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Captain Joe Cooper is staying at Mike’s Place while he recovers from the damage inflicted on him when insurgents attacked his unit. He put the wellbeing of his men above his own and helped those he could before eventually seeking treatment himself. He’s now in a wheelchair relearning how to walk and going through hours upon hours of counseling. If you ask him he’ll be the first to tell you that he’s not a hero… he’s a Marine. Sitting in his room while he recuperates is enough to make him question his own sanity, and then he introduces himself to the pretty single mom living in the apartment next to him and finds something to focus on besides his own sorry condition.
Melody Carter’s life was forever changed when an IED effectively put an end to her abusive marriage seven months ago. While she’s grateful her daughter Libby will never suffer Tuck’s abuse, she can’t help but feel so very alone while she deals with Libby’s medical issues. Short of funds and options, Melody accepts the offer from Mike’s Place to help with the lifesaving surgery Libby desperately needs. With no friends or family helping her, Melody’s on the ragged edge. She’s petrified to sleep, shower, or be out of Libby’s sight for any length of time despite the electronic monitors in place to let her know if Libby’s in distress.
At first Joe doesn’t understand why Melody’s at Mike’s Place alone with an infant or what medical condition would bring them to such a place. He’s an observant man and recognizes her fear of large men as being the signs of an abused woman then after doing a bit of research learns that her baby will be undergoing major surgery in a few short days – and Melody will have no one to support her through the whole horrific experience. Joe might not be able to dance a jig or walk the floor with a crying infant but he can certainly make sure Melody’s taken care of – even if he has to call in his own family to be at her side.
WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT might very well be my favorite of Heather Long’s ALWAYS A MARINE series so far. I love that through her writing readers are able to view Marines as not only strong men and women but also as vulnerable human beings. This story turned out to be far more of an emotional journey then I expected it to be originally – between Joe being wheelchair bound and Melody’s fear for her daughter I could really feel for both characters. At the same time I adored Joe and his gentle demeanor with Melody and Libby. He understands Melody’s need to check on Libby every other second and doesn’t berate her for doing so – instead he offers to help and in some cases pushes her to do something for herself… like sleep or indulge in a shower. There’s definitely a romance brewing between Melody and Joe but the primary focus is on overcoming their fears, injuries and fixing themselves emotionally and physically before embracing the next stages in their lives. WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT is a beautiful story full of hope, heart, tears and lots of love. It’s an absolutely beautiful read.
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