Title: Battle Born
Author: Caitlin Ricci
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press/Harmony Ink
Length: 180 Pages
Category: Contemporary, New Adult
At a Glance: Battle Born is a story of redemption and forgiveness. Well-written and engaging, with lovable, realistic characters.
Reviewed By: Queue
Blurb: A Companion to the Robbie & Sam Series
Daniel Messana wanted a way out of Thornwood, Colorado, and he found it in the Army. Now he’s returned with no more direction to his life than he had when he left as an angry teenager. And even though the war is behind him, the things he experienced won’t leave him in peace. His PTSD plagues him in crowds, and isolation sets in when he’s by himself. Because of the way he treated his brothers, regret gnaws at him, and he has no family to turn to.
For Franklin “Coop” Cooper, the Army was life, and one he loved. But when an IED in Afghanistan left him blind, it ended not only the career he’d built, but any chance of being his own man. Back home, his parents refuse to let him do anything for himself, even though Coop and his service dog are ready to move forward and adjust to his new conditions. His only escape from being coddled like a child is going for pizza on base while his mother shops on Fridays. There, Daniel sits down next to him, and the two men begin a friendship that could become more—if they can break free from everything holding them back.
Review: Caitlin Ricci is a real hit-or-miss author for me. I’ve read several of her books that I really loved, and others I haven’t. This was one of the better ones. I loved the first book in the Robbie and Sam series, but the second underwhelmed me, so I wasn’t sure what I would think of this one. Add the fact that it was about Daniel, and I really was concerned.
Daniel was a complete and total ass to Robbie and Sam in the other books. So much so that I couldn’t imagine his redemption. Well, Ricci did a great job doing it here. This book takes places several years after the last one, and Daniel has served time in the Army and is currently unsure of what to do with his life. He’s unsure about a lot of things, including his sexuality. He was raised by his father to think being gay is wrong, and despite knowing his father is a bad man, he can’t quite get himself to admit that the homophobic beliefs are wrong.
Enter Franklin “Coop” Cooper, ex-Army man, who was blinded by an IED. Coop and Daniel become good friends, but it quickly becomes more. Thanks to Coop’s insistence, Daniel not only pushes through his boundaries regarding his sexuality, but he also visits his family to make amends.
Battle Born is a story of redemption and forgiveness. Well-written and engaging, with lovable, realistic characters.
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