cross when she sees him rifling through her garbage. In a moment of compassion she offers him some food and a relationship is born.

I am one of those persons who run far away from those slick billionaire books. This is the total opposite. And I LOVED it! Archer has no money and no job. But he is totally wonderful. And even though it seems like he has nothing material to contribute to his relationship with Jaye, he is invaluable when it comes to making her face some of her own demons and building up her own self confidence.

This is a very low conflict romance, but there is tension. It would be remiss of me not to say that Archer's lack of a job isn't a real issue, because it is. Even as a reader I was needing for him to find something because a job, even something very simple, is very powerful psychologically. Most people need to be able to do something, earn their way and contribute in order to feel some self worth. And this would be especially true for a personality like Archer. A man who went into the military to serve. And frankly, while I don't need my hero in a romance to be a millionaire, I do need him to have a J-O-B!

I loved the progression of the story and the romance. It was sweet and hot. Jaye's personality was optimistic and bubbly. Archer's was more reserved. But they worked together very well. The sex scenes were explicit but didn't overwhelm the story.

The book also employed the convention of the two narrators breaking the fourth wall and speaking directly to the reader. I like the deployment of that in this book. Sometimes that convention comes off as a little too precious. But it worked really nicely here.

Good book. Recommended.